The 4 Aspects Of A Great Setup
Have you every wanted to create a gaming room that would be the ultimate hang out spot for you and your friends? Or are you more of a solo/online gamer and wanted to create the best setup you can for that immersive experience?
Maybe yet, you are a super productive person busy with the hustle and bustle of working from home, or are a student looking for that awesome study space you cant wait to come home to each day.
Wherever you are in your journey to create an awesome setup that you can’t wait to get back to, these 4 aspects are going to completely change the way you think about building your setup. Look. Feel. Usability. Uniqueness. All of these aspects tie into one another and build off of the ones that came before it.
Creating a decent technology themed setup isn’t as hard as some people make it out to be. I know there are multi thousand dollar pc builds on sites like YouTube, Twitch, and forums like Reddit. However, I’m here to let you know that creating your own setup doesn’t have to be that intimidating.
This guide is going to give you a run down of my personal top 4 aspects of a great setup. These aspects hold true whether or not you are creating a setup for “The Ultimate Gaming Experience” or “The Most Productive Studio Workspace”. These aspects (and tips) are universal.
Moreover, budget isn’t going to be a factor for these explanations. It doesn’t matter if you are Mr./Mrs. Moneybags capable dropping thousands of dollars like its no big deal, or if you are a struggling college student with a Mon-Fri ramen budget. This is your guide.
If you find this article helpful, be kind and pass it on to someone else who you think could benefit. Thanks for reading!
What is a “technology themed setup” anyway?
The best way to tell you what a technology themed setup is is to show you. Below are a few pictures of just some of the super creative setups that exist out in the wild. Below you go gazing, the first thing you should understand is that this represents the extremely high end of the setup market. Not everyone’s looks like this, nor is this something you should specifically try to achieve just because. But I’ll get more into the why’s later.
Breaking it down to the base parts, technology themed means that technology is a central aspect of the space. It may not be all that the space is about, but it should play a role in how that space is used. Setup is quite simply a space that is the central location where all the gear that helps you do what you want to do lives. Think of it similar to a kitchen for a professional chef. They way his pots and pans are arranged, where the grills and ovens are located, all of that is that chef’s specific setup.
All in all a technology themed setup is a setup that uses technology to help you do a task that you want/need to do. A home theater is a setup, one that is specifically designed to help with one task – create a good entertainment environment to consume media in. The same holds true for home offices, kid’s play rooms, libraries, etc.
You may (and if you have the time/space/resources I would encourage you to) have different setups designed to do totally different tasks. You may have a gaming area where that is the main focus of your time spent there, while you also have a study/productivity area that highlights your focusing ability.
Honestly your setup can look however you want it to look. It can be the “stereotypical” gamers paradise full of reds and blacks with RGB lighting everywhere, or it can be more subdued and minimalist. However you decide to style your space, there is one thing that should hold true no matter what. It needs to have specific look, something like a theme that shows that everything here is purposeful and exists for a set reason.
Can you just combine a bunch of random things together and call it a day?
Sure. But if you wanted to do that you would have an okay setup, a mediocre setup, not a great setup. It would get the job done, but thats about it.
If you want to take your setup to the next level, then you need to put some thought behind why you’re doing the things you are doing, and why things are located where they are.
The more cohesive the space looks, the easier it will be for you to operate within that space. Tying into my next point, there have been numerous studies that have shown that the way something looks, affects the way you feel about it.
For instance, take two men. Without knowing anything about the two men, other than their appearance, how do you feel about them?
Or take two areas.
The idea is the same. The way things looks has a huge impact on your overall comfort level and for a setup, your setup, to be great, it should represent that greatness in it’s looks.
There is a concept known as Feng Shui that involves harmonizing a space to the person(s) occupying it. If this harmony is achieved not only the space, but the person benefits from it. The space feels more inviting, more useful, and the person wants to use it more.
That is essentially what I’m talking about when I mention the feel of a setup. How it makes you feel when you are in it, how it makes you feel when you think about it.
Imagine you had to do work that was really important to you, in an uncomfortable place. The chair you sit on (if you have one at all) is rough, torn up and falling apart. The desk is lumpy and uneven, and the lighting is too harsh to see properly.
Not a lot of quality work would get done huh?
This is the same idea behind creating a space that makes you feel good. If you want to do your best work, play at the top of your game, or be in your best mood, you have to have a space that allows all this to come forth.
I don’t know if you have ever heard of Casey Neistat, or have seen his NYC studio workshop, but I’ll link a video of it here.
Everything that exists in his space as he says, “exists for a reason, if I didn’t use it, it wouldn’t be here”. That’s kind of how your space should be too.
Now I’m not saying go to the extremes that Casey has (keep in mind he has had decades to get his setup just right). But you can take this concept of usefulness and downscale it to fit your needs.
Earlier on we talked about how your setup should make it easier for you to do what it is you need/want to do. In that goal, everything that is in your setup should make your life easier in some way, shape, or form.
This can be as simple as having a cable bungee for your gaming mouse for intense CS:GO sessions, or as complex as having multiple lighting setups for your YouTube/Twitch videos/streams. The point of the setup is that it fits well for you.
This concept of usability exists even in setups that are completely opposite of minimalist. You can have the most cluttered space in history so long as everything that is there is for a reason (even if that reason is just for aesthetics/looks), and so long as the core functions that this setup was created for, can still be done with relative ease.
Lastly but definitely not least, your setup should be unique to you.
There is nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from or copying another persons setup outright, if you feel as though its right for you. That’s why the SetupSeries™ exists, so you can draw inspiration from and understand the larger community of technology enthusiasts around you.
BUT once again this is one of those aspects that can transform an okay setup, into something fantastic.
Once you have something unique to you that very few, if anyone else has on the planet, that’s like a confidence boost. There is something that is said in the armed forces, a mantra that is designed to help new soldiers understand and take pride in their gear even if it is shared by many of those around them.
The Rifleman’s Creed
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
If we were to have our mantra, one that is dedicated to our passion of technology. Then it would go a little something like this.
The Technologist’s Creed
This is my setup. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
That being said, your setup is something that you should really take pride in. You put in the hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears to create something from an idea. Regardless of if you had help or if you were in it all alone. This is your setup, and it should express your personality. That, not the stuff, is what turns a regular room with some tech in it, into something special.
Something truly yours.
Tips For A Better Setup
Here are a few tips that may prove useful to you when thinking about building a new setup, or upgrading something that you may already have.
- Think about why you are doing/buying what you are. What effect do you want this to have on your overall setup/goals. How does this help you.
- Consider having specific areas for specific things. If your space is large enough, maybe your gaming room can double as an entertainment area. Maybe one side can be for one thing and the other for something else.
- Consider those you may live or share a space with. What will they think of your setup, how will this affect them?
- Plan for future improvements. Your setup is generally not a one time thing. You may wish to improve it down the line as your needs/wants/goals change.
Things To Watch Out For
Here are some things that you may not have thought about, but you should keep in mind when building a new setup or upgrading something that you may already have.
- Be careful when throwing out empty boxes of new and/or expensive (even just expensive looking) gear as this may attract thieves.
- If you are not someone who normally locks their doors, you may want to consider doing so when upgrading/building a new setup to reduce theft. This may be more true for any spaces you share with others, or spaces where there is a lot of people coming and going.
- Cable management should be incorporated into you build. Loose or unruly cables can present a safety hazard. This is more true if you have any animals or children that like to mess with cabling.