We’re entering the deals season early this year with Amazon Prime Early Access (opens in new tab). Not only is Amazon getting in on the gaming laptop and gaming PC deals, other retailers from across the web are reducing prices for this new event.
It all kicks off at midnight PDT on Tuesday, October 11 and discounts will run for the next 48 hours. While the deals aren’t likely to be as deep as we’ll see when Black Friday rolls around on November 25, we still might see some worthy contenders that’ll have you opening your wallet up early.
There are significant differences between cheap gaming machines and powerful ones, with wildly different CPUs and upgrade potential, and the prices are going to vary wildly. In tracking down a deal, you’re going to have to weigh up what is most important to you, and it may be you don’t go with the absolute cheapest.
We expect quite a range of CPUs to factor in this time around, and going with a 10th Gen Intel CPU when 13th Gen chips are about to drop may be a step too far for you. Ultimately though, if you’re looking for a gaming PC or laptop, then the most important consideration is the graphics card. That’s the component you want to focus on. That’s the one thing that is going to define how well the system handles the games of today.
But what can you expect to pay for such systems? Allow me to slip this crib sheet into your life just in time for Prime Early Access. Complete with example systems.
Gaming PC deals crib sheet
RTX 3060 ~$800 – HP Pavilion |
$848 $749 at Walmart (save $99) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3060 Ti ~$1,200 – AVGPC Hellfire |
$1,299 $1,199 at Amazon (save $100) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3070 ~$1,500 – Skytech Shiva |
$1,899.99 $1,499.99 at Amazon (save $400) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3070 Ti ~$1,600 – ABS Gladiator |
$2,099.99 $1,699.99 at Newegg (save $400) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3080 ~$1,800 – iBuyPower |
$2,399 $1,899 at iBuyPower (save $400) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3080 Ti ~$2,400 – Skytech Chronos |
$2,999.99 $2,299.99 at Amazon (save $750) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3090 ~$2,600 – HP Omen GT13 30L |
$3,094.99 $2,749.99 at HP (save $345) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3090 Ti ~$2,800 – CUK Continuum Micro Gamer |
$2,899.99 $2,449.99 at Amazon (save $450) (opens in new tab)
Since I did something similar to this last Black Friday (opens in new tab), prices have dropped significantly. That’s mostly going to be down to graphics cards becoming available again, but also because new CPUs and GPUs have been announced in the interim.
If you want your gaming to be a bit more mobile, then the good news is there are plenty of decent Prime Early Access laptop deals (opens in new tab) out there, and they start at reasonable prices, too. They do ramp up significantly as you climb Nvidia’s GPU stack though.
Gaming laptop deals crib sheet
RTX 3050 ~$750 – Acer Nitro 5 |
$839.99 $769 at Amazon (save $70.99) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3060 ~$1,000 – Gigabyte A7 K1 |
$1,299 $999 at Amazon (save $200) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3070 ~$1,500 – MSI Pulse GL66 |
$1,499 $1,399 at Amazon (save $100) (opens in new tab)
RTX 3080 ~$1,800
RTX 3090 ~$2,600
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Once again, these figures are just a guide. With laptops, in particular, you’re looking at a much tighter relationship between the various subsystems, and you don’t have the option to upgrade in the same way you do with desktops. The combination is going to have to last you.
Still, the key takeaway is the same as it is with a desktop deal: You don’t want to drop $1,500 on a gaming laptop that has an RTX 3060 at its heart when you know that sort of money can net you a much more powerful RTX 3070.
Spend wisely, and hold off that buyer’s remorse.
When you are checking for a deal, a holistic approach is key. After the graphics card itself, check you’re getting an up-to-date CPU—we wouldn’t go any older than a 10th Gen Intel CPU (and ideally you want an 11th or 12th Gen model), and for AMD you want a Ryzen 5000-series chip on desktop, and 4000-series or later on a laptop.
Next up you need to look at the amount of memory on offer. Ideally, you want 16GB of RAM, and to make the most of the memory subsystem, you want a pair of 8GB sticks, not just a single 16GB SODIMM. On the cheaper systems, you’ll often see 8GB as standard, but you can at least upgrade later down the line if you need.
As for storage, you want at least a 500GB NVMe SSD or larger. If we’re writing our dream specs, then a 1TB drive, or even 2TB, would be preferable considering the size of games today, but you can usually upgrade that later on. I say usually because some laptops come with soldered SSDs that can’t be replaced—I know, in the year of our Lord 2022?
Whatever you’re looking for, there are certainly some good deals out there. And as we get nearer to Prime Early Access, we expect some choice deals to appear. Just have a mind about how much you should pay for what’s on offer, and you won’t make a costly misstep.