The cost to build a PC with good performance continues to fall as we get more for our money. Still, the current world situation and pandemic has led to substantial inflation of component pricing, notably motherboards and power supplies. Looking at some limited stock listings and it's easy to find prices hike up 200%.
Here's my advice: unless you desperately require a PC built or upgraded right now, you should hold off until the situation (hopefully) improves.
What's happening to make the prices of PC parts inflate?
The world is still experiencing a pandemic, with some countries even beginning to see ripples of a potential second wave of cases pop up in daily reports. Millions of people are not currently at work, and supply lines are running low, particularly within the technology sector. Products being shipped out of China and surrounding territories are also hampered.
We already know that production slowed in recent months for board partners alone. With more people at home, the demand for PC parts may have seen a slight boost with more time available to perform upgrades and enjoy PC games. There's also the case for people seeing an opportunity to buy hardware and resell on classified websites like eBay to make a quick buck.
And you also have panic buying, as we've seen with general consumer goods. Gamers Nexus did a great video on how COVID-19 has affected the PC industry. It's not only companies like ASUS and MSI who have encountered production issues, but also partner companies further down the chain that provide various components like fans, for example.
We've seen product launches pushed back, as well as a substantial price increase with products we already recommend in guides. Some motherboards we have listed in our AMD guides have seen their prices increase considerably.
Should you buy PC components right now?
Not unless you're getting a good deal. For some motherboards, we've seen extreme cases where prices have increased by 200%. It's worth searching around to make sure you're getting the best price available if you absolutely must buy components right now. It's already been said that pricing is set to increase through 2020, but the current crisis is worsening matters.
"Prices for MLCCs and chip resistors are expected to rise through the fourth quarter of 2020 as supply will increasingly fall short of demand for 5G applications. [...] The rapid spread of coronavirus in Korea has raised increasing concerns about the global supply of memory chips in 2020 as Korean makers, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, account for 73% global output of these devices, according to industry sources."
Shop wisely out there. The current pricing situation sucks, but you can still grab a decent deal if you play it right. If you are looking to shop around for PC parts, we've got you covered with plenty of recommendations.
Minecraft Dungeons lead talks its next DLC and the future endgame
We talk Minecraft Dungeons’ recent Jungle Awakens DLC, the Creeping Winter expansion, and future endgame plans with game director, Måns Olson.
Fix up your Xbox Elite Controller with these parts
Need some replacement parts for your Xbox One Elite Controller? From new paddles, grips, bumpers, thumbsticks, and more, we have you covered.
Hands-on with Windows 10 build 20161 showcasing the new Start menu
Yesterday, Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 that includes an updated Start menu design with translucent Live Tiles, improvements to Notifications, and behavior changes to things like Tablet Mode and the Taskbar. It's been a while since Microsoft released a build with any surface-level changes, but now it's finally happened, we're back showcasing all the changes on video.
The best aftermarket CPU coolers for AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
In order to get the most out of the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor, you'll need to keep it cool enough for it to work as hard as it's able. This is where a good CPU cooler comes into play and we've rounded up some of our favorites.