The Best Time to buy Computer Parts [Updated]

CG Director Author Christopher Harperby Christopher Harper   /  Published 

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.

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.

Generational Leaps in Memory DDR Generations

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?


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.

Why GPU prices fluctuate and go up

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.

Are prices cheaper on Cyber Monday or Black Friday?

For big components and displays, Black Friday will generally be better. Cyber Monday can be just as good or better for smaller peripherals, though.

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. Though Cyber Monday is more likely to serve your needs for peripherals with less hassle compared to Black Friday.

Is it better to buy PC parts one at a time?

It depends!

Generally, people buy all their PC parts at once so as to avoid potential compatibility headaches and allow for easier returns if something doesn’t work properly. If you buy your PC parts too far apart and something doesn’t work when you assemble your PC, you may not have recourse in that situation, which definitely sucks.

There can be benefits to buying PC parts separately, though. You’re unlikely to have much issue buying things like peripherals, monitors, and sound devices before your PC, for example, since you can typically test these things before building your PC.

How long does it take for PC parts to become outdated?

If you’re buying your PC hardware new or within about 6-8 months of release, you should still have about 3-4 years of solid performance from it before it starts getting low-diffed by more performant hardware…as long as you bought mid-range or high-end to begin with. When you buy low-end hardware, you may already be using outdated refreshes of past-gen hardware or anemic versions of current-gen hardware.

Is it safe to buy used PC hardware?

Your mileage may vary depending on seller and platform, but buying used PC hardware can be a very good decision if you’re on a tight budget, especially used GPUs and used CPUs. I firmly recommend against buying used storage, PSUs, or RAM, though, as these are more likely to have unfixable issues or simply be closer to the end of their lifespan.

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.PC parts picker
  • 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 Window

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.

Budget users should also be considering used hardware more seriously, particularly for GPU, CPU, and RAM purchases.

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

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? Let me know in the comments or our forum! 🙂

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Christopher Harper

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 have made writing about PC Hardware very satisfying.

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


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