2020 is a big year for gaming. The next generation of consoles are on the horizon, with more information being released every month.
The competition for talent is always fierce in the gaming industry. But now more than ever, games studios who want to attract the best developers will need to provide top-flight equipment for them to use.
To make things slightly more complex, everyone is different. Something that is essential to one person’s workflow may completely derail someone else’s.
So what are the most in-demand pieces of hardware and peripherals among developers right now? We asked our sales team to find out.
Advance warning: some of this gear is a bit expensive, but you’ve got to buy the best if you want to be the best, right?
The NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti, bonus points if you can find a Cyberpunk Edition.
This is the most powerful graphics card on the market. It’s not cheap, but it’s not going to let you down when you need it most.
Most developers won’t actually need the kind of power that this thing packs, but if you’re developing games in 4K or want to experiment with ray tracing, this GPU can make it happen.
It has 11GB of VRAM, 4,352 CUDA cores and a boost clock of 1,635MHz. That said, if you can’t stomach the price, AMD’s Radeon 5700 XT is a surprisingly powerful alternative that usually comes in at around a quarter of the price.
Acer Predator 27" 4K Ultra HD 120Hz G-Sync Compatible HDR IPS Gaming Monitor
Game developers need to see what they’re working on in super high-resolution and be able to appreciate the full colour range and richness of the image.
The XB273K is a 27-inch premium gaming monitor with an IPS screen, 144Hz refresh rate and 4K resolution. It’s one of the best gaming monitors on the market and doubles up very nicely for games development.
It’s also around £1,000 cheaper than the mighty X27, with the only real downside being that the XB273K’s HDR is slightly dimmer. This makes it ideal for buying in pairs so that your developers can use two screens at once.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus, powered by Samsung's latest V-NAND tech.
SSDs are cheaper than they used to be and will speed up your developer’s workflow no end by booting up and loading files and applications faster. They’re also quieter and less likely to be ruined if you drop them.
While the Intel Optane 905P is faster, it’s also much, much, much more expensive. The Samsung 970 Evo Plus delivers insane performance for the price and will be capable of supporting what the vast majority of games developers want to do.
In fact, it’s such a good price that you could kit out a small studio with SSDs for the price of just one Intel Optane!
Wacom Cintiq Pro DTK-2420 Graphics Tablet
If we’re talking about drawing tablets then most games developers will ask for a Wacom. But what kind of tablet they ask for will come down to personal preference.
Some people like drawing on a tablet while working from the monitor, in which case the Wacom Intuos Pro is a great option featuring lag-free tracking, customisable shortcuts and cracking build quality at a reasonable price point.
If your developers would prefer an inbuilt screen, the Wacom Cintiq Pro is more expensive but is one of the very best drawing tablets available on the market, with a 4K screen and world-class Adobe RGB 98% colour performance.
CORSAIR Gaming K70 - fully mechanical gaming keyboard
The Corsair K70 is a gaming keyboard that doubles up very nicely for games development.
The first thing to note is that it’s a mechanical keyboard which uses sturdy switches instead of the rubber membranes found in cheaper keyboards. This gives keystrokes a satisfying, tactile response which has been proven to improve typing and durability.
It’s built to be able to withstand thousands of hours of gameplay, which makes it ideal for games development. The detachable wrist rest will prevent your developers from developing repetitive strain disorder or other aches and pains.
Finally, there are a series of dedicated keys that can be used to create customisable shortcuts that can then be saved to the keyboard’s onboard 8MB of memory, making moving machines much less of a hassle.
Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse
They’re certainly not cheap, but they are some of the best mice ever made.
Unlike almost everything else in this list, the MX series was designed for creatives as opposed to gaming, which means it’s almost five times more precise than the average mouse and can scroll 1,000 lines of code in a second. It’s crafted to sit comfortably within the hand and has a series of intuitively-placed buttons and a thumb-flywheel.
What’s more, it can stay powered for up to 70 days on a full charge and get up to three hours from a single minute.
Granted, kitting out an entire studio with the equipment in this list might not be financially advisable. But it can be hard to say no to a dev when they have their heart set on a piece of equipment.
Are there any other pieces of hardware or peripherals that your developers can’t work without? Drop us a message on Twitter and let us know.