In front Almost four weeks ago, we asked ourselves in a special whether hardware had become more expensive in the past few months due to the corona crisis. Because of the corona pandemic, the factories stood still for some time at the beginning of the year or were only able to produce to a limited extent. Since the novel corona virus causing Covid-19 disease had spread very quickly in China, especially in Wuhan, and at that time it was not yet possible to know all the details about the risks of the virus, public life in January became part of China completely paralyzed.
Partial quarantine was carried out across cities or regions. The situation in China has now eased somewhat. But in many other countries around the world, like here in Germany, strict measures are in place to avoid contact between people as far as possible until the virus is better under control.
Since the production of many products was partially paralyzed from January, many observers expected a bottleneck also with hardware components. And as everyone with a little business knowledge knows: If less can be produced than customers would like to buy, prices can rise.
In our special from March 14th, we looked at the most important components for a gamer PC, graphics cards and CPUs and compared the prices from March with those from January, when the supply of products was still completely normal, at least for the suppliers. We also added November 2019 as a further point of reference to identify longer-term trends. In contrast to graphics cards and CPUs, we left out motherboards, as there is an enormous selection here and a bottleneck was not (and is) not to be expected, at least unless you have a very specific model in mind and reject alternatives. In addition, many users only upgrade their gamer PC, and here a graphics card is by far the most popular component. A PC can also be easily upgraded using RAM or an SSD – we also looked at both at the time. But we took 50 models for the graphics cards alone, namely 10 each in mid-March according to PC Games hardware price comparison most popular model variants of the Nvidia RTX 2060 Super, 2070 Super and 2080 Super as well as the AMD Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT.
Conclusion March and outlook for today
Our conclusion at the time was that there was no really relevant price increase. The graphics cards from AMD were even a little cheaper than in January, with Nvidia there was a slight increase. However, both changes were very small, at least on average per model series. RAM and SSDs have become more expensive – but on average it was only a few euros. SSDs with 500GB storage space were 11.4 percent more expensive, which corresponded to 11 euros.
With a larger SSD, it was less than 10 euros, a percentage of just under six percent. In March, AMD paid less for CPUs than in January and a little more for Intel. All in all, an upgrade in mid-March would have been practically the same price as at the beginning of January. Of course, what we could not and will not be able to assess today, no matter what the result of our update, is whether the crisis surrounding Covid 19 disease had an impact on prices. Even with products that are now 10 percent cheaper than in January, we don't know: would they be even cheaper without the Corona virus? Or even significantly more expensive, because without the virus, more people would be interested in the product? Or is the virus irrelevant? Whatever the answer is: We are now looking at the current prices of all 50 graphics cards already viewed in March, as well as the 10 CPUs and 20 SSDs. In addition, we are also taking 20 new graphics cards into our analysis, which belong more in the upper entry-level to mid-range range: 10 model variants each of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660 Super. However, we start with our new addition on the next page: the power supplies, because we have noticed something here in the last few days. Incidentally, this time we do without RAM in favor of the power supplies, although we can say that the prices for RAM have hardly changed since March.
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