Now that many more people are having to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, I thought it would be useful to do a fresh post looking at the kit I use at home to stay productive. With most of my meetings having been converted to video calls, I get asked a lot about things like the camera and mic set up I have, etc. so here’s a very long post broken into sections looking at each piece of kit!

PC

Thermaltake Versa J24 Thermaltake Versa J24 Some people get very fancy cases for their PCs and some keep their cases under the desk! I’m the latter. This case more the adequately houses my components and it wasn’t too expensive. I’ve used Thermaltake cases before and been pleased, no change with this one.
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X AMD Ryzen 7 3700X I’ve generally been an intel fan over the years, but when it comes to gaming and streaming these days it seems that AMD rule the roost. I was highly recommended to go with this CPU and I’m not disappointed so far!
GeForce RTX 2070 Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 When I built this PC, this was a real treat. I’ve never had the budget to have a high-end graphics card. Gaming on PCs has always been a compromise. I am blown away by this card. I can game and live stream from the same PC, driving two monitors, 60FPS on the higest settings and it doesn’t miss a beat. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but this makes gaming fun.
Asus ROG STRIX B450-F Asus ROG STRIX B450-F There are better motherboards for sure, but this one offers everything I needed except perhaps bluetooth. It’s not the latest but I don’t see any apparent shortcomings in the way I use my PC.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM I originally wanted to put 32GB of RAM in this build, but I’ve gone with 16 for now and that’s proving to be plenty. I have the option to upgrade at a later date. It’s RAM, you need it, it’s fast, there’s not much else to say!
Intel 660p Series 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD Intel 660p Series 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD I’ve never used the M.2 form factor before in a build but it’s so cool! No big disk drives and cables floating around getting in the way. Just a single board neatly tucked directly onto the motherboard. It’s super fast and really reasonably priced. I’ve got a second slot spare and I fully intend to grab another one of these to fill it.
Corsair RMx Series RM550x Corsair RMx Series RM550x This is a neat, fully modular PSU. It’s quiet, more than powerful enough for my needs, and fits well at the bottom of my case.

Audio & Video

Logitech Brio 4K Webcam Logitech Brio Stream It took me a while to settle on a new webcam, having using the built-in one on my laptop for years, and the Logitech C910 prior to that. I’d almost gone for the Logitech C920 which is really well reviewed, but the neat integration of Windows Hello and the 4K capability of the camera helped tip it for me.

Tip: Make sure you update to the latest firmware, and give the camera plenty of light in order to get the sharpest image. Also, make sure you download the Logitech G Hub to tweak and configure for the best settings.
Logitech C910 Webcam Logitech C910 This is my backup camera which I keep around ‘just in case’. It still works really well, but the image quality definitely shows the camera’s age. I was toying with multi-camera views when I stream but it’s a lot of hassle for not a lot of benefit. I just can’t bring myself to throw it away when it’s perfectly useable!
Audio Technica AT2020 audio technica AT2020 This is one of the newest additions to my setup. This mic is quite sensitive as it’s a condenser mic, so you need to be able to control the noise in your surroundings to make this work. It also requires other specialist equipment as it is an XLR microphone. This is absolute overkill for most people - but I love a gadget! There are other options such as the AT2020 USB (if you can get it), the Blue Yeti, or the Rode NT-USB.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 I recently upgraded to this from an analog Behringer mixer. This is a big step up in terms of pre-amp quality, and it’s a smaller footprint on my desk. I highly recommend it.
Akai APC Mini Akai APC Mini This is definitely overkill. It’s highly nerdy, more complicated than it needs to be, but satisfies my need for extra gadgets. This controller allows me to control Voicemeeter Potato through hardware, meaning I can switch inputs and control audio output in great detail right from a button or a fader without needing to fiddle with the software. This is great for streaming, on calls and generally having a high degree of control over your audio set up. Almost certainly, you don’t need one!
ARCAM irDAC-II ARCAM irDAC-II This is one of my most treasured devices. I listen to a lot of music - more so now I’m working from home so much. For years I’ve just used whatever sound card was in my device. I cannot tell you how much of a difference to the qualtiy it makes because you’d have to hear it for yourself. I invested in great cables to connect this to my amp and speakers… and it sounds incredible. If you like music, you listen to it through your PC, and you have a hi-fi (or even decent headphones), you need a decent DAC!
Microsoft Surface Headphones Microsoft Surface Headphones These are great as I can plug them into my computer (into my DAC!) to listen to audio, and I can connect them to my phone or other devices for when I’m on the move. They’re comfortable, have good battery life and sound great. The noise cancellation is particularly handy when you’re in a loud office or on public transport, etc.

Monitors

Dell U2715H Dell U2715H This is my main monitor. At 27”, it’s big, bright and clear, making it perfect for work. In hindsight, I might’ve gone for two smaller monitors side-by-side. I can’t fit another 27” next to this one without it taking up all my space! Dell make great monitors, I’m very satisfied with this one. Gaming on it is also fine.
Dell E197FP Dell E197FP This monitor is probably about 15 years old, but it’s still going strong. I dragged it out of storage recently when I started streaming. Having two monitors is a real luxury and it makes such a difference. Even though it’s low resolution, and only 19” - not even widescreen - it’s a perfect companion monitor. I’ll upgrade it eventually, but there’s life in it yet!

Lighting

Neewer 176 LED 5600K Ultra Bright Dimmable on Camera Video Light Neewer 176 LED 5600K Ultra Bright Dimmable on Camera Video Light I have this little light on a tripod as my key light. It’s not great, but it does a good job of lighitng up my face and making me clear on camera. The Logitech Brio works best when you’re well lit and this does the job. I’d like to get a better one in time, but for now this is fine. I used to run it off rechargeable batteries until I found an old power cable lying around that could do the job.

Peripherals & Other

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop I’ve been a huge fan of Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards for years - since I was a kid. I’ve had many, but this one is my favourite. The mouse takes a little adjusting to, but if you’re typing a lot, this keyboard and mouse combo will save you from wrist injury and make things much more comfortable.
Elgato Stream Deck Elgato Stream Deck This cool little device is really helpful when gaming and streaming. It can also be used for other stuff, although I’ve not had the chance to really explore that yet.