The first big holiday after New Year’s is here, and if your PC is long in the tooth, now’s the time to start shopping the Presidents Day computer sales that are rolling out. This could be your last chance to do so before spring arrives, so don’t wait around — the 2021 Presidents Day sales got off to an early start this year but most of them won’t be running into the rest of the week. There’s no time to waste, but worry not. We’ve got you covered with this handy list of all the best Presidents Day computer deals right here:
Presidents Day falls on the third Monday in February, carrying with it a nice three-day weekend and one of the only holidays in the first quarter of the year to bring noteworthy sales after New Year’s Day. We’ll likely see some bargains here and there for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, but those holidays don’t compare to others like Presidents Day and Memorial Day for big tech sales. That means that you should shop these Presidents Day computer deals now if you need a new PC, and move fast if you see one you like on sale at a good discount.
Just remember to exercise your due diligence when shopping the Presidents Day computer sales just as you would with any other retail event. Do some quick comparison shopping to make sure a PC deal you like is actually the best price — another store might just have it for cheaper, or might have the same model with even better specs for close to the same price. Of course, the best way to keep tabs on Presidents Day computer deals is to keep your eyes glued on this page, where we’re dropping all the hottest bargains as they pop up.
It’s only natural that laptops now dominate the PC market, but desktop computers haven’t gone anywhere and we don’t imagine that’s going to change any time soon. Even in 2021, you’ve still got a very wide field to choose from, so it’s important to nail a few things down before you venture off and start shopping the Presidents Day computer sales blind. Also remember to factor peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor into your total budget if you don’t already have those, although it’s not a bad idea to have a separate budget for your PC tower as it will be your single largest expense.
First, determine what you need a computer for and what you’re willing to spend. Is this computer for basic everyday tasks that aren’t that resource-heavy (think emailing, web browsing, word processing, and so on), or do you need more juice from your PC for demanding tasks like rendering videos or 3D images? How much gaming, if any, do you intend to do on your computer? Be honest about your needs and realistic with your expectations and you won’t end up disappointed.
If all you need is a basic PC, there are plenty of affordable options. In the sub-$600 range, look for baseline specs like Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs and at least 8GB of RAM (we do not recommend cutting corners here, as skimpy RAM is one of the surest things that will bottleneck your PC’s performance). Getting at least 256GB of solid-state storage is also a good idea. You might even get lucky and find a gaming PC or two in this price bracket among these Presidents Day computer deals.
The $600-$1,000 zone includes what you could call midrange computers and might be the sweet spot for most people, especially for gamers who need more powerful hardware but don’t necessarily want to shell out the cash for a high-end PC. You’ll also find some MacOS computers in this range, namely the Mac Mini or maybe a discounted iMac, which is something that Apple fans should definitely keep their eyes peeled for. Here, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than an Intel Core i5-Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5-Ryzen 7 CPU, 8GB-16GB RAM, and extra storage beyond the standard 256GB SSDs you normally find on cheap computers. Above the $1,000 mark, our baseline recommendations move up to Core i7-Core i9 and Ryzen 7-Ryzen 9 processors, 16GB-32GB RAM, and 512GB-1TB SSDs.
A note about storage: We almost always prefer solid-state drives over traditional platter-based hard drives. SSDs are simply faster and more reliable, although they are more expensive per gigabyte, so if you need more storage for things like large video files, it’s a good idea to invest in an external hard drive or additional internal HDD. However, many desktop PCs come with two hard drives — a smaller solid-state system drive (where your OS and other software are installed) along with a larger HDD, usually at least 1TB, for overflow. You’re likely to see at least a few such configurations among these Presidents Day computer deals.
Gaming PCs are also worth mentioning owing to their enduring popularity. In fact, among serious PC gamers, it’s widely accepted that a proper desktop battle station is still a must. The primary difference between a regular computer and one built for gaming is that a gaming PC will have a dedicated or “discrete” video card that can handle demanding graphical tasks reliably. Other than that, the hardware under the hood is not that much different than other PCs, although it’s a good idea to look for Presidents Day gaming deals on machines equipped with more than the typical 8GB of RAM — 16GB is ideal. You can almost always upgrade a computer’s RAM yourself, though, so don’t let that turn you away from a PC that’s otherwise perfect.
Almost all gaming computers in the sub-$700 budget bracket feature Nvidia 16-series and AMD Radeon 500-series GPUs. These are more than capable of handling modern gaming at 1080p/60fps. Moving closer to and above the $1,000 mark, you should keep a lookout for Nvidia’s RTX 20-series graphics cards along with AMD’s newer 5000-series GPUs, which are better suited to 1440p and even 4K gaming with a suitable monitor (and, of course, beefier CPUs and more RAM, which these more expensive gaming towers are usually packing). Nvidia also recently rolled out its high-end RTX 30-series cards, which are beastly — and costly. If you’re after a serious machine, though, then you might get lucky and find one of these for a great discount during the Presidents Day computer deals.
A final option worth mentioning are all-in-one PCs. These combine the computer’s hardware and display into a single low-profile housing, ditching the tower altogether. All-in-one PCs are often a surprisingly good value; they’re of course more expensive than a desktop tower by itself, but since the monitor is built-in (perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the computer hardware is built into the monitor chassis), you’re getting everything you need right out of the box. If your desk’s space is at a premium, keep a lookout for these all-in-one PCs when shopping the Presidents Day computer sales this year.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- The best cheap Razer deals for August 2021
- The AMD RX 6600 XT is 15% faster than the RTX 3060, but there’s a catch
- Best cheap laser printer deals for August 2021
- Save $40 with this massive air fryer deal at Amazon today
- Walmart just released a ton of amazing drone deals