How to spot the best Black Friday gaming PC deals this year

Gaming PC group shot
(Image credit: Future)

We're on the brink of a Black Friday gaming PC deal (opens in new tab) bonanza, but finding a gaming PC deal that's actually worth your time and money is always going to be difficult. With a smattering of GPU announcements having wetted our lips and plenty more goodies on the way next year, manufacturers are undoubtedly going to be trying to flog older components to unsuspecting gamers and their families over the deal season.  

If you're looking to avoid the buyer's remorse in an ever-changing market, you've come to the right place. I've put together the following Black Friday gaming PC crib sheet with the prices you should expect to spend on a prebuilt machine when Black Friday kicks off on November 25.

The first thing to consider when buying a prebuilt gaming PC is the graphics card—it's the main component retailers hang pricing around as it dictates the machine's gaming prowess. The CPU can make a bit of a difference, too, and although it's important not to neglect the rest of the spec, the GPU and processor will give the best indication of how well a PC will attend to your gaming experience.

We should see some awesome discounts on machines powered by Nvidia's RTX 30-series and AMD's RX 6000 cards across November, but be aware that the odd RTX 20-series and RX 5000 will crop up for similar prices. Don't be fooled, though. There will undoubtedly be a more up-to-date spec for the same sale price.

The best advice for anyone looking for high-spec gaming PC deals right now is to be hyper aware of the changing environment at top table of modern graphics cards. Nvidia has released the RTX 4090 (opens in new tab), and will have launched the RTX 4080 (opens in new tab) by the time Black Friday rolls around, and AMD has announced its own high-end RX 7900 XT/X cards will be on the shelves on December 13.

The cheapest of these cards, the RX 7900 XT, will still be $899 at best, which means systems based on these new AMD and Nvidia GPUs will be expensive. And maybe also hard to come by for a while.

So, does that mean you shouldn't think about buying a system with a high-end GPU from the previous generation? As always, it depends how much you're going to spend on them. If you're tempted by a system with an RTX 3080/Ti, or RTX 3090/Ti card inside it then you need to make sure it's got a healthy discount below what you might otherwise pay for a PC with either an RTX 40-series or AMD RX 7000-series graphics card in it.

Also note there are going to be a lot of RX 6500 XT and RTX 3050 gaming PCs on 'sale' for a close to a thousand, but you really shouldn't pay more than about $700 at this point, because there are far better machines for the ~$1,000 mark. We still recommend the RX 6600, RX 6650, and RX 6700 at the lower end of AMD's lest-gen offerings, too.

A man in a red jumper playing PC.

(Image credit: PhotoAttractive)

Gaming PC deals crib sheet

This is our rough guide to the sort of price limits we'd put on a machine with the following graphics cards inside them. Obviously there will be differences based on the total spec, some might have more memory or storage for example, but we'd advise not paying more than this if you're looking at deals this year.

RTX 3060 ~$900
RTX 3060 Ti
~$1,200
RTX 3070
~$1,500
RTX 3070 Ti
~$1,600
RTX 3080
~$1,800
RTX 3080 Ti
~$2,200
RTX 3090 ~$2,500
RTX 3090 Ti
~$2,800

RX 6500 XT ~$700
RX 6600 ~$800
RX 6600 XT
~$900
RX 6650 XT ~$1,100
RX 6700 XT ~$1,300
RX 6800 XT ~$1,700
RX 6900 XT ~$2,100
RX 6950 XT ~$2,200

Where are the best Black Friday Gaming PC deals?

What's important to remember is that, while a GPU is easy enough to upgrade after the fact, the case won't be. The same is true for CPUs, especially this time around. We always recommend going as current as possible for Intel with an 11th or 12th Gen processor this time around (the number straight after the 'core i5/i7/i9' indicates the processor generation). These will stay relevant for some time at least.

And while AMD enthusiasts would usually be able to swap to the latest generation without the stress of changing motherboards, this isn't the case anymore with its longstanding AM4 socket. In other words, going from Zen 3 to Zen 4 (opens in new tab) won't be as easy as it has been with previous generations, as Ryzen 7000 processors will require an entirely new motherboard with an AM5 socket. And while the AM5 socket will be sticking around for some time, it might be a shout to avoid Ryzen 5000 right now.

AMD is reportedly cutting production for Zen 4 (opens in new tab) so we may yet see deals popping up on gaming PCs touting these new processors.

Where the rest of your prospective prebuilt's spec is concerned, an NVMe SSD with a minimum of 512GB storage is advisable. That'll get you up and running at least, what with the size of today's games, though most motherboards will have a spare M.2 slot. Check out our best Black Friday SSD deals (opens in new tab) for a little extra storage. 

RAM is a simple upgrade, too, but generally, it doesn't make masses of difference for gaming. Aim for 16GB DDR4 or DDR5 RAM, but 8GB of dual-channel memory is fine too, if the price is right. 

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.