Black Friday seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year -- some say Black Friday 2018 never ended -- and that’s especially true with online retailers like Amazon and Newegg. Amazon and Newegg both start on November 23rd and November 25th, respectively, and the conclusion of the sales frenzy will likely be close to end of year. Amazon released a full list of Amazon products on sale early, as well as an overall estimate of what consumers can expect to find throughout the week as well as one-day deals on Thanksgiving day. Today, we’ll be rounding-up what deals are out there and which ones are worth looking at, hopefully helping those looking to either bring some new life to their current setup, or help them build their new one.
An Important Reminder on Rampant Consumerism (Foreword by GN’s Steve)
At GamersNexus, we try to be very conscious about needless consumption of consumer electronics. Our office takes great measures to individually separate-out and recycle various metals, electronic components, and packing materials. We try not to feed into over-hype of products and instead focus on providing facts, appealing to product needs rather than the dopamine hit people get from buying something new. A big revenue driver for holiday season, as always, is going to be from people researching new component purchases for PC builds around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We ask that you keep a logical approach to purchases and try to only buy what’s really needed. We’ll provide links to all the best sales, but it’s up to you to filter what’s not necessary for you right now. This earth does not need more e-waste with rare earth metals ending up in the landfills. No need to be economically and environmentally wasteful.
SSDs and RAM
It’s a great year for those in need of a new SSD or RAM kit, as prices for the components have quite literally been halved since this time last year, with things like Samsung’s 500GB 860 EVO dominating the mid-range budget market. Those in need of more capacity can look forward to similar price cuts for the 1TB range of SSDs, like the Silicon Power A55. Both drives come in at an average price of $60 and $90, respectively, although they are in constant flux. Those looking to fill that empty M.2 spot in their motherboards this year are welcomed with sales as well, such as with Intel’s 660p 1TB M.2 ($82). The 660p is an option for a mid-range choice for SSDs, mostly with a focus on value, competitive read and write speeds against similar SSDs like the 970 EVO, and a 5-year warranty. Note though that QLC NAND endurance is significantly worse than even TLC or the now-rare MLC, so endurance may be a point of concern for some users.
RAM prices have similarly calmed down in contrast to recent years, with now-standard 16GB kits becoming relatively affordable. One of the better-priced deals to look at is the ever-popular Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8) 3000MHz package. This listing was featured last year in our Black Friday roundup, but has dropped over 50% in price since then, and can be picked up for ~$60 at the time of posting. With 15-17-17-35 timings, it’s certainly not the best memory on the market, but the pricing is good and the performance fits the “good enough” category for many users. You can check our Ryzen memory timings benchmark for further information.
Gaming peripherals and monitors are some of the most regularly discounted items on Black Friday, largely thanks to the high margin afforded to manufacturers with peripherals. This year brings big sales on Logitech’s wired G403 Hero, an affordable choice for a gaming mouse. It comes with custom changeable weights, a high IPS rating to ensure fast movements are recorded, as well as two fully mappable thumb buttons. If wireless is your go-to, the G602 is a bargain for its features which include over 11 programmable buttons, 250+ hours of battery life, and an ergonomic design for long-term workloads.
In terms of monitors, both system builders in need of budget gaming monitors and 4K displays are in luck. For the former, the Acer KG241P is a solid 1080p/144Hz choice, notable for FreeSync support a 1ms response time, and inputs through DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. For consumers looking for high-res displays, the new affordability in 4K displays offers options like the Samsung’s 28” UE570. The UE570 offers 4K resolution, good color accuracy, and low response time in an affordable package, about $250 as of time of posting.
As demand for wireless products increases year by year, wired gaming headsets like the HyperX Gaming Cloud II become more affordable. The HyperX Cloud II headphones are among the audio options we reviewed years ago, and they remain comfortable options with lasting durability. We’ve been using a pair of these for travel since they came out. The Cloud II’s can be picked up for ~$69 which puts them in a competitive price range with other headsets.
If you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard to round-out your setup, Logitech’s G512 SE offers a minimalistic design, with fully programmable keys and options for either their Clicky or Romer-G switches. The keyboard also brags of a replaceable USB cable and full RGB backlit keys. The discount price of roughly $69 places the G512 as one of the only high-end keyboards in the sub-$80 category.
Additional Amazon Deals
Gigabyte’s X570 Aorus Elite has always been a decent budget X570 board, and now makes a great pickup this Black Friday with the discounts. This board clocks in at around $169 for this sale, but as always, may change as the week progresses. If you want the full analysis on this motherboard, we previously published a PCB and VRM review of the Aorus Elite over here. This is one of the better budget-friendly X570 options on the market.
Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage is a 240mm closed-loop liquid cooler (“AIO”) and makes a good entry point into liquid cooling. Our testing showed the included fans to be quieter than normal, with the fans at full load coming in at only 39.8 dBA at 20” while still having a high RPM of 1780. The ML240P can be found for ~$130 at time of posting.
EVGA’s Supernova 850 G5 is an excellent deal in this price range, and brings 850 watts, 80+ gold certification, and fully modular cables, all for about $100, which is a decent price drop from the usual $130-$140 range we usually see it in. EVGA’s power supplies were affected heavily by the tariffs earlier this year, which resulted in the unexpected price increase that’s getting eased with Black Friday PSU sales.
The EVGA 500 BR ($40) is a lower end 80+ Bronze PSU that’s focused on pure budget builds. This power supply isn’t particularly good, but it’s acceptable, and that’s about all you can ask at this price range.
be quiet!’s Dark Rock Pro 4 ($70) is a leading performer in the air cooling market, and is one of the only rivals to the famous Noctua ND-15. GN’s independent testing showed similar performance between the two coolers. On a stock 3800X test bench, the ND-15 averaged 44.9°C over ambient while the Dark Rock Pro 4 fell within error at 44.0°C delta T over ambient, making them very similar in performance. The discounted price on the Pro 4 of $69 leads it to fall below the ND-15 by about $20, making it our choice this Black Friday.
The Aorus 5 Gaming Laptop brings significant power and features for those looking for a powerful machine in a medium form factor. The Aorus 5 includes an Intel i7, 16GB of memory, a 256GB M.2 drive, a second 1TB HDD, a GTX 1650, and a 144Hz screen for around $950 (at the time of posting).
Editorial: Jake Henderson