Black Friday deals are coming in hot, and my little cousin wants a gaming PC. What better time for me to put my PC-building experience to work than now, when I can snap up a bunch of cut-price components? Amazon has now kicked off its official Black Friday sale, so I’m on the hunt for parts.
Of course, custom PC builds aren’t necessarily the best-value approach these days; there was a time when putting together your own computer would be significantly cheaper than buying a pre-built system, but that’s frequently no longer the case. With this in mind, I set out to construct the best gaming PC that would be cheaper than a desktop I could simply purchase fully assembled.
You can see my list of components (and the deals I snagged on them) right here, but if you want a more detailed breakdown, just scroll down – I’ve explained my process more thoroughly below.
What components did I pick?
Building a PC on Amazon
The focal point of this build is an Nvidia RTX 3060, one of the best cheap graphics card options available that was slightly overpriced at launch – happily, this twin-fan MSI RTX 3060 is now down to $241.99 at Amazon, providing a solid 1080p gaming foundation for this PC. It was a regular staple on our best graphics card ranking before being superseded by the newer (but more expensive) RTX 4060.
I needed a decent mid-range CPU to match that GPU, and I was pleased to find the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X for $158.55 at Amazon, which is half off its list price. It’s a solid hexa-core processor that I personally used in my home PC build for a while, and comes bundled with one of AMD’s Wraith coolers, letting me save some extra cash for the overall build. Actually, AMD – why the heck did you stop bundling these coolers with all your CPUs? They were some of the best CPU coolers around for mainstream chips!
With a Ryzen 5000 processor, I needed an AM4 motherboard, and the best-value one I could find was this Gigabyte B550 Gaming X V2 for $95.99 at Amazon. It’s a fairly feature-light mobo, but that’s fine – it just needs to support our components. Also plugging into the board will be 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM at $39.99 and an insanely cheap SSD: this 480GB drive from Crucial for just $29.25 at Amazon right now.
Naturally, we’ll need a power supply for this build, and I’ve opted for the straightforward MSI MAG A650BN, on sale for $59.99 at Amazon. This 650W PSU should provide plenty of juice for this build, with a little bit of headroom for upgrading the internal components later on. Finally, I needed a case – while I could’ve found a slightly cheaper one, I opted for the MSI MAG Forge 112R at $64.99, since it comes with four ARGB fans – giving me a little extra visual flair for this build.
So, did I succeed in my quest? Well, my planned builds clocks in at $690.75 total – and the cheapest pre-built RTX 3060 gaming PC I could find was this STGAubron Gaming Desktop PC bundle for $699.99 on Amazon. Granted, that PC comes with a bunch of extra peripherals, but I’ve literally never heard of the brand (it doesn’t even seem to have a website) and some of the components are… well, suspicious. It apparently uses DDR3 RAM (in 2023?!) and nowhere on the listing does it specify which Intel Core i7 processor it uses. Some brief digging seems to indicate it’s an ancient 3rd-gen quad-core Intel chip, so… not good.
In other words, I think I nailed it. The PC I’ve cobbled together using only Black Friday deals is actually pretty great value for money, and has the added advantage of easy upgrade potential in the future. For a desktop that’ll likely be used for playing Fortnite more than anything else, I think it’s going to do great.
Not in the US? Scroll down to see the best PC component deals in your region.
More of today’s best Black Friday deals
- Amazon: 50% off TVs, air fryers, AirPods & clothing
- Apple: AirPods Pro, Apple Watch 8 & iPads from $99
- Adidas: 40% off running shoes, sweatshirts & leggings
- Beauty: 51% off viral makeup, skincare & hair tools
- Best Buy: up to $800 off 4K TVs, laptops & headphones
- Bed Bath & Beyond: 65% off sitewide + free shipping
- Cheap TVs: big-screen 4K TVs from $269.99
- Christmas: 40% off decor, pajamas & trees
- Dell: save on best-selling Inspiron and XPS laptops
- DreamCloud: 40% off all mattresses
- Family pajamas: matching Christmas PJs from $12.99
- Lowe’s: up to $800 off major appliances
- Nectar: mattress deals starting at $359
- Nordstrom: 30% off Nike, Levi’s, Skims, Adidas & more
- Purple: up to $400 off Purple mattresses
- Samsung: up to $2,000 of TVs, phones and appliances
- Target: 40% off furniture, TVs, clothing & appliances
- Toys: Disney, Barbie, Lego & board games from $14.99
- Walmart: $800 off toys, TVs, vacuums & clothing