Finding a good Black Friday gaming laptop deal can be a daunting task. The market for portable gaming devices is constantly changing, with prices and specifications evolving rapidly. Moreover, retailers often inflate the prices of older models in order to sell them off during the holiday season. As a result, it’s challenging to determine how much you should pay for a gaming laptop during the Black Friday sales. In this article, we will guide you through the process of finding the best deals and avoiding the pitfalls.
When hunting for a gaming laptop deal on Black Friday, it’s important to remember that a large discount doesn’t necessarily mean a good deal. Some retailers may show lower prices by comparing them to artificially raised older prices. To avoid falling into this trap, you can use browser extensions like camelcamelcamel, which tracks Amazon’s price history and highlights any suspicious price changes. By analyzing the price graphs, you can gain a clearer understanding of whether the discount is genuine or not.
When choosing a gaming laptop, it is essential to take a holistic approach. Instead of focusing solely on one aspect, consider the overall value for the money. Keep in mind that gaming laptops have more limited options for component selection and upgrading compared to desktops. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider the configuration of various subsystems and the market expectations for each price range.
The discrete graphics chip is a vital component that significantly affects the price of a gaming laptop. For low-end gaming, you can expect laptops with RTX 4050 graphics chips to be priced below $1,000. However, you may not find laptops with the latest RTX 4090 or RTX 4080 for that price. Instead, you might come across laptops with last-gen RTX 3070 graphics. Although higher-end RTX 30-series cards offer better performance, they do not support Nvidia’s Frame Generation feature in DLSS 3.
It is advisable to avoid purchasing laptops with graphics cards older than the RTX 30-series, regardless of the price. While you might come across ultra-cheap laptops with an RTX 2080 Max-Q, these models have been around for four years and may have sat in warehouses for extended periods. Even if the price is under $700, it’s still a cautious choice to skip these outdated models. For laptops equipped with AMD graphics cards, go for a Radeon RX 6700M or newer – though be aware that they are less common than their Nvidia counterparts.
In addition to the graphics card, the laptop’s CPU is another critical component to consider. In general, it is recommended to avoid anything older than an AMD Ryzen 4000-series or a 10th Gen Intel CPU. Ideally, aim for Ryzen 5000-series or 12th Gen Intel processors, as they provide excellent gaming performance for the price. While there may be newer versions available, they are likely to be part of more expensive deals.
When it comes to memory (RAM), it’s best to go with a minimum of 16GB, unless you have a tight budget that limits your options. Ensure that the laptop has two sticks of RAM rather than a single SODIMM, as this allows for better CPU performance. While some laptops make it easy to upgrade the RAM, others may require more effort to access the internals. If you spot a great deal with only a single 8GB stick of RAM, check if it’s possible to add another stick later on.
For storage, a 500GB NVMe SSD or larger is recommended to accommodate the growing size of games. However, considering the increasing storage demand, a 1TB drive would be a better long-term investment. Be cautious of laptops with 2TB drives, as their speed may be questionable. Some laptops allow for easy SSD upgrades, while others have the drives soldered onto the motherboard. Make sure to check the upgrade potential before making a decision.
To provide some reference points for pricing, here’s a rough guide for acceptable prices based on the graphics chip in a 1080p gaming laptop:
– RTX 4050: Around $700
– RTX 4060: Approximately $1,000
– RTX 4070: Roughly $1,300
– RTX 4080: Approximately $1,700
– RX 6700M: Around $700
– RX 7600S: Approximately $1,000
– RX 6800M: Roughly $1,300
Please note that these prices assume that the other recommendations mentioned above are included. Additionally, these prices are for laptops with 15- or 16-inch 1080p screens. If you opt for a larger 17-inch 4K panel, the price will naturally be higher.
For portable gaming, a 1440p display is generally sufficient, considering the performance and price trade-offs. Instead of prioritizing higher resolutions, focus on factors like RAM and storage capacity, which can have a more significant impact on gaming experience.
As Black Friday approaches, there will undoubtedly be some excellent deals on gaming laptops. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the world of discounts and make an informed decision. Remember to consider not only the price but also the overall value, specifications, and compatibility with future upgrades. With patience and research, you can find the perfect gaming laptop deal that meets your needs and budget.