Summer's half over, which means all the Amazon Prime day PC deals this week are a great chance to get ahead of back to school shopping instead of procrastinating until August. For us, that means spotting some of the best Prime Day PC gaming deals for some good mouse and headset upgrades or a brand new gaming laptop that will handle classwork by day and matchmaking queues by night.
I did plenty of bargain hunting for pre-built machines and scavenging pack-in peripherals when I was gaming through school. Getting back to class means working with a budget, so I'm not about to suggest you go clear your bank account for the hottest gaming PC. Nope, you'll want a machine that can pull double duty on assignments and achievements without cheaping out on the specs you actually need for both.
We've been digging through all the overall best PC gaming Prime Day deals, so here's a handy subset of great choices that will get you back to class with the gear you need.
If a laptop is your go-to device, you've got options. For some, a small and reliable laptop can handle all your study and class video chat needs while also making easy work of all our favorite best laptop games you might want to play at home (not during class, mind you). Those that want their machine to double up on big games and big assignments will want a beefier machine with a dedicated GPU and more storage.
Gigabyte G5 | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Intel Core i5 11400H | 15.6-inch 1080p | 144Hz | 16GB RAM | 512 GB SSD |
$1,299 $849 at Newegg (save $450)
This RTX 3060-powered machine sits neatly below the $1,000 deal bar for Prime Day. That CPU is only last Gen, and it's backed up with 16GB of RAM as well as a nice 144Hz monitor that's great for competitive gaming. The SSD is a bit small, but there's no harm in being choosy about what you've got installed when you're getting a solid all around system.
Gigabyte A5 K1 | Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800H | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 240Hz | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD |
$1,399 $1,049 at Amazon (save $249.84)
This is just over that $1,000 bar we set for a good deal this Prime Day; an RTX 3060 gaming laptop that actually has the other specs to back up its gaming performance. For a few hundred more than the G5 above, you're getting a genuinely great AMD CPU along with more storage and a high refresh screen for your games.
For those studying and playing at home, getting a good deal on a desktop PC doesn't have to mean giving up on gaming either. The key here is letting go of the RGB gaming PC look and being willing to take a small hit on your display and storage space. A small but fast SSD will serve you best, as will a monitor with fewer pixels but more speed.
These PC deals will respect your student budget without making you feel like you've totally hamstrung your system's gaming capacity. A lean but mean PC can carry you through classes and quests both.
HP Pavilion | RTX 3060 | Core i5 10400F |
$899.99 $699 at Walmart (save $200.99)
This is the price to score an RTX 3060 PC at, hands down. You're seeing the effects elsewhere in a slightly older CPU, only 8GB of RAM, and frankly tiny 256GB storage, but that's a speedy NVMe drive you're getting. It's a great value PC that will get you through class and gaming immediately with room to add on more RAM and storage as budget allows.
IdeaCentre AIO 5 AMD | Ryzen 7 5700U | 24-inch | 1080p |
$989.99 $959.99 at Lenovo (save $30)
It may look like a boring office PC, but you don't need flashy when you're getting an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U, which is an 8-core, 16-thread beast that can turbo up to 4.3GHz. You get 16GB of RAM for your money too. The 256GB SSD is, again, a bit on the small side, but here you're supplemented with a 1TB HDD. It's great deal if you don't mind getting hitched to the all-in-one form factor.
MSI Optix G272 | 27-inch | 1080p | IPS | 144Hz |
$352.60 $119 at Walmart (save $233.60)
Normally, a $120 IPS monitor would be, at best a 1080p 75Hz panel. But this is a proper gaming monitor, with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time on its IPS screen. This is a fantastic budget gaming option, getting you the speed you want if you're willing to stick to 1080p.
Last up are all your peripherals. I did university from a horrible low-back office chair and a free pack-in mouse, so let's make sure you aren't relegated to the same fate. Mouse and keyboard are a must, so getting the best deal on solid gear is the way to go. If you're also in the market for a gaming chair and headset, I'll assume that you're sick of the phone earbuds and office chair combo, so some good deals on pricier gear will do there.
Secretlab Gaming chairs | Up to $130 off at Secretlab
Secretlab is running a big sale on its Omega, Titan, and Titan XL 2020 series of gaming chairs. The Titan series has been one of the best gaming chairs for years and the build quality is still top-notch on these models from two years back.
Razer DeathAdder v2 Mini | Wired| 8500 DPI | 6 buttons | Right-handed | 62g|
$49.99 $14.99 at Amazon (save $35)
The Razer Deathadder series is an all-time favorite for PC gamers. The V2 Mini takes everything we love about the mouse and shrinks it down to nice travel size. At $15, you're getting a solid gaming mouse for the same price as a tiny USB dongle mouse you'd grab off the shelf in a pinch the day before semester starts.
SteelSeries Level Up Gaming Bundle | Full Size |Green Switch |Apex 3 Keyboard |Rival 3 gaming mouse|
$79.99 $35 at Walmart (save $90)
SteelSeries is a personal favorite brand and for $35, you can get an Apex 3 gaming keyboard and a Rival 3 gaming mouse at a stellar value. Both are decent entry-level accessories that make a good gift for a gamer going off to school. Oh, and it comes with a mouse pad too. Not bad at all.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro| 50mm drivers | 12Hz – 28,000Hz | Closed-back | Wireless | 24 hours of battery life |
$179.99 $139.99 at Amazon (save $40)
One of our favorite wireless gaming headsets, the BlackShark V2 Pro is $40 off and, honestly, it's a pretty good price for a premium headset. The sound quality is pretty unmatched at this price. This is your chance to cut the cord and go wireless while still listening to those lo-fi beats to study to, right?