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Report: Coronavirus Hitting Graphics Card, Motherboard Demand in China

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It's no secret that Coronavirus is affecting the tech industry. According to a DigiTimes report Tuesday, that also includes China's PC building industry, namely motherboards and graphics cards, which are reportedly already seeing a drop in local demand. 

The report cites unnamed "sources from the upstream supply chain" and says that vendors like Asus and Gigabyte, which see most of its GPU and mobo products sent to China, may see shipments drop further than originally expected in Q1. Gigabyte is said to have shipped fewer than 10 million motherboards in 2019.

The "significantly" lower demand reportedly stems from local consumers avoiding public places, including cafés and physical stores.  Meanwhile, many local services in China, such as delivery services, have been suspended, meaning that online shopping for hardware will also come to a slowdown. And while Chinese residents have other things to worry about besides updating their rig, we suspect that demand won't come to a complete halt. After all, those stuck at home may be itching for a more powerful entertainment system.

DigiTimes also claimed that this decrease in PC hardware demand has "greatly eased" pressure on Intel regarding its CPU shortage. It added that this could reduce AMD's opportunity for market penetration. But keep in mind, there was more driving consumers to AMD products besides Intel's shortage, including lower price points. 

DRAMeXchange, on the other hand, recently said that it doesn't expect the Coronavirus to affect memory supplies, despite the closure of many factories. 

  • Darkbreeze
    I don't know, because I'm not there, but I honestly think that "those stuck at home" in China are seriously more interested in just staying alive then they are in worrying about upgrading anything. I mean, seriously? Do we really believe that people locked down at home under travel and quarantine restrictions are actually worried about whether or not they can order a new motherboard right that moment or not? Or at all? Seems unrealistic to me.
    Reply
  • Olle P
    Darkbreeze said:
    ... I honestly think that "those stuck at home" in China are seriously more interested in just staying alive then they are in worrying about upgrading anything. ...
    Not "more" worried, but "also". It's a matter of priorities.
    1. Don't catch the virus.Solution: Avoid physical contact with others. Stay home!
    Status: Check!
    2. While alone (with family) at home, get food and supplies to avoid starvation.
    Solution: Order online!
    Status: Reduced delivery service and possibly also poor shopping experience due to old crappy hardware.
    3. Keep sane while at home, in spite of having little contact with others.
    Solution: Use computer to distract the mind and keep in touch with other people.
    Status: Old computer prevents full pleasure.
    4. Upgrade computer!
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Darkbreeze said:
    I don't know, because I'm not there, but I honestly think that "those stuck at home" in China are seriously more interested in just staying alive then they are in worrying about upgrading anything. I mean, seriously? Do we really believe that people locked down at home under travel and quarantine restrictions are actually worried about whether or not they can order a new motherboard right that moment or not? Or at all? Seems unrealistic to me.
    While the disease is more dangerous than something like the flu, the fatality rate so far has only been around 3% among those who are known to have contracted it, with the majority of deaths being among the elderly and those with existing health conditions. And while the roughly 30,000 people who are known to have contracted it so far might sound like a lot, that only amounts to around 0.002% of China's total population, or about 1 in 50,000 people, with only 1 in 2.5 million having died from it. Those ratios will be higher in some localized regions and will undoubtedly grow higher for some time, but most of the demographic likely to purchase computer components are probably not excessively worried about it, even if their workplaces are in some cases shut down to help reduce potential transmission of the disease.
    Reply
  • Darkbreeze
    So far, from what I've seen and read from some pretty reputable sources, it currently looks pretty much like if you get exposed to this virus, you get it. Unlike seasonal influenza and a number of other well known but enormously deadly plagues, where there has been some amount of hit or miss when it comes to contraction.

    So if we assume even half of China's 1.36 billion people become infected and 3% of them die, that's still somewhere around 20,400,000 deaths. You want to tell me that YOU are feeling ok with those numbers now if it's possible YOU might be among those numbers? I didn't think so. I doubt those people do either.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    Darkbreeze said:
    So far, from what I've seen and read from some pretty reputable sources, it currently looks pretty much like if you get exposed to this virus, you get it. Unlike seasonal influenza and a number of other well known but enormously deadly plagues, where there has been some amount of hit or miss when it comes to contraction.

    So if we assume even half of China's 1.36 billion people become infected and 3% of them die, that's still somewhere around 20,400,000 deaths. You want to tell me that YOU are feeling ok with those numbers now if it's possible YOU might be among those numbers? I didn't think so. I doubt those people do either.
    I agree with what you've been saying about most people in China, but you also have to know that there are many in China that don't have that kind of common sense relative to those in the US or maybe in some other Western countries. I don't want to sound racist or anything, but there will be people out there in China just like how there are anti-vaxxers in the US. Not saying there will be a lot of people who do that, but since China has a larger population that the US, it stands to reasonably think there will be a larger amount of people in China that would disregard or ignore the obvious statistics and information related to nCoronavirus 2019.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Darkbreeze said:
    So far, from what I've seen and read from some pretty reputable sources, it currently looks pretty much like if you get exposed to this virus, you get it. Unlike seasonal influenza and a number of other well known but enormously deadly plagues, where there has been some amount of hit or miss when it comes to contraction.

    So if we assume even half of China's 1.36 billion people become infected and 3% of them die, that's still somewhere around 20,400,000 deaths. You want to tell me that YOU are feeling ok with those numbers now if it's possible YOU might be among those numbers? I didn't think so. I doubt those people do either.
    It's a bit early to randomly assume that half of people would get infected, and those kind of numbers seem rather unlikely. From what I've heard, transmission is rather similar to that of the flu virus, and isn't necessarily much more contagious. The flu does infect a lot of people though, afflicting millions each year and killing hundreds of thousands worldwide, so it's certainly possible that millions could similarly get infected by this, with the potential for more fatalities. However, with the outbreak getting a lot of media coverage, and governments taking steps to reduce transmission, it seems likely that people may actually end up better protected against this than the flu, simply because transmission of the flu tends to be taken less seriously.

    The outbreak is a serious concern, and chances are high that it may result in at least tens of thousands of fatalities, but expecting tens of millions is probably jumping the gun a bit, as is assuming people are going to be huddled in their homes with no interest in using their computers or other forms of entertainment.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Darkbreeze said:
    I don't know, because I'm not there, but I honestly think that "those stuck at home" in China are seriously more interested in just staying alive then they are in worrying about upgrading anything.
    So, being stuck at home for weeks on end wouldn't have you a bit bored?

    Darkbreeze said:
    Do we really believe that people locked down at home under travel and quarantine restrictions are actually worried about whether or not they can order a new motherboard right that moment or not?
    Yes. If I'm using my home PC more, I'm even more likely to notice how slow it is, and want to upgrade it.

    The only real factor countering that would be loss of income, if my job were something I couldn't do from home.

    Remaining in a heightened state of anxiety, for prolonged periods of time, is unnatural and unhealthy. It's not as if there's a zombie apocalypse, outside, a hot war, or even ebola - just a bad virus that you'd rather avoid.

    Sure, you need to do some planning around when the designated person in your household will go out and get food & supplies, but unless someone in your family is sick, I don't really see what else would consume someone's attention to such a degree that it would completely displace any and all thoughts of upgrades, for PC users.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    cryoburner said:
    most of the demographic likely to purchase computer components are probably not excessively worried about it, even if their workplaces are in some cases shut down to help reduce potential transmission of the disease.
    Your math is wrong, because it's not only those 30k who are infected that are subject to the controls mentioned. At first, it was everyone living in Wuhan & neigboring cities in Hubei. However, more recently, they've been extending it to even more cities, including even Shanghai.

    Getting back to the original story, I'm sure the depressed demand for PC upgrades is also somewhat due to the extended holiday break. Hourly employees won't be getting paid for that extra time off.

    Others could generally be concerned about the economic impact and just holding off on discretionary spending. China's economy has already been slowing, over the past year or so.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    cryoburner said:
    with the outbreak getting a lot of media coverage, and governments taking steps to reduce transmission,
    That only works in countries that have the infrastructure and the law and order to effectively quarantine people, do all the contact tracing, etc.

    Once it gets into developing or war-torn countries, it will explode like wildfire. And the fatality rate is worse than recent flu viruses. Fortunately, it's not as high as SARS (which is a closely-related corona virus), nor is it nearly as contagious as measles.
    Reply
  • Darkbreeze
    cryoburner said:
    It's a bit early to randomly assume that half of people would get infected, and those kind of numbers seem rather unlikely. From what I've heard, transmission is rather similar to that of the flu virus, and isn't necessarily much more contagious.


    I don't know where you're getting your information from, and I'm no scientist or doctor, but from what I'm reading and hearing, that is not just wrong, but seriously, lost in the middle of the rainforest type wrong.

    Professors at the University of Hong Kong using similar methods published a study in the Lancet on Friday that estimated there were 75,815 infected in Wuhan as of Jan. 25, when official counts were still in the hundreds.


    “We think only 1 in 20 people who are getting infected are actually being diagnosed” in Wuhan, said Jonathan M. Read, lead author of a study from Britain’s Lancaster University that also put Wuhan numbers in the tens of thousands as of Jan. 22. “It’s quite a bit more transmissible than seasonal flu.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/experts-race-to-figure-out-how-contagious-the-wuhan-virus-is-11580672317
    Obviously, it is still early to tell a lot of things with any certainty, but with 28,018 people "officially" infected in just over a month and "officially" 583 of them dead which is about a 2.1% death rate (Compared to a 0.51% rate for seasonal influenza), and the numbers having quadrupled over the last SIX days, the LAST thing in the world I'd be worried about right now is whether or not I could get somebody to deliver a motherboard or graphics card to me or not especially when there is a lack of water, food, medicine, information and other critical services, not to mention a very real fear of whether or not I might die since a lot of other people actually, are.

    Even people in other countries where there are no related deaths yet have these fears, so you can imagine what it's like being in a country where tens of thousands of people are infected and almost six hundred have already died from it. I think the overwhelming majority of people are by FAR not taking this as seriously as they ought to be. Especially considering that with a minor mutation or two, this could easily go from a low to high mortality rate given the right circumstances.
    Reply