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Price of hardware... Global WTF?

Started by Starfox, March 18, 2022, 10:55:35 AM

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I will tell you a story. A story about my new computer because this is a tale of today state of the PC industry.

When I decided to upgrade my computer a few months ago, I just wanted to change the graphic card, basically, because it was an old horse from 3 generations behind. But then I discovered two facts:

a) Just about all the graphic cards on the market, no matter the manufacturer, are out of stock.

b) When they're not out of stock, their price is so over the top that you might just faint looking at them. Mainstream cards cost what a high-end card cost just three years ago; as for high-end card... well, let's just say that a RTX 3080 Ti or the AMD equivalent have reached the price of a whole gaming computer (graphic card included) from a couple of years ago.

This is insane.

Recently I read an article titled "Abandon PC gaming; at least for now" which was discussing the reasons why gamers should favor consoles right now. Without agreeing with the whole content of the article, I will agree on one point: building a DIY computer today is hopeless. It's not even worth it. Gone are the days were you could build your new computer 30% cheaper than the OEMs.

And so for the first time in decades I did buy and OEM rig. And for the price of a single RTX 3080 Ti, what did I get?

- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, a nice upgrade to my previous Ryzen 7 2700X with a nice watercooling.
- 32 GB RAM
- A fully fledged MSI gaming motherboard, with WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 included (and the customary RGB -- my new case is literally a Christmas tree but apparently if it was just plain dark, it wouldn't be a "gaming" computer according to the latest trends)
- A RTX 3060 12 GB (which even though being "mainstream" still represent a 80%+ perfs increase compared to my old high-end (at the time) RX580 -- plus the ability to use Ray Tracing though this one is debatable: its usefulness and "prettiness" really seem to depend on the game but more on that at a later date). Are 12 GB of VRAM overkill? Yeah, most probably, but what can you do? nVidia calls the shots. And it's a nice marketing sell-point... for morons. One could argue " Yeah, but it's built for the future" and I'd say "my ass, because by the time 12GB of VRAM will truly become relevant, the rest of your card will be good to go to the nearest dumpster".
- 6 TB worth of HDD (because I'm a relentless hoarder who keeps tons of crap on his computer)
- 2 TB SSD (you know, for all those new games that "require" a SSD to run well -- Cyberpunk 2077 among them, but its not the only one and I guess the near future will tell us that SSD should be a standard; Starfield? Probably SSD required or at least very very much recommended)
- 500 GB M2.e SSD (just for the OS and apps other than games)
- No DVD/Blu-Ray drive because those are things of the past. I mean, you want one? Just buy an external. No decent gaming case today features enough space for an internal 5"25 drive anyway (if you can't guess I'm being sarcastic on that one). No big deal: as recent experience taught me, the few internal DVD/Blu-Ray drives still being manufactured today are really crappy.

That cost me more than I would have liked (and by more I mean, about an arm) but... Impressively less (and there imagine a couple of legs) than I would have had to pay if I had bought and assembled the components myself. Amusing trivia: the 2 TB Samsung SSD was actually 3 times less expensive than a RTX 3060 12GB currently is (that is if you manage to find one for sale as a separate component) which is almost hilarious... almost...  :redhot:

The last time I remember having bought a computer that expensive was at the beginning of the 90s -- before the whole DIY thing took hold -- and yet, it could have been so much worse considering the global shitty situation we have  ::)

But why can OEMs do it for 50% of the price you'd do it yourself? Well, that's fairly simple.They are OEM and so they receive the stuff in priority at the basic manufacturer prices so even though cost are slightly elevated, even for them, it's nowhere near what it is for us. They hoard the graphic cards to build their own rigs which explains why they are out of stock. Normally they would have enough for their use and still be able to sell graphic cards on the side for a decent price, but this is not the case right now because everyone want chipsets and silicon and no chipset manufacturer seems to be able to keep up (I'm told that a couple of years of cryptomining + a couple of years of COVID may do that to the global production capabilities around the world)

At least I have a computer that can finally run Fallout 4 without a hiccup. Even the infamous delay when drawing a modded weapon disappeared (though I'm not sure if it's because of the SSD, the CPU, the graphic card or all of those combined). That doesn't make Fallout 4 story any less stupid or Preston less annoying but that's another matter (and those are things that an increased processing power cannot fix, sadly)  :computerfix:

Anyway, there should be something to be learned there... Fuck cryptomining? Fuck COVID? Fuck idiotic dictator holding to a past that will never come back (OK that one is not strictly computer related but... screw it)? All of that? Draw your own conclusions...  :flamethrower:

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Silver Sorrow

I'm getting to the point where I'm seriously considering a new rig (my "new" computer now being almost four years old), and it doesn't look to be a happy experience. So I've been casually looking at custom-build sites. The prices vary wildly depending on the company, but I think as long as I stay away from the ones that cater only to high-end gaming rigs (such as Falcon Northwest) I might be able to come out of the experience with enough cash left over for food. Might have to drink out of the toilet, but hey...what's good enough for a dog is good enough for me.

My current video card is a GeForce GTX 1060 6gb, and it handled Cyberpunk pretty well...ah, well enough; but I tend to turn off things like motion blur and ultra-hd graphics and all those other dumbass little bells and whistles as a rule anyway. I'm not sure how it will deal with anything newer, but I'm not looking forward to seeing it puke up little chunks of itself over something I've been waiting to try.

One thing I learned from my dad is to never buy cutting edge; it's a waste of money and I can always upgrade. Well...*he* could. I'm a moron. But I have family members who aren't morons, so there's always hope. ::)
It is the scent of garlic that lingers on my chocolate fingers


Quote from: Silver Sorrow on March 21, 2022, 07:50:05 PM
The prices vary wildly depending on the company, but I think as long as I stay away from the ones that cater only to high-end gaming rigs (such as Falcon Northwest) I might be able to come out of the experience with enough cash left over for food.

If it's any help, I got my current desktop (though it's not new at any means by this point) from AVA Direct since they seemed more reasonably priced than the likes of, say, Alienware. 
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.