PC Displays May Get Cheaper as Sales Slow

(Image credit: Monoprice)

After five consecutive quarters of rising display sales, fuelled by a shift to work-from-home (WFH) caused by the pandemic, sales have started to decline in the third quarter of 2021, according to IDC. While this is not good news for suppliers, this is a good thing for consumers because as demand slows down, prices may decline too. 

Demand for PC monitors skyrocketed in the first half of 2020 as people started to buy LCDs for laptops. This demand continued to rise mainly due to WFH, but now shipments have returned to their normal patterns, according to market researchers from IDC, at least according to the numbers, which may lead to a lower pressure on the supply chain and consecutive drop of prices. May does not mean will though. 

"We think about 25 million gaming AIBs will be sold in (JPR gets the data from companies like AMD and Nvidia, not from retailers) 2021, said Peddie. "Gamers using notebooks and integrated graphics don’t usually invest much in a monitor, especially a gaming monitor. So I think it would be safe to guestimate that 12 to 15 million gamers in 2021 invested in what would be characterized as a gaming monitor."


(Image credit: IDC)

"Covid-19 has caused a lot of people to upgrade their system, and even if they do not have a dedicated gaming PC, they equip their PC for gaming to the limit of their budget," said Jon Peddie, the head of Jon Peddie Research

Around 34.8 million PC displays were sold in Q3 2021, down 7.2% from the same quarter a year ago, according to IDC. This surely contrasts with 86,652 million PCs shipped in the third quarter, but given the fact that the vast majority of PCs are now notebooks, this does not look surprising. Meanwhile, the gaming LCD market continues to rise and it is a bright spot. Last year the number of gaming monitors and machines rose to 26.4 million units. 

According to IDC, the overall value of the combined gaming PC and monitor markets is expected to grow from $43 billion in 2020 to just over $60 billion in 2025 with a five-year CAGR of 7.4%. Of course, shortages and premiums are something that we have come to expect , but IDC says gaming monitors were at $339 in 2020, but are expected to drop to $309 in 2025. Unfortunately, IDC does not disclose what a gaming PC is, but given the current prices of the best graphics cards selected by our Jarred Walton, there are reasonable doubts about using a discrete GPU there.  

"There has been a strong interest in high-refresh monitors (up to 144 Hz and even beyond), said Peddie. "Also, there has been a movement from HD to 1440 and even 4K. And then there are those gorgeous 34 to 49 inch curved monitor."  

While demand for hardware in general skyrocketed in 2020~2021 and that growth is slowing down, demand for gaming displays will be steady, according to JPR. 

Anton Shilov
Contributing Writer

Anton Shilov is a contributing writer at Tom’s Hardware. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.