AKA : The three most important things attached to a computer
At this point I'm over 20 years into computering. Something like 22 years ago (my memory is fuzzy anymore) I built my first computer. That was just the beginning and ever since I average at least 4 hours a day of computer time. Some days upwards of 12 hours.
In all my time in computering there have been only THREE things that mattered : monitor(s), keyboard(s), mouse/mice.
I can deal with a crappy and slow CPU, I can deal with a lack of RAM, I can deal with a small/slow hard drive, I can deal with a lack of networking, etc.
If my monitor(s), keyboard(s), and/or mouse/mice aren't to my liking... Let's just say I become all 'hulk smash!' when it comes to the computer in question. It won't last long and I've definitely hulk smashed a crappy keyboard into oblivion with my fists.
These things are the most important parts of a computer and are 100% a preference, let nobody tell you otherwise
My Significant Other recently got me some wonderful 24 inch monitors as a gift and it reminded me how damn important these things are to good computing environments. So much so I spent some time on this blog post.
Please, I beg of you, consider these devices and find the ones that work best for you. I have my preferences that keep my wrists from going full carpel tunnel, keep my elbow from tennis elbow, my shoulder happy and my eyesight from getting any worse.
Assholes love to tell me how I'm 'wrong' in my preferences and choices. I don't care, they can go to hell. These devices work great for me (links below if you're curious what I use daily) and that's all that matters.
I will note it took me a loooong time to figure out what works best for me (5-10 years honestly) but it was worth it. Each time I tweaked my preferences I found worse as well as better options and over time I was able to figure out what the best solutions are for my body. I prefer scissor switches (yes, I won't buy a laptop without these switches or mechanicals) or 35g mechanical keys and symmetric mice. These 2 options keep my wrists, elbows and shoulders happy. I also need a 10 keyless keyboard to keep my shoulder happy and my muscle memory from falling apart. These weren't easy to figure out but once I did it's been easy to keep on top of things.
Monitors were tricky as my vision is -3 (near sighted enough where nothing outside of arms length is easy to see) with a terrible astigmatism and the world is wayyyy too bright for my eyes (I can see fine at like 10 lux, darkness++). However, I know that I need a max of 24 inch monitor (no real head movement or neck strain for me) as a primary and at arms length minimum. I also need crispy text to keep eye strain at bay. That limits my options but they exist and can be found while keeping my neck, eyes and body happy.
I still try new options at times but overall I'm pretty dialed in, especially when it comes to keyboards and mice. Monitors I will head to a big box store to check out the latest tech but am very careful about upgrades. My previous monitors lasted me nearly 12 years and... that was 100% due to my concerns about a higher resolution being able to be 'zoomed' enough to be readable at arms length. Thankfully modern operating systems do good with so called HiDPI screens and I could 'zoom' the UI just a little so I can read comfortably over long periods of time.
Please consider your monitors, keyboards and mice.
I do NOT have computer related injuries like carpel tunnel, super duper nearsightedness, eye strain or bad shoulders/elbows because I fought through figuring out my device setup that works for ME.
Seriously consider these devices above all else. Your body will thank you even if you have to twiddle your thumbs a little because you couldn't buy the fancy pants CPU. Hint: the CPU won't outlast your biology and body.
My Current Hardware