I built the best gaming PC I could for under $1200 using Black Friday deals, and now I actually want it

My favorite November tradition, other than eating myself into a turkey and pie coma, is seeing what kind of rig I can build using nothing but the best Black Friday PC gaming deals. I scour every retailer for the best prices on the best parts, looking for every opportunity to save a few bucks while still buying quality PC components. The trickiest thing about Black Friday shopping is just how much junk there is to wade through—there are dozens of sticks of RAM on sale for close to the same price, but dig into the specs and you’ll see differences in speed and latency hiding behind that “Black Friday deal” badge.

This year I gave myself a budget of $1,200 (pre-tax) to build a gaming PC that would normally cost $288 more. Once these Black Friday deals disappear, this PC build will run closer to $1,500.

This is a PC I’d happily build for myself, with no cut corners. At its heart are the non-overclocking version of our favorite gaming CPU, the Intel Core i5-13600KF, and an incredibly reasonably priced Radeon RX 6800 with 16GB of GDDR6. We’ve also got some fast DDR5 RAM, a 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and an all-in-one liquid cooler that’ll help that CPU stay cool.

Quick links: Black Friday PC build under $1200

CPU: Intel Core i5 13600KF – $250 (save $54)GPU: XFX Speedster Radeon RX 6800 – $369.99 (save $90)Motherboard: ASRock B760M PG SONIC WiFi – $129.99 (save $45)Memory: G.SKILL Trident Z5 32GB DDR5 6400 – $109.99 (save $10)SSD: WD Black SN850X 2TB – $114.99 (save $15)Power Supply: Montech Century G5 750 watt 80 PLUS Gold – $79 (save $30)CPU Cooler: DeepCool LS720 Liquid Cooler 360mm – $74.79 (save $19)Case: Phanteks Eclipse G300A – $34.99 (save $25)

Total cost: $1,163.74

The Core i5-13600KF can handle any current game you can throw at it and will be a strong gaming GPU for years to come, while the Radeon RX 6800’s ample VRAM will help a bit with the #stutterstruggle that’s afflicted so many PC games this year. AMD’s cards still aren’t fantastic at ray tracing, but this is still otherwise an absolute beastly 1440p graphics card. In our review, it delivered an average 75 fps in Total War: Three Kingdoms, 128 fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and 92 fps in Metro Exodus, all on Ultra settings.

I made sure to pick parts that would all fit in the selected case, so there shouldn’t be any rude surprises when you go to put it all together. If you’re feeling the itch to start the year with a new PC, it’s going to be hard to beat the price/performance of these deals.

Also, it has a Sonic the Hedgehog motherboard with built-in Wi-Fi 6E and a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port. I set out to make a PC that would go fast, but I didn’t expect this would be how I got there.

Full component list: Black Friday PC build under $1200

Intel Core i5 13600KF | 14 cores, 24 threads | 6 P-cores + 8 E-cores | 5.1GHz | LGA 1700 | $250 at Amazon (save $54)
The Intel Core i5 13600K currently tops our recommendations for the best CPUs for gaming. It’s a multi-tasking marvel, and rivals the more expensive Core i9 12900K in both single-threaded and multi-threaded benchmarks. This is the slightly cheaper “F” version, which skips the integrated GPU, but is otherwise identical.

View Deal

XFX SPEEDSTER RX 6800 | 16GB GDDR6 | 3840 shaders | 2,105MHz boost |$459.99 $369.99 at Amazon (save $90)
A Radeon RX 6800 vanilla for well under $400 is the sweetest part of this whole build. People were paying four of five times this much for one of these during the height of the pandemic and crypto craze. This 16GB, 256-bit graphics card beats out Nvidia’s 4060 Ti and AMD’s RX 7700 XT, too.View Deal

ASRock B760M PG Sonic | Intel LGA 1700 Socket | mATX | PCie Gen 5 x16 | 4x DDR5 slots | 3x M.2 | Wi-Fi 6E | 2.5 Gbps LAN | $129.99 at Newegg (save $45)

Did I pick this motherboard just because it has Sonic the Hedgehog on it? No, but I do think it adds a certain dash of style to this build… In all seriousness, it’s a feature-packed budget motherboard, with ample M.2 space, Gen 5 PCIe, on-board Wi-Fi and a high speed LAN adapter. We liked it at full price, so it’s a dang steal at this discount.View Deal

G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB | DDR5 | 6400MHz | CL32 | 2x 16GB | 1.4v | $109.99 at Newegg (save $10)

This RAM kit has stellar reviews, and strikes a balance between prioritizing overall speed with low latency. At this price, you’re not going to find anything better.View Deal

WD Black SN850X | 2TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s write | $114.99 at Amazon (save $15)
Our favorite SSD for gaming right now. It’s on sale frequently, so this isn’t a rare deal, but it’s still the best price/performance pick right now. The SN850X encapsulates the best PCIe 4.0 offers in terms of performance (check out our review). That makes it a great fit for a boot drive with space to spare for your game library.View Deal

Montech Century G5 | 750 watts | 80 PLUS Gold | PCIe Gen 5 compliant | Fully Modular – $79 at Newegg (save $30)

I remember one Black Friday when power supplies were so cheap they were practically being given away, and another year when damage to key manufacturing meant they were painfully pricey. This year is a nice median, with this model from well-reviewed Taiwanese peripheral maker Montech getting a particularly nice discount.View Deal

DeepCool LS720 | 360mm AIO liquid cooler | 3x RGB fans | LGA 1700 | 3100 RPM $74.79 at Amazon (save $19)

A drop dead affordable 360mm radiator with three shiny fans from a reliable cooler company? That’s pretty much the whole story here. The i5-13600K can draw a lot of power, so a cheap air cooler wasn’t going to cut it, but this AIO will keep ice running through its veins while you’re gaming.View Deal

Phanteks Eclipse G300A |Mid-tower ATX | 1x 120mm fan | 360mm front radiator | Tempered glass side – $34.99 at Newegg (save $25)

Phanteks reliably makes good cases, and this one is a steal at just $35, with all the space you’ll need for that micro-ATX motherboard, a big GPU and a front-mounted 360mm radiator. There’s enough clearance for the DeepCool’s fans, and for a budget case there are many niceties in here, including a front panel USB-C and removable dust filters.

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