A few years ago, I built my first ever PC.
I've had PCs before, of course, but this was the first one I'd ever built for myself from scratch - though I definitely had supervision! It was a nerve wracking experience, but I genuinely enjoyed learning all the in's and out's of PC building. Would I do it again, though?
That was too stressful. I get why people love building PCs, but I'd just rather have one of my enthusiast friends build it for me because it's something they love. I can do without the stress of assembly, thanks.
Anyway, if you've had a mind to build a computer in the last two years I'm sure you've noticed that GPUs are incredibly hard - if not flat out impossible - to come by, especially at a reasonable price. The global chip shortage has been caused in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic rendering suppliers unable to keep up with demand, and also in part due to a boom in cryptocurrency mining.
Fortunately, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Some encouraging signs suggest that Nvidia's RTS-30 series may finally be dropping in price after many months of inflation. A new report from 3DCenter.org was spotted by Tom's Hardware recently and it suggests that prices for certain GPUs may be on the decline. The report only looks at prices in Germany, but since it's one of the biggest markets for PC components, this could have wider market implications.
Nvidia graphics cards prices are falling, but the prices for AMD cards are actually rising.
Back in May, most Nvidia cards were selling at 300% above their manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). Although prices are still above MSRP, the inflation has dropped to around 150%, which is better than nothing (and a fairly substantial drop). Nvidia has been implementing hash rate limiters in order to stop its GPUs from being so attractive to cryptocurrency miners, which may account for some of the price drops.
I'm not saying that now is a great time to build a new PC - prices are still significantly above the MSRP after all - but if you've been holding off and just can't wait any longer, there would certainly be a worse time to do it than now. If you can find an Nvidia card on sale for an affordable price, snag it while the getting's good - there's no telling if the prices might take another upswing in the future.
AMD prices have been rising, but it seems that part of the reason for that is because AMD hasn't implemented the same hash rate limiters that Nvidia has been. Will they follow suit in the future? It's hard to say.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up later this year, we might observe further price drops - but a lot of that does depend on how much supply there is. I have been wanting to upgrade, but I'm not in dire need of it right now - I certainly hope my PC can last through the shortages before I'm forced to build another!
What about you - have you built a PC recently or are you getting ready to? How have the inflated prices affected you?