It appears that the CPU and GPU supply curse has made its way into the pre-built segment. In an article by PC World, many pre-built vendors are getting hit with massive supply issues relating to AMD and Nvidia's latest silicon; from Ampere to Vermeer and RDNA2 products, it's no longer just a DIY market problem like we thought it was.
Gordon Mah Ung from PC World went to several (unnamed) vendors to get their report on the situation -- beware, most of the vendors were small system integrators, not giants like Dell or HP. It appears most of the companies are struggling to maintain graphics card supply. One vendor went on to say that they can no longer negotiate graphics card prices anymore. Instead, they buy them at whatever cost necessary, even if it's far above MSRP (which it usually is).
Regarding RTX 30 series deliveries, the news is mostly positive; PC World mentioned that several vendors were receiving RTX 30-series graphics cards on a mostly regular schedule, even if the GPUs are overpriced and low in stock.
However, that all changes with the Radeon RX 6000 series; vendors have complained that the RX 6800 and 6800 XT supply levels are so low that they are not ordering the cards or listing them for purchase. Instead, they will wait until the supply gets high enough for RX 6000 series GPUs to be a viable source of income.
Unfortunately, things aren't really improving AMD's CPUs either, AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs are selling like hotcakes, and vendors are struggling to maintain stock of the Vermeer parts. This has forced system integrators to switch to older Ryzen 3000 CPUs to keep customers happy. But even this strategy is faltering, now Ryzen 3000 parts are running low in stock, and that is causing prices to jump, similar to Vermeer.
The only light in this dark tunnel is Intel – Intel is the only company not dealing with supply issues like Nvidia or AMD. Vendors have said this is due to the company's much stronger supply chains, and that is evident by the fact that you can find Intel CPUs with better deals right now than AMD's counterparts. Intel has also increased its 10nm fab production by 25% this year, helping alleviate pressure on the CPU market. So if you're looking to buy a pre-built this year, it's probably a good idea to get something with Intel inside (albeit it won't have a discrete GPU, though).
It is really unfortunate to see the pre-built arena getting hit as well as the DIY market. This month is simply a horrendous time to make a PC purchase. Luckily the laptop segment really hasn't been affected as much as the desktop market, so if you really need a system right now, be sure to check out our holiday laptop deals here. Hopefully, this supply "pandemic" ends once the holiday season is over.