Black Friday gaming PC deals challenge: the biggest savings on the best build

NZXT H1 v2 chassis and Gigabyte motherboard
(Image credit: NZXT, Gigabyte)

It's so refreshing that for today's Black Friday PC gaming deals (opens in new tab) that we can actually spec out full systems and know we'll have savings on the whole lot. Last Black Friday we could not. With it being all but impossible, or at least infuriatingly expensive, to bag a graphics card the best you could manage was put together a system and talk about how nice it would be if you could buy a GPU. Sigh.

But this year there are Black Friday deals on everything and that means Jacob and I are going head-to-head to see who can spec out the best gaming PC from the deals on the table and see if we can pick a winner.

Though, if I'm being brutally honest, the winners are the Black Friday gaming PC deals (opens in new tab) on offer right now. If you want to build your own rig, it's cheaper to do that today given the discounts on offer, and the same if you're just looking to upgrade a few components in your current rig. 

But it's practically impossible to beat the prices that pre-built systems are going for right now.

Check out the builds below and let us know which one you think is the winner. So that at least one of comes out of Black Friday with some PC-based bragging rights.

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Dave's Black Friday gaming PC build

I'm a sucker for a mini-ITX build and that means my rig comes in at a premium because of its ickle-ness. That NZXT H1 v2 chassis is the one that currently clothes my office PC, and it's half price at the moment. It's a great looking case, lovely to build into, and comes with a cooler and PSU built in. 

Into that I've gone with the Ryzen 7 5800X which is a fantastic price right now, and still offers high-end performance. The Corsair Vengeance LPX memory is about the sweet spot for Ryzen 5000 chips, and the modules are short enough they'll fit in the confines of the H1 case. I've been caught out with big sticks before...

Then it's that RX 6800 XT which I can't believe is still in stock. That's RTX 3080 level gaming performance for a little over $500. A great card, and incidentally also a GPU that features in my H1 office PC, too. There's a theme here...

And that screen? Well, I accept Jacob and Wes' position on straight 16:9 1440p panels (opens in new tab), but for me, I'm ultrawide 'til I die.

NZXT H1 V2 chassis

(Image credit: NZXT)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | Eight-core | 16-thread | 4.7GHz | Zen 3 | $449 (opens in new tab)

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | Eight-core | 16-thread | 4.7GHz | Zen 3 | $449 $229 at Amazon (save $220) (opens in new tab)
It might be a generation old now, but this is still one of the best CPUs money can buy. And you needn't spend a whole lot on the Ryzen 7 5800X anymore. With this tasty discount it's going for less than the cost of a Ryzen 5 5600X at launch, yet you'll net yourself eight speedy Zen 3 cores to throw at gaming and more.

Gigabyte B550I | Mini-ITX | B550 | Wi-Fi 6| $209.99 (opens in new tab)

Gigabyte B550I | Mini-ITX | B550 | Wi-Fi 6| $209.99 $199.99 (save $10) (opens in new tab)
So, it's not an amazing discount, but if you want a good mini-ITX motherboard, Gigabyte makes 'em. This has all the good stuff you need, with a pair of NVMe PCIe 4.0 slots, Wi-Fi 6, and support for AMD's latest AM4 processors. 

Corsair Vengeance LPX | 16GB (2x 8GB) | DDR4-3600 | $67.99 (opens in new tab)

Corsair Vengeance LPX | 16GB (2x 8GB) | DDR4-3600 | $67.99 $51.99 at Amazon (save $16) (opens in new tab)
This RAM is both in the sweet spot for that AMD Ryzen CPU, in that it's a 3,600MHz kit, and the sweet spot for the NAZT H1 case. It's compact in there, so we have to play it smart with our RAM choice. We definitely didn't learn this the hard way when we first reviewed the H1. Nope. Worked perfectly. 

ASRock RX 6800 XT Phantom | 16GB GDDR6 | 4,608 shaders | 2,310MHz Boost | $549.99 (opens in new tab)

ASRock RX 6800 XT Phantom | 16GB GDDR6 | 4,608 shaders | 2,310MHz Boost | $549.99 $514.99 at Newegg (save $35 after $20 rebate) (opens in new tab)
When they first launched, the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT went head-to-head and could barely be separated. That means, so long as ray tracing isn't right at the top of your must-have list (it really shouldn't be) then opting for the cheaper AMD card is possibly the smarter choice.

NZXT H1 Version 2 | Mini-ITX chassis | 750W SFX PSU | 140mm AIO cooler | $399.99 (opens in new tab)

NZXT H1 Version 2 | Mini-ITX chassis | 750W SFX PSU | 140mm AIO cooler | $399.99 $199.99 at NZXT (save $200) (opens in new tab)
The 'Version 2' up there in the specs is the important bit, as it denotes this is the mini-ITX chassis that doesn't present a fire risk. The previous one did, but this stellar case is the perfect base for any small form factor build. It comes with a powerful mini PSU, a full bespoke 140mm water cooler for the CPU, and is a joy to build in. My office machine currently resides in one of these happily running an RX 6800 XT GPU. You'd struggle to find an equivalent SFX PSU at this price, let alone this sort of setup. Genuine bargain for any small form factor builder.

SK hynix Platinum P41 | 2TB | PCIe 4.0 | 7,000MB/s reads | 6,500MB/s writes | $259.99 (opens in new tab)

SK hynix Platinum P41 | 2TB | PCIe 4.0 | 7,000MB/s reads | 6,500MB/s writes | $259.99 $169.99 at Amazon (save $90) (opens in new tab)
This deal on this impressive SK Hynix Platinum P41 might be the cheapest 2TB PCIe 4.0 we've found far. It's a fine SSD with excellent performance. At $169.99, you won't find a faster SSD at this price. 

Acer Nitro XZ342CK | 34-inch | 3440 x 1440 | VA | 144Hz | $449.99 (opens in new tab)

Acer Nitro XZ342CK | 34-inch | 3440 x 1440 | VA | 144Hz | $449.99 $349.99 at Amazon (save $100) (opens in new tab)
4K gaming monitors aren't necessarily super expensive anymore, but the GPUs that will really allow you to game at decent frame rates still are. But if you want something more expansive than a 1440p panel you want an ultrawide. This VA panel from Acer overs the ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio and a high refresh rate to boot, and has never been cheaper than today.

Jacob's Black Friday gaming PC build

To this day, 1440p is the best blend of speed and quality for a gamer on a reasonable budget, so that's what I've gone for here with this build. At its heart is AMD's RX 6700 XT, a graphics card that has really grown on me since its release. While at first it felt second-fiddle to Nvidia's RTX 3070, it's now cheaper than an RTX 3060 Ti. So there's really no arguing its performance per dollar. You don't get quite as great ray tracing performance out of this card, but I do hold that ray tracing is still mostly a pursuit for high-end gaming cards, as further down the stack there's less wiggle room on performance. It's a solid deal on what we need it for anyways.

Paired alongside that GPU is my pick for the best CPU for gaming of the last generation: Intel's Core i5 12600K. This really is a fantastic gaming processor able to keep up with the latest GPUs, but it's also more a multithreaded model than you'd think. It has 16 threads to play with, after all. While I'd love to throw in the Core i5 13600K into this build, it's just too hot out of the gate to be affordable enough right now. Give it until next year's Black Friday build and we'll talk Raptor Lake.

Beyond these key components, I've tried to keep a balanced approach that doesn't make too many sacrifices. For example, you could get a cheaper PSU, but I want that trusted Super Flower name on there to make me feel all fuzzy inside. Similarly, you could cut down the SSD capacity and save a heap of cash, but where else will you store your games if not on the SN850X? Instead, I wanted to make the reasonable build I'd go for right now, and a PC that has enough leeway for upgrades down the line, even for a next-gen mid-range GPU.

Corsair 4000D chassis

(Image credit: Corsair)
Intel Core i7 12600K | 10 cores, 16 threads | 4.9GHz | $299.99 (opens in new tab)

Intel Core i7 12600K | 10 cores, 16 threads | 4.9GHz | $299.99 $249 at Newegg (save $60) (opens in new tab)
It was between this or the Ryzen 5 7600X with a tasty discount, but Intel offers a cheaper platform right now and its 12th Gen chips can importantly keep up in gaming. I'd love this to be the Core i5 13600K, but that chip is just too expensive today.

Gigabyte B660M | Micro ATX | LGA 1700 | Wi-Fi 6| $189.99 (opens in new tab)

Gigabyte B660M | Micro ATX | LGA 1700 | Wi-Fi 6| $189.99 $149.99 at Newegg (save $40) (opens in new tab)
Here's a compact B660 board that delivers the PCIe 4.0 connectivity we absolutely need plus DDR4 memory support. It's not the flashiest board about, but who really needs all that.

T-Force Vulcan Z | 16GB (2x 8GB) | DDR4-3200 | $52.99 (opens in new tab)

T-Force Vulcan Z | 16GB (2x 8GB) | DDR4-3200 | $52.99 $42.99 at Amazon (save $10) (opens in new tab)
Just 16GB of RAM in this machine, which is all we need for gaming. That said, 32GB is tantalisingly cheap right now, so maybe worth considering.

XFX RX 6700 XT Speedster SWFT309 | 12GB GDDR6 | 2,560 shaders | 2,581MHz Boost | $519.99 (opens in new tab)

XFX RX 6700 XT Speedster SWFT309 | 12GB GDDR6 | 2,560 shaders | 2,581MHz Boost | $519.99 $349.99 at Amazon (save $110) (opens in new tab)
It's close between this and the $20 more expensive RX 6750 XT. Sure, the 6750 XT is quicker, but a couple extra frames are not worth the extra cash for me.

Corsair 4000D | ATX | Mid Tower | $104.99 (opens in new tab)

Corsair 4000D | ATX | Mid Tower | $104.99 $89.99 at Newegg (save $15) (opens in new tab)
Built into this case before and it's a dream to build in. My own PC is also stuffed inside the slightly larger 5000T, so you could say I'm a fan of the style. There are absolutely cheaper cases out there, so you could save some cash here, but I'm a proponent of at least making your PC look the part.

DeepCool AK620 | 2x 120mm fans | TDP 260W | $64.99 (opens in new tab)

DeepCool AK620 | 2x 120mm fans | TDP 260W | $64.99 $49.99 at Newegg (save $15) (opens in new tab)
What can I say? I love an air cooler, and especially a cheap dual tower.

Super Flower Leadex III | 750W | 80+ Gold | Modular | 10-year warranty | $129.99 (opens in new tab)

Super Flower Leadex III | 750W | 80+ Gold | Modular | 10-year warranty | $129.99 $89.99 at Newegg (save $40) (opens in new tab)
Super Flower have been making excellent PSUs for years, but you might now only be really noticing them all over the place as they've started to really push their own brand items in the US more recently. This 750W PSU leaves a little room to grow if you want to upgrade your GPU down the line, and it's also fully modular which makes installation and a tidy build much easier.

WD_BLACK SN850X | 1TB | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s writes | $134.99 (opens in new tab)

WD_BLACK SN850X | 1TB | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s writes | $134.99 $99.99 at Newegg (save $35) (opens in new tab)
The updated SN850X isn't hugely different from the non-X version, but it does have a slightly different SanDisk controller and slightly higher performance. The big thing though is that it runs much cooler, so you don't really need a heatsinked version. It's also cheaper than the older drive right now, too.

Gigabyte G32QC | 32-inch | 1440p | 165Hz | $369.99 (opens in new tab)

Gigabyte G32QC | 32-inch | 1440p | 165Hz | $369.99 $259.99 (save $110) (opens in new tab)
I'm a big fan of Gigabyte's pared back approach to gaming monitors. Simple, speedy, and nice quality panels. I use two similar Gigabyte models myself at home.

Where are the best Black Friday Gaming PC deals?

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.

With contributions from