The most soul-crushing thing to say to die-hard DIY PC builders is that it may not be a good idea – at least for this year – to build your own desktop PC, particularly for gaming purposes. Likewise, it may not be a good idea for now to upgrade your present PC.

Of course, this is not permanent advice, but it’s cautious one, at least for the next 6 months, or until the end of 2018 at the most. But for now, the deck is stacked against any upgrades or home brewed PC builders based on today’s market prices, hardware shortages, the cryptocurrency Ferris wheel ride, and the entry of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

Hardware Market Prices Are Skyrocketing

Prices for graphics cards, RAM, and processors are ludicrously skyrocketing and this includes even entry-level hardware, going up at least twice or even three times from suggested retail prices. It has been observed that hardware prices have increased by as much as 111% in the last 6 months alone.

The reason for this issue is simple supply and demand. With the sudden demand for hardware for crypto mining due to the cryptocurrency craze, companies simply could not keep up with the increased demand.

In spite of the Ferris wheel ups and downs of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, the number of miners has continuously increased, snapping up every necessary hardware needed for mining despite the high prices, and in so doing increasing hardware prices even more. This is because announcements of up and coming new types of cryptocurrencies have miners excited, and encouraged even more to mine.

China is Also Partly to Blame

On another issue not very much known, some Asian countries are seeing an influx of cheap but inferior hardware from Chinese companies. In spite of low quality, many Asians are buying them up in large quantities, thus, lowering the sales of higher quality and higher priced hardware from more recognized manufacturers, putting a further strain on prices in countries like the US, Europe, and the Southern Hemisphere.

Spectre and Meltdown Vulnerabilities

With the continuous news of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities even months after it first came out, many are also asking, “Is now a bad time to even buy a new computer?” You can’t blame these people since Spectre and Meltdown have proven that every known processor on earth is vulnerable. Software updates and patches being rolled out may help neutralize some attacks, but not all, and computers with these updates and patches have been seen to be slowing down for certain tasks.

The advice on this? Hold off upgrading or buying a new PC until the last quarter of 2018, or even longer if you can. Tech experts are predicting that by the end of the year manufacturing can pick up to meet demand, or the cryptocurrency craze may decline so demand in hardware will fall as well, and both happenings will see prices start to fall. As for the vulnerabilities, nothing can be done about it until hardware manufacturers can start churning out a new generation of hardware, but not until 2019 or 2020. So for now, we advise treading carefully when using computers and sensitive personal financial information.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 4:55:02 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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