You Might Want to Stop Waiting for PC Prices to Get Better

kid using pc on his school's library

It’s close to impossible to find anyone who isn’t operating under a budget nowadays. With prices all over the place and inflation fears everywhere to be found, buying that new Nissan car for sale or setting up your next home renovation project is a lot harder to do if you can’t find a good deal. And if there’s one industry that has felt this impact the most, then none would deny that 2020 and 2021 were some of the most expensive years in the PC components market, not to mention all the scalpers driving the price tags even higher.

However, if you’re among the vast majority of PC enthusiasts who decided to practice diamond hands and wait for prices to get better this year, then we have some extremely hard-to-swallow pills in the form of “these amounts aren’t falling anytime soon.” Thus, instead of waiting on the sidelines, stuck with outdated technology straining your work delivery, and facing the risk of things getting worse,  building your new PC ASAP is a wise decision.

What’s Keeping the Prices So Expensive?

Now, you might still be on the fence about this whole ordeal of giving up your over a hundred-days-streak of abstaining from buying PC parts; anyone would feel the same way because giving up so late into the game just sounds wrong. However, there are circumstances in the grand scheme of things that make the likelihood of prices getting better appear a lot dimmer on paper, such as the dragging chip shortage and the incredibly high demand for new components.

  • Chip Shortage Drags on to 2022: The Covid-19 pandemic introduced unprecedented supply chain constraints, shortages, and issues that are still felt today, and one of the most disruptive ones making waves right now is the dragging chip shortage. In fact, Toyota even expects its annual production target to fall. Applying the same logic for the PC industry, it’s no surprise why prices are skyrocketing due to limited supply. And with forecasts for recovery nowhere in sight, this bottleneck will continue until something bigger causes the market to change.
  • High Demand for New PC Components: In direct correlation with the chip shortage, increased demand for new PC components is everywhere, and with omicron cases rising at an alarming rate, we might see more people hunker down again and need the necessary tech to stay productive when inside. As a result, this compounds the existing problem of having so little to go around, and now with so many people searching for the same limited supply, price tags for these gadgets and products become inflated.

And If You’re Building, Here’s What to Watch Out For

Given those reasons mentioned above, it’s pretty clear that building a PC right now and being content with what you can get and afford is the best and only option available if you need that upgrade soon. Of course, that’s not to say looking through online platforms and visiting nearby stores will be any easier, so to help make sense of what to snag and to avoid, here are some important reminders:

  • Don’t Chase After DDR5 RAM: While grabbing the latest and greatest DDR5 RAM available near you might sound like a wise investment, the increase in performance is negligible at best and doesn’t justify the markup you’ll be paying for if you choose to do so. And with DDR4 RAM modules hovering at competitive price points alongside storage options, you’ll fare much better sticking with what works. Plus, the only available compatible motherboards are high-end, which means shelling out more bucks for your budget.
  • Choosing Between AMD and Intel: None will deny AMD’s recent stellar track record, and no one will fault you for going with team red for your processor, but with all the innovation and development going on Intel-side, you might want to reconsider. Specifically, Intel’s Core i5-12400 is setting comparative benchmarks across the board for both gaming purposes and multi-threaded work, potentially dethroning AMD’s current spot as the price-to-performance king. Unless you’re rocking a Ryzen motherboard that supports the next 5000 series, switching to team blue is a valid option.
  • Be Wary of Inflated GPU Prices: Everybody universally agrees that all the muscle and power your computer can output largely depends on your GPU. However, with prices constantly changing and highly dependent on local supply, flagship models are just out of the picture. Therefore, don’t expect to snatch any RTX 3080s or 3090s anytime soon because those products are extremely hard to come by and already have a long backlog of orders in the pipeline. Instead, you can buy either a Raden 6600XT or RTX 3060Ti to keep you moving in the meantime.

You Could Wait, but Who Knows How Long That Will Take?
pc with its side of the chassis open

We know that waiting sounds like a sensible choice since you’ve already been doing it for so long now that it doesn’t bother you, but since we can’t change how long fixing some of the core issues will take, you might be waiting for much longer than you’d like. Therefore, reflect on some of the key points mentioned above and decide for yourself if building your PC now is best for you.

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