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Saturday | October 16, 2021
Hardware: price rebound and outlook

Hardware: price rebound and outlook

Like us, you have the evolution of hardware prices and especially graphics cards in mind. It’s a thorny subject that has been in the news for many months. We will try to shed some light on the subject with the objective elements we have on the hardware market.


Hardware: price increase in September, as expected

After a certain lull this summer (and especially in August), the price trend on GPUs has started to rise again. We had mentioned this strong possibility relatively early on, given certain tensions and a recovery in the mining market. Already in the summer, indicators in China were saying that we would have this recovery. In reality, the August break may have suggested an improvement, but September is just a return to normal. From the point of view of brand deliveries to most European wholesalers, the signs of improvement are there. They are modest but they are definitely there.


Hardware: price increases and availability changes

In August, consumption simply turned around with the change in end-customer focus. The price drop is explained solely by the distributors’ efforts on their margins. Until now, they were used to seeing their stocks turn over in a few hours, but the summer slowdown in activity simply “inflated” the distributors’ stocks and required an effort on prices to maintain a rapid turnover. You can see this phenomenon by looking at the 3DCentergraph above, which we have annotated to clearly see the phenomenon of the August slowdown and the recovery. September saw consumption take off again, so the old reflexes took over, hence the price increase.

What to expect for the end of the year?

In a few days, the 4th quarter will start, which is crucial for most component manufacturers and brands. Our information suggests that the level of availability should be a bit better than in Q3. If you look at the picture, it has improved considerably since the beginning of the year. However, this improvement will not be enough to absorb the traditional peak in consumption at this time of year.

No miracle for the compound buyer / DIY market

Most of the brands favor deals with the big PC assemblers / manufacturers by offering product combinations. Basically, if you want a graphics card you have to get a motherboard or another component from my catalogue.

RTX 3070 sold out

The situation for the customer waiting for an upgrade or looking to build his own PC is not going to improve at the end of the year. On the global European market, the biggest German and English integrators should be the best served. Expect any availability to come from there..

And what about the rest?

As if that wasn’t enough, the VGA sector isn’t the only one affected. We will try to be synthetic and to scan the situation on the other key components.

  • Ram / SSD: we are seeing a relative relaxation with quite a few operations coming up. With the exception of the arrival of DDR5, there should be no “hot flash” at the end of the year.
  • CPU: AMD seems to be preparing for the arrival of Alder Lake and a drop in Ryzen 5000 is possible. The availability of the latter seems to be correct again and the situation should remain this way for the end of the year. On the other hand, AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series, which allowed us to have a cheaper offer, is disappearing from the stocks. If we combine this phenomenon with the scarcity of Intel i5 gen 10-11 CPUs, the average price of CPUs will generally be on the rise in the fourth quarter.
  • Motherboards: the arrival of Alder Lake and the Z690 will raise the fever, but on small volumes. However, it seems that AMD’s stock levels of Ryzen motherboards will ensure a certain amount of peace of mind for the end of the year.
  • Cases / Power supplies: these products are being hit hard by the dizzying rise in logistics costs.
  • Displays: stock levels seem to be high at European wholesalers, so promotions are probably expected for Black Friday. However, this is only a lull, as the price of panels and peripheral components needed to manufacture a screen is rising.

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Edited by Calliers

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