- Mouse: EVGA X20 | Wireless |
- Headset: Razer BlackShark V2 X | Wired |
- Keyboard: Redragon K552 |
- SSD: Nextorage Japan | 2TB |
- CPU: Intel Core i5 12600KF |
- Gaming monitor: LG UltraGear | 3440 x 1440 |
- GPU: XFX Speedster RX 6800 |
- Gaming laptop: Gigabyte G5 |
- Gaming PC: Ipason gaming desktop| AMD Radeon RX 7600 |
Well, if you're planning on spending a little, this sales season is the time you're likely to get the best prices on hardware that might otherwise be out of your reach. And while the Black Friday deals are dissipating, we're still hard at work curating a bunch of goodies on our best Cyber Monday deals page.
Here's a plain and simple truth: PC gaming isn't as cheap a hobby as it used to be. And here's another: times are tough out there, and money for many of us is tight. The holidays are approaching, the cost of living is on the rise, and generally most of us are watching our wallets and trying to save a bit of cash wherever we can. So how do you upgrade your gaming setup, or treat yourself to a little something PC gaming during these challenging times?
As a helpful aside, we thought we'd put together a list of all the best deals on a budget for everything PC gaming right now, to help you find the best discounts on surprisingly good hardware.
The bang for your buck starts here folks, so let's get going!
Best wireless gaming mouse under $20: EVGA X20 Wireless
EVGA X20 | Wireless | 16,000 DPI | Right-handed |
$69.99 $17.99 at Amazon (Save $52)
Yep, we did a double-take as well. A wireless gaming mouse from an established brand for only $20? An absolute steal, we think you'll agree. And while it must be said that the aesthetics are not for everyone, in terms of functionality the EVGA X20 has a lot going for it, with 10 buttons, triple sensors, 5 customisable profiles and 3 zone RGB lighting. It may be a little on the chunky side, but it's very difficult to argue against this much mouse for this little money.
How much? While a little bit more cash does get you something from one of the bigger peripheral brands, it's not like EVGA isn't known for making good gaming accessories, and this EVGA mouse has a hell of a lot going for it. It's got 10 buttons, triple sensors, 3 zone RGB lighting, 2.4Ghz wireless and Bluetooth connection options…all for well under $20? Bit of a no-brainer if you're looking for a very cheap mouse this one, even if you thought you could only afford wired options.
✅ Lots and lots of customisable buttons
✅ Multiple connection options
✅ RGB lighting
❌ Chunky techy focussed looks won't be for everyone
Best headset under $40: Razer BlackShark V2 X
Razer BlackShark V2 X | 50mm drivers | 12-28,000Hz | Closed-back | Wired |
$59.99 $39.99 at Amazon (save $20)
The Razer Blackshark V2 X features a detachable cardioid mic, 7.1 surround sound and a 50mm set of well-balanced titanium drivers. It's a solid and dependable bit of gear, and while this isn't a gigantic discount we still think this price represents great value for money for such a high-performing headset.
A wired gaming headset favorite this, and while it might be at a budget price point at the moment nothing about it says cheap. It's light and comfy to wear, looks nice and professional (minus the green cable I suppose, but I quite like it personally) and when it comes to audio it's got features you traditionally only see on much pricier models, including 7.1 surround sound, a warm yet reasonably accurate sound profile and a very good detachable cardioid mic. Need more? I doubt it.
✅ Much better sound overall than the price suggests
✅ Lightweight and comfortable
✅ 7.1 surround support
✅ Very good microphone for a gaming headset
❌ Green cable is a bit of a love it or hate it affair
❌ A warm bass-heavy sound profile won't please everyone
Best mechanical keyboard under $45: Redragon K552
Redragon K552 | Tenkeyless | Mechanical Outemu Red Switches | User-defined RGB lighting |
$69.99 $43.99 at Best Buy (save $26)
Good mechanical keyboards don't traditionally come cheap, but this Redragon K552 is here to buck the trend. This model features good quality Outemu red switches, customisable 87 key RGB lighting and a durable metal and ABS construction. There's also anti-ghosting, splash resistance and a gold plated USB connector, making this little marvel a hell of a lot of keyboard for not a lot of money.
While you can get cheaper keyboards of the membrane variety, we're big fans of mechanical switches wherever possible, and as someone who types all day for a living I can attest to the clicky clacky goodness of a good mechanical keyboard just feeling, well, nicer. Traditionally good ones don't come cheap, but this little tenkeyless is here to buck the trend. Proper metal and ABS construction, Outemu red switches and customisable RGB means this little keyboard hits all the right notes for less, and it's even splash resistant to boot.
✅ All the features you could reasonably want in a mechanical board
✅ Solid durable construction
✅ A mechanical keyboard without the traditional price premium
❌ Some would feel more comfortable with Cherry brand switches
Best SSD under $100: Nextorage Japan 2TB
Nextorage Japan | 2TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7300 MB/s Read | 6900 MB/s Write |
$249.99 $99.99 at Newegg (save $150)
For just a couple of dollars over the admittedly excellent Silicon Power Xs70, you can have the equally outstanding Nextorage 2TB. Except this one comes with a quality heatsink. It's designed to ensure it doesn't overheat in a PS5. But that just means it's a decent heatsink that's passed some proper testing. Perfect if your motherboard's M.2 cooling doesn't come as standard, is inadequate or if you've just lost the heat spreader.
Price check: Amazon $99.99
You might be able to find slightly cheaper 2TB SSDs for this budget, but at just under the $100 mark I reckon it's the speed and capacity combination on offer here that makes this an excellent buy. It also comes with a chunky heatsink, and would make a fantastic all-in-one SSD solution for even the most high-end of systems.
✅ Excellent read/write speeds
✅ Large amount of storage for the money
❌ Chunky heatsink means it might limit your installation options in some motherboard/case combinations
Best CPU under $150: Intel Core i5 12600KF
Intel Core i5 12600KF | 10 cores, 20 threads | 6 P-cores + 8 E-cores | 4.9GHz | LGA 1700 |
$219.99 $159.99 at Walmart (save $60)
The Core i5 12600KF has been around for a little while now, but don't let that fool you into thinking its no longer a great performing CPU. It comes close to its more recent siblings in the benchmarks for a lot less money, and while it's a little power hungry compared to some of its competition we still think it makes a fantastic CPU for a modern gaming rig.
Price check: Newegg $209.99
While this CPU might be a couple of years old it's still a bit of a screamer for modern gaming, and overall is only around 12% slower than our current best gaming CPU recommendation, the 13600K. It's a big ol' discount on a very fast chip, and well worth a look if you're building something Intel based on a budget, or simply looking to upgrade on the LGA1700 socket.
✅ Still a very fast gaming CPU
✅ Overclock ready
✅ Good core count
❌ A little power hungry
❌ Needs a good cooler, particularly for overclocking
Best ultrawide under $250: LG UltraGear 34GP63A
LG UltraGear 34GP63A-B | 34-inch | 160Hz | 3440 x 1440 | VA |
$399.99 $249.99 at Amazon (save $150)
At just $250 this LG ultrawide is a genuine bargain. Bu comparison, Alienware's fancy QD-OLED 34-inch panel is $800 even on sale. This LG matches its size, resolution, aspect ratio and refresh rate for less than one third of the price. It's not the brightest gaming monitor ever, but it is a very good deal.
Price check: LG $399.99
Ultrawides are expensive, right? Not necessarily so, as this LG curved 34-inch proves. Yes it's a VA panel, but with a 3440 x 1440 resolution and a 160Hz refresh rate it's a great entry point to ultrawide gaming for less than you might have expected. It's not the brightest panel out there with a peak rating of 300 nits, but given the rest of the specs I reckon this is an excellent deal at this price.
✅ It's an ultrawide for regular monitor money
✅ Good resolution/refresh rate combination
❌ VA panels might experience ghosting/black smearing issues
❌ 300 nits may be a little on the dark side
Best GPU under $400: XFX Speedster RX 6800
XFX SPEEDSTER RX 6800 | 16GB GDDR6 | 3840 shaders | 2,105MHz boost |
$399.99 $379.99 at Newegg (save $20)
A Radeon RX 6800 vanilla for well under $400? Get. Out. People were paying four of five times this much for one of these during the height of the pandemic and crypto craze. This 16GB, 256-bit or a pathetic 128-bit 8GB RTX 4060 Ti for the same price? Forget it and the same is true of AMD's RX 7700 XT: It's more expensive than this RX 6800 and slower.
While GPU pricing remains, well, an issue for gaming on a budget, I don't think you're going to find much more GPU grunt for under $400 than this RX 6800. While it's not the faster XT model it's still got pretty great 1080/1440p gaming performance, and while it's tempting to up the budget to get a lot more muscle, $400 seems reasonable for a cheaper option that actually gives you the sort of performance you're probably looking for in a modern gaming system.
✅ Genuinely good 1080p/1440p performance
✅ Beats the much newer 4060 Ti in raw raster benchmarks
✅ Excellent amount of VRAM
❌ Limited to FSR for upscaling performance gains
❌ Starting to get a little long in the tooth
Best gaming laptop under $750: Gigabyte G5
Gigabyte G5 | Core i7 12650H | RTX 4060 | 8GB DDR5-4800 | 512GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz |
$1,099.99 $749.99 at Newegg (save $350)
This is a lot of laptop for not very much money. To start with, you're getting a 10-core, 16-thread CPU that will easily cope with pretty much any game you throw at it. There's an RTX 4060 Mobile graphics chip too, that supports DLSS upscaling and frame generation. The main caveats here are that storage is a bit disappointing, so you'll probably want to upgrade it at some point with a large SSD, and 8GB of RAM isn't enough for gaming these days. However, with 16GB of RAM available for under $30 this shouldn't be too much of an issue to upgrade. For portable gaming and school work, though, this Gigabyte G5 laptop will keep you and your wallet happy.
Gaming laptops are sometimes touted as one of the best budget ways to get a gaming-ready system in one easy purchase, and long gone are the days when a mobile gaming machine was a gigantic red-hot slab of overly expensive kit. This oen has the RTX 4060 mobile GPU which can spit out some frames at the laptops native 1080p. It's also got a good CPU, a decent amount of RAM and is a good looking machine to boot.
✅ Excellent performance for the money
✅ Office ready good looks
✅ Good GPU/CPU combination
❌ 512GB SSD is somewhat miserly
Best gaming PC under $850: Ipason
Best gaming PC under $850: Ipason
Ipason gaming desktop | Ryzen 5 5600 | Radeon RX 7600 | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD |
$1,399 $849 at Newegg (save $550)
If you don't want to get busy with a screwdriver, Ipason has another budget offering, this time with an RX 7600 GPU at its heart. That offers sometimes better than RTX 4060 gaming performance, and the full system comes with a solid back-up spec, too.
Those of you looking for a budget pre-built are often limited to system builders with names you might never have heard of, but this is a fully-fledged Ipason machine with all the pedigree that brand brings. It's got a speedy little Ryzen 5 5600, a good sized SSD, an RX 7600 and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. It's an honest to goodness well-specced gaming PC for well under a grand, though the case isn't very sexy.
✅ A budget pre-built from a trusted brand
✅ Genuinely good specs for 1080p/1440p gaming
✅ Good sized SSD
✅ Very difficult to get better hardware for this sort of price
❌ Upping the budget by $100 or so would get you into 4060Ti territory
❌ Ram is only DDR4