PC Hardware Is Extremely Overpriced Right Now

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Many of you in the comments area are asking about alternative parts mainly when it comes to graphics cards or RAM. The thing is, no matter where you check, it’s all very overpriced.

I’ve looked into why hardware has sky rocketed in the past year and I have a bit of speculation as to when/if we’ll ever see hardware go back down to a decent enough price for us gamers.

 

overpriced graphics card meme

 

Video Cards Are Overpriced


overpriced gtx 1050 tiIf you bought your video card before Summer of last year then you lucked out, you got your video card for maybe $20-$50 more than the retail price.

Right now, almost every video card on the market has doubled in price. You can’t even find a GTX 1050 Ti for under $200 today and it’s supposed to be selling for around ~$140.

Paying $200 or more for that card, you’re better off going with a 1060. But if you look there, they’re now around the MSRP price of a 1070. Look at a 1070 and you’ll see that it’s currently priced where a 1080 should be priced at.

If you’re looking for a 1080 Ti, you’re going to be spending over $1,000 just for the video card alone.

So why have video cards sky rocketed in price? Why can’t AMD or Nvidia lower the prices of the current generation hardware?

The biggest reason is because of crypto-currency and people building PCs to mine these currencies. Look, I’m no crypto-currency expert by any means, I’m not the one to ask for all of the details.

From what I’ve gathered, crypto mining is the process of making sure that a transaction made with crypto currency is legitimate. It’s a very complicated, mathematical process to where a computer needs to be used to automate the process.

Miners used to use processors for this but in recent years, it was discovered that video cards are actually the best for calculating these transactions.

With the boom in Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, the amount of machines built and used for mining on a daily basis has also grown. These machines use multiple graphics cards at one time, usually 6+ video cards are used with one PC to calculate these transactions at scale.

This is why video cards have gone way up in price. AMD and Nvidia have followed suit and increased the price of the video cards because miners are going to be buying them anyway. That and I’m sure it’s hard to keep up with the demand.

2018 is looking to be the biggest year for crypto so I don’t think the pricing is going to go down any time soon, unfortunately…

I feel like the only way AMD and Nvidia can provide fair pricing for us gamers is to create a separate technology and video cards that still perform well without having the tech necessary for mining, but I’m not even sure if that’s possible.

 

RAM Is Overpriced


ram is overpricedRAM is also at a very high price point, in some cases it’s priced over 300% more than what it’s supposed to be selling at.

It’s almost impossible to find a single 8GB stick of DDR4 RAM for less than $80. That’s if you are okay with a slower speed of RAM as well.

Even with a 8GB kit that has two sticks of 4GB RAM, it’s at the same price point.

Why is RAM also overpriced? What is causing this?

There are a couple of reasons why RAM prices have increased over time. Again these prices seem to have risen after Summer of last year.

It’s around this time when the price of silicon rose and it’s expected to rise more throughout 2018 and going into 2019.

SUMCO, one of the biggest silicon wafer manufacturers, stated this. Silicon is used for just about everything involved in the tech world and PC hardware is no different. With the price increase of silicon, everything used and made with silicon will in-turn increase.

Then there’s also the fact that the demand for RAM has increased a lot and the supply has not been able to keep up. This could be on purpose, many companies purposely slow down their supply when they realize that the demand for their product is high.

Hopefully that isn’t the case, but it wouldn’t be a surprise at all.

 

What Should We Do?


Since building a PC is at an all-time high price with everything included, it puts things into perspective… Nobody wants to overpay, but most still want to be able to put their own build together.

You could simply bite the bullet and pay the price for RAM since it’s most likely not going to go down any time soon. Then you could downgrade a part such as the video card until pricing makes sense for a proper upgrade or until the next wave of video cards come out.

An alternative would be to take a look at some pre-built PCs. In the past it almost never made sense to get a pre-built gaming PC but things have changed now with all of the pricing being increased, the suppliers for pre-built PCs have had these PCs in stock for quite some time now.

If you’re interested in getting a pre-built you need to make sure that you aren’t getting screwed over, make sure you do your research.

You can check out this post for some information on what it means to get a pre-built and you can also check out the reviews that are here to maybe find something that would fit with what you’re looking for.

So, are you still sticking to putting a build of your own together? What type of budget are you trying to work with?

Or are you going to be looking at some pre-built PCs?

Let me know in the comments below! 😀

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6 Responses to PC Hardware Is Extremely Overpriced Right Now

  1. Stephen says:

    Hi Colton, I am a bit bummed as I had decided to do one of your $1000 builds before prices skyrocketed. Unfortunately other family $$ priorities kept stepping in front of my build money. So, here I am now realizing your previous builds in this price range with what I wanted are long gone. I was reading your Category Archives: “PC Hardware is Extremely Overpriced Right Now” and what to do….continued reading into Pre-Built or Custom Gaming PC. I am limping along pitifully on my old PC and have to do something quick and decided to look at a pre-built. Did the usual big names and not happy with builds & prices at all. Finally I did a check at Costco they had an Acer G3 Predator Gaming Tower with the exact build I wanted. I priced it out and no way could I build this for their price of $1,299.99. It is a build only for Costco, as I could not find it on Acer’s website and their Customer Support acknowledged that when I called them to try and find out who the manufacturers were of the motherboard, memory, and power supply. They gave me their warehouse division to email to get that information, waiting to hear back. I found some forums and reviews on this G3, and all were favorable. There were some returns on the early releases due to people not doing a needed BIOS update which Acer addressed 4/2017. So anyway, Costco has had sales on this G3 as well, bringing it down to $1,100.00, and the G3 is currently only available at Costco online. They used to be in the stores, but most stores are out of them & they don’t know if they will have them back. So other than not knowing which brand name some of the components are, what do you think? I only play Wow and might do some video editing, so the i7-7700 should be fine, has Win 10, and the 1070 graphics is there.

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Stephen,

      Right… PC hardware is at an all-time high and I doubt that prices are going to get lower in the near future. With that, it seems like you found a pretty solid deal on a pre-built that has good hardware.

      The only downfall with that one is that if you were going to open it up to add in or upgrade hardware down the road then you void the warranty. Not a huge deal, but maybe it is for you.

      I tried to look for the brands that are inside as well and no dice, it doesn’t seem that it’s listed anywhere. Odds are that it’s using something like a MSI board, but again I have no idea.

      Let me know what you decide to do, with a deal like that I’d say go for it! It’s overkill for WoW but if you plan on doing heavy rendering work then there is enough power there to get it done with speed.

  2. Stephen says:

    Ty for your reply Colton, although I somewhat feel like a traitor by not doing a build. I just found your PC Gaming review that has some great review info on prebuilds. The iBUYPOWER AM002i Gaming PC is comparable to the Acer G3 other than memory and no Optical Drive. Like you said, the Acer voids warranty if you open it up, which I probably wouldn’t do, & it’s a bit hard to beat the Costco warranty. Was so funny, a lady this year returned her Christmas tree to Costco for a refund because she said it died. Costco refunded the tree! So now, I am a bit back & forth on these 2 brands, the AMoo2i is on sale on Amazon for $1,239.00. Any favorites?

    • Colton P says:

      I’d got for the rig that you feel best about with the specs that you’re looking for. Don’t feel like a traitor, a gaming PC is a gaming PC – pre-built or not! It’s unfortunate that prices for hardware have sky rocketed the way they have so it makes perfect sense why you’d want to go with a pre-built PC right now.

  3. Stephen says:

    Hi Colton, I got the Costco Acer Predator AG3-710. Actually, the iBUYPOWER AM002 at Amazon were relisted at $1,399, so that took care of my deciding which one to get. Have the Acer up and running and everything is fine and dandy. Never knew Wow could look so good, haha. A year of McAfee was thrown in for free as well. Found out from Acer that the psu is a FSP Group 750W ATX 80PLUS Bronze, although the Costco specs say the psu was a 500w, must have did an upgrade on newer units. Couldn’t find out who the manufacturers of the motherboard or ram were though. Still want to build a computer someday however, sure appreciate all you do!

    • Colton P says:

      Awesome, glad it’s working out well for you! You could check out the Device Manager to see if it shows you the brands of the parts that it’s using.

      Careful with McAfee, remember that there’s no need to pay for anti-virus. Sure, McAfee gets it done but there are some free options as well that are just as good if not better.

      Happy gaming 🙂

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