Black Friday is only one day away, and that means an opportunity to save big on more expensive PC components, like graphics cards. GPU deals have been hard to find for a couple of years, but we’re finally starting to see significant discounts now that demand is down. Both AMD and Nvidia are introducing powerful new cards, which means new deals on slightly older cards, especially the more powerful and expensive models.
If you want to see which GPUs we rate the highest, check out PCWorld’s rankings of the best graphics cards of 2022. Some of our top picks may be on sale. And if you’re looking for more tech deals, be sure to check out our full Black Friday coverage.
The best Black Friday Nvidia graphics card deals
The best Black Friday AMD graphics card deals
The best Black Friday Intel graphics deals
Are Black Friday graphics card deals worth it?
We couldn’t say that last year, but in 2022? Yes, the Black Friday graphics card deals are legit. Both Nvidia and AMD have brand new models hitting the market, meaning the GeForce RTX 30 series and Radeon RX 6000 series are seeing big discounts as retailers move to free up inventory. New entrant Intel is also on the scene, but its boards are so cheap (and so rare) that they’re unlikely to see huge price cuts. As always, the more expensive the card, the more likely it is to be discounted.
Are Black Friday graphics card deals inferior?
It’s all relative. As we mentioned above, we are seeing discounts on previous generation GPUs. Does that make them “lower quality”? No, they’re just not cutting edge for 2022. But if you’re looking to score a true deal, it might make sense to buy a GeForce RTX 30-series and Radeon RX 6000 card at a big discount. The cards themselves are fine!
Which graphics card should I buy?
Okay, that’s kind of a big question. The answer is generally “whatever you want and can afford.” But there are many factors that go into which card is actually practical for you, not the least of which is whether your PC can physically support or power the GPU you choose. Be sure to read PCWorld’s rankings of the best graphics cards of 2022 to make informed decisions.
Should I buy Nvidia, AMD or Intel?
All modern desktop graphics cards connect through the PCI-Express slot on your desktop computer’s motherboard. As long as you have a free slot (and the required number of slots open to connect it to your computer case), it will work. The difference between Nvidia and AMD is pretty slim in most price ranges. Unless you’re interested in a particular feature from one brand, like Nvidia’s RTX effects or AMD’s FidelityFX SuperResolution, both will do just fine.
Intel’s newest Arc boards are a different proposition. The company is competing aggressively on price, making these cards a bargain, at least for newer games. But Intel’s drivers are still immature compared to AMD and Nvidia, especially if you’re playing older titles.
Is my desktop compatible with a new graphics card?
Time to get out the tape measure. Almost any modern desktop can contain at least some type of external graphics card, as long as it has at least one PCIe slot on the motherboard. But before buying a new card, make sure your case can accommodate it, both in length (measured in millimeters) and in slots (the number of eternal notches on the back of the case, not the physical PCIe connections) it needs. Most mid-range cards use two slots, but more powerful ones can use three or even four.
You also need to make sure that your computer’s power supply can handle the additional watts drawn by the new GPU and that it has the correct power connections to supply electricity. If not, you can always upgrade your PSU as well.
How much should I spend on a new GPU?
In general, the more you spend on a graphics card, the more powerful it will be: the better the effects, and the more frames you can put into AAA games. A $1,000 card isn’t necessarily twice as good as a $500 card, but it will definitely be a lot better.
However, there is such a thing as too much. If your computer is six or seven years old, the performance “bottleneck” might be the processor or RAM, so spending four digits on a new card wouldn’t be wise.
Do I need to update the rest of my computer too?
It depends. If you’re upgrading to a really powerful graphics card, definitely make sure your power supply can handle it. If you haven’t updated any of the core components in a while, it might be time for a system overhaul as well. This usually means a new processor, motherboard, and sometimes RAM, although AMD AM4 motherboards can fit into relatively new CPUs without the need for any other new components.
If you’re not sure you want to ditch the new hardware so badly, you can always upgrade your GPU, do some testing in your favorite games, and see if you get the performance boost you want. If not, you can upgrade the other components as needed.
When is Black Friday this year?
Black Friday 2022 is November 25th. But if you’re looking to close a deal, there’s no need to wait, as sales of the GPU have already started.