Black Friday deals 2019: what to expect for PC gaming

Black Friday deals 2019
(Image credit: Future)

The Black Friday deals period—which runs from mid-November 2019 to early December—is your best chance to grab almost anything PC gaming-related for a real low price. While it's still months away, and you're maybe not even considering any kind of computer upgrade or enhancement right now, it's worth a quick thought about what you actually need for your gaming rig, and what you might just want. Black Friday comes the day after Thanksgiving, and usually brings the whole world of PC retail together to compete for your hard-earned dollars. In previous years we've seen some genuinely amazing offers on everything from mice, keyboards, SSDs and monitors to powerful (and often quite new) gaming laptops and pre-built PCs. 

Black Friday deals run through every type of product you can buy, so even if you have the perfect gaming rig, which needs zero upgrades or fresh components (we all now there's no such thing, right?), there's always something to save for. A new TV for the living room? Maybe that InstantPot you've been craving? That horrible set of 'Gamerz Rule' bedsheets you always wanted? A Nintendo Switch? It's all up for grabs, usually at prices that will utterly terrify Future You's bank balance. But hey, that's Future You's problem, right? Here's all you need to know about Black Friday 2019, and why you need to prep for it now.   

Black Friday 2019 date - when is it?

Actual Black Friday 2019 is Friday, November 29. While the deals will likely start well before this date—we estimate you'll see savings from Monday November 18 onwards—most retailers save the absolute best for the Friday itself. This makes Black Friday shopping quite a tactical thing: do you snap up the thing you need early, if the price is right? Or do you risk waiting for the Friday itself to maybe save a little more money, but also risk someone like NewEgg or Amazon running out of stock? 

PC gamers are in quite a fortunate position here, as there's a second shopping bonanza called Cyber Monday, which always happens on the Monday directly following Black Friday. For 2019, that means Monday December 2. In days past, Cyber Monday was traditionally the big day for tech and PC sales, with Black Friday more about clothes, TVs, and everything else. While Cyber Monday is increasingly becoming 'just an extension of the whole Black Friday thing', it still carries weight with component and peripheral manufacturers, so you do find that PC deals in particular are still good on Cyber Monday. While the lines between the two events are almost fully blurred now, you will get a second chance on some PC tech to save even more cash on Cyber Monday. The clue is in the name.

Black Friday deals - what can we expect?

Black Friday deals 2019

(Image credit: Future)

So, what are you likely to actually save money on during 2019's Black Friday deals events? Well, the answer really is anything and everything, so we've decided to break it down into the top five items we expect to see discounted this year, based on market trends that we've noticed throughout the rest of the year. PC Gamer is lucky enough to have a team dedicated to hardware, deals, and buying guides, so this is our day-to-day role on the site, which means we can predict the best offers over Black Friday with decent accuracy. OK, perhaps we'll need a new trumpet because we're blowing our current one a bit too hard...

1. SSDs

No, it doesn't take a genius to work this one out, but SSDs have tumbled in price over the past couple of years, with more and more storage becoming increasingly affordable. While HDDs still offer superb value for 2-6TB options, the rise of SSDs is seemingly unstoppable. Even NVMe drives, once the reserve of purists, are within the reach of casual home gamers. You'll always need more storage, and you'll find SSDs cheaper during Black Friday, so we'd strongly advise you set aside about $100-150 to bag a terrific new drive. 

Let's take a good, baseline example. The 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD, which we rate as the best SSD for gaming (taking performance vs price into account), is currently $140 via Amazon and NewEgg. That's pretty good. During Black Friday 2018, it dropped to $127, having spent the previous three months sat around $150. While the price of storage hasn't dropped as drastically in 2019 as it did in 2018, you'll still see a similar drop over Black Friday. That means you'll probably see the 1TB drive for between $100 and $110 during Black Friday, which is a mighty deal. Samsung will want to continue paving the way for its 970 series of SSDs, and this will be the year it meaningfully clears stock of the 860. 

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. IPS gaming monitors

While we'll likely see a significant reduction across all gaming monitors during Black Friday, this year should see a decent dip for IPS panels. TN screens are always reduced in price, but IPS displays have seen fewer savings... until now. That's great news for you, because whereas premium features like 4K and HDR remain the reserve of more high-end gaming PC set-ups (because only the most powerful can consistently juggle 4K and that baseline of 120 fps we demand for triple-A games), IPS panels run the full range, from premium to budget, and they usually represent a decent step-up in visuals that isn't dependent on a new, beefy GPU. They are very much the new 'gaming standard' for PCs and you don't have to be Scrooge McDuck to buy one. 

Like regular 4K TVs, the tech and panels that fit into IPS monitors is getting both more affordable, and more commonly adopted. This means they're getting cheaper, and this means you'll see bigger savings on them during Black Friday. One great example is the difference between the Acer Predator X27 and XB273K. These are two panels with near-identical features and performance, but a near 40-50% difference in price, with the latter (and newer) model selling for just over $1000. That's the high end of the gaming monitor range, sure, but a good illustration of how the tech is getting cheaper, more widespread, and more ripe for bigger deals on Black Friday.

3. Older 20-series graphics cards

We've already started to see Nvidia reducing the price of GPUs that are less than a year old. The original 2060, 2070, and 2080s have been replaced by 'Super' variants, and while the newer cards are undoubtedly stronger performers and offer better overall value... not all of us can afford a brand new 2080 Super. Thankfully, Black Friday will see retailers very eagerly selling off stock of older 20-series cards at delightfully low prices. This could also have a knock-on effect for pre-builts and some laptops with these GPUs in them too.

To use a live example: we saw the Gigabyte GeForce 2080 Gaming OC card drop to $699 during June following the full reveal of the Supers, and that card started 2019 over $100 more. It has rallied a little now, but we'll see another significant dip during Black Friday, likely dropping the card below $600. For something that's still essentially at the top of the range, that's a damn good price. And all because it isn't quite the latest model, despite being just over a year old (by November).

(Image credit: Nvidia)

4. Webcams and microphones

The rise and rise of streaming, and getting 'publicly angry about video games on the internet', has not escaped the attention of webcam and mic manufacturers. As such, recording set-ups that bring 1080p video and near-studio-grade audio are as affordable as ever. If you're serious about getting your face onto YouTube, for example, the barrier for entry really has never been lower. And that goes doubly-so for retail events like Black Friday. 

During the recent Amazon Prime Day event, we saw one of our top webcams get reduced by 60%, which was one of the most significant savings of the entire sales event. And people snapped them up, along with a decent deal on the excellent Blue Yeti mic. That same pattern will undoubtedly be repeated in November, so if you need either a mic or a webcam, just hang on and save wads of cash.

5. Laptops

Yes, we see it every year. Retailers know that you're waiting to spend bigger during Black Friday, and few purchases get more significant than a brand-new gaming laptop. If you're willing to put in a decent budget, you can get loads of tech for your money on Black Friday, and we'd actually recommend setting your budget instead of actually looking for a specific spec of laptop you want to buy. 

When it comes to laptops, the capacity for upgrades and improvements is, naturally,  way smaller than desktop PCs. So you need to get as much as you can afford, right from the off. With Black Friday, it's your chance to get a better laptop than you thought you could actually afford, so instead of settling for something with a 2060 card and a 500GB SSD, you should be able to get a 2070 laptop, with dual-storage, and likely a better CPU. The savings will drop these superior machines into your price-range, and there will always be price-drops for laptops, as the tech inside them advances so quickly.

(Image credit: MSI)

Expired Black Friday deals from 2018

LG 29WK600-P | 29-inch | 2560x1080 | IPS | 75Hz | FreeSync |£219 (save £53)
Nice all-round package for the price. IPS panel, small uptick in refresh to 75Hz, super-wide 2560x1080 res and FreeSync.
Buy from Ebuyer.

Samsung 1TB 860 EVO SATA III M.2 SSD | $127.99 ($70.00 off)
The 2.5-inch version of the 1TB 860 Evo has been $128 all weekend, but now the M.2 model has dropped to the same price. Keep in mind this is a SATA drive in an M.2 form factor—it's not as fast as an NVMe drive.
Buy at B&H

Gigabyte Radeon RX 570 4GB | $129.99 (save $70)
This is the lowest price we've seen on an RX 570, and it also comes with two free games. There's a $20 MIR, and this is the 4GB model, but it will still run circles around a GTX 1050 Ti and at a lower price.
Buy at Newegg

CyberPowerPC | Core i7-8700 | RTX 2070 | $1,299.99 (save $200)
This is an excellent gaming PC, with a powerful CPU and graphics card, plus 16GB RAM and a 2TB HDD + 16GB Optane module. It comes with Battlefield V as well.
Buy at Newegg

The Secretlab Omega gaming chair is still £279 (save £120)
This is our favorite gaming chair, and comes highly recommended for comfort, support, and just looking lovely. Snap it up from Secret Lab's website. Buy it

iBuyPower Trace 9220 | Intel i7-8700K | $1,549 ($250 off)
This overclockable desktop PC comes stocked with an Intel Core i7-8700K, RTX 2070, Z370 motherboard, and 16GB RAM.
Buy at Amazon.

Dell Inspiron Desktop | Ryzen 5 1400 | RX 570 4GB | $479.93 ($320 off)
This mid-range gaming PC has an AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, a Radeon RX 470 graphics card, a 1TB hard drive, and 8GB RAM.
Buy at Office Depot

HP Pavilion | 15.6" | i5-8300H | GTX 1050 Ti | $599 (save $200)
Like the Acer Nitro 5 above, this is a great price for a GTX 1050 Ti laptop. It's unclear if this deal is in-store only or also available online, but it's a great deal, so we're leaving it here.  Buy at Walmart

ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac | $89.99 (save $45)
If you're looking to build an ultra compact ITX system with a high-end Intel CPU, ASRock makes a great little board. It's not quite as full-featured as some of the other options, but at $90 after the $20 MIR, it's hard not to love this little guy. Buy at Newegg.

Intel Core i7-8700K | 6 Cores | 12 Threads | $339.99 ($30 off)
This eight-generation Core i7 processor is $30 off the usual price right now at both Amazon and Newegg. 4.9-5.0GHz overclocks are common, with the right cooler.
Buy at Newegg

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum | 12,000 DPI | $34.99 (Save $45)
Logitech's most popular gaming mouse, with removable weights, a reliably great sensor and the best metal scroll wheel in the business. It's a heavy palm grip mouse, and more comfortable than its angular design might look. It's on Best Buy for $34.99.

Logitech C922x Pro Stream | $70 (save $30)
While we'd still recommend the C920, the 922x has a background replacement feature that can be useful for streamers, and at half-off this is a fine deal. Buy it on Amazon

NZXT H440 | $89.99 (save $50)
A great steel mid-size tower case from NZXT, perfect if you're on a budget. It's got two USB 3.0 ports and 11 internal 3.5" drive bays.
Buy at Newegg

Linksys WRT Gaming Wifi Router | $183 (save $116)
One of our favourite mid-range routers with great built-in networking optimization. This is is as cheap as it's ever been on Amazon.
Buy at Amazon

TOP DEAL: Samsung 55" 4K QLED (Q8FN)| $1,498 ($1,102 off)
This is one of our best 4K TV for gaming picks. Getting this high-quality LED TV is well worth the investment. Buy at Walmart.

Cooler Master MA410P 120mm CPU Cooler | $24.99 (save $25)
If you need a smaller CPU cooler with RGB lighting, this might be for you. The sale price is $34.99, but it drops another $10 with a mail-in rebate.
Buy at Newegg

Money-saving tips

Black Friday deals 2019

(Image credit: Future)

When you're faced with such a mass of deals during Black Friday, it's easy to get lost. This article will serve as your best guide to all the offers once they're live, so it's a good idea to bookmark it and keep checking back to see what has been added. PC Gamer is committed to helping you save money on PC gaming because the better your rig is, the more you enjoy your hobby, and the (hopefully) more you read PC Gamer. So, if we can save you some money on a new GPU, everyone wins. Here are some of the things we'll be doing to keep this article up to date...

1. Check the price-checkers

Every major retailer will shout as loud as possible about the savings you're making on their Black Friday deals. So, finding them isn't a problem. Checking whether or not they're worth it is more of a skill. We use sites like Camel to keep an eye on the price history of items, so see whether or not a saving is good, or whether the item's price was just inflated the month before Black Friday, only to be dropped again on the day to make it seem like a good deal.

2.  Keep an eye on our guides

While 'we would say that', it's worth noting that PC Gamer has market-leading software on all our buying guides, and this allows us to track prices on all products across all major retailers quicker and more efficiently than us fleshy human beings can ever manage. So, if you've chosen a gaming keyboard, for example, via our guide then just check back and look at the lowest price being shown during Black Friday. It'll tell you what the price is, how much you're saving, and where it's available.

3. Set a budget, not a product

The real winners on Black Friday are people who spend the same money as they might at any other time of year, but get a better thing. Say you have $500 to spend on a gaming monitor... you'll get a bigger, faster, shinier monitor for your $500 in November than you will in August. It's a simple, effective tool for getting better value, rather than actually saving cash.

4. Look out for codes

Some retailers, like NewEgg, offer codes and additional rebates on their sale items, and a surprising number of people miss them. When you're shopping for components during Black Friday, keep an eye out for extra codes and for rebate cards. In some cases, things like GPUs and CPUs come with free games and software too, so you're going to get even more value from these.

5. Sign up early

Many retailers, like Amazon, offer prices exclusively for members. In Amazon's case, it's Prime, but other retailers have free membership schemes that give you an edge when shopping for deals. You'll sometimes get free delivery too. And you're often given a head-start on some savings, or the ability to checkout fast. If you're looking for a hugely popular item, which is likely to sell out, you need to make sure you're all signed into a site and ready with an account, because you don't want to be doing that stuff while you're desperately trying to lock down a deal. Sign up to the big retailers now, so you're ready during Black Friday.

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