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.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.
Well, generally speaking, most forum users ARE system builders, regardless if it's their job or not!!Reply
And we've been feelin' it ever since release dates!
I had to pass on some great Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals due to the CPU and GPU I wanted being out of stock! They're out of stock EVERYWHERE I would buy from. Sure, I could've bought all the other components for my build, but was worried I wouldn't be able to get the CPU or GPU I wanted for several months, so I decided to just wait. I know I'm not the only one who had to put off their plan for a new build.Reply
I think the failure of AMD and Nvidia to produce sufficient chips have a knock on impact to everyone in the supply chain. AIB don't get enough chips to sell as well for example, so they jack up the prices of "non-reference" models to make up for the lost in revenue. AMD can't produce enough CPU means motherboard sales will also tank since potential buyers may postpone their purchaseReply
If you want an AMD 5800X, which seems to be all that's available this year, you can find them at MicroCenters in the middle of the country. The coasts only have a single available, and it's in New Jersey. All 3 stores in OH have 25+ in stock this morning each, as well as Houston and also Madison Heights, MI, so the midsection of the country's MicroCenters are surprisingly well stocked this morning.Reply
For the first time ever, the Madison Heights, MI MicroCenter actually has all 4 Vermeer SKUs in stock. They are the only store other than Houston, TX to have more than 2 SKUs in stock, but I'd have to say this is a milestone of availability now.Reply