Content Creator’s Holiday Gift Guide 2016 — Part 1: Budget Setup

Seasons greetings, content creators! The holidays are upon us, and while it’s an important time to spend with your family and loved ones, it’s also the universal season to get cool new stuff. So whether you’re looking for a gift for that creator in your family, or perhaps you want to splurge on yourself, check out our recommendations throughout the week and piece together your perfect content creation rig.

This will be a 4 part holiday guide, focusing on budget setups, mid range setups, high end setups, and mobile setups. Today we’re focusing on budget minded items to help you get started in content creation. These items are picked due to their bang for buck value and their ability to get you making content without breaking the bank.


Lenovo IdeaPad 700 ($679.71)

The Ideapad 700 is one of the most affordable laptops available today that meets the requirements for both recording and streaming with webcam, overlays, etc. With a quad-core i5 processor and an Nvidia GTX 950m, it’ll be able to handle most tasks you throw at it.

If you’re looking to save a bit more money, look into custom desktop builds, as you’re able to dial in your price point with each component you choose. Something like this configuration will meet the minimum requirements for recording and streaming.

Game Capture HD ($129.99)

The one that started it all. Game Capture HD is our most wallet friendly capture card and is a great first card to accompany you on your YouTube or Twitch journey. With HDMI, component, and composite/S-video input options, Game Capture HD can handle just about any system you throw at it. This is great if you’re unsure about which game you’d like to specialize in. Game Capture HD can record up to 720p/60fps or up to 1080p/30fps. If you’re looking for 1080p/60 quality, you may want to consider spending a little bit more and opting for the Game Capture HD60.

Logitech C310 ($25.99)

If you don’t happen to have a webcam already, you can’t really beat the value of the C310. You’ll get 720p/30fps video at under 30 dollars. With webcams in general, we recommend good light sources for better performance — if you’re in a dimly lit room, that 30fps can easily turn into 10fps. Need some lighting? Keep reading!

Gooseneck Desk Lamp ($9.14)

When you use a webcam for video, lighting is everything. The cheapest form of lighting you can use is a window paired with some sunlight, but since that isn’t always available, you’ll want to pick up some desk lamps to pump up the brightness in your space. These desk lamps can sit right on top of furniture, and they have goosenecks so you can eaisly position the light where it needs to go. You can’t go wrong with these for under 10 dollars a pop. Just don’t forget some light bulbs!

Samson Go Mic ($39.99)

Finally, you need a microphone so the world can hear you. And at under 40 dollars, you can’t do much better than the Samson Go Mic. Armed with a cardioid, omnidirectional, and -10db setting, the Samson Go Mic is an all around good budget mic for live streaming or live commentaries. -10db will give you optimal audio quality, but you may want to do yourself a favor and pick up a pop filter if you’re using this setting.


We hope this helps out for all you content creators on a budget.

Be sure to check out our other holiday gift guides on:

Mid-Range Setups

High End Setups

and Mobile Streaming Setups