The COVID-19 Computer Hardware Availability Mini-Update

(Image originally by vperemen.)

A virus! A virus! My PC parts for a virus! Or maybe I’ve got the sentiment backwards there…

Anyway, the global pandemic is affecting all of our lives, with some of us under lockdown, and some affected directly by the virus. Let us take a moment to say that Logical Increments is not going to offer any medical advice: We are not doctors, and we are not qualified to give any medical advice. Instead, get your medical advice from the Ministry of Health, or CDC, or another qualified medical official.

But the virus is affecting the hardware marketplace in general, and Logical Increments in particular.

PC Hardware Availability During the Pandemic

Some e-merchants have elected to prioritize the availability of medical supplies, such as hand sanitizer or face masks. Buying PC parts from those e-merchants means that those items might be delayed before they are delivered, by weeks or even months. Our managing editor bought a USB controller back in March, which is scheduled to arrive at his house in May.

Other e-merchants are not stocking non-medical supplies at all. For those stores, the prices of normal goods will fluctuate wildly as stocks decline. An item that normally costs $150 might be listed for $300 or more.

Even e-merchant sites that are operating more-or-less as though everything is normal are still causing some prices to increase in our charts and articles. After all, with most people staying at home at the same time, a lot of people are moving forward with PC building plans they had been theorizing for months. As such, numerous parts are simply going out-of-stock, temporarily leaving only highly-inflated third-party seller prices as a means of purchasing those parts.

When Will These Concerns Be Over?

So, is the situation completely dire? Is it all doom and gloom? Will we see the end of PC building in these early months of 2020?

No, I think that we are all going to be fine. The concerns in the section above are good to keep in mind, but they are kind of over before they begin. Stores are realizing that people who are staying at home can work from home, and to work from home you need a computer. PC part stocks are fluctuating a bit, but not so much that buying a good PC for a good price is out of the question at the moment. By checking out 3 or 4 e-stores (instead of just 1 or 2), 90% of all items can be had for standard prices. Only a few atypical parts are completely unavailable, or only available for a much higher price than usual. As long as the purchaser is a bit flexible, everything is possible.

For us at Logical Increments, we will try and make sure all the items we recommend are from the e-stores that are offering items with proper prices. The average price of each tier should not move much, if at all. If some particular tier does suddenly seem to have an exorbitant price, please let us know in the comments below, and we will investigate and fix it ASAP!