Finally, proof your choice of gaming chair can affect the performance of your PC


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May 25, 2023

Finally, proof your choice of gaming chair can affect the performance of your PC

"Welcome to 2023 - Your Ikea chair is incompatible with your screen." This is

"Welcome to 2023 - Your Ikea chair is incompatible with your screen."

This is not a story I would have ever expected to be writing, but it seems your choice of gaming chair can affect your gaming PC's performance. It's the news every single manufacturer of gaming chairs has been waiting for, proof that where you park your posterior really does have an impact.

Because it turns out that if you have the popular Ikea Markus chair, your gaming monitor might just go blank for a few seconds on the regular, and that is sure as hell going to have an impact on how your system's running.

These are the findings of a certain Felix Häcker (via Tom's Hardware), who discovered that, after weeks of experiencing his monitor going off every now and then and being frustrated at every point of inquiry, it was all the fault of his Ikea chair.

It turns out it's all about electrostatic discharge (ESD), and it's not an uncommon phenomenon, especially not with this specific Ikea chair. Häcker uncovered a 2021 thread on the ComputerBase forum started by someone with a similar issue, and it wasn't until well into 2022 they discovered it was down to their chair. The same chair as Häcker was using.

It was discovered that it was caused either by the friction of the gas lift under the chair or simply by the action of charging the seat surface. Rubbing your behind around the chair, sitting down, or getting up could send a charge from the chair to any non-grounded part of the PC.

Most people would have ditched the chair at this point, having finally figured out the problem, but not the enterprising Capt. on the ComputerBase forums. No, they stapled copper foil under the Ikea seat and then connected that to the ground of a power socket via a one megaohm cable.

That's a lot more effort than I would have gone to, particularly for an Ikea chair.

Best chair for gaming: the top gaming chairs aroundBest gaming desk: the ultimate PC podiumsBest PC controller: sit back, relax, and get your game on

Honestly, they should have both been warned by the promo video on the Ikea product page for this thing. I mean, look at it positively exuding charge.

But ESD isn't solely related to monitors; there are reports that the chair has also taken out storage drives, too, and even made graphics cards stutter. Though that could just be because of some more terrible PC ports.

So, the thing to take away from this is that if you're ever having weird issues with your PC, and your screen keeps flickering off seemingly at random, it might just be an incompatible gaming chair.

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Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.

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