Tips to Send Your Gaming Rig Halfway ‘Round the World

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Well, It’s been a month since we moved back to Texas from Hawaii, and things seem to be settling in quite nicely. It was a long moving process that provided plenty of learning experiences, chief among them being the harrowing experience of shipping our gaming rig nearly 4000 miles. It wasn’t the easiest task, but after a month since it was set up everything seems to have survived the trip. With the stress of it all behind me, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share a few tips I learned while packing and shipping our beloved gaming pc.

Keep and store your monitor box

This only applies if you’re looking to keep your monitor in the first place. I sold mine during our move because I trashed the box when I first built my rig. I ended up selling it on Craigslist as a result. Not a huge inconvenience, but it would have been nice to just pack up the monitor and move along. So take note, keep your monitor boxes and packaging, nothing will hug your monitor tighter or keep it more safe on its journey.

Clean it out and screw it down

This is a good housekeeping tip more than anything. If you’re going to pack up your rig for shipment, you certainly want to take care and ensure everything is screwed/clipped down and mounted properly. Likewise, if you’re going to open your tower up you might as well take some time to clean it out. I removed and wiped down all of my fans and took a can of dust-off to everything else. Probably a bit of overkill, but I was so unsure of whether my tower was going to survive the trip I wanted to make sure it had a proper sendoff.

Remove some guts

Personally, I think this is absolutely essential to ensuring your gaming rig survives a trip via shipment. There are a few key components I recommend you remove before having your tower packed up. Depending on your setup, you want to remove anything hanging off the motherboard and not firmly mounted. For me this meant removing the graphics card and liquid CPU cooler. While both can look secure at a quick glance, it wouldn’t take much force at all to crack a graphics card installed into a motherboard.

A CPU cooler may have better luck, but many are heavy enough to make me second guess it, especially if you use any liquid cooling. I’d also recommend removing any HDDs you have installed, or at least ensure they’re firmly screwed into place as mentioned in the previous tip. Once removed, either use the original packaging to repack your components, or purchase a few static-free component bags and a whole lot of bubble wrap/packing peanuts and you should be good to go. I also recommend the USPS “If it fits, it ships” boxes to keep shipping costs low.

Trust the carrier to pack it

Some of you may be braver than me. Some of you may want to pack your PC on your own. That’s fine. I will fully admit I did not have the mental fortitude necessary to trust my own packing skills, so I paid a little extra to have UPS pack my tower for me. Ended up costing about $60 for materials and labor but I’d do it again in a heartbeat if necessary. Upon arrival my PC was wrapped in an impenetrable cocoon of bubble wrap, tape, and packing peanuts. According to the clerk their location shipped PCs regularly so it’s something they’re prepared to do. This is one of those situations where I will gladly trust professionals to do what they do best, even if it costs a bit extra, and speaking of which…

Insurance is worth the peace of mind

Yeah, a month later and my PC seems to be working just fine. I’m still glad I got the thing insured at a value of $800 just in case. There are a whole lot of little things that can go wrong with a computer while shipping over long distances that can render your machine useless. So many that I wouldn’t recommend doing it unless it’s an absolute necessity. This being my first time to ship my rig in such a way, there was NO WAY I was going to do it without coverage. Sure, it was expensive, but it gave me enough piece of mind while travelling that I say it was worth it.

Like I said earlier, if you don’t have to package and ship your PC, don’t. I did it because I didn’t have time to sell off my components and wasn’t sure if I had to funds necessary to rebuild when we were done moving. That said, if you ever have to I hope you find these tips helpful to getting your rig home safe and sound.

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