2010: The year PC prices go up
Component shortages means end of cheap PCs - for now
PC prices have fallen - or at least stayed the same - for many years now, but some analysts believe this year will see them become more expensive.
The reason is increasing prices for components as a result of overly pessimistic manufacturers cutting back production during the downturn. The long lead time for building complex fabs for chips and memory components means the recovery could lead to a jump in prices.
Analysts began predicting higher prices for memory chips late last year.
Although demand is traditionally weakest in the first quarter of the year, if the recovery stays on track we could start to see shortages of DRAM chips in the second half of 2010.
Research from Gartner Group suggests a 23 per cent increase in memory prices will start to hit total PC prices. Flatscreen monitors, hard drives and optical drives are also in short supply, The FT reports.
The problem is made worse by moves from second to third generation DRAM chips.
The upshot could be a price rise of 2.8 per cent this year, the FT reports.
This will no doubt spur construction of new Fabs. But pulling funding together, not to mention constructing a plant, all takes time.
Meaning some manufacturers have time to make hay while the sun shines - before the slew of new plants causes another components glut.®
Guess you guys never play anything more demanding than solitaire...
Makes me smile the comments here that you can get gross overkill for $600. Yeah, right. Not all of us who buy/build PC's do so to run office apps you know.
I'm waiting for the six output ATI Eyefinity graphics card to power eight monitors (using a TH2Go) for some serious flight sim action. You definately do need overkill systems for high end gaming/photo/video work and rendering.
that means the only people they will get are those needing a computer system. You can do most computer tasks on old hardware nowadays with little CPU pushing power, so they will just cut demand even more.
There really isn't anything outside of games and media rendering that needs the computer power, day to day operations of computer systems was reached ages ago.
I'm sure the price increase in componets will more than offset by the drop in the price of flat screen now that information about LG fixing the prive of flat screens has been made public and the whole corupt scheme stopped . . . . . not unless . . . . .
New standards, new computers.
The machine I am typing on is quite adequate for what I do, but starting to feel a little slow for some things.
And it's old enough that, if I wanted to upgrade, the standards for the necessary parts are obsolete. For how much longer could I get a PATA hard drive? Replace the motherboard, and I would need new RAM, new SATA hard drive, new video card. What's that? A new PSU as well? That's damn near everything.
It doesn't need an expensive new machine to jump that barrier, but it's there.
Some of the stuff I do is in high-power territory, but it doesn't earn me money. I'm not the guy running CAD software, I'm just having fun, and the new hardware wouldn't necessarily give me more fun.
I suspect there are quite a few people waiting for the first Windows 7 upgrade. I am tempted by the idea of an external DVD writer; they do seem to wear out and it would work with my laptop as well as with any future upgrade path I followed.
It's probably best, as always, to go for the mid-range machine. There's always a premium for the latest hot tech, and the cheap machines can be cheap because of all sorts of inadequacies. I've seen Vista machines with a mere gigabyte of RAM, and Microsoft claimed that was sufficient. But how long is it going to be before the current hardware standards are obsolete. Will a new machine outlast PCI-E or USB 2?
2.8% has an ouch factor, but we've just had the VAT rate go back up, and that's nearly as much (Even if the system lets you claim back the VAT on the computer you buy, you have the VAT on what you sell).
The LCD monitor was worth buying. But it's VGA-only, and that's another constraint on step-by-step upgrades.
I suppose I shall just have to carry on with this old box.
I'd have said they are irrelevant to 99.9% of corporate users and only used by either gamers or in vedrtical markets. In reality a bog standard Celeron is more than enough for most corporate users.