Whether you’ve decided to build your own computer or you are looking to upgrade your processor or other PC hardware, one of the biggest questions you might have is, when is the best time to buy computer parts?
Honestly, there are a few different factors to consider in order to give you a complete answer to this question. They are:
- Are there big sales days coming up?
- Is there a new release (new CPU/GPU architecture)?
- Can you even wait long enough to buy your parts?
In this guide, we’re going to go over all three of those scenarios and how they will play into the question of when the best time to buy PC parts is.
Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Build A PC?
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the Holiday Season, Prime Day, & Daily Deals
Obviously, if you can get some (or all) of your new computer parts on sale, then you can either cut down on the total cost of your system or upgrade, or you can utilize those savings to build or upgrade to a more powerful system.
And, fortunately, there are plenty of big sales days throughout the year. In terms of when you can get the best deals and lowest prices on computer parts, the following gives a general ranking of which days offer the best deals:
- Cyber Monday and Black Friday are the best
- The Holiday season, in general, is the next best
- Amazon’s Prime Day has some pretty good deals as well
- Newegg and Amazon (& others) always have some solid daily deals
If you can hold off until Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Holiday season to purchase components for a new computer, or for an upgrade, you’re likely going to be able to save a lot of money. In some cases, you can build the same system for 20-30%+ less during the Holiday deals than you would if you were to buy it during any other time of the year.
Of course, in order to maximize the savings you can get out of the available deals during the holiday season, you have to be a little flexible in your component choice. For instance, if you’re deadset on a high-end Intel processor, you might not be able to save as much money as if you were to be open to purchasing an AMD processor. The reason for this is that AMD may be offering a big discount on their CPUs, while Intel is not. And, if you’re unwilling to be flexible, you will miss out on good deals.
In fact, it’s important to note that not all components go on sale during the big sales days. Certain component/peripheral categories see bigger sales than other component categories.
What Components Get the Biggest Price Cuts?
In terms of what components see the biggest price reduction on the major sales days, in my experience, the best deals are often on the following components/peripherals:
It seems like peripherals (monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets) always get the biggest price cuts during the big sales days. But, storage devices (SSDs and HDDs), memory, power supplies, and AMD CPUs are typically the core components that get the biggest price cuts during the big deal days.
Of course, there are good deals to be had on graphics cards, cases, and motherboards during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Holiday season in general, as well. However, they are not quite as prevalent as the deals on the components and peripherals mentioned above.
Also, if you’re open to getting a pre-built system or a laptop (instead of building your own system), there are typically a lot of deals on pre-built computers and laptops during the major sales days.
What About Amazon’s Prime Day? Is It Worth It?
Amazon’s Prime Day has gotten some flak in the past for having a lot of not-so-great deals. And, that criticism is mostly deserved. Usually, Amazon Prime Day features a lot of low-priced items that sellers are trying to dump their inventory on.
There are good deals to be had on Amazon Prime Day, though. And, the best deals on Prime Day are typically on the same components that see the best deals on the other major sales days (peripherals, storage devices, PSUs, etc.)
All-in-all, unlike the big Holiday sales days, Amazon’s Prime Day isn’t a day where you can find deals on every type of component that will go into your system (or upgrade). However, if you are looking to build a computer or upgrade your existing system in early Summer and you can’t hold out until the Holidays, you can definitely save some money by grabbing the deals that are available on Prime Day.
Can You Find Any Good Deals on A Daily Basis?
While the major holiday sales days are packed with hundreds of deals on computer parts and peripherals, sites like Amazon and Newegg do offer a handful of deals on a daily basis.
Typically, Newegg has the better daily deals on computer components and peripherals. However, it should be noted that a lot of Newegg’s best daily deals are tied to using mail-in-rebates. And, if you’re like me, mail-in-rebates sound really good when you’re deal hunting, but you always end up forgetting to send them in—which means you end up paying full price for the product in the end.
So, if you’re going to browse through Newegg’s daily deals, just note that in order to utilize them properly, you need to be proactive on sending in the mail-in-rebates.
Why You Need to Consider Upcoming CPU & GPU Releases
More often than not, people who ask when the best time to buy computer parts is are typically wondering when they can get the best deals on components. However, the other important factor to consider when trying to determine when the best time to purchase components is if there are any major CPU and/or GPU architecture updates or refreshes coming in the near future.
As a perfect example, at the time of updating this article, we are within a couple of months away from NVIDIA releasing their newest lineup of graphics cards, as well as AMD and Intel launching new processor lineups. So, if I were going to build a gaming computer with an NVIDIA graphics card today, I would end up choosing a graphics card that, in just one month, would no longer be the latest generation option.
That doesn’t mean that the older edition graphics card would stop running games well. However, new GPU releases typically offer at least a 10% improvement over the previous generation of GPUs and typically have similar-to or slightly higher MSRPs than the previous generation of GPUs.
However, it should be noted that for the past handful of new GPU lineup releases, stock sells out extremely quick and the new series of graphics cards can become incredibly difficult to find, which results in much higher-than-normal prices.
What this might mean for you is that, even though a new GPU release is around the corner, you will have to weigh whether or not you can A) hold out for the new release, and B) whether or not you want to risk missing out on a new card altogether, or paying way more than you intended for one, because of supply and demand issues.
Ultimately, if you are trying to plan to build your system at the absolute best time, you’ll definitely want to consider what new major CPU and GPU updates are on the horizon, how long it will be until they are available, and whether or not you can wait for the release and deal with the potential headaches it could come with.
How Long Can You Wait for the ‘Perfect’ Buying Opportunity
While waiting for the big sales days can yield you the most performance for what you pay, and waiting for the newest generation of GPUs and CPUs will allow you to avoid building a system that will no longer be considered the ‘latest generation’ a month after you build it, there is a point where waiting for the best time to buy components can be counterproductive.
First off, not everyone can wait until the next big deal day, or until the next CPU/GPU release to buy their components for their system. If your old computer breaks down in February, waiting until Amazon’s Prime Day in July or the big Holiday deal days in November and December would obviously not be a viable option.
If you’re a competitive gamer, or a streamer/content creator, and you need to update your system to keep up with the demands of playing games and creating content for your audience, you may not have the luxury of waiting for the next CPU/GPU release to upgrade or build your new system.
So, sometimes it’s better to sacrifice waiting for the best deals and the latest generation of hardware in order to ensure that your system can continue to handle the games and applications you need it for right now.
And, honestly, if your goal is to wait for the absolute best time to buy computer components, you could theoretically put off building your system forever. There’s always a new generation of processors and GPUs around the corner.
So, When is the Best Time to Buy Computer Parts Really?
While the big sales days and soon after GPU/CPU releases are typically the times when you can either build the best price-to-performance system or the best overall performing system, the actual best time to buy computer parts will vary from individual to individual.
For some individuals who have an okay gaming setup right now (one that will at least let them play their favorite games), waiting for an upcoming hardware release, or a big sales day to build a new system—or upgrade their existing system—is probably a good idea.
However, for individuals who don’t have a PC (whether their old one died on them, or they are moving into PC gaming), waiting months for the ‘perfect’ time to buy computer parts and peripherals might not make any sense, when a solid budget-friendly gaming PC for 1080P gaming might be all that they need.
So, ultimately, you must decide when the best time to purchase parts for your new build or upgrade is.