We’re starting the season of summer deals again. It started with a few July 4th sales from companies like HP, Dell, and others. We’re releasing a few tasty bites, but we’ll get to the main course soon, as Amazon Prime Day is scheduled to last from July 12-13. That’s more than a day, but still. That’s going to roll into the back-to-school season, and before you know it we’ll be gearing up for Black Friday.
One thing we saw with this initial salvo of sales is that there is a large delta between the cheapest and most expensive bids for what is supposedly the same kit. For example gaming PCs (opens in new tab) Packing an RTX 3060 starts at just $848 for devices like the HP Pavilion TG01 (opens in new tab) and go up to $1,549 for the Omen 45L (opens in new tab), also from the HP stable. That’s almost twice as much.
There are certainly significant differences between these two systems, with vastly different CPUs and upgrade potential. You have to weigh what is most important to you and you may not go for the absolute cheapest. For example, we expect a fair number of CPUs to be considered during this time, and it might be a step too far for you to go with a 10th Gen Intel CPU when the 12th Gen starts making the rounds.
However, when you are looking for a gaming PC or laptop, the most important consideration is the graphics card. That’s the component you want to focus on. That’s the one thing that will determine how well the system can play.
But what can you pay for such systems? Allow me to slip this crib sheet into your life just in time for Prime Day. Complete with sample systems.
Gaming PC deals cheat sheet
RTX3060 ~$900 – HP Pavilion |
$1,099.99 $848 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
RTX 3060Ti ~$1,200 – ABS Master |
$1,499.99 $1,119.99 at Newegg (opens in new tab)
RTX3070 ~$1,500 – Revenge of the Corsairs |
$1,999.99 $1,449.99 at Microsoft (opens in new tab)
RTX 3070Ti ~$1,600 – Alienware Aurora R12 |
$2,699.99 $1,665.99 at Dell (opens in new tab)
RTX3080 ~$1,800 – Alienware Aurora R10 |
$2,519.99 $1,665.99 at Dell (opens in new tab)
RTX 3080Ti ~$2,500 – ABS Legend |
$2,999.99 $2,599.99 at Newegg (opens in new tab)
I did something similar last Black Friday (opens in new tab)prices have dropped by $200-$300, which will be mainly due to graphics cards becoming available again, but also because we have next-gen cards from Nvidia and AMD on the way, as well as new CPUs as well.
If you want your game to be a little more mobile then the good news is that there are plenty of decent Prime Day laptop deals out there (opens in new tab) out there and they start at reasonable prices too. However, they increase significantly as you climb Nvidia’s GPU stack. We don’t expect mobile updates to Nvidia’s GPUs before the new year, so these likely won’t get the kind of discounts we expect on desktops. Nevertheless, there are definitely good offers.
Gaming laptop deals cheat sheet
RTX3050 ~$700 – Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i |
$1,149.99 $799.99 at Lenovo (opens in new tab)
RTX3060 ~$1,000 – Gigabyte A5 K1 |
$1,399 $1,049 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
RTX3070 ~$1,500 – Alienware m15 |
$2,429.99 $1,469.99 at Dell (opens in new tab)
RTX3080 ~$1,600 – Gigabyte Aorus 15P YD |
$1,699.99 $1,599 at Newegg (opens in new tab)
If you find links are missing from this page, try disabling your ad blocker.
Again, these numbers are just a guide. With laptops in particular, you see a much closer relationship between the various subsystems, and you don’t have the ability to update in the same way as desktops. The combination must hold you.
The main takeaway, though, is the same as with a desktop deal: you don’t want to spend $1,500 on a gaming laptop that has an RTX 3060 at its heart when you know you’re going to be getting a lot more powerful with that kind of money can RTX 3070. Spend wisely and keep buyer’s regrets at bay.
Of course, if you’re buying an offer, it’s worth looking at the entire machine. After the graphics card itself, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a reasonably recent CPU – we wouldn’t be older than a 10th Gen Intel CPU (and ideally you’d want an 11th or 12th Gen model). ), and for AMD you want a Ryzen 5000 series chip on desktop and a 4000 series chip or higher on a laptop.
Next, you need to look at the amount of storage you have and the storage space offered. Ideally you want 16GB of RAM, and to get the most out of the storage subsystem you want a pair of 8GB sticks, not just a single 16GB unit. You’ll often see 8GB as standard on the cheaper systems, but you can at least upgrade later if you need to. For storage, you need a 500 GB or larger NVMe SSD. When we write our dream specs, a 1TB drive or even a 2TB unit would be preferable, but again, you can upgrade later.
Whatever you’re looking for, there are definitely some good deals out there. And as we get closer to Prime Day, we’re expecting some select deals. Just think how much you should pay for the offer and you won’t make a costly misstep.