Black Friday deals 2019: what will happen in PC gaming?

If your PC needs a refresh, the Black Friday deals period—which runs throughout the end of November—is absolutely the time to upgrade. Not only does Black Friday tend to bring low prices on computer components, but it also covers all tech related to gaming too. You’ll be able to snap up a better keyboard or mouse, and invest in that gaming headset you’ve been craving too, all while picking up the extra RAM or better graphics card that your rig desperately needs. And while the Steam Sales are usually a good time to fill out your gaming library, you can often find a decent suite of PC games in the wealth of Black Friday deals too.

If you think it’s too early in 2019 to be thinking about Black Friday and deals, well, think again. While they’re still about ten weeks away, you really should start planning the PC tech that you need now because it’s easy to miss out on the best stuff, as it sells out quite quickly. If you know exactly what you need, how much you’re willing to spend, and where to actually look you’ll be better prepared to get the ‘thing’ you’re aiming for. There’s no shame in planning ahead, because the right deal could mean the difference between an RTX or a GTX graphics card, or the difference between a 27″ monitor or a 32″ screen, and when it comes to PCs it’s usually the case that bigger, and more powerful, is better.

We’ll be here to guide you through all the best Black Friday deals, so bookmark this page, and check back as we add the premium offers later in the year.

Black Friday 2019 date – when is it?

Actual Black Friday 2019 is Friday, November 29. While the deals will likely start well before this date—we estimate you’ll see savings from Monday November 18 onwards—most retailers save the absolute best for the Friday itself. This makes Black Friday shopping quite a tactical thing: do you snap up the thing you need early, if the price is right? Or do you risk waiting for the Friday itself to maybe save a little more money, but also risk someone like NewEgg or Amazon running out of stock? 

PC gamers are in quite a fortunate position here, as there’s a second shopping bonanza called Cyber Monday, which always happens on the Monday directly following Black Friday. For 2019, that means Monday December 2. In days past, Cyber Monday was traditionally the big day for tech and PC sales, with Black Friday more about clothes, TVs, and everything else. While Cyber Monday is increasingly becoming ‘just an extension of the whole Black Friday thing’, it still carries weight with component and peripheral manufacturers, so you do find that PC deals in particular are still good on Cyber Monday. While the lines between the two events are almost fully blurred now, you will get a second chance on some PC tech to save even more cash on Cyber Monday. The clue is in the name.

Black Friday deals – what can we expect?

Black Friday deals 2019

(Image credit: Future)

Our 2019 guides

So, what are you likely to actually save money on during 2019’s Black Friday deals events? Well, the answer really is anything and everything, so we’ve decided to break it down into the top five items we expect to see discounted this year, based on market trends that we’ve noticed throughout the rest of the year. PC Gamer is lucky enough to have a team dedicated to hardware, deals, and buying guides, so this is our day-to-day role on the site, which means we can predict the best offers over Black Friday with decent accuracy. OK, perhaps we’ll need a new trumpet because we’re blowing our current one a bit too hard…

1. SSDs

No, it doesn’t take a genius to work this one out, but SSDs have tumbled in price over the past couple of years, with more and more storage becoming increasingly affordable. While HDDs still offer superb value for 2-6TB options, the rise of SSDs is seemingly unstoppable. Even NVMe drives, once the reserve of purists, are within the reach of casual home gamers. You’ll always need more storage, and you’ll find SSDs cheaper during Black Friday, so we’d strongly advise you set aside about $100-150 to bag a terrific new drive. 

Let’s take a good, baseline example. The 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD, which we rate as the best SSD for gaming (taking performance vs price into account), is currently $140 via Amazon and NewEgg. That’s pretty good. During Black Friday 2018, it dropped to $127, having spent the previous three months sat around $150. While the price of storage hasn’t dropped as drastically in 2019 as it did in 2018, you’ll still see a similar drop over Black Friday. That means you’ll probably see the 1TB drive for between $100 and $110 during Black Friday, which is a mighty deal. Samsung will want to continue paving the way for its 970 series of SSDs, and this will be the year it meaningfully clears stock of the 860. 

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. IPS gaming monitors

While we’ll likely see a significant reduction across all gaming monitors during Black Friday, this year should see a decent dip for IPS panels. TN screens are always reduced in price, but IPS displays have seen fewer savings… until now. That’s great news for you, because whereas premium features like 4K and HDR remain the reserve of more high-end gaming PC set-ups (because only the most powerful can consistently juggle 4K and that baseline of 120 fps we demand for triple-A games), IPS panels run the full range, from premium to budget, and they usually represent a decent step-up in visuals that isn’t dependent on a new, beefy GPU. They are very much the new ‘gaming standard’ for PCs and you don’t have to be Scrooge McDuck to buy one. 

Like regular 4K TVs, the tech and panels that fit into IPS monitors is getting both more affordable, and more commonly adopted. This means they’re getting cheaper, and this means you’ll see bigger savings on them during Black Friday. One great example is the difference between the Acer Predator X27 and XB273K. These are two panels with near-identical features and performance, but a near 40-50% difference in price, with the latter (and newer) model selling for just over $1000. That’s the high end of the gaming monitor range, sure, but a good illustration of how the tech is getting cheaper, more widespread, and more ripe for bigger Black Friday gaming monitor deals.

3. Older 20-series graphics cards

We’ve already started to see Nvidia reducing the price of GPUs that are less than a year old. The original 2060, 2070, and 2080s have been replaced by ‘Super’ variants, and while the newer cards are undoubtedly stronger performers and offer better overall value… not all of us can afford a brand new 2080 Super. Thankfully, Black Friday will see retailers very eagerly selling off stock of older 20-series cards at delightfully low prices. This could also have a knock-on effect for pre-builts and some laptops with these GPUs in them too.

To use a live example: we saw the Gigabyte GeForce 2080 Gaming OC card drop to $699 during June following the full reveal of the Supers, and that card started 2019 over $100 more. It has rallied a little now, but we’ll see another significant dip during Black Friday, likely dropping the card below $600. For something that’s still essentially at the top of the range, that’s a damn good price. And all because it isn’t quite the latest model, despite being just over a year old (by November).

(Image credit: Nvidia)

More 2019 guides

4. Webcams and microphones

The rise and rise of streaming, and getting ‘publicly angry about video games on the internet’, has not escaped the attention of webcam and mic manufacturers. As such, recording set-ups that bring 1080p video and near-studio-grade audio are as affordable as ever. If you’re serious about getting your face onto YouTube, for example, the barrier for entry really has never been lower. And that goes doubly-so for retail events like Black Friday. 

During the recent Amazon Prime Day event, we saw one of our top webcams get reduced by 60%, which was one of the most significant savings of the entire sales event. And people snapped them up, along with a decent deal on the excellent Blue Yeti mic. That same pattern will undoubtedly be repeated in November, so if you need either a mic or a webcam, just hang on and save wads of cash.

5. Laptops

Yes, we see it every year. Retailers know that you’re waiting to spend bigger during Black Friday, and few purchases get more significant than a brand-new gaming laptop. If you’re willing to put in a decent budget, you can get loads of tech for your money on Black Friday, and we’d actually recommend setting your budget instead of actually looking for a specific spec of laptop you want to buy. 

When it comes to laptops, the capacity for upgrades and improvements is, naturally,  way smaller than desktop PCs. So you need to get as much as you can afford, right from the off. With Black Friday, it’s your chance to get a better laptop than you thought you could actually afford, so instead of settling for something with a 2060 card and a 500GB SSD, you should be able to get a 2070 laptop, with dual-storage, and likely a better CPU. The savings will drop these superior machines into your price-range, and there will always be price-drops for laptops, as the tech inside them advances so quickly.

(Image credit: MSI)

Expired Black Friday deals from 2018

ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac | $89.99 (save $45)
If you’re looking to build an ultra compact ITX system with a high-end Intel CPU, ASRock makes a great little board. It’s not quite as full-featured as some of the other options, but at $90 after the $20 MIR, it’s hard not to love this little guy. Buy at Newegg.

Money-saving tips

Black Friday deals 2019

(Image credit: Future)

When you’re faced with such a mass of deals during Black Friday, it’s easy to get lost. This article will serve as your best guide to all the offers once they’re live, so it’s a good idea to bookmark it and keep checking back to see what has been added. PC Gamer is committed to helping you save money on PC gaming because the better your rig is, the more you enjoy your hobby, and the (hopefully) more you read PC Gamer. So, if we can save you some money on a new GPU, everyone wins. Here are some of the things we’ll be doing to keep this article up to date…

1. Check the price-checkers

Every major retailer will shout as loud as possible about the savings you’re making on their Black Friday deals. So, finding them isn’t a problem. Checking whether or not they’re worth it is more of a skill. We use sites like Camel to keep an eye on the price history of items, so see whether or not a saving is good, or whether the item’s price was just inflated the month before Black Friday, only to be dropped again on the day to make it seem like a good deal.

2.  Keep an eye on our guides

While ‘we would say that’, it’s worth noting that PC Gamer has market-leading software on all our buying guides, and this allows us to track prices on all products across all major retailers quicker and more efficiently than us fleshy human beings can ever manage. So, if you’ve chosen a gaming keyboard, for example, via our guide then just check back and look at the lowest price being shown during Black Friday. It’ll tell you what the price is, how much you’re saving, and where it’s available.

3. Set a budget, not a product

The real winners on Black Friday are people who spend the same money as they might at any other time of year, but get a better thing. Say you have $500 to spend on a gaming monitor… you’ll get a bigger, faster, shinier monitor for your $500 in November than you will in August. It’s a simple, effective tool for getting better value, rather than actually saving cash.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

4. Look out for codes

Some retailers, like NewEgg, offer codes and additional rebates on their sale items, and a surprising number of people miss them. When you’re shopping for components during Black Friday, keep an eye out for extra codes and for rebate cards. In some cases, things like GPUs and CPUs come with free games and software too, so you’re going to get even more value from these.

5. Sign up early

Many retailers, like Amazon, offer prices exclusively for members. In Amazon’s case, it’s Prime, but other retailers have free membership schemes that give you an edge when shopping for deals. You’ll sometimes get free delivery too. And you’re often given a head-start on some savings, or the ability to checkout fast. If you’re looking for a hugely popular item, which is likely to sell out, you need to make sure you’re all signed into a site and ready with an account, because you don’t want to be doing that stuff while you’re desperately trying to lock down a deal. Sign up to the big retailers now, so you’re ready during Black Friday.

Are the Black Friday deals only for the US?

While Black Friday was originally a US-only event, the deals-season has spread throughout the rest of the world. Usually tied in to coincide with Thanksgiving, a very American holiday, the rest of the world sees it as an excellent opportunity to bump up profits ahead of Christmas and the New Year. So, short answer: no, it isn’t US-only. If you’re based in the UK, Europe, Australia or anywhere that PC gaming is big, you’ll likely be able to take advantage of local Black Friday deals. And yes, we’ll have specific offers within this article for those regions.

In fact, Black Friday has become a huge event in the UK. While some prefer to put their own spin on it, like ‘Black Tag’ or ‘November Sales’, it’s exactly the same thing and brings similar types of deals. Cyber Monday remains more a US event, but in Europe and the UK the Black Friday sales just tend to continue up until Christmas.

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