We've rounded up the best Amazon Prime Day PC deals, which offer some good prices on hardware we'd recommend any day of the week. To find those deals, though, we had to sort through a lot of crap. Even in the realm of PC hardware, there are a whole lot of "deals" on Amazon you shouldn't be buying. Here are a few especially bad deals we wanted to highlight, with an explanation of why you should stay away from them.
Okay, we know this one looks good. A 4K monitor for $327!? How is that a bad deal? The price is good, which makes this a tempting buy. But the monitor itself just isn't one we'd recommend buying under normal circumstances. It's a 4K monitor from 2014 with a TN panel, which means viewing angles are poor and contrast and color quality won't be up to snuff. You'll get a much more vibrant picture with a better IPS display. The picture quality trade-off isn't worth it just to get that 4K resolution.
This screen is also limited to 60 Hz, which certainly isn't terrible, but for gaming there are now more and more high refresh monitors out there hitting affordable prices. If you're going to buy a TN panel, at least get a 144 Hz model. You'll appreciate that increase in refresh rate more than the higher resolution. The one exception is if this is purely a work monitor. If you don't plan to be playing games on this monitor or watching videos, it's a great price for a high-res display.
iBUYPOWER Gaming Desktop PC AM8140A for $500
$500 is a pretty sweet entry-level price for a gaming PC. But this isn't a build we'd recommend to anyone—it's using a CPU from five years ago to keep that price down, and an entry-level AMD GPU that's newer, but still not a card we'd recommend. The cardinal sin: there's no SSD in this build. While the overall price of this PC is pretty sweet, it's just not a gaming PC we'd recommend in 2017. Our cheap gaming PC build, at $500, will give you far greater bang for your buck.
This is a horrible gaming headset with just about the worst possible audio quality. According to Maximum PC EIC Tuan Nguyen, who's exhaustively tested dozens of gaming headsets, you might as well stick cotton in your ears before playing games. A better deal that’s worth the money is Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Revolver, which is down to $90 from $120 and is our choice for best gaming headset.
There's one problem with Amazon's long history as a monolithic retailer: some products linger on its digital shelves for years. Case in point: a budget graphics card that first went on sale in 2007. And it was a budget GPU back then! Buy it if you want to own a PC relic or are trying to build a throwback rig. Otherwise, don't expect this thing to play any modern games you throw at it. There are several other ancient GPUs still on sale on Amazon. Do your research on the today before you buy.
Finding a good deal
We use a combination of PCPartPicker and CamelCamelCamel to find out if a deal is really good, along with testing actual hardware testing to determine what you should consider, and what's trash. Use the same tools we do to check an item's price history. Sometimes a deal isn't actually a deal at all.
There are a lot of deals right now on Amazon that sell out really quickly, and many of these deals are on extremely cheap items already.
Gaming keyboards for example run for $14, and they're from companies that you probably have never heard of. The rule of thumb is, you probably get what you pay for, so be weary of things that look too good to be true. Sure, that gaming keyboard might use the same switches as a more expensive keyboard, but the cable might fray, or the unit might stop responding to certain key presses down the line.