Scalpers are everywhere, and the prices of graphics cards and CPUs aren’t getting better anytime soon. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su even believes that the semiconductor shortage is not improving any time before 2023. That is still a long way to go. The pricing of the components is still in the mud, and the latest RTX 30 series are going for almost three times their MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). That’s merely an introduction to why getting a pre-built gaming PC is a good idea in 2022.
Even the Ryzen 5000G series of APUs are being scalped to the sky just because they can play all the latest AAA titles without a hiccup at low settings. The DDR5 memory was scalped a few days ago, too, and Intel Alder Lake processor pricing has been a bit off the place for quite some time.
So many people have built out entire gaming systems, but they can’t play games because they couldn’t score one of the latest RTX 30 series or the RX 6000 series GPUs. That looks sad.
Even Apple’s iMac and iPad 2021 devices were slightly delayed because of the chip scarcity. At this point, getting an RTX 30 series card seems nearly impossible unless you’re willing to shell out serious cash. Therefore, everyone looking to buy a new gaming computer is pretty much at a loss. But what if you could buy an entire system with a GTX 1650 Super and a Ryzen 5 3600 for just 800 dollars? That would be crazy, right? I was blown away by this, and when I further searched for more deals on pre-built gaming PCs, I discovered an entirely new aspect of technology.
The Real Deal With Pre-Builts
Now, we, PC guys, often condemned pre-builts throughout time. There are good reasons for that. Pre-builts have cheap and low-quality motherboards, and that may cause serious issues if you try hardcore gaming, which is what you will be buying the system for in the first place.
Also, the bigger issue is that they pack some of the cheapest and worst quality power supplies. Some are so bad that they even damage the processor in the long run. They just do this to match a budget, so I must not blame the PC assembling companies here.
But what we hate the most is that if you crack your pre-built system open, most times, it voids your warranty. Most times is the important word here. Some good companies understand us geeks and are kind enough to let us open our system and upgrade our storage, for example.
But at this point, it seems like if we can just get our hands on the newest hardware, that’s enough. Moreover, there are a lot of people who can easily build their systems. They can just pick up an entire pre-built, crack it open, configure it in their way, and forget about the warranty.
But one question still rules our minds. If the semiconductor shortage is a thing, how are these pre-built system integrators (SIs) getting their hands on all the latest hardware without a problem and at MSRP? The thing is that the semiconductor supply was only briefly interrupted in 2020 because of the shortage. All through this time, companies have been pushing more and more chips than ever before. The demand for this hardware has skyrocketed, and everyone keeps buying them even though much of the stock is being scalped. Gamers just need a GPU, and they don’t care about the stock anymore.
For the SIs, they get the stock directly from the manufacturers, and most of the time, the hardware does not fall into scalpers’ hands. The regular hardware reaches retailers like Amazon and Newegg before circulating through several hands. It is these “hands” that scalp the stock and result in the final listing being priced too high. Therefore, the pre-built SIs are a good way to bypass the greedy and scummy scalpers.
All these companies order all their components even before a single build is assembled. Thus, they have all these builds in stock now, but we fear that they won’t last long. The chip famine will start hitting everyone, right? It started with GPUs, but slowly it’s spreading to other stuff as well.
Where to Find Pre-Built PCs?
You’ll find lots of pre-builts on Amazon. The Lenovo Legion 5 seems to be a solid deal. It packs the Ryzen 5 3600 along with the 1650 Super, and that’s pretty dependable for quite some time to come! You only need to plug in another 8 GB stick, and you’ll be fine with any game you might come across.
To analyze what the best deals are, I looked at local vendors that sell pre-built gaming PCs. One computer, named EH Thor 2, packs the Ryzen series of processors along with a 2060 Super and up to 32 GB of RAM. The sweetest thing is that you can later customize this build to your liking. For instance, the base version with Nvidia RTX 2060 S and the Ryzen 3600 coupled with 16 gigs of RAM came at 96k rupees or approximately $1295. That’s a bit pricey, but these days the 2060 S alone costs more in some places.
During my journey through all these sites, I found a rather interesting thing. All these sites like Amazon, Flipkart, and Newegg know that graphics cards are out of stock. Hence, stuff like keyboards and mice are selling for ultra-cheap, and they are constantly on sale. If you already have a video card that you are happy with, or you manage to get a new graphics card, now is the time to upgrade the rest of your system.