We've not reached the most wonderful time of the year just yet, but for anyone after big discounts on electronics, Black Friday is a close second. It's slowly creeping closer and in preparation for November 27th, we're looking at the best deals going across laptops and desktops.
Unlike new consoles or televisions, finding the right PC requires more significant research and that's due to the vast differences between their key components. If you're buying one for gaming purposes, that's especially true and there's a lot of factors to take into consideration.
Bringing some serious discounts on new hardware, there's no better time to be searching for your new PC than Black Friday. Whether you're angling to find a more powerful laptop for on-the-go use, or you'd prefer a home desktop setup with some beefier specifications, we've got you covered with the best deals.
Just after components or peripherals? We've got all the Black Friday PC deals right here for that, as well as our top picks for the best Black Friday 4K TV deals, too!
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Black Friday laptop deals
There's a selection of Black Friday laptop deals already live. Fair warning, it's likely these will be beaten as the 27th gets closer, but if you want to secure that new PC now, here are the best offers we've seen so far.
Laptops in the UK:
- Huawei Matebook D14 14" for £499 from AO
- Asus TUF Gaming A15 FX506LI-HN012T for £799.97 from Box
- Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53 for £1199.97 from Box
- Asus ROG Strix G15 for £1149.97 from Laptops Direct
- HP 14s-dq1505sa 14" Laptop for £599 from Currys PC World
- Microsoft Surface Book 3 for £1439 from Amazon
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 for £1079 from Argos
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7 for £630 from Microsoft Store
- ACER Nitro 5 15.6" for £629 at Currys
Laptops in the US:
Black Friday desktop deals
Here are some of the Black Friday desktop deals currently available. Same as the laptops, there's a good chance some better bargains will appear over the coming days, but here are some of the top offers we've come across already.
Desktops in the UK:
- AMD Fusion PC for £1099 from PC Specialist
- Alienware Aurora R11 HVFJ9 for £1019.99 from Box
- Stormforce Crystal Gaming PC for £979.99 from Very
- Intel Vortex PC for £1099 from PC Specialist
Desktops in the US:
Where can I get the best Black Friday laptop and desktop deals?
Deals often change, so always do the research before making your choice and see how those prices compare. For finding a new PC, we recommend looking into PC Specialist, Argos, Very, Currys PC World, Amazon, John Lewis, Hughes, Laptops Direct, Box or AO.
Various sites offer price matching too, meaning that price could go even lower, so be sure to check whether such a scheme is in place. We'll keep searching the web for the hottest bargains this Black Friday, so stay tuned for any updates as we find them right here or on the Deals Foundry Twitter.
What components should I be looking at in particular?
We could spend all day discussing the ins-and-outs of each component, but there's a few key things to look out for. CPUs are your biggest one, as these determine how much processing power your machine is capable of. You will also want to consider one of our best graphics cards is included too. In terms of RAM, you'll want at least 8GB for faster application loading but 16GB is a safer bet for multimedia usage.
Finally with storage space, consider a PC with an SSD drive as opposed to a mechanical HDD, since the former uses flash memory for quicker access. If you're planning to use your new PC for gaming purposes, Windows 10's 64-bit version is your best call for an operating system, since Macs and Linux aren't as widely supported in gaming.
Desktops are usually the cheaper option to go with and offer greater flexibility if you want to buy new components later on. As for the smaller extras, not many PCs come with a built-in CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive anymore, so consider if that's something you'd need but if not, external drives can always be bought later.
What accessories need to go with it?
Laptops have most of the required essentials built-in already, but Desktops will require three items in particular. First and foremost, you'll need a mouse and keyboard, for which we've got a list of recommended gaming mice and our picks for the best mechanical keyboards here. A good monitor is also essential and if you're specifically after one for gaming, Digital Foundry recently updated their best gaming monitor picks for 2020. If you really want to push the boat out, you can try a 4K TV for gaming.
Monitors often have speakers built-in but you'd be wise to check this because, if not, you won't hear a thing from your PC. Thankfully, we also have a list of high-quality computer speakers prepared to pour through. If you were looking for a gaming headset too for online chat, a separate list has also been prepared.
If virtual reality is what you're looking to invest in, you'll need a rough idea of what specifications are required for each game, and Half-Life Alyx is perhaps the best benchmark for this currently. Once you've done that, Digital Foundry has got a breakdown for the best VR headsets currently on the market.
Do I need any particular software?
It depends on what you're looking to get out of your PC. In terms of the basics, most people require a suite of office applications which cover them for applications like word processing or spreadsheets, and it's hard to beat Microsoft Office there. Many new PCs come with a free 1-month trial to begin with but afterwards, you can either pay a monthly subscription or do a one-off payment.
For those looking to get into recording videos or streaming, OBS is entirely free to download, though video editing software will need to be bought separately and that generally comes at a premium. Good antivirus software is also required to keep your digital contents safe, though both Windows PCs and Macs have pretty robust built-in security features. As such, finding a 3rd party option isn't as essential as it used to be.
If you're after gaming clients to download, Valve's Steam is the biggest one by far but several competitors have emerged in recent years. That includes EA's Origin platform, the Epic Games Store which also provides weekly free games, Ubisoft Connect, Microsoft's own digital store and many more. For those looking to compile their assorted games into one easy launcher, GOG Galaxy is a must have.
And that should cover just about everything for now. Do stick with us as we'll be sharing even more Black Friday bargains over the coming weeks across Digital Foundry and Eurogamer.
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