Given the current uncertainty that surrounds the Black Friday graphics card deals right now, you could rightly be thinking about whether or not you should purchase one of the best graphics cards on the market before the holiday sales. Unfortunately, the answer isn't exactly clear-cut, as we've seen fluctuating stock from all major retailers throughout the entirety of 2021.
To give you the short answer, we're not expecting to see decent graphics card deals on Black Friday, on the newest generation of video cards at least. However, if we're treating Black Friday 2021 solely as a restock event, where you're paying full price for the likes of RTX 30 series and Radeon RX 6000 GPUs, then the upcoming winter sales could provide some much-needed hope in a year that's largely been desolate of healthy graphics card supply.
If you spot a graphics card at its regular MSRP before Black Friday, then, we'd recommend you grab it as quickly as possible. We've seen retailers such as Best Buy (in the US) as well as Currys and Scan (in the UK) host the occasional Founders Edition (Nvidia-built) RTX 30 series restocks for MSRP / RRP more frequently throughout August, September, and October with the latter month proving the most fruitful. This is especially true for the US, as Best Buy held a massive in-store RTX 30 series restock event on October 1 and has restocked the video cards online now and again throughout the month - though it's been very unreliable.
In an ideal world, we would see substantial discounts on the newest line of RTX 30 series and AMD Radeon 6000 graphics cards, but that just isn't going to be the case this year. If the prices on these cards are right in restocks over the next few weeks, we would absolutely recommend buying a graphics card before Black Friday.
Buying graphics cards on Black Friday: price history
If we cast our minds back a few years ago, we see a generally consistent pattern of graphics card deals. Discounts of between $10 and $30 off are common on more recently released video cards, with the older generation GPUs seeing a slightly larger saving of up to $50 in some cases. This pattern has been consistent with retailers such as Newegg even with the GTX 700 (mostly the GTX 750 Ti) and GTX 900 (predominantly the GTX 970 and GTX 980) line as far back as even 2014.
The 2019 Black Friday sales event followed this trend for graphics cards as well. We saw discounts of up to $50 off of the, then, flagship RTX 2070 Super at some online retailers, though it's worth noting that the vast majority of other GPUs hovered at the same price point throughout the majority of November.
That takes us up to Black Friday last year in which there were essentially no graphics card deals available anywhere online. The only real exception being the occasional $10 or so shaved off GTX 1660 video cards, and no sign of RTX 20 / 30 series or Radeon GPUs at all. We expect this to continue into 2021.
When should you wait for Black Friday?
If you can find where to buy RTX 3080, RTX 3070 stock, or RTX 3060 stock before Black Friday for their respective MSRPs then we wholeheartedly advise you to pull the trigger early. However, if you're aiming for a budget build, using something like the GTX 1660 or an AMD equivalent, then you're far more likely to have some level of success with the kinds of price drops we've discussed above.
Really though, you're going to have a far better time of things when aiming for the Black Friday gaming PC deals with your sights set to prebuilt machines running these in-demand GPUs (such as RTX 3080 PCs or RTX 3060 PCs) than you will have on the individual components themselves.
Go for power and portability in your gaming setup for less with the Black Friday gaming laptop deals, and find more reliably available components in your build with the Black Friday RAM deals and Black Friday CPU deals as well.