The Simple Delight of Having RGB Lights in Your PC

A gaming PC with RGB lights.
LiquidMoneyDespencer / Instagram @corsair

It’s hard to find a gaming PC that doesn’t have RGB lighting these days. It began as a trend and slowly worked its way to the mainstream. Some gaming setups have even gone in on RGB so hard that they’re more like a parody of the trend. And people have lots of opinions about whether or not RGB lights are worthwhile. They don’t make games run better and often they just add a bigger price tag. And that’s a fair point, but this is a more important point to consider: a gaming PC twinkling with unnecessary RGB lights is delightful.

I’ve been building my own gaming computers all my life and, every time, I make a conscious choice to buy the RGB version of a part over the regular version — just because it looks neat. At the moment, my graphics card, fans, ram and water cooler are laced with lights, and there’s a strip of LEDs running along the top. Everything’s connected through the NZXT Cam app, which lets me set the colours to whatever combination I want. Currently, it’s a pastel pink with dashes of blue.

These colours add absolutely nothing to my experience of the games, and my computer sits under my desk so I rarely ever see them. But sometimes I look down and watch the lights swirl, and it makes me happy.

Recently, a friend who plays on PS4 asked me about the trend. “Why do people have those light-up computers for gaming?” she asked. “What’s the deal?”

“Just because I can, I guess,” I said.

After thinking about it some more, I came up with a real answer. “I think it’s at least partially because it’s just really hard to get computer parts that don’t have RGB lighting now. So if half of the parts in your PC light up, why not make all of them light up and put them in a case that shows it off?”

Part of the reason I choose the RGB version of a computer part is because the regular version is out of stock, the exact same price, or just doesn’t exist. And if I’m getting one part with lights, I’d rather get them all with lights so my computer looks pretty and like a complete unit, rather than an assortment of plastic and metal parts shoved together.

There’s another reason why RGB lights are nice to have: they help set a vibe for your late-night gaming sessions. Playing at night, with the lights dimmed (or set to a complementary colour if you also have an RGB lightbulb) and the only brightness coming from the game and your case beside you, just feels good. It makes your games feel a little bit more special, like you’re blocking out the outside world and treating yourself to a luxurious play session.

Console gamers have fewer options, but it’s still possible to decorate your setup with RGB lights. The most obvious answer is to backlight your TV with LED strips. It’s also possible to change the colour of your Xbox Elite 2 controller. It’s a bit strange that consoles haven’t adopted RGB lighting the same way gaming PCs have, but perhaps that’s for the best — after all, they really don’t add anything to your gaming experience. But I’ll still choose RGB every chance I get. Those twinkling lights just make me happy, and isn’t that what games should do?

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