Anyone got a good couch PC set-up?

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catsanddogs

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#1  Edited By catsanddogs

I am a PC gamer who likes to play on the living room couch, so I can hang out with my wife and kids in the evening instead of sequestering myself in a bedroom or home office.

Right now I'm gaming on an Alienware 15 R3 laptop that I bought in 2017. I have a side table next to the couch that's the same height as the arm of the couch, so the computer sits half on the couch, half on the side table. It's a functional set up, but not ideal.

Current challenges:

  • No mouse -- I have an XBox 360 controller, and can obviously use the touchpad and keyboard, but every once in a while a game comes along that lacks controller support and requires a greater level of speed and precision than what the touchpad offers.
  • Heat management -- I've got the back propped 2 inches, I clean out dust regularly, I've got it moderately undervolted, but temps still occasionally get high enough that it BSODs.
  • Lack of future-proofing -- I'd prefer a set-up where I can more easily upgrade RAM, video cards, storage, etc.

I'm contemplating building a big, liquid-cooled machine and mounting it under the side table, with a monitor and mouse that sit on the side table, and a wireless keyboard that sits on my lap.

Any other couch PC duders out there who'd care to share their set-up advice?

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Big_Denim

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#2  Edited By Big_Denim

I have the Corsair K63 Wireless Keyboard along with a wireless logitech gaming mouse (forget which model).

It gets the job done, but I certainly have some serious gripes with the keyboard. You will need to use the bluetooth feature from the keyboard as the dongle that they provide will completely lockup your computer if you have Steam running (which seems like that's an almost guarantee to be running).

For most games, I just use a controller, unless it's a strategy game in which case I use a Steam Controller. Between those two input devices I'm usually good to go for any style game.

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fisk0

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#3 fisk0  Moderator  Online

You could look for a keyboard with a built in pointing stick/nub/trackpoint (as they were called on IBM's Thinkpads), I know some people swear by them as a much better alternative to the trackpad. Apparently it's the same tech as Nintendo used as the C-stick on the New 3DS and 2DS.

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catsanddogs

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@big_denim: I do play a lot of strategy games -- what's the advantage of a Steam Controller over an XBox 360 gamepad for that genre?

The XBox 360 gamepad that I bought back in 2012 has been serviceable enough that I haven't stayed up-to-date on the latest in controller features.

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Big_Denim

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@catsanddogs: Instead of joysticks the controller has two trackpads.

The controller can send mouse and keyboard inputs. For the strategy genre which typically doesn't have controller support this is a huge win.

It also lets you set up some sophisticated controller UI overlays so you can assign hotkeys actions to a single track pad. (Hard to describe but it's super useful).

It's also only $5 on Steam right now so now's the time to get it if it interests you!

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catsanddogs

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@big_denim: Awesome, thanks! Hard to say no to $5... just bought one 😎

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Big_Denim

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@catsanddogs: Nice! It's a love/hate item for some. So long as you go-in knowing it's good for strategy games and not-so great for console-style games then you'll enjoy it.

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krishnak

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Not sure if you still looking for suggestions but my current set-up is 1440p monitor/1080p monitor on a desk(DVI/Display port) in my office then I have a 20ft HDMI connecting to the TV in my bedroom.

I have a wireless set of mouse/keyboard for use when I am in bedroom and a separate wired set for when I am in the office. I do the same with a set of ps4 controllers; one on bluetooth and one wired to the PC.

It's been nice. I enjoy watching stuff on 4k on my TV and played some games in 4k as well. That being said I still like sitting down in my office chair for longer gaming sessions.

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carsend

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I've had good success with a Steam Link (connected via a wire) and a PC (connected via a wire) using a Ryzen 3700 and RX580. No problems playing on 1080p. Steam link you can connect a dual shock 4 to it, or just plug the 360 controller into.

I have the Corsair K63 Wireless Keyboard along with a wireless logitech gaming mouse (forget which model).

I've also heard good things about the Corsair K63.

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Yesiamaduck

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#10  Edited By Yesiamaduck

I got a roccat sova, it may not be wireless (it has a 12 foot detatchable cable which makes it super easy to put it away once done though) but as far as lapboard designs go it's easily the best imho. Good mechanical keyboard and ample room for the mouse, its comfortable to use over long periods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJEBaeiSwkM

I plug my mouse into one of the included USB ports and use the other to plug in an external DAC/headphone amp. Or when needed a USB headset.

I find it comfortable to play any PC game from a couch or beanbag and infitintely prefferable to the steam controller which I, personally, think is a trick of all trade master of none. The only PC controller that has me miss using a KB + M and Controller simultaneously as the pads do a poor job replicating the mouse and a poor job replicating analog sticks.

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thainatos

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Check out the Logitech M570. That's my couch mouse solution. Better for your wrist too.

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Koenn

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My PC is on a desk in the corner of my living room, with an HDMI cable running along the baseboard through some conduit to my TV. Whenever I want to play a PC game from my couch, I simply change the primary monitor with Win+P and I'm all set. I haven't found a good way to comfortably use a keyboard and mouse on the couch, so keeping my PC on a desk is worth it for me. Might be worth considering, provided it's possible with the layout of your living room.

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Gundato

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Just to piggy back on this a bit as I'll be building an HTPC/APU-box in a week or so:

What are the good interface solutions these days? I just use a retroarch-oriented distro on my odroid and that works fine enough, but with the added oomph of a real processor I'll also want me some Steam. I guess in order months (?) the two would be one in the same, but for now there would be enough context switching as to be tedious and probably require at least a keyboard.

And not sure on the current state of linux drivers for AMD (one of the many reasons I went down this stupidly awesome road) but I suspect I might want Windows for performance anyway. Same with "apps" for streaming and the like since I'll eventually want to replace my Shield and maybe finally plug in my Switch and get my Ring Fit and drumming on.

A mouse+trackball isn't the end of the world (and will probably be there anyway for Tales of Maj'eyal) but it would be nice to be able to go full gamepad.

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#14  Edited By mrroach

Logitech K830 is a great keyboard w/ touchpad. It's (mildly) backlit, and the battery lasts forever. Works great for browsing and firing up steam or w/e and then Xbox one controllers for games.

If I need mouse/keyboard, I also have a Logitech mouse and a metal mousepad (Corsair) that goes beside me on the couch.

Edit: oh, and in one room I went with an MSI trident, which has a great small footprint, is moderately upgradeable, and pretty quiet. In another, I had more space so just got a nice looking case with lots of glass so it's not an eyesore (nzxt something or other)

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