With Black Friday approaching, many retailers are posting their holiday deals ahead of time. This includes plenty of tech deals making this the best time of year for them. And the cream of the crop of those deals is cheap gaming PCs.
Due to their already low prices compared to other computers such as the best gaming PC or one of the best gaming laptops, the best budget gaming PCs start at a lower price. This means that any discounts will sweeten the deal even more, making them the ultimate budget machines.
Another advantage is that many gaming PCs are fully upgradeable, unlike many modern laptops with soldered components that are not upgradeable. So if you need a really cheap game rig due to a tight budget, you can easily find something $1000 or less that is more than capable of running most games at decent settings, then slowly upgrade the parts to need.
What is a budget gaming PC?
Budget gaming PCs tend to lean towards pre-built computers as buying individual parts can be more expensive on their own as they can be subject to the vagaries of the market. For example, when the prices of the Nvidia RTX 3000 series graphics cards skyrocketed due to the sudden wave of crypto mining, it was difficult for many years to build a new PC for a reasonable price.
Instead, cheap gaming PCs often sacrifice some performance by using older or cheaper components that are much cheaper. This keeps costs down and ensures you have a PC that can still handle most games, productivity work and other things like streaming services.
While this won’t be the best computer on the market in terms of performance, it should still perform quite well and run most games in full HD. Some are even capable of powering Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headsets. And since you can keep upgrading the parts, you can keep them up to date without breaking the bank, rather than having to buy a new gaming laptop every few years.
How and why does Black Friday affect the price?
If budget PCs are a great value at all, Black Friday transforms most of these rigs into some of the best holiday deals on the market. Most retailers want to unload their older stock of technology before early next year, as brand new products will be announced then. As such, there are several Black Friday sales for PCs such as the best Chromebook, the best laptop and the best gaming PC.
Budget PCs in particular are marked down because their hardware is often already considered obsolete, making them budget in the first place, so retailers are often willing to drop their prices significantly compared to other machines. So waiting for the juicy Black Friday deals from major retailers to show themselves is a smart move if you want a fully built rig ready to play the best PC games.
And thankfully, unlike last year when custom builds simply weren’t viable, this year a wide assortment of older components are available cheaply as crypto mining dies and next-gen parts make their debut. So during this year’s Black Friday season, you can get heavily discounted graphics cards and processors, as well as RAM or storage, and use that to either build a new budget machine or upgrade your current rig on the cheap.
What should you look for in a Black Friday deal?
Your budget range is the most important factor to consider when looking for Black Friday deals. This determines what specs to look for, especially if you’re planning to build a cheap gaming PC yourself. But this is useful for those looking for a turnkey machine, because whether or not you have the best graphics card, the best processors, RAM and storage space on the PC will affect the overall price.
For those who can afford PCs that cost around $1,000 to $800, Intel processors are some of the best out there, and if you get a PC with at least a Core i5-12400F, you’ll have a solid one either way processing power. If you’re looking for something cheaper, like under $800, PCs equipped with AMD Ryzen 5 5600G and lower end processors are a great way to cut costs without sacrificing too much performance.
When it comes to RAM and storage, those willing to shell out $800 or more have a choice of 16 GB of RAM and at least 500 GB of storage. But if you need a cheap install right now, look for Black Friday deals that drop the price to $600 or less, which usually come with an Intel Core i3 or a Ryzen 3 processor and some of the best cheap graphics cards like the AMD Radeon RX 6600, Nvidia RTX 3050 or even the Intel A320. And if you’re expecting to go that low in price, you’re looking at 8GB of RAM and 512GB or less of storage.
Be sure to pay attention to the specs when shopping for deals. Even if there’s a significant discount, anything over $1,000 should rock at least an Intel Core i5 processor and an RTX 3060 graphics card or you’ll be ripped off.