Years before the Pandemic, people weren’t particular about the best time to buy computer parts. Sure, it was always going to be obvious that you make time to buy PC and components when you only need to or when there’s a huge discount being offered on them.
But the prices of PC parts are fickle. It can go up and down, depending on the current market, demand, and supply. Case in point, we’re referring to the shortage of graphics cards during the Covid-19 Pandemic and its consequent massive inflation.
If you have your own PC and you’re trying to save money for getting new computer components, then that’s fine. But most of the time, you end up replacing important PC hardware outside of these promotional deals and discounted periods because your old PC parts are no longer functional.
Sometimes you’re also on the hunt for parts to get a project going, like a mini-ITX PC build.
When Is The Best Time To Buy Computer Parts?
Objectively speaking, there’s no best time to buy computer parts. Price history would often dictate that the costs of certain PC parts dwindle through the following sale seasons below, but these are dependent on your geographical location and access to vendors that offer these sales.
Recurring Yearly or Holiday Sales
In the Western part of the world, there are two holiday sales that people look forward to when buying computer parts: BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY.
No one will ever argue with anyone here that the best time to buy computer parts is during these holiday sales. You get the best deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so it’s a lot easier on your wallet to buy computer parts for your gaming PC.
It’s not just PC hardware that goes on sale during this period, but also video games and software. You get the best prices, either a one-time fee or a monthly subscription, for these items.
Now, we have a big caveat.
Black Friday deals are a good deal but only as good as whether or not the stores have what you want or need. I’ve been sitting on my GeForce 1050Ti for the longest time and it wasn’t until the recent Black Friday sales of 2022 that I got my hands on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. It was probably one of the best deals I’ve landed since the RTX 3070 was discounted by about 40% when I got it. This was an alternative to buying a brand new RTX 3060 gaming laptop.
But the two or three years or before that, I couldn’t even land the best deal for any graphics card because the retailers didn’t have it in stock or it just wasn’t discounted enough to be worth buying.
Another season for getting the best deals is during the start of the school season. Back-to-school sales are all the rave and will get you massive discounts on parts for PC building, prebuilt gaming PCs, or laptops. The deals offered during this period aren’t as impressive as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday season, but you should still be able to buy PC parts at a discount.
Generational Transitioning of Products
Outside of these holiday seasons and sales, most PC gaming enthusiasts buy PC components when a generational transition happens. This is when current-generation computer parts are replaced by newer ones. A good example is the recent transition to the Nvidia RTX 4000 series.
When new PC parts come out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s significantly better than its predecessor. If you have an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card, you don’t exactly need to buy the RTX 4000 series graphics cards just because it’s the newest generation. The difference in performance between the RTX 3060 and its 4000 series counterpart is minimal at best.
On the other hand, if you’ve had a GTX 1050Ti, then you’d probably have better idea to save some money in upgrading to the RTX 3000 series or 2000 series just because of their price drops.
Is Black Friday The Best Time To Buy Computer Parts?
If you ask anyone on the Internet this question, you’ll get different answers. None of them are wrong, but none of them are right either.
One could easily argue that Black Friday is the best time to buy PC parts just for the huge discounts being offered. Another will counter that argument by saying to wait just a couple years more to save more money.
If you’re a PC gamer like me and you have an eye on the prices of certain parts, the chances of us getting discounts on the parts that we want are slim at best. Again, this boils down to the retailer and availability of these parts.
What Parts Do You Need To Keep An Eye Out For During Black Friday Deals?
If you insist on shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here’s a list of my current observations for certain PC parts that go on sale during these periods.
Take this section with a grain of salt because I shop on multiple websites outside of Amazon.
Current generation AMD processors and Intel processors won’t get heavily discounted, but you’ll find that their last generation processors will. Keep an eye out for steep drops of certain chips like the AMD Ryzen 5000 or 9th generation Intel Core i7 or i9.
Verdict: Buy when needed!
A CPU cooler is a bit of a toss-up. If you must absolutely buy a CPU cooler to upgrade your gaming PC, then the best time to buy is during this period. Pay close attention to drops for AIO coolers and air coolers.
You won’t score the lowest prices on CPU coolers, but you’ll still get a better deal during this holiday season.
If you’re buying a new CPU, then chances are you need a new motherboard. New generation CPUs aren’t exactly compatible with older motherboards, so that’s something to consider.
If you have a particular brand in mind, it might be difficult to find deals during this season. Some of the newer models of motherboards don’t offer a steep discount price yet, so if that’s what you need, you’re better off waiting till the next year or when the price drop significantly.
Verdict: Buy when needed!
The GPU market is way different from what it was a couple of years back. Demand issues are still there, but not as severe.
Now, GPU prices have gone down significantly. And by significantly, they’re returned to their MSRP. For certain GPUs like the RTX 3060, they’re probably still higher than MSRP but only by a hundred dollars or less.
But even with the normalization of GPU prices, there will always be external factors that may cause different brands of GPUs to go up and down in pricing in the future.
SSD and HDD
SSD pricing is good right now, but Black Friday deals offer decent discounts on them. Go for the 2TB capacity for SSDs and 4TB capacity for HDDs.
Verdict: Better off waiting!
RAM prices are stable and often go down more frequently in a year than GPU or CPUs, mostly because newer RAM generations are now proliferating the market. DDR5 RAMs won’t go down just yet, but DDR4 memory sticks will.
Verdict: Buy when you need to!
Black Friday is hit or miss for PC cases because most retailers don’t really offer them on discount during the holiday season. Budget cases are more likely to go on sale than the premium models.
If you’re buying a new PC case to build a new PC, then just buy one outside of the holiday season. But if you’re eyeing specific models, it might be a little digging difficult to find good deals during Black Friday. There’s no best time to buy PC Cases unless some of the new stuff comes out.
Personally speaking, you can’t go wrong with buying a new monitor or two during the Black Friday season or Cyber Monday. You get a good price on some of the recent releases, so unless you have specific requirements for monitors, it’s the best time to buy a monitor.
You don’t really need to wait for Black Friday or Amazon’s Prime Day to get the best deals on monitors.
Pre Built PCs
Verdict: Wait and see!
If you want your hands on a powerful system without having to build it yourself, then an optimal time to buy pre built PCs would be during the holiday season and back-t0-school sales.
Prebuilt PCs are pre-assembled PCs that come with specific components already installed. Prices of prebuilt PCs depend on what’s inside the unit, so if you’re getting a combination of Intel Core i9 and an RTX 3090, then you’re going to shell out a lot of money.
Prebuilt PCs aren’t exactly selling like pancakes either during Amazon’s Prime Day or Black Friday because people would rather go for laptops. For the same period, we recommend just waiting and see what’s being offered at a steep discount. Remember, prebuilt PCs aren’t good deals all of the time.
If you want to save money to buy components during the holiday season, take note of these tips:
- Write down parts that you need to upgrade and do some research beforehand.
- Don’t limit yourself to just one vendor. It’s easier to purchase parts outside of Amazon because they don’t have huge availability issues during this period.
- Shop strategically. Don’t wait for the holiday season to arrive just so you can purchase PC components. All throughout the year, some retailers will drop their prices on certain stocks. Your best bet is to sign up for newsletters from these retailers so you’ll receive notifications about these incoming sales.