Gaming

I Am Extremely Jealous of Ilhan Omar’s Gaming Setup

The congresswoman tweeted her PC specs while livestreaming with AOC. Um, wow.

Ilhan Omar in profile, smiling as she speaks at a podium outside in Minneapolis on Aug. 11
Twitch star Ilhan Omar. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted her first livestream on the game-streaming platform Twitch, playing Among Us with a handful of gaming celebrities including Pokimane, HasanAbi, and DrLupo—and one fellow member of “the Squad”: Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Among Us is a multiplayer murder-mystery-style game, originally released in 2018, that’s become a major hit during the pandemic. While Among Us is a pretty graphically forgiving game (you can play it on your phone), it’s also available on the PC, which is how you’d want to play it if you were doing a CPU-intensive livestream. While Tuesday night’s stream went viral—with at one point more than 400,000 viewers tuned in to AOC’s Twitch—Omar took the opportunity to share the specs of the computer she was playing on. Let’s just say that they’re, well, impressive:

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Her rig’s specs wowed many people on Twitter, even those in the finicky PC gaming community who make a living arguing over the finer details of AMD vs. Intel.

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If Omar’s post seems like a bunch of gibberish, allow me to translate.

The first thing that jumps out from the list is the whopping 7 terabytes of solid-state, or SSD, storage. (Omar listed both 6TB SSD and a 1TB NVMe M.2.) An SSD is a kind of hard drive that’s much faster than the normal, mini-spinning-disk drive that’s ubiquitous in computers. Most “builds”—or home-built gaming-PC setups—incorporate 1 or 2 terabytes of SSD storage, sometimes complementing a bigger but slower disk drive. Seven terabytes? That’s practically unheard-of. For context, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare—a game infamous for its huge download size on PC—is 200 gigabytes large. With Omar’s setup you could download Modern Warfare 35 times.

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Thirty-two gigabytes of RAM is also a top-of-the-line spec. The more RAM you have, the more things you can be doing on your PC at once, like playing a game and streaming it at the same time (to simplify a bit). Most gaming rigs spring for either 8 or 16 gigabytes of RAM, depending on budget; 32 is getting into the “choir sings and the angels croon” territory of computer building.

The rig’s owner—it apparently belongs to Omar’s deputy communications director—also went for an Intel Core i7 CPU with liquid cooling, which I—as an AMD user—can begrudgingly appreciate. An i7 is a high-end processor that can handle pretty much anything thrown at it, and given the rest of her computer’s specs, it’s sorely needed. The CPU is the brains of the operation; without a decent processor, your PC risks bottlenecking (where the capabilities of one component are held back by the shortcomings of another one), high temperatures, and possible system failure.

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Which brings us to the GPU, or the graphics processing unit—an indispensable part of a serious gaming PC. This build runs an RTX 2060 Super, which was a top-of-the-line card when it was released in 2019. While it’s been outmoded by the just-released RTX 30XX series (that is, if anyone can get their hands on one), it’s still an impressive card that can run pretty much any video game at max graphical fidelity.

As for how much this would cost: It’s hard to say because PC part prices tend to be pretty dynamic. But it would likely take an investment of at least $1,800.

In short: This is a serious, beautiful, dreamy rig that can stand up to some of the best in the PC building community, and I would like to take it out to dinner and show it a good time.

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