The desolate world of computer building in 2021 is bleak and it is probably not getting better until at least 2023. Between Covid-19 shaking up the supply industry, making parts scarce, and scalpers taking what’s left, the windows of opportunity are few and far between. Here’s some insight into what is happening behind the scenes.
With the world shutting down due to COVID-19 the computer industry was not the only industry affected by the shortage of workers and shipment delays. Ships were rerouted and some manifests completely canceled to slow and hopefully stop the spread of COVID-19. Unable to send larger shipping containers to China (the largest provider of materials for computer parts) smaller containers that China had weren’t able to fill orders in time.
COVID-19 restrictions requiring people to work and go to school from home lead to an even larger increase in demand for semiconductors to build the technology needed to perform the tasks needed to stay productive. Due to this increase in demand, tech industry leaders, like Samsung, are finding it hard to keep up with supply. In addition to the shortage in supply, we are dealing with scalpers wiping out what is available at the time of release. The majority of these scalpers are crypto miners purchasing components in bulk because of cryptocurrency, like Ethereum, skyrocketing.
Not only is the hobby tech industry being affected by this shortage, but other industries are suffering from the lack of computer components as well. The Auto industry, which uses a lot of the same computer components, is also suffering from this shortage. Due to its use for the general public over just a few hobbyists, the auto industry is being prioritized over the gaming industry. Other industries affected by this are tabletop gaming, figurines, book production, TCG, paint, food, health care, and more.
Though it is a hard time for hobbyists, some are finding ways around this. Many are purchasing prebuilt computers to strip them of parts to finish builds they are trying to complete. Bringing an already scarce market to its knees.
There is hope on the horizon as more countries are opening up and reducing their COVID-19 work restrictions. With this, the long backlog will slowly get filled until we are back to the old “normal” in the industry. Projections say this may not be until 2023 or thereafter. In the meantime, if we see any indication that the components are being built and sent out faster, which would decrease the wait time on computer components, we will update our readers. Until then stay devious.
Written in collaboration with Shinobibotx.
Streamer and Cosplay Enthusiast