Amazon's Prime Day has arrived and runs through October 14th, so it's time to take a look at the best deals on PC peripherals and components. As usual, Amazon is far from the only retailer expected to take part in the self-imposed festivities, with many of its competitors also launching their own (completely coincidental) autumn sales.
Here at Digital Foundry, we'll be focusing our attention on the wonderful world of PC gaming, specifically the components and peripherals that will let you take your game to the next level - as soon as you can get the hang of headshots, anyway. In this article, you'll find our picks for monitors, storage, headsets, mice, keyboards, graphics cards and much more.
Finally, Eurogamer are maintaining a broader selection of Prime Day gaming deals, including games and games consoles, so do check that out if you're interested.
We've also included links to our round-up pages, where we have a fuller list of recommendations with more detailed information. Right, let's jump in!
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DF's Amazon Prime Day 2020 PC peripheral deals
Let's begin with peripherals, the vehicle of PC gaming. This means basically anything that sits on your desk rather than in your computer, including monitors, keyboards, mice, gamepads, headsets and mouse pads. Peripherals tend to see bigger gaps between their regular and sale prices, so expect plenty of respectable deals this time around. Take a look!
Prime Day monitor deals
The hottest monitors at the moment are all based around the same 1ms Nano IPS panel from LG, so we're hoping to find some competitive prices on at least one of these models. Our top pick overall is the LG 27GL850, but the 27GN850 and 27GL83A use the same screen and just drop a couple of USB ports, making them better value picks. Similarly, both Dell and ViewSonic have also released their own monitors built around the same panel, with ergonomic and tuning improvements that can make them worth their higher asking price.
Want more info on which monitor to choose? Check out our best gaming monitors article!
Prime Day headset deals
Headsets are another common sale item during Prime Day, as many manufacturers are already preparing their 2021 models to debut a few months later. That makes this a great time to pick up a headset at a considerable discount, which likely has 95 per cent of the features of the next-gen model at 50 per cent of the price. Our favourite headsets are from the likes of SteelSeries and Sennheiser, but we'll be sure to include the best deals on any other models we've tested personally or otherwise know to be good!
Our favourite gaming headsets are rounded up right here.
Prime Day mouse deals
There's been a surprising amount of innovation in gaming mice recently, as ultra-light models have come into vogue and manufacturers are really focusing on elements like safe shapes, high-end sensors and flexible 'shoelace' cables. We're hoping for sales from the likes of Logitech and SteelSeries, but there are plenty of other great mouse makers in the game that should be taking part in Amazon's shopping event (or another retailer's counter-programming) too.
Prime Day keyboard deals
Membrane or mechanical, a great keyboard makes typing fun and can even help out in your favourite games. We normally see quite deep discounts on keyboards, particularly expensive mechanicals, with the likes of Razer and Corsair sitting at the top of our 'most wanted' list.
Prime Day gamepad deals
Microsoft has already confirmed that existing first-party and third-party Xbox One gamepads will also work on the Series X, so grab yourself the perfect companion for PC and next-gen Xbox gaming right here. Some genres just play better with a controller, after all.
We've tested a fair few gamepads over the last couple of years, so check out more recommendations right here.
DF's Amazon Prime Day 2020 PC component deals
OK, let's switch gears here to the real nuts and bolts of the operation: the internal components that make your PC tick, from spinning disk hard drives and SSDs to graphics cards, processors and RAM. We don't normally see massive price swings on components as we do peripherals, but there are still plenty of deals to be had!
Prime Day SSD and hard drive deals
SSDs and hard drives, whether internal or external, are some of the most commonly discounted and best selling items whenever Amazon does a big sale. That's because most drives work across a wide range of desktop PCs, and as something of a commodity prices can be discounted pretty heavily. That makes this a great time to get more storage at a bargain, including handy external drives for console game storage and super-fast internal NVMe SSDs for desktop PCs and laptops.
Our favourite SSDs for gaming article has more recommendations if you need them, including some drives that don't often go on sale but still offer great value for money.
Prime Day graphics card (GPU) deals
The graphics card is often the most expensive single part of any system, as well as the one that has the greatest impact on in-game performance. These seasonal sales are often some of the best times to grab an older card at a bargain, and even newer models can see small discounts. Normally the model of a graphics card - the silicon it's based around - is the most important factor in determining its performance, so don't disregard GPUs made by smaller vendors.
For a look at how different graphics cards compare, check out our GPU Power Ladder - that's every currently available graphics card ranked from best to worst, with frame-rates tested in nine games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K. We also have a list of the best GPUs here.
Prime Day processor (CPU) deals
There have been quite a few new processors released in the last year, with Ryzen's third-gen line filled out with new low-end and XT models, and Intel releasing their 10th-gen chips. If you're planning a new build, then picking up a CPU for cheap can let you spend more money elsewhere - like opting for a higher tier of graphics card or faster memory.
Prime Day motherboard deals
Looking for a new motherboard? Right now, we recommend AMD's B550 and X570 platforms, or Intel's Z490 boards. Both of the AMD options support PCIe 4.0, with this functionality coming later to most Z490 boards with the release of Intel's next generation processors (ETA unknown!). PCIe 4.0 unlocks access to higher speed NVMe drives and potentially small GPU performance gains, so it's a good future-proofing measure.
Prime Day RAM deals
Faster RAM can provide a noticeable boost to frame-rates, especially on AMD Ryzen systems, so it's well worth considering if you can find a kit at a low price. Remember to stick to two or four sticks to ensure you're not sacrificing your speed and be sure to turn on XMP in your BIOS after installation! If you're not sure which sticks are best for you, we recommend 3200MHz C16 for most people. Higher frequencies do provide a performance advantage, with 3600MHz being a good sweet spot, but there are diminishing returns from there.
Check out our recent RAM testing here, where we examined how faster RAM affects gaming and content creation performance.
Stay tuned for more deals over the coming days. You can also follow our @dealsfoundry account on Twitter for the PC and TV highlights as we find them.
Until then, keep your stick on the ice!