We are once again entering the season of summer offers. It kicked off with a handful of July 4 sales from HP, Dell, et al. releasing some tasty morsels, but we’ll be hitting the main course soon, with Amazon Prime Day set to last July 12-13. It’s more than a day, but anyway. This will follow up with back to school, and before you know it, we’ll be gearing up for Black Friday.
One thing we’ve seen from this initial sales salvo is that there’s a big delta between the cheapest and most expensive offers for seemingly the same kit. For example, gaming PCs (opens in a new tab) pack an RTX 3060 starting at $848 for models like the HP Pavilion TG01 (opens in a new tab) and go up to $1,549 for the Omen 45L (opens in a new tab), also from the HP stable. It’s almost double.
There are for sure significant differences between these two systems, with very different processors and upgrade potential. You’re going to have to weigh what’s most important to you, and you might not go for the absolute cheapest. For example, we expect a wide range of processors to be considered this time around, and opting for a 10th Gen Intel CPU when its 12th Gen makes the rounds may be a step too far for you.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a gaming PC or laptop, the most important consideration is the graphics card. This is the component you want to focus on. It’s the only thing that will define how well the system can play.
But what can you expect to pay for such systems? Let me slip this crib sheet into your life just in time for Prime Day. Complete with example systems.
Cradle Sheet of Gaming PC Deals
RTX-3060 ~$900 – HP Pavilion |
$1,099.99 $848 at Walmart (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3060Ti ~$1,200 – ABS Master |
$1,499.99 $1,119.99 at Newegg (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3070 ~$1,500 – Corsair revenge |
$1,999.99 $1,449.99 at Microsoft (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3070Ti ~$1,600 – Alienware Aurora R12 |
$2,699.99 $1,665.99 at Dell (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3080 ~$1,800 – Alienware Aurora R10 |
$2,519.99 $1,665.99 at Dell (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3080Ti ~$2,500 – ABS Legend |
$2,999.99 $2,599.99 at Newegg (opens in a new tab)
Since I did something similar this last Black Friday (opens in a new tab)prices have dropped by $200 to $300 which will be mostly due to graphics cards becoming available again, but also because we have next-gen cards on the way from Nvidia and AMD, as well as new CPUs coming in too .
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 a new tab) there, and they start at reasonable prices, too. However, they increase dramatically as you move up Nvidia’s GPU stack. We’re not expecting mobile refreshes of Nvidia’s GPUs until the new year, so they’re unlikely to see the kind of discounts we expect on desktop. Still, there are definitely some great deals out there.
Game Notebook Crib Sheet
RTX-3050 ~$700 – Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i |
$1,149.99 $799.99 at Lenovo (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3060 ~$1,000 – Gigabyte A5 K1 |
$1,399 $1,049 on Amazon (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3070 ~$1,500 – Alienware m15 |
$2,429.99 $1,469.99 at Dell (opens in a new tab)
RTX-3080 ~$1,600 – Gigabyte Aorus 15P YD |
$1,699.99 $1,599 at Newegg (opens in a new tab)
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Again, these numbers are only a guide. With laptops, in particular, you’re looking at a much tighter relationship between the various subsystems, and you don’t have the ability to upgrade in the same way that you do with desktops. The combination will have to last.
Still, the key takeaway is the same as for a desktop: you don’t want to drop $1,500 on a gaming laptop that has an RTX 3060 at its heart when you know that kind of money can get you there. much more powerful. RTX 3070. Spend wisely and avoid that buyer’s remorse.
When buying a case, it is of course advantageous to consider the whole machine. After the graphics card itself, you need to make sure you get a vaguely up-to-date CPU – we won’t go any further than a 10th Gen Intel CPU (and ideally you want an 11th or 12th Gen model) , and for AMD you want a Ryzen 5000 series chip on a desktop and a 4000 series or later on a laptop.
Next, you need to look at the amount of memory present and the storage offered. Ideally you want 16GB of RAM and to get the most out of the memory subsystem you want an 8GB key pair, not just a single 16GB unit. On cheaper systems you will often see 8 Go as standard, but you can at least upgrade later if you need to. As for storage, you want an NVMe SSD of 500 GB or more. If we’re writing our dream specs, then a 1TB drive, or even a 2TB unit, would be best, but again, you can upgrade later.
Whatever you’re looking for, there are definitely great deals out there. And as we get closer to Prime Day, we expect more choice offers to appear. Just keep in mind how much you should be paying for what’s on offer, and you won’t be making any costly missteps.