In normal years, picking out the best Black Friday PC component deals can take some time. In 2021, however, choosing parts is startlingly fast, if only because there are so few deals due to low parts availability. You can still find eye-popping bargains—even during the weekend after Black Friday proper, as several deals that are available remain—but spinning them into budget PC building gold is much harder.
Every Black Friday, I try to spec out the cheapest gaming PC possible using only discounted parts, and as you can see from my 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 results, my machines steadily improved while also dropping in price. Then the pandemic hit. As you can see in my 2020 build, putting together a cheap Black Friday gaming PC got rough.
This year is even more difficult, due to supply chain issues. In fact, hopping on this year’s deals requires lucky timing and quick reflexes. So, instead of this project being something we can all undertake, think of this article as a temperature read on the state of PC building. Or rather, take it as concrete proof of what DIY builders have known for months: Things suck right now.
Build #1: The cheapest Black Friday gaming PC possible
This year’s cheapest build revolves around a Micro Center in-store deal, but even if you don’t live near that retailer, you can still roll this system yourself. (It’ll just cost more.) The deals largely remain available, and if not, you can find decent substitutes. There’s also a particular angle it takes on graphics, which you’ll see in a moment.