It's Gaming Week at Amazon. Please don't buy a graphics card

Asus graphics card
(Image credit: Asus)

All this week, up to Sunday 28th May, is Gaming Week at Amazon. And that means discounts on all kinds of gaming goodies, from the best gaming headsets, to gaming laptops, SSDs, peripherals, and even gaming PCs.

And graphics cards. But please don't buy one, the discounts don't make what Amazon is offering any more tempting. 

Honestly Amazon is very rarely the best place to buy a graphics card, more so since the supply chain and GPU mining crises. You will often find better offers elsewhere and you're also more likely to find old graphics cards being sold for ridiculously high prices within the often murky realms of its sellers.

But it doesn't just have to be unscrupulous GPU sellers you need to be careful of as Amazon's own Gaming Week graphics card deals are well worth avoiding. They're mostly the result of an overstock of last-gen cards, and they're being discounted to a price that is more or less the price of the new cards either launching this week or in July.

So, you can buy one of these slower, discounted cards or, for effectively the same money, buy a brand new card with all the latest features, and get higher gaming performance. Yes, you too could pick up an RTX 3060 8GB card for $340 or save that $40 and spend $300 on an RTX 4060 when that launches in a month or so.

I mean, in Amazon's defence that over-priced RTX 3060 is in fancy white trim, so maybe that's worth the premium and the lower actual in-game performance to you. If so, well, knock yourself out, it's your moolah to waste.

In similar white trim, there's an RTX 3060 Ti on sale for $430 right now. And that's just $30 more expensive than the explicitly faster RTX 4060 Ti which launches tomorrow. Now, I've not been super glowing in my review of that card, but it's still the one I'd buy for ~$400 right now.

But there are GPU bargains to be had out there, such as this Intel Arc A750 that's just under $200 at Newegg. The first Intel graphics cards have had a tough start in life, but with regular driver improvements they've just been getting better and better. That's a GPU which is often competitive with the RTX 3060 in gaming terms, and is now over $100 cheaper.

Intel Arc A750 | 8GB | 28 Xe Cores | 2,050MHz | $249

Intel Arc A750 | 8GB | 28 Xe Cores | 2,050MHz | $249 $199.99 at Newegg
The Intel discrete graphics cards have only gotten more relevant since their inauspicious launch. With successive driver releases increasing performance and now a significant price drop, the A750 is now one of the most tempting budget GPUs around. It's a bit more power hungry than AMD's RX 6600 but is a super capable 1080p card knocking both RTX 3050 and RTX 3060 out of the value GPU stakes.

There are also some good non-GPU deals out there, such as one of the best wireless gaming headset around today, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro for just $129. It's got a solid battery life, reliable connection, on-ear controls, and dual-chamber drivers which sound great in-game or listening to music. 

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro | Wireless | 50mm drivers | 24hr battery life | 12Hz - 28,000Hz response | $179.99

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro | Wireless | 50mm drivers | 24hr battery life | 12Hz - 28,000Hz response | $179.99 $129 at Amazon (save $50)
I'm listening to music through this excellent wireless headset as I type this out, and I still rate them. They're convenient, long lasting, the connection is fast and reliable, and they sound great.

There's also the best AMD gaming CPU you can stick into an existing AM4 gaming PC. Basically, if you've got an existing Ryzen-based PC, the chances are that you could drop the Ryzen 7 5800X3D into your motherboard and have the fastest CPU option available to you for $219. It's never dropped below this price before in its lifetime.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Boost clock: 4.5GHz | Cache: 3D V-cache | $449.99

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Boost clock: 4.5GHz | Cache: 3D V-cache | $449.99 $219 at Amazon (save $230)
In the time since I started writing this to publishing it the price has dropped from $314 to $219. It's a bargain at either price to be honest, and represents the ultimate gaming CPU upgrade for anyone on an AM4-based Ryzen PC. Which is most AMD gamers.

Amazon even has a cheap gaming PC deal that's not bad, with an HP Pavillion desktop machine, with an RTX 3060 inside it going for $700. 

HP Pavilion | Intel Core i5 10400F | Nvidia RTX 3060 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,009.99

HP Pavilion | Intel Core i5 10400F | Nvidia RTX 3060 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,009.99 $699.99 at Amazon (save $310)
It's no hero gaming PC, but for the money it's a perfect starter rig that will have you gaming happily at 1080p from the moment you download your first game. The CPU is getting on a bit now, but the 10th Gen i5 is still a decent six-core, 12-thread processor, and a decent match for the RTX 3060. The memory and SSD combo will be the first place you should look to upgrade, but neither are difficult or expensive updates when you can afford to get around to it.

Elsewhere it's arguably tougher to find a great deal, but it's worth having a look at the full PC Gaming Week sale. Just remember, a lot of this sale is about off-loading last generation hardware, but not necessarily for a bargain price. Don't be fooled by big red discount percentage numbers. Have a look for equivalent, modern systems and see how close in price those are to these discounts.

And remember, CamelCamelCamel is your friend when it comes to tracking historic pricing, too.

Dave James

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.