Thanksgiving is here, the turkey has been passed around the table and pumpkin pie is waiting in the wings to polish off another excellent annual celebration of shoving your face with food and enjoying the company of family and friends. Yet, in the consumer world it is merely the appetizer before the real meal: Black Friday and the Holiday shopping season.
Prices are about to be slashed, people will fight over some sort of new Elmo toy and credit cards will be maxed, and perhaps you are looking to join in the festivities to pick up some new hardware to play the latest video games on. There are plenty of great bundle deals to get a new console or handheld, but perhaps you want something a little more and are interested in picking up a brand new PC to take advantage of all of those juicy Steam sales. “But Andrew, won’t it cost me several thousand dollars to get a great PC? I don’t even know what all goes inside a PC!” Not to fear faithful reader, because I have you covered. By checking out some easy videos and with this handy list of the best deals you can get on components, you’ll be putting together a new gaming PC for under $1000 like it was a basic Lego set in no time!
Before we continue down the PC component rabbit hole, I have a few basic things I need to outline for you:
- Deals are constantly changing, with companies like Amazon and Newegg introducing new deals throughout the weekend. The deals I have listed are the best I have found as of writing that are of high quality and excellent price. Sure, you could get the $30 micro-ATX motherboard with bad reviews because it is cheap, but that isn’t the point of this. I’m trying to build you something that will stick with you for awhile, something I’d build even it it wasn’t on a $1000 budget.
- Some of these deals are already an excellent price, but they get better with rebates. For the purpose of this list, I’ve included the price after rebate. I’ll indicate what deals will require you to use a rebate to get the biggest bang for your buck where necessary.
- Lastly, this guide is budgeted for only the desktop portion of your setup. Monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers, headphones and more are all pretty subjective in nature, so I’m leaving it up to you to decide what is best for you.
Now that I have detailed these key points, here is my Black Friday guide to building yourself a brand new desktop PC.
CPU: Intel i5 4690K $209.99 (Normally $249.99)
The i5 4790K is your no brainer CPU choice with Black Friday deals, seeing its price slashed from $249.99 to $209.99. The price savings isn’t huge, but it makes the 4790K close to the normal retail price of i5 4660’s $190 price point. The key is it’s unlocked multiplier, which will let you overclock the CPU as it ages to get extra life out of it. Considering the diminishing returns of moving up to an i7 processor with minimal performance increase, this is your best bet to make the heart of your new gaming rig.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK$99.99 (Normally $189.99)
When I build computers for my friends on a strict budget like $1,000, usually the motherboard is the component I skim on the most to meet their price point. In this case, you don’t have to do that. The Black Edition motherboard from Gigabyte has been certified for passing a rigorous 168hour server durability test, has Killer ethernet networking to lower lag, an easy to use bios and comes in a stylish all-black design. It’ll perform well under pressure and look good doing it at nearly half it’s regular price.
Graphics Card: Sapphire R9 270X 4GB $149.99 (Normally $299.99)
Normally finding myself a member of ‘Team Green’ and having a personal preference for Nvidia graphics card, it is near impossible for me to deny the value of this AMD R9 270X graphics card. Manufactured by Sapphire, this beefed up version of the R9 270X features 4GB of GDDR5 video memory instead of the normal 2GB, giving you an extra punch that will hold up longer as graphics improve over the next five years. The card also features Sapphire’s Dual-X cooling system, putting two fans on the graphics card to keep it extra cool. For half its normal price and with AMD’s Never Settle Gold Reward, you get three free games of your choice that can include the recently released Alien: Isolation as well as hits like Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut, Tomb Raider, Total War: Shogun 2 and many others. For half its listed price and the inclusion of free games, this is by far the best value on this list.
RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB $69.99 (Normally $134.00)
RAM prices have finally come back down somewhat from their high prices after the DRAM shortage from the SK Hynix fire in China last year, but they still aren’t exactly cheap for a great set of sticks. DDR4 RAM may be just starting to come on the market, but for now it makes plenty of sense to stick with DDR3. This pair of Kingston HyperX Fury RAM sticks will give this build 8GB to run with. With its quality (and stylish) design going along with features like automatic overclocking that doesn’t require any fiddling with your motherboard’s Bios, it’s a solid set to pick up without breaking the bank.
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB $109.99 (Normally $189.99)
One of the best ways to get a performance boost on a computer is to add in an SSD. This is where you will install your OS to make things load fast and let you do things quicker than a hard disk. Around 250GB is where I find the sweet spot to be for performance, offering enough storage to let you install a few of your staple games on it for zippy load times while not breaking the bank. Considering most SSDs are priced around $1 per GB, geting 250GB for $109.99 is an amazing bargain. The sugar on top? Samsung is offering a free copy of Far Cry 4 with the purchase.
HDD: Western Digital Black Series 1TB $69.99 (Normally $99.99)
While there is an SSD in this build, 250GB on its own isn’t enough space for everything you need, especially when you consider games like Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Titanfall and Wolfenstein: The New Order are close to 40GB installs. Adding in a 1TB hard drive will give you that extra storage spot to keep all your games, music and whatever else you need without weighing down your SSD to keep it snappy and loading your OS quickly. Western Digital’s Black series of drives have been a staple for quite some time at 7200 RPM and getting one for $69.99 saves you some coin. I have had two of these in my desktop for the past two years and they are still going strong.
Power Supply: Cooler Master Elite V2 550W $29.99 (Normally $59.99)
The i5 4790K is your no brainer CPU choice with Black Friday deals, seeing its price slashed from $249.99 to $209.99. The price savings isn’t huge, but it makes the 4790K close to the normal retail price of i5 4660’s $190 pricepoint. The key is it’s unlocked multiplier, which will let you overclock the CPU as it ages to get extra life out of it. Considering the diminishing returns of moving up to an i7 processor with minimal performance increase, this is your best bet to make the heart of your new gaming rig.
Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D $99.99 (Normally $210.99)
Corsair has been known for creating premium RAM and high quality power supplies for some time, but they recently have been delving into the computer case and gamin peripheral market. Their premium series of cases run under the Obsidian moniker and are known for their brushed aluminum material and incredibly well thought out interior design. There is an ample amount of cable routing holes to hide your wiring behind the motherboard tray for a clean look and easy installation of hard drives and SSDs in the front make it a dream to worth with. A premium case comes with a premium cost and normally this would set you back over $200, but right now you can get it for $99.99 and get a set of three 120MM Cougar Vortex fans thrown in for free to keep it extra cool. This might be the biggest steal on the list outside of the graphics card.
Disc Drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner OEM $12.99 (Normally $19.99)
I’ve included a DVD burner in this build primarily because you will be getting a disc version of Windows to install on it. Many users have switched to using USB sticks to install their OS and the rise of Steam and other digital distribution platforms has pretty much made having a disc drive unnecessary, but having the option doesn’t hurt. I’ve opted for a cheap $12.99 LITE-ON DVD burner in this situation to make sure you are covered.
OS: Windows 7 Professional OEM $139.99
Lastly, a copy of Windows 7 Professional rounds out the build. Considering some older games just don’t play nice with Windows 8 and that I personally find its UI to be a bit clunky and unintuitive, I’ve decided to keep with the rock solid Windows 7 OS. This is the only item that is not on sale on the list, but it is essential if you want to get your rig up and running. The included version is an OEM disk, so it is slightly cheaper than normal. If you already have a copy of the OS, congrats! You now have some extra money to spend on peripherals.
Total Price Without Discounts: $1594.91
Total Price With Discounts: $992.90
So let’s quickly recap. You are getting a brand new desktop PC for under $1,000 and saving yourself $602.71 that you can put toward peripherals and games. In addition, you are getting a free copy of Far Cry 4 and three more games of your choice from AMD’s Never Settle program, which saves you at least another $100 in software. That set up puts you well on your way to enjoying PC gaming this holiday season with a mix of great new hardware, brand new Holiday releases and some classic game titles. Don’t forget to take advantage of these prices while they last and sit back and enjoy the rest of your Holiday knowing full well that got a great deal for a computer that will stay with you for quite awhile!