The holiday sales madness is an annual tradition, but it does evolve from year to year. For PC gaming gear, specifically, there’s always new stuff—components, computers, and games—but deals we see tend to reflect larger shifts in value and demand, as well. In general, the Black Friday video game deals for 2019 seems poised to be a bigger year for deals across the board, and that bodes well PC players. Let’s look at some of the things that may differ from what you remember shopping Black Fridays past.
You know how stores start playing holiday music earlier and earlier every year? Well Black Friday itself is starting earlier than ever. In fact, many retailers have already started setting aggressive pre-holiday deals. I guess it’s never too early to get in the holiday spirit.
For example; as of Wednesday, November 13, Amazon is selling a Samsung 49” CRG90 curved monitor for $1277.69, down from $1500. NewEgg has an Asus ROG G703GX with an Nvidia 2080 down to $2389.99, from $3499. The fact that prices are already dropping this much suggests that retailers are getting more aggressive than ever to win our attention and dollars. It also means that it makes sense to start paying attention to prices now.
Both sites say these deals are temporary, and won’t run all the way up to Black Friday, so expect there to be a buffet of tech rotating in and out for the next couple of weeks leading up to the big day. And, of course, there will surely be more deals to come on Black Friday and Cyber Monday proper.
Parts to watch for
While the offers are generally better than any other time of year, not all deals are created equal, and not every category of gear offers the same amount of saving savings. Some things always go on sale: peripherals—headsets, keyboards, and mice—are a given. Monitors are generally a pretty sure thing, though we’re keeping our fingers crossed for more 4K monitors than before, as are mid-range laptops.
There are a few things that will be worth extra consideration this year, though. For starters, it should be a banner year for picking up one of the best graphics cards on Black Friday, especially if you’re looking for an Nvidia GPU: Nvidia’s 20-series cycle is well underway, so prices are primed to drop. Plus, with new 20-series Super cards replacing the original Founder’s Edition GPUs, there’s already a set of “dated” components waiting for a price cut. That said, AMD fans shouldn’t fret. The Radeon VII and RX 5700 are similarly shuffling the GPU hierarchy, clearing the way for bigger deals on slightly older cards.
Both memory and storage prices have been in slowly dropping over the past year, so it’s safe to say that deals should abound on DDR4 RAM and hard drives, internal and external. So far, it seems like the biggest deals are on HDDs, which makes sense because everyone’s moving to an SSD if they haven’t already. I’m hoping we’ll see bigger price drops on the good stuff at the end of the month, so stay tuned for decent Black Friday SSD offers.
This is a bit of a reach, but while retailers don’t put CPUs on sale as frequently graphics cards, advances in processors this year have also primed the pump for potential sales on their predecessors. Prices on Ryzen 2 CPUs have been in freefall all year, so if you’re building something on the cheap, I expect you’ll be able to do it for even less at the end of the month.
So basically, we’re expecting a solid Black Friday showing across the board. Whether or not that will lead you to savings on the components and/or PCs you’re looking for, I can’t say. As we’ve discussed in PC Gamer’s litany of pre-Black-Friday guides, finding a good deal often comes down to how flexible you’re willing to get, as the cheapest items are rarely the absolute best.