The sale event to end all sale events is almost here. That’s right, folks, Black Friday 2017 is upon us, and this year’s sales frenzy is set to be bigger than ever as we head into the Christmas shopping period. In all honesty, they should just rename it Black November, as you’ll find deals happening throughout the next couple of weeks in the run-up to Black Friday proper.
To save you trawling through the web in search of a good bargain, though, we’ve created this handy guide containing everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017. If you’re on the hunt for a new graphics card, a bigger and better monitor, splash out on a fast SSD or upgrade your gaming headset, this is the place to be. We’ll be updating this hub page on a regular basis as new deals get announced, too, so make sure to keep it in your bookmarks if you fancy grabbing yourself a bit of a bargain before Christmas. We’ve also got tips on the best places to browse, and how to find out if those hot discounts are really as good as they seem.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. It takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the US, and since the 1950s it’s been the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping period. Retailers, both online and physical, offer some of their best deals on Black Friday, and will often cut their prices in the weeks leading up to the big day. It’s now become a UK phenomenon as well, and on both sides of the pond you’ll find deals on games, graphics cards, headsets, mice and monitors to name just a few types of products going cheap.
It also has a closely-related cousin, Cyber Monday, which happens three days after Black Friday and is reserved for purely online deals. To all intents and purposes, though, it’s simply another day of big savings and hot deals.
When is Black Friday 2017?
This year, Black Friday falls on November 24th. Expect retailers to open earlier and close later than usual. Online, stores will typically start their deals on Thursday November 23rd, giving you even more time to snap up those bargains, but it’s become increasingly common to start deals much earlier. Last year, for example, Amazon started its sale a week early and ended on December 22nd, while GOG started its sale a couple of days beforehand. Of course, if you don’t get your fix on Black Friday itself, there’s always Cyber Monday on November 27th.
Black Friday 2017 tips and predictions
If you’re looking for game discounts, you’ll find the usual sales taking place on Steam, GOG and Green Man Gaming. While you’re unlikely to find any big deals on the newest releases, there should still be some decent savings to be found on titles from earlier in the year you might have passed by at the time.
The juiciest discounts, however, will be on PC components and peripherals. Don’t expect to pick up a GTX 1070 for half price, but you’ll likely find discounts ranging anywhere between 10% and 30% off big ticket items like graphics cards and monitors. Look out for cards in Nvidia’s GTX 10 series (1080, 1070, etc), as well as the AMD Radeon 400 and 500 series.
There are also going to be a lot of monitors on offer, making it a great time to upgrade your Full HD monitor for a larger, 2,560×1,440 display, or even go the whole hog and jump up to 4K if you’ve got the right graphics card to make the most of it. Alternatively, if you want to get a bit more out of your current graphics card, a monitor with a higher refresh rate of 120Hz or 144Hz might be a good investment. Whatever you’re after, make sure you keep an eye out for our forthcoming monitor buying guide, where we’ll explain everything you need to know about buying the best monitor for your needs and budget.
Lastly, Black Friday is also a perfect time to pick up that SSD you’ve always been on the fence about. SSDs not only boot up your PC in double quick time, but they also keep in-game loading screens short. They’re getting cheap at higher capacities, too (£50/$65 will get you something sufficient) and there will be lots to choose from on Black Friday, so read Jeremy’s thoughts on cheap SSDs before deciding which one to go for.
Of course, while we’ll endeavor to bring you the very best deals from around the internet this Black Friday, you should also check CamelCamelCamel before you buy to see if you’re actually getting a good price. This keeps track of product prices all year round, helping you identify if a Black Friday deal is actually a great, one-time discount or whether it’s pretty much always this kind of price regardless of whether it’s Black Friday or not.
The best sites for deals are found below.
- Overclockers UK
- John Lewis
- Green Man Gaming
Best Black Friday deals
At the moment, most retailers have yet to kick into full Black Friday mode, but here are a couple of deals we’ve spotted going on right now that you might want to take a look at.
PC Specialist Velocity Chimera VR Gaming Tower – £699 from AO (down from £879)
Electronics retailer AO’s Black Friday deals are now in full swing, and one of the best deals we’ve seen so far is this Core i5-7400 and GTX 1060-equipped PC from PC Specialist. The InWin case may not be to everyone’s tastes, but the glass side panel and built-in blue LED lighting strips will certainly make for an entertaining visual spectacle while you’re playing games. It also comes with a 2TB HDD, 8GB of RAM, four USB3 ports and two USB2 ports. You’ll need to buy a mouse and keyboard separately, as this deal only applies to the PC itself, but if you’re looking for a VR capable machine or something for solid 1080p gaming and even a bit of 1440p gaming, the Velocity Chimera is a pretty good deal.
Asus 15.6in Vivobook – £279 from AO (down from £349)
This general purpose laptop is a bit on the budget side – it only has a Pentium processor and a screen resolution of 1600×900 – but the Vivobook laptops I’ve tested in the past have all been pretty good value for money. They’re well-built and pleasant to type on, and this particular model also comes with a 1TB HDD. You can also get £20 off Microsoft Office 365 Home (£59 down from £79) when you buy the Vivobook during AO’s Black Friday promotion, and/or McAfee Livesafe Unlimited 2017 for just £20 (down from £80) – both of which are pretty good deals to get you up and running. Alternatively, there’s a separate deal going on McAfee’s Total Protection 2018 software, which now costs just £10 (down from £49). This gets you anti-virus protection for five devices for a year, and you can use the licence keys across PC, Mac and Android devices.
HP Pavilion 17-ab200na – £899 from AO (down from £999)
If you’re looking for something more powerful, this HP Pavilion laptop is currently £100 off. In it, you get a powerful Core i7-7700HQ processor, a GTX 1050 chip for 1080p gaming and a large 17.3in Full HD (1920×1080) display. There’s also a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD, a DVD drive, an SD card reader, two USB3 ports and one USB2, an Ethernet port, HDMI and a headphone and microphone jack. That’s a pretty good package for a £899 gaming laptop, and its more traditional laptop design means you also won’t be embarrassed whipping it out on public transport either.
Asus ROG GL553VD – £649 from AO
Alternatively, Asus’ more gaming-themed ROG GL553VD is another good deal currently on offer and you even get a ROG-themed backpack and a mouse for your trouble. Here, you get a Core i5-7300HQ processor, a GTX 1050 graphics chip, a 15.6in 1920×1200 display and a 2TB HDD, plus an SD and microSD card reader, two USB3 port, one USB2 and one USB Type-C port.
Razer has started its cyber deals two weeks early with loads of discounts available right now across a bunch of items until November 16th, so you’ve still got two more days to take advantage of these if you haven’t already. Sadly, the deals are only on offer if you live in the US, but if you’re on that side of the pond and are looking for a great deal on a Razer laptop, headset, mouse, keyboard or fight stick, then you’re in luck. All you need to do is enter the code VIP17 on checkout to get the lower price.
Naturally, the biggest discounts are on things like Razer’s laptop range, including $350 off the 12.5in version of the Razer Blade Stealth laptop (which comes with a 4K touchscreen, a Core i7 processor and integrated Intel HD Graphics 620) and $300 off the new Razer Blade Pro (which comes with a GTX 1060 chip, a 17.3in Full HD screen and a 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD storage combo). You can also pay full price for other types of laptop but get a free headset when you enter the code above at checkout. If you don’t fancy spending hundreds of dollars just to get a free headset, though, there are still plenty of discounts available on individual headsets, ranging from between 20% and 42% off.
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050Ti Mini – £140 from Amazon
We’re big fans of the GTX 1050Ti. It’s a great card for 1080p gaming, and more importantly, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get one. Zotac’s ‘mini’ version is one such card, and is currently going for just £140 on Amazon. Perfect for smaller cases, this is a great budget option for budding esports players.
PowerColor Radeon RX 580 Red Dragon V2 – £249.99 from Scan (down from £317.99)
If you’re looking for one of AMD’s RX 500 series cards, on the other hand, you won’t find the top-end RX 580 much cheaper than this. This one’s a better fit for 1080p gaming, but it can handle resolutions of 2,560×1,440 as well to a degree. It’s also a tad cheaper than its nearest Nvidia competitor, the GTX 1060, and has an extra 2GB of VRAM, too.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX – £389.99 from Scan (down from £419.99)
GTX 1070 prices are pretty inflated right now due to those pesky cryptocurrency miners, so any kind of discount on this card is more than welcome. It’s a great pick for 1,440p gaming, and while prices may drop further in the run-up to Black Friday, this is one of the lowest prices we can find right now for this type of card.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB OC Windforce 3 – £492 from Amazon
Nabbing a GTX 1080 for less than £500 is a tricky business these days, so if you’re in the market for a 4K-capable graphics card, then you’ll want to check out this Gigabyte deal before it disappears. We’d recommend this over the brand-new GTX 1070Ti, too, as prices for decent partner cards are just too similar to make it worth choosing the 1070Ti over its superior sibling.
Asus ROG Swift PG258Q – £486 from CCL (down from £559)
A 25in monitor with a huge 240Hz refresh rate, making it a perfect fit for esport enthusiasts or those that like their games, really, really smooth. It only has a standard 1,920×1,080 resolution and ports are pretty limited to a single HDMI and DisplayPort, but what it lacks in connectivity it makes up for in flexibility, with pivot, swivel and height-adjustment support.
Acer Predator XB271HK – £538.99 from Scan (down from £575.99)
This 27in 4K monitor has an IPS display, so colour accuracy should be high. It also comes with support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology to help reduce screen tearing and stutter, both when your graphics card is spitting out more frames than the screen can handle and when it’s struggling to maintain a constant frame rate, which will be a big help if your Nvidia graphics card needs a little help reaching those 4K resolutions. Its red-pronged feet won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but if such things don’t bother you, the XB271HK will make a fine 4K screen.
Steelseries Siberia 650 – £99.99 from Amazon (Prime exclusive, down from £156)
Alas, if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you’re looking at paying £137 for Steelseries’ Siberia 650 headset, but a saving of roughly £20 still isn’t anything to be sniffed at.
Samsung 850 EVO (250GB) – £86.99 from Overclockers
One of the bset 2.5in SATA SSDs around, the Samsung 850 EVO is a brilliant and reliable all-rounder. Available in a range of storage sizes, it also comes with a handy five-year guarantee.