This is not a story I would have ever expected to be writing, but it seems your choice of gaming chair actually can affect the performance of your gaming PC. It’s the news every single manufacturer of gaming chair 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.

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 enquiry, it was all the fault of his Ikea chair. 

Turns out it’s all about electrostatic discharge (ESD) and it’s not an uncommon phenomenon, and 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 exact same chair as Häcker was using.

It was discovered that it was being caused either by the friction of the gas lift under the chair, or simply by the action of charging the surface of the seat itself. Basically, 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 simply 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.

Sitting comfortably?

(Image credit: Secretlab)

Best chair for gaming: the top gaming chairs around
Best gaming desk: the ultimate PC podiums
Best 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 something solely related to monitors; there are reports of the chair having also taken out storage drives, too, and even making 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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