Black Friday is here. It doesn’t matter what the actual day and date might be, Black Friday stretches well beyond its 24 hour boundary and now encapsulates the entire month of November. But whatever your feelings about the now-yearly consumergasm it can be a great time to bag yourself some serious Black Friday PC deals… if you’re smart about it.
Black Friday is an exciting time to be PC tech enthusiast – it’s a great opportunity to find a bargain on that one component or peripheral you’ve been meaning to pick up all year. But picking out the genuine deals from within a mire of stock-dumping nonsense can be tricky. And there’s also the fact the whole thing still feels a little dirty in that rampant-consumerism-gone-mad kinda way.
But we’re here to stop you from having to run the shopping gauntlet alone, or having to trawl the internet to find the best PC gaming deals – we’re doing that for you. Ain’t we good to you? And while the main bulk of the Black Friday deals haven’t yet landed there are still some great bargains to be had right now.
So, what can you expect to find Black Friday PC deals on this year? We’re splitting things up based on product category to help you find exactly what’s worth the money, whether that’s a new graphics card, a capacious SSD, or a solid gold laptop. Though I fear it must be said that solid gold laptops are unlikely to be getting much of a discount this Black Friday, it’s been tough down the mines recently…
Gaming laptops are a Black Friday stalwart, and I can guarantee that you’ll find some great deals on mobile machines with impressive specs throughout November. Already the likes of Asus has started publishing it’s early Black Friday laptop deals, and you can bet the others will follow suit rapidly.
But when it comes to gaming laptop deals things are relative. A notebook that costs $2,000 might still be a comparative bargain if it’s rocking an unbelievable spec and was retailing for $800 more at launch, but when looking for a laptop bargain you need to go into the sales with a clear budget so as not to get carried away.
There will be gaming laptops shipping for much less than $1,000, and that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll have last-gen specs either. Nvidia’s GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti GPUs sit in gaming notebooks that can cost well south of that figure and represent a great choice for mobile funtimes.
You may even spot some low-end RTX 2060 machines hovering dangerously close to the $1,000 mark too, especially if they come sporting an AMD APU. You’re unlikely to find gaming laptops with worthwhile AMD GPUs at a decent price, however, as the RX 5500M cards have only just been soft-launched and are unlikely to get discounted just yet.
It’s worth checking out the spec on a discounted laptop thoroughly, however, as the GPU is not the only performance-related thing to look out for. You shouldn’t worry about a last-gen CPU, especially not if it’s an Intel one as they’ve barely changed in the past few years, but keep an eye on the amount of storage available as well as whether the memory is in single or dual channel configuration.
Cheaper machines may have a decent amount of RAM, but the bandwidth will be halved if it’s only in single channel mode. Likewise having an SSD is all well and good, but if the laptop you’re looking at only has 120GB of storage in total you’re going to struggle with today’s chunky game files.
There will definitely be some Black Friday GPU deals to be had this year, especially with Nvidia’s original RTX 20-series getting on a bit. With the launch of the Super cards I would bet there’ll be a few of the OG RTX cards getting a wee discount here and there. There’s even a good chance you might even see some Super deals too.
I would also expect to see some of the GTX 16-series getting a few price cuts as well, again thanks to the GTX 1660 Super and imminent GTX 1650 Super launches. The straight GTX 1660 is probably going to be the pick of the bunch as I expect there will be quite a few left in the channel and the prices need to drop with the Super version stealing its thunder.
As for AMD, I wouldn’t be surprised to find the odd Radeon RX 5700 getting a price cut here and there, and if you can pick one up for less than $300 I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s one of the best GPUs around from a price/performance standpoint and can easily perform as well as the XT version with minimal effort.
Elsewhere the hoary old RX 500-series chestnuts are likely to still be littering the shelves, and the RX 570 will be worth a look for a budget upgrade when it’s around the $100 mark. Likewise anything around $150 would be a good shout for an RX 590, because they’re still decent 1080p gaming cards.
Check out our guide to the best graphics cards with the latest prices.
This is likely to be quite a battleground this year as I’m expecting both Intel and AMD to have some tasty Black Friday CPU deals for us this time around. I wouldn’t hold my breath for any AMD Ryzen 3000 deals – though it’s not impossible – but there are still a lot of Ryzen 2000-series chips in the channel, and they will be in for some serious cuts. In fact, they already are!
Traditionally Intel hasn’t gotten involved in the Black Friday deals dance, but there’s a chance this year we might see some of its existing 9th Gen Core stock getting a little cut here and there. It’s going to need to if it wants to ship anything in the face of mega Ryzen discounts.
The thing to keep in mind when tracking down CPU deals, however, is that a processor isn’t always a drop-in upgrade. Depending on what your existing spec is you may well need a whole new motherboard to support it and that can turn a bargain CPU deal into a mighty expensive upgrade… But if you’re sitting on a first-gen Ryzen processor, then this is going to be a great time to upgrade because your AM4 motherboard should be more than happy to house a new second-gen chip.
Check out our guide to the best CPUs for gaming with the latest prices.
Have a budget in mind, and a desired spec, and you can find yourself with a fantastic Black Friday gaming monitor deal. But make sure you do your research and know exactly what sort of screen you’re after, because otherwise even a bargain purchase could end up being a costly mistake.
First you need to know what sort of resolution you’re looking for, and what your current PC can realistically support. If your GPU is only going to give you a great gaming experience at 1080p then upgrading to a 4K monitor without a corresponding graphics card upgrade in the pipeline is going to make you unhappy. Modern monitors don’t look great when they’re not run at their native resolution, so you want to try and match GPU to display as far as possible.
You also want to know what screen tech to look out for. And don’t always trust that high specs are a guarantee of excellence. I’ve seen a host of 200Hz gaming monitors that look trash because they’re using TN screen tech.
Personally, I’d recommend making sure you buy either a VA or IPS-based gaming monitor. They may not necessarily have the high numbers on the response time or refresh rate specs entries, but they will deliver a far better gaming experience than a TN panel.
Check out our guide to the best gaming monitors with the latest prices.
If it sounds like a Black Friday gaming headset deal, then it’s probably a Black Friday gaming headset deal. That’s the ancient proverb, and it’s as true today as it was back in the long, long ago.
Peripherals will always see mega Black Friday deals throughout November, but it’s worth noting this is where most of the actual stock-filling dross will be found. This is where trashy products that don’t sell the rest of the year are given what seem like great prices, but are still trash at any price. Beware.
My recommendation for gaming headset deals is similar to a lot of the other products, go in with an idea of what you want, but more than anything stick to brands you trust and are familiar with.
Check out our guide to the best gaming headsets with the latest prices.
The hasn’t been a lot happening in the world of SSDs recently beyond the few PCIe 4.0 drives that got released around the same time as AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 processors… which is great news for Black Friday SSD deal seekers. That should mean that there will be a host of deals on current-gen tech prior to the launch of new hardware.
And SSD prices have been steadily dropping over the last year, to the point where you can find ultra-fast NVMe SSDs for bargain prices, and in high capacities too.
Once such drive is the Addlink S70, but that’s such a bargain price right now, I wouldn’t expect too much movement. But I would suggest that the likes of Seagate, Western Digital, and definitely Samsung will be offering great prices on their SSDs this year.
But make sure your motherboard is 100% compatible with your choice of SSD when you’re checking out this year’s bargains. Even if your board has an M.2 socket for an NVMe drive that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to use it as a boot drive.
There will be SATA SSD bargains to be had too, and likely in high capacities too. And no matter what drive you get, they will always be quicker than whatever HDD you’re replacing.
Check out our guide to the best SSDs for gaming with the latest prices.
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