How to buy a graphics card on Black Friday

Acer Radeon RX 7600 graphics card on woodgrain table
(Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)

It might sound silly, but working out how to buy a graphics card on Black Friday is pretty important. After all, last thing you want is to invest in an expensive GPU, only to find that you could have picked up something better, cheaper, or more powerful, and it's easy to get caught up a sea of discounts and offers. That's why we're here to help prepare you to bag the right new card this year, as we reckon there's a reduced rig upgrade out there for everyone. 

For the first time in a few years, Black Friday graphics card deals should be widely available, and you shouldn't have to fish through inflated discounts to find real offers. By that, we mean that thanks to inflated pricing, many of the best graphics cards ended up simply returning to near their original MSRP during previous events, rather than being available for cheaper. Stock issues also seem to be a thing of the past, as you'll be able to snag discounts on even the newest Nvidia and AMD cards. 

Naturally, if you're eyeing up a premium GPU like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, you're going to end up still paying a lot. As great as Black Friday discounts are, there's only so much ordinary offers can do with prices upwards of $1,600. Thankfully, most other options any anything but immune to price drops, and we're already seeing cards available for less than MSRP ahead of November. So, with that context in mind, let's dive into some essential steps.

Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card

(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)

Choose the graphics card you actually need

Look, we get it, graphics card deals can be incredibly tempting. Yet, it's far too easy to pick a GPU based on its price rather than your own personal needs, and that's a pit you don't want to fall into this Black Friday. Choosing a model before the sale kicks off won't just simply actually looking for offers, but it'll ensure you upgrade your rig with a card that boasts the right capabilities. It's a bit like a Goldilocks and the Three Bears porridge scenario, only you shouldn't try and eat someone's graphics card while they're not home. 

Working out what graphics card you need can be as simple or as complicated as you like. For example, if you have an entry-level rig paired with a 1080p gaming monitor, you'll likely want to focus in on newer entry-level GPUs, while 1440p and 4K players should be scaling up specs to suit. Taking note of a target resolution really helps narrow down choices, as there's no point picking up an expensive RTX 4090 if you're not pairing it with an appropriate screen and system.

We'd also recommend taking time to consider what you actually value when playing your favorite games. It's all too easy to be persuaded by enthusiasts on the internet that you want a specific level of performance from a GPU, but higher frame rates aren't universally appreciated by everyone. 

Sure, they can enhance your experience, but if you're the type of person that doesn't notice the difference between your PS5 at 60fps and a PC with more oomph, focussing on other capabilities makes more sense. We're not saying you should deliberately pick up a worse card if a better one is available for the same price, but you'd be surprised what an entry-level or mid-range card can actually achieve if you're not hellbent on trying to boost fps to the absolute limit.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX inside a gaming PC, connected to a motherboard

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

Make sure to check price history

As mentioned above, graphics card prices can be tricky, especially when it comes to models released during the turmoil of shortages and inflation. The best way to ensure you're getting a 'real deal' is to ensure each GPUs price is actually below MSRP. Doing so effectively verifies whether you're looking at an actual discount, or manufacturers and resellers simply reducing things to the level they'd be at if scarcity wasn't a thing. 

On that note, it's worth hammering home that graphics card shortages aren't a thing in 2023. Therefore, there's no need to pay more to secure a GPU, but many price cuts are still based on those previously inflated prices. That much is obvious from the fact that numerous RTX 3060 listings are more expensive than the new GeForce RTX 4060, with discounts sometimes only evening the playing field. 

Typically, we first use tools like Camelcamelcamel to check graphics card prices at Amazon. Not only does this reveal whether a specific card is normally available for a discounted price, but it helps paint a picture in terms of deal patterns. Simply put, if a card drops to its lowest ever price, is below MSRP, and hasn't been available at rival retailers like Best Buy and Newegg for less, it's probably a deal worth jumping on. Otherwise, it's worth waiting to see if alternatives pop up.

Consider desktops and laptops on Black Friday

Alienware Aurora R15 PC sitting on desk

(Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)

If you're looking for GPU so you can build a rig from scratch, or you're simply looking to  jump on the gaming PC bandwagon, there's a chance you might be better off opting for a pre-build. Upgrading your machine with a new graphics card can be an effective option, but if your system is old, you might end up needing to swap out more parts to get things up and running. 

At that stage, it's important to determine whether just buying an entire new PC is more cost effective. In some cases, investing in a gaming laptop might make more sense too, as that way you won't even have to worry about an accompanying monitor and peripherals to get playing.

Below you'll find some of our favorite brands that usually offer up Black Friday gaming PC deals, and there are usually lots of Black Friday gaming laptop deals available too. 


Alienware | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""">RTX 30 series PCs and laptops at Dell
Dell's dedicated gaming-centric line of machines frequently features some of the deeper discounts you can find on RTX 30 series rigs. Currently, you can save up to $628 on desktops, as well as up to $745 on Dell G15 and Alienware laptops.

ABS | RTX 30 series gaming PCs at Newegg

ABS | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""">RTX 30 series gaming PCs at Newegg
Newegg's in-house gaming PC brand typically sees some of the higher-end components being used in configurations in tandem with cheaper rates than other companies. There is currently up to 10% off RTX 30 series builds at Newegg. 

iBuyPower | RTX 30 series gaming PCs and laptops

iBuyPower | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""">RTX 30 series gaming PCs and laptops
Right now you can save up to $200 on custom-built gaming desktops and laptops forged to your specific specifications. We should warn that many laptop models are fast selling out, so you'll need to move quickly if you want things portable. 

Lenovo Legion | RTX 30 series gaming laptops and desktops

Lenovo Legion | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""">RTX 30 series gaming laptops and desktops
There is currently up to $350 off Lenovo Legion gaming laptops, with the <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""">Lenovo Legion Tower models enjoying up to $240 off. They are very aggressively priced considering the company's reputation for solid build quality.

Need a screen to go with your new GPU? Check out Black Friday gaming monitor deals for discounted panels. We've also got Black Friday CPU deals if you're revamping your rig,

Aleksha McLoughlin
Hardware Editor

Aleksha McLoughlin served as the Hardware Editor for GamesRadar from June 2021 until August 2022. Her main area of expertise was the PC gaming platform, which comprised buying guides, features, reviews, and news coverage on components and prebuilt machines. She was also responsible for gaming chairs and storage. She now works on a freelance basis while studying to become a university lecturer specializing in English for foreign territories. Prior to joining GamesRadar, she wrote for the likes of Expert Reviews, The Rory Peck Trust, No Clean Singing, Vinyl Chapters, and Tech Spark while also working with the BBC.