With the GPU shortage, gaming laptops and pre-built ones are the only alternative
While various other industries are feeling the effects of the component shortage, gaming in particular is also suffering significantly from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While cars, televisions, home appliances and other miscellaneous goods have experienced supply shortages as a result, video game equipment has had an equally troublesome struggle with the shortage of supply. PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles have been difficult to find at MSRP, with many resorting to purchasing more expensive packs or purchasing from resellers with a high profit margin. PC gaming in particular has also been a major victim of this trend, especially for all gamers looking for graphics cards in today’s turbulent market.
GPU stock has become so incredibly scarce that many have come up with many unorthodox and downright impractical methods of acquiring better performance hardware for their PCs over the past year or so. Whether it’s GPUs or other hard-to-find hardware like CPUs (and in some cases RAM and power supplies), dedicated people trying to upgrade their platforms have even had to buy PCs. pre-built, just for the express purpose of piecemeal sweeping parts to implement into their existing platforms. Those who are trying to get into PC gaming for the first time have even resorted to purchasing gaming laptops. However, strange as it sounds, these aren’t bad options in today’s market. .
Computer hardware shortages will continue until 2022
Just as it looked like the pandemic would abate in the United States, and parts of the world, variants of COVID-19 are starting to spread as renewed concerns of a new pandemic begin to mount. As a result, the component shortage that plagues 2021 is now poised to continue through 2022 as the global supply chain is hampered by bottlenecks and additional complications. Video games continue to be one of the industries hardest hit by the global shortage, as graphics and processing hardware continue to be the most sought-after silicon components, meaning that hardware manufacturers are faced with serious delays in orders and shipments.
Finding a GPU on its own is literally next to impossible due to several key factors: supply chain issues, resale bots taking over hardware inventory as sales pages are brought up. line, and a large percentage of the supply goes directly to hardware manufacturers like Dell and ASUS, using pre-built PC GPUs. Even though (comparatively) processors, RAM, storage, and other components are easier to find, GPUs are the most difficult PC gaming components to buy. Since there is more profit to be gained from pre-built platforms along with the cost of labor, many companies that sell hardware are getting the first few steps on GPUs and other hardware, which leads gamers to buy more pre-built PCs.
Buying pre-built gaming PCs and laptops may be the only option
For those desperate to get upgraded hardware immediately, and even those looking to upgrade with less urgency, the only alternative for both camps is to purchase a pre-built PC. This is not the most ideal situation, nor is it a particularly responsible choice given the current fluctuation in the gaming market. Buying a full gaming PC, or even buying a gaming laptop instead, are really the only navigable ways around the problem of getting a GPU alone. Since GPUs like the RTX 3070 sell for an average of over $ 1,100 on eBay (double the average MSRP of $ 499.99), pre-built rigs are an alternative that many are considering.
Obviously, for first-time buyers, this isn’t a big deal. Granted, a big part of PC gaming is that gamers are finally getting their own platform together after taking the time to research and learn how to build their own PCs, but it’s not quite practical in 2022. Even though buying a pre-built gaming PC costs less to experience, it’s far less of a headache than trying to build a whole new platform in today’s hardware market. Gaming laptops are even a solid option here, as the disparity between mobile CPU / GPU variants and desktop hardware has narrowed significantly over the past decade. Additionally, laptops have additional practicality / convenience factors compared to desktop computers.
However, owners of powerful platforms who are already looking for upgrades / replacements / etc. are in a much more difficult situation than the average consumer. Buying a pre-built PC just to extract the relevant parts to use in existing hardware leaves a ton of hardware left that they might not need. This means throwing away things like extra RAM, storage, motherboards, power supplies, fans, cases, and various other miscellaneous parts on sites like eBay, left unsold and unused for some time. It’s not justifiable, but for those who are desperate enough, it may be the only option to upgrade GPUs when resale prices rise to match the prices of pre-built machines.
Ultimately, there is still hope for a much more user-friendly market environment in the future for PC gamers, but that isn’t happening anytime soon. Representatives from Intel, Nvidia, AMD and others have expressed similar feelings that the component shortage will continue until 2022/2023. PC gaming has become a difficult pastime to enjoy in recent years, and the continued scarcity of the offer will only make matters more difficult.
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