The Best Time to buy Computer Parts

CG Director Author Christopher Harperby Christopher Harper   /  Updated   /   30 comments
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The Best Time to buy Computer Parts

In this article, we’re going to discuss the best time of the year to buy PC hardware.

Whether you’re a stone-cold professional, a budget-conscious consumer, or an enthusiastic gamer, we’re going to make sure that you know everything you need to know for an informed purchasing decision.

FAQs

Why does the time of year that you buy PC parts matter?

It’s more than just FOMO (Fear of missing out).

Depending on what time of year you buy your PC hardware, different parts will be available at different prices.

Whether you’re an enthusiast who wants the most cutting-edge hardware or a savvy consumer who wants to save the most money, this is something you should be thinking about.

We’ll start with a personal example. 

In the year of 2014, I assembled my dream PC at the time.

It was a machine with an Intel Core i5 4690, which was well above the requirements of any games I wanted to play, and an Nvidia GTX 760, another powerful part for the time.

While that PC ultimately did last me a fair while, it did start showing its age in 2016, and started becoming too weak for the experiences I wanted not long afterward.

What was particularly infuriating about the experience is that it was barely behind.

My CPU was definitely pulling its weight, but my graphics card and RAM were not. This could have been avoided, or at least alleviated, if I had waited a little bit longer.

Some major generational leaps happened in 2014, and because I hadn’t done sufficient research, I didn’t know to wait for them. The same year I bought into a motherboard chipset that only supported DDR3 RAM, motherboards released that supported DDR4 RAM.

Likewise, my GTX 760 was quickly overshadowed at the same price point by the GTX 960, which released in late 2014 and boasted a 20% performance increase– enough that many of my barely-unplayable experiences would have become playable.

To an extent, this can be a slippery slope. Waiting just a little longer or spending just a little more will seemingly always result in a better deal.

What’s important is that you are aware of what you can get now versus what you can get later in the year.

You can’t make that value assessment if you don’t know what’s going on, and manufacturers have no incentive to teach you this yourself.

That’s why we’re here to help.

Is there a better time of the year to buy particular components over the other?

Yes.

For most PC parts and peripherals, major sales in the Winter (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc) are perfectly viable times to buy.

This is because things like storage drives, PC cases, monitors, keyboards, and so on have much less frequent generational upgrades than CPUs and GPUs, which means their effective life cycle on the market is much longer.

DayParticipating StoresLast Date
Prime DayMostly Amazon
(but other online stores may try to compete too)
July 15th-16th
(Usually is Mid July)
Black FridayAll Stores
(In-Person and Online)
November 23rd
(Always the day after American Thanksgiving Day)
Cyber MondayMost Stores
(Especially Online)
Monday, November 26th
(Always the Monday after American Thanksgiving Day)

Most CPUs and GPUs- especially high-end components- will either not go on sale during the aforementioned Winter sales, or will have only marginal discounts.

Additionally, this is around the time of year that the newest CPUs and GPUs will have just been released- and those will almost certainly not be on sale. It’s more likely that these new releases will be price inflated due to low stock.

If you want to get the best deals on most components, the wisdom of “wait for the big sales” applies here. But for CPUs and GPUs, the story is actually quite a bit different.

So for everything except the core processing components, Winter sales are best for saving money. For core processing components (CPU, GPU), the timing is quite a bit different:

To strike a deal on GPUs and CPUs, you can wait for new releases and then get an older generation part, as these will most likely come down in price after a new generation has been released.

Is there a best time of the year to buy PC parts for everyone?

Simply put: No. 

If your primary concern is the newest hardware, the biggest Winter sales aren’t for you.

And if your primary concern is the best deals on things like hard drives or keyboards, the quarter-based price cuts and release-windows for CPUs/GPUs aren’t for you, either.

Buying Tips

Now for some general tips.

  • Check the rumor mill to be aware of upcoming releases – This applies especially to buying a CPU or GPU. Generational leaps usually happen once every two years or so for both components. With GPUs, though, you may see more iterative refreshes more frequently, especially with Nvidia’s “Ti” or “Super” GPUs.
  • Double-check the quality of on-sale components – This may seem obvious, but double-check to make sure that you aren’t buying junk. This applies especially to things like storage drives, monitors, and motherboards.
  • Compare sale prices to price history to make sure you aren’t being cheated – Unfortunately, not every “sale” is actually a sale. An unfortunately common practice for big sale events like Black Friday is listing a product with an inflated pre-sale price when in actuality, it’s being sold for little, if any, discount below MSRP. With sites like CamelCamelCamel or PCPartPicker, you can find a detailed price history for what you’re trying to buy. This will help ensure that you don’t fall for “deals” that are too good to be true.
  • Compare CPU/GPU benchmarks before buying – Last but not least- make sure you’re making an informed purchase! Use reliable benchmark sources and hardware reviews in order to compare the performance of CPUs and GPUs within your price range.

The Best Time To Buy Computer Parts

Last but not least, what you came for. The answer to this question depends on your needs, though!

The best time to buy PC hardware for enthusiasts

For the latest core performance components (CPUs and GPUs), this is whenever the latest product releases have all come out. These will rarely get sales within the first year of their release. These most frequently come out at the end of Q2 or the beginning of Q3.

BrandUsual Release WindowLast Release Window
IntelJune-OctoberApril 2019 (Core 9000 Series)
AMDAugust-OctoberJuly 2019 (RX 5700 and Ryzen 3000 series)
NvidiaJuly-October July 2019 (RTX 20-Super Series)

Still during the big Winter sales in Q4, at least for most components, including laptops. For CPUs in particular, prices will usually be the lowest at the beginning of a given quarter.

GPU pricing doesn’t really have any common price cut periods- your best bet is generally to just compare the options within your budget when you’re ready to buy.

The best time to buy PC hardware for budget users

DayParticipating StoresLast Date
Prime DayMostly Amazon
(but other online stores may try to compete too)
July 15th-16th
(Usually is Mid July)
Black FridayAll Stores
(In-Person and Online)
November 23rd
(Always the day after American Thanksgiving Day)
Cyber MondayMost Stores
(Especially Online)
Monday, November 26th
(Always the Monday after American Thanksgiving Day)

When there aren’t any sales. For CPUs in particular, this is mainly the end of a given quarter. This can also occur when a product has just been released, especially when stock is low – be sure to check MSRP when buying new to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

The best time to buy PC hardware for most users

In the immortal words of Reddit user coololly, “There’s always a better time to build a PC. It’s called 6 months from now.”

The best time to buy computer parts

Image-Credit: Reddit

But in all seriousness, the best time to buy PC-Parts is: When you need them. The fact of the matter is, time is the one resource that you can’t ever get back.

Everyone has fear of missing out and buyer’s remorse a year or two down the line. Be informed before making a purchase so you can choose the desired balance.

What’s important, though, is that you don’t get caught in a loop of waiting just a little longer or spending just a little less.

 

What PC-Parts are you in the market for?

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Christopher Harper - post author

I have been a passionate devotee to technology since the age of 3, and to writing since before I even finished high school.

These passions have since combined into a living in my adulthood, and has made writing about myself very satisfying.

If you need any assistance, leave a comment below: it’s what I’m here for.

30
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Arteon

Hi, I’d like some advice on a build I’m planning. My budget is around IDR 13,000,000 (13 Million) which roughly equates to $920. Some of these parts are on sale so that’s why they’re on the list. Is this a good build or is there something that needs to be changed?

Motherboard – Gigabyte B450M Gaming — IDR 1,179,000 or $89

CPU – Ryzen 5 3500X — IDR 2,549,000 or $180
GPU – MSI GTX 1660Ti Ventus XS — IDR 4,794,000 or $339
RAM – Corsair Vengeance LPX (White) 16GB DDR4 — IDR 1,450,000 or $102

SSD – Adata SX6000 Lite (512GB NVMe) — On sale, $62
HDD – WD Blue 2TB — On sale, $60

PSU – Deepcool 700W (80+ Bronze) — $61

Case – VenomRX Skywalker — Sounds ridiculous but $26 (I can trust this brand because my friends and my cousin uses these cases, they’re very cheap here)

Thanks,
Arteon

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Aerton,
Overall it’s a well-rounded build and I see no issues. Of course, you could get a B550 Motherboard for better future upgrading options.

Looks great, go for it!

Cheers,
Alex

Mark Hoochuk

Why upgrade to B550? By the time the power and bandwidth advantages of B550 can actually be utilized it will be an obsolete last gen platform. B450 gives the same exact performance using a 5900X in test. The only real world difference is B550 can use a PCIe 4 SSD with 5000 series. But that SSD cost as much as a great B450 board for SSD speeds you can hardly notice, if at all. Not one GPU is even close to maxing the bandwidth of PCIe 3 so how would more bandwidth of PCIe 4 be better? It will be that way for years. Many B450 can do PCIe 4 on 300series with the right BIOS but what for? No need to upgrade to B550, not one solid reason. Save for AM5 DDR5 and keep the B450.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Thanks you’re correct. I guess apart from better quality VRMs that would allow for easier upgrade to a high-end 16 core am4 cpu, there is not need for B550.

Sky

Hi, I’d like some advice on the build I’m currently planning. I’ve got a budget of around 1200 CAD, and this is my current plan: (I’m going to make these purchases over Q4 of 2020)

CPU – Ryzen 5 5600X
GPU – NVIDIA GTX 960 – this is a placeholder card I can borrow for free from someone I know, I will buy my GPU around Q1 2021 – and that doesn’t factor into my current budget
for my GPU then I’d prefer to buy something like the RTX 3060 Ti or comparable
SSD – I’m not sure
Motherboard – thinking X570 for the pcie 4 support
RAM – not sure
Case, Power Supply – again, please suggest

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Sky,
A 3060Ti or 3070 is a good choice, though you’ll have to see if they are available.

As for storage: Take a look at a Samsung 870 QVO for good value, or an nvme ssd such as the Adata XPG Series for good performance.

X570 is a good choice for the upcoming Ryzen CPUs, especially because you’ll be able to upgrade to subsequent generations from that chipset more easily.

Corsair Vengeance 3600mhz cl16 are what I recommend often, the value is great, and the performance is good.

As for PSU and Case, take a look at the NZXT H510 for example and a 650W Corsair RMX PSU.

Cheers,
Alex

Mark Hoochuk

Dude, what are you talking about he can upgrade to next gen Ryzen CPUs on X570? He is on 5600X gen 3 Ryzen, the last gen of the AM4 platform. Next gen Ryzen will require AM5 motherboards, there is no next gen CPU upgrade path for X570. Why are you giving this irresponsibly incorrect advice when you obviously have no clue about PC tech? I am contacting the tech community about this.

Mark Hoochuk

What do you need PCIe 4 for when its nothing but a marketing bullet point? It does nothing for graphics and unless you plan to do heavy PCIe 4 SSD to PCie 4 SSD file transfers you wont see much difference from a quality PCIe 3 NVMe. You could probably buy two and run them in RAID 0 for the price of the one PCIe 4 and get the same speeds with more storage space.

Mumin

I want to build a really budget pc.
As in within £350
Everything i have i am alright with but will these be on offer anytime soon or when is it bestt to buy them.
Just saying i rlly need one. I legit am on a laptop from 2009 and it was considered a budget one then.

Ryzen 5 3400g
Any ddr4 3000mhz ram within £30
PSU’s within £30
and especially monitors preferably within £100

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Mumin,
Here’s a solid build that would fit your budget, though with a 3200G, which you can of course swap with a 3400G if you want:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Best Buy)
Motherboard: *MSI B450M PRO-VDH MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: *ADATA XPG Z1 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: *Mushkin Enhanced RAW 480 GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($46.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: *Corsair CXM (2015) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: *Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $411.90

Cheers,
Alex

ColdRuski

Hi Alex,

Check my reply if you didn’t see it.
Also, should I keep the front stock cooler fans of the case or get a 360mm triple fan?
If so, which cooler would you suggest that is pretty good and affordable?

Thank you for helping again!

Hi ColdRuski,

Here’s the updated build with prices in Canadian Dollars:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD RYZEN 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6 GHz Processor ($429.99)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R AM4 ($238.24)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX AM4 ($319.99)
GPU: PALIT GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GP OC 8GB ($999.00)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($242.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($371.42)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series RM850x 850W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($194.99)
Case: LIAN LI LANCOOL II ($134.99)

The cost of the build comes up to around CAD$2,931.61. I kept the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU in your list of components but changed the GPU to a Palit RTX 2080 Super. No worries on the brand because it will have the same performance as other RTX 2080 Super GPUs from other manufacturers. I also picked the ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) motherboard per your request. I also changed the power supply to the RM850x from Corsair to provide enough power to your build with the RTX 2080 Super graphics card. As for the CPU cooler, I suggest that you get the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R Liquid AIO cooler. It is a 360 mm cooler and comes with three (3) 120 mm fans. I suggest you install this on the front panel of your case.

Cheers,
Alex

ColdRuski

I have a problem here as well,
I want to build a pc with these following parts but should I wait for a sale or not?
CAD$
-Lian li lancool 2 case (140$)
-Ryzen 7 3700x cpu bundled with x570 Aorus elite wifi mobo (688$) sale ends May 1st
-G Skill trident z 3600Mhz 2×8 16gb (150$)
-Asus and Evga gpu 2080 sale (900-1000$) idk which one
-Corsair H150i CPU cooler (200$) or something cheaper
-Samsung Evo 1tb SSD m.2 (260$)
-Seagate barracuda 2tb HDD (75$)

Also which cooler would you guys recommend like cpu cooler, 120mm fans, 240mm double fan or 360mm triple fan?
And what gpu is better to buy from asus and Evga for 1080p, 165hz and later on 1440p, 4k with high fps on both options for gaming and streaming.

Hey ColdRuski,

Thanks for the comment!

The decision to wait for a sale or not will depend on your budget and how soon you need your build completed. If you need a build ASAP, then you have to purchase all the components ASAP, whether on sale or not. The same goes for your budget. If you have the means, there is no need to wait for a sale. However, if there are financial constraints, waiting for a sale makes more sense.

As for your components, your list actually looks good. I don’t see any issues or incompatibilities. In terms of CPU cooler, your choice of the Corsair H150i CPU cooler is actually good but if you want something a little cheaper, you can check the Corsair H100x CPU Cooler priced at around CAD$ $119.99. Corsair H100x CPU Cooler is a 240mm liquid AIO cooler and already comes with two (2) SP Series PWM 120mm fans in its package.

In terms of graphics card, an RTX 2080 can definitely handle 1080p. However, if you have plans of moving up to 4K and want high fps on gaming and streaming, you might as well go for an RTX 2080 Ti now (which is more expensive as you know) because the RTX 2080 can’t handle 4K and high fps well. As for what brand, it doesn’t really matter. I suggest you get the cheapest because it will still have the same performance as other more expensive variants.

Cheers,
Alex

ColdRuski

Hi Alex,
My budget is from 2000$ to 3000$ CAD.
And is it okay that I changed my motherboard to a Tuf x570 Asus plus wifi?
Also, which power supply should I pick Corsair rm850x or something else if I’m taking 2080 super gpu?

And thank you for the help!