When I was growing up, Best Buy was pretty much never really a place you could go to build a new PC. Sure, you could capitalize on some Best Buy Black Friday deals to pick up a new hard drive if you were running out of storage, but you could never use it as a one stop shop, like you could in a place like Micro Center. However, Best Buy is slowly becoming a better, well-stocked place to pick up all things PC.
Now, obviously, you won't find the same degree of variety as you will in a more specialist retailer or online at Newegg, but if you're living in the suburbs and a big box store is all you have available to you, its still possible to get most of your computer shopping in one spot.
Let's take a trip down to Best Buy
Because I have these memories of Best Buy being a PC component desert, I've been increasingly surprised when seeing some pretty decent deals come out of its online store, especially during seasonal shopping events like Black Friday. The way I always looked at that was that the online store just had more variety because it had a whole warehouse to ship things out of. So, naturally I went to my local Best Buy to awkwardly wander through the computing section.
And, frankly, I was surprised at just how many computing components Best Buy had on offer. The first thing I saw when I meandered over to the computing components aisle – there was just one – was an entire row of PC power supplies. Nothing super high-end like a 1200W unit, but plenty of 850W 80+ Gold PSUs that should be more than good enough for most people. That's good - everyone should have access to power supply that won't set their house on fire.
Another thing I noticed was the full range of graphics cards on offer. It used to be that Best Buy only had a collection of low-end graphics cards on offer, but this time around I spotted a few RTX 2080 Tis on the shelf, along with their $1,249 price tag. I even saw a bunch of processors, but those were limited to mostly AMD chips. The only Intel chip on offer was the Core i5-9600K – maybe its because AMD processors are just selling better.
Of course, there were also plenty of Motherboards, SSD and RAM kits available, and the prices were mostly reasonable. One notable thing we noticed was a 32GB kit of Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro at 3,200 MHz for $176, which is about the same price as you'll find on Amazon or Newegg. This was a common theme among the PC components we found at Best Buy: maybe $5 more expensive at most, and sometimes even cheaper than the manufacturer's website. So, basically, you won't have to pay an obscene price to conveniently buy your PC components at your local Best Buy.
The only thing I couldn't seem to find at Best Buy was a PC Case. I found plenty of cheap pre-built Desktop PCs that you could gut and customize with more high-end components, but no empty chassis to build in. However, if all you have to buy online is a PC case, that doesn't seem too bad, especially if you already have a PC case you're willing to keep.
Of course, you can always buy a PC case online and pick it up at your local Best Buy.
Should you build a PC at Best Buy?
Now that you can actually find a majority of the PC components you'll need to build a new PC at Best Buy, it's not hard to recommend. I even found plenty of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers and thermal paste. Best Buy isn't on the same level of a computing-centric retailer like Micro Center, and if you live in an area with access to a Micro Center, that's still the retailer we'd recommend. Even Micro Center's online store is better suited to PC enthusiasts than other web stores.
However, if your choices are shopping online and heading over to Best Buy, it's not an awful idea to head to the blue-themed retailer. Not only will you get that instant gratification of opening your new PC components minutes after buying them, but if you get a lemon (it happens to all of us), its really easy to return without having to deal with return labels and shipping containers.
I'm pretty sure that we're going to see some amazing Black Friday component deals this year, especially on AMD processors and graphics cards now that Navi and Ryzen 3rd Generation have arrived. So, if you have a PC build dream list that you've been saving for the right moment, you might want to head over to Best Buy.
And if you can't wait until Black Friday, don't worry. I went ahead and found some juicy PC component deals for you.
- Don't want to build a PC? Check out some Black Friday laptop deals.