The Best Time to buy Computer Parts

CG Director Author Christopher Harper  by Christopher Harper   ⋮   ⋮   20 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 informed purchasing decisions.

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.

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.

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

Simply put: nope. 

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 for 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 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 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 worst time to buy PC hardware

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 it. 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 longer.

 

What PC-Parts are you in the market for?

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.

20
Comments

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!

David

Hello,
I’m currently in the process of narrowing down some options for a new updated build. I’ve had my current AMD build for about 7-8 plus years. Further more, I am still saving and may buy parts accordingly for maybe a budget price of $1200. I’ve done a few numbers to have a well educated guess. more or less may happen and i’m aware. lol I wanted to mention that i am waiting for a few price drops on some of these things but at the same time like mentioned before, i’m trying to buy accordingly referencing the budget i know i need to follow.

I decided to try out Intel this time around on a build set centered around the following components i know i’m going for already: More or Less….

CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 4.9 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W ($379.99)

CPU Cooler: I could use suggestions here, but to save money while still wanting great cooling performance and going for “fan cooling” as my first option. Secondly, I have considered water CPU Cooler, you know for something different, but feel a little iffy, but open to mid tier level suggestions that will work for this build as another option. Would you recommend one of the following CPU fans?;

1. Cryorig H5 Ultimate CR-H5B Middle Range CPU Heatsink with XF140 Fan ($88.97)

2. Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler with 2x NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fans ($90.95)

3. Noctua NH-U12A, Premium CPU Cooler with High-Performance Quiet NF-A12x25 PWM Fans (120mm, Brown) ($99.99)

MOBO: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI (Intel LGA1151/Z390/ATX/2xM.2 Thermal Guard/Onboard AC Wi-Fi/RGB Fusion/Gaming Motherboard) (189,99)

GPU: RTX 2060 SUPER (at the moment I’m settling for this GPU considering prices are up there, waiting for a possible price drop on 2070 but i know i could upgrade some time waaay later lol)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz C15 LED Desktop Memory – Black or (White) ($89.99)

Storage SSD: Plan to have an M.2 SSD for the first time, have this one in mind to also add another later down the road.

HDD: i have one in hand already and plan to keep if i can make it work with this build

SSD: budget SSD to recommend?:

M.2 SSD:Samsung (MZ-V7E500BW) 970 EVO SSD 500GB – M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology, Black/Red ($99.99)

Power Supply: If possible i would like to see if can still use my current PS to save a little.. dont have the details on what it is at the moment but i know its an 80+ Bronze…maybe 650..ill have to double check and maybe re-post an update.

Case: would this case be a possible option considering i would like to have a “showcase” but mainly for space and cooling?

1. Corsair Carbide Series 175R RGB Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case, Black – CC-9011171-WW ($68.99)

2. Recommendation?:

I do apologize for such a page of information…little wordy…sorry. but suggestions and confirmed options would be nice…please. this build i know could probably closer to $1500 but ive seen build using this build set close to 1100 or so. so focusing on the priority parts: MOBO, GPU, CPU, and Memory, those are for sure i want to keep…so any better suggestions to try to stay at $1200 while keeping the 4 main things in check i would like help if your willing?

Hey David,

Thanks for dropping a line!

I went over your list of possible components and I suggest you put a lock on the following:

• CPU
• Motherboard
• GPU
• RAM/Memory
• M.2 SSD
• Case

And below are my suggestions on your other components:

CPU Cooler – Go all in and go for the Noctua NH-U12A. It may be a little more expensive but the cooling performance it brings to the table is well worth it.

Power Supply – This is something you shouldn’t skimp on. If possible, I suggest that you go for a brand new PSU for that added peace of mind. I suggest that you check the Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 650W ATX 2.4 Power Supply out. It costs $122.99 but this is a worthy investment if you ask me. If $122.99 is way too much, something like the Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply for around $80 will do.

Budget SSD – The Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive for $73.99 is unbeatable for its price but it would still be better if you go for the Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD for better performance.

All in all, you got great choices for your components and other than the CPU cooler, PSU, and SSD options, you are good to go! Happy building!

Cheers,
Alex

David Caceres

Hey Alex, Thank You so much for your input regarding my next build. The advice REALLY helped and now its just a matter of being patient and purchasing as I see prices adjust to my liking. Although, Im happy to share my first purchase has already been my case and I’m expecting it on Monday, April 13, 2020. Can’t wait to see it all be put together like I have envisioned.

One Last thing, Any idea how much would you say a pair of HD Radeons 6870 be worth today in 2020. I’ve done a little bit of research and have spotted them to be worth $150 or so. Id like to get feed back on a reasonable price point to possibly sale them. Any idea for a nice price tag? Together or separate would be fine as well. Thanks in advance for your continued input, Alex. God Bless you.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey David,
Depends a lot on how used they are. A new one can go away for around 150, but a used one usually is not worth more than ~80.

Cheers,
Alex

Almog

I’m waiting for a sale, to buy a new budget gaming PC for around 700$.
I want to go with AMD this time (CPU,GPU).
I was thinking about the Ryzen 2700X + XFX RX 590 8GB , can you help me with a build please?

Also thanks for the article.
Have a great day 🙂

Hey Almog,

Thanks for asking!

$700 may not be enough for a gaming PC with a Ryzen 7 2700X CPU and an RX 590 GPU. You may need at the very least $800 to accomplish this. Please take a look at the build I put together for you:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7GHz 8-Core Processor ($255.82)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: Asus Prime B450-PLUS ATX AM4 ($99.98)
GPU: Radeon RX 590 8GB – XFX FATBOY Core Edition ($199.99)
Memory: 8GB (1 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 CL16 ($46.99)
Storage SSD: Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($61.47)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.29)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($70.04)

As you can see, the total comes up to around $803.58 but if you can get some or all of these components on sale, the price would go down further and possibly be nearer to your $700 budget.

Cheers,
Alex

JocJoc

I do 3d modelling a lot and my current workstation seem not up to the task any more
i’d like to build a 3d modelling workstation with a budget of $2,500
whats the best components I can get?
thanks

Hey JocJoc,

Thanks for dropping a line!

A budget of $2,500 will get you a powerful build with specs like the below:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 AM4
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite ATX AM4
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti 11GB – MSI Gaming
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive
Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series RM650x 650W ATX 2.4 Power Supply
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case

Cheers,
Alex

Dangelo

i need a gaming pc and i pla y mostly first person shooters
budget is around $1.5K
what should i get?

Hey Dangelo,

Thanks for asking!

With your budget, you can get a build like the one I put together for you. Please see below for the specs:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($354.90)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime X570-P ATX AM4 ($149.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X ($549.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($139.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($149.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($64.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($88.99)

The total comes up to around $1498.84 and you get a Ryzen 7 3800X CPU and 32GB of RAM at the heart of your system. In addition to that, the build also comes with an RTX 2070 Super graphics card. This CPU-RAM-GPU combination is more than capable of handling whatever AAA games you throw at it. In fact, this build is powerful enough that you can get started with graphic design and video editing if you are interested in those things.

Cheers,
Alex

hoshos

Thanks for your article,
we are waiting Black Friday Offers And waiting for you guys updating your PC-Builder tool on that day.

Thanks a lot Christopher
Thanks Alex

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Thanks hoshos, so just to clarify, you’d like the PC-Builder Tool to reflect the Black Friday Prices and deals on that day?

Thanks!
Alex

hoshos

I think yes.
whatever, I trust you Alex
Thaks man for this great website

I’ll back to you on Black Friday offers for suggestions.

Thanks
Hoshos

3dguy

Same. I think a lot of traffic will occur on this site come Black Friday.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Thanks you two! Will make sure the black friday offers are reflected in the PC-Builder and across the site 🙂