CPU and GPU Availability and Pricing Update: May 2021

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,099   +3,258
Respectfully, you're wrong.

The pandemic did indeed dramatically jack up costs on electronics and create shortages, but what's going on with graphics cards is particularly acute. You have the general component shortage going on, and you have mining going nuts, but the biggest offenders really are the AiB companies and not by an insignificant margin.

I've had visibility for what cards are going for to distributors, and the AiB partners...while you can't say they're colluding, they certainly all seem to be basically playing chicken to see who can jack up their prices the highest and the fastest before the market tells them what to do with themselves. It's actually really repugnant and stinks of when the IC companies were colluding to jack up the costs of SSDs and DRAM.
And this is happening because.... of the pandemic....

When ANYTHING is scarce, human nature dictates that some people will profiteer...

You can rail against human nature all you want - but it isn't going to change. Once supply is back to normal, you'll see all of this disappear.
 

robb213

Posts: 350   +114
And this is happening because.... of the pandemic....

When ANYTHING is scarce, human nature dictates that some people will profiteer...

You can rail against human nature all you want - but it isn't going to change. Once supply is back to normal, you'll see all of this disappear.
Yes, you are right. The straw that broke the camels back was COVID, but dthesleepless is also correct. Shortages of materials needed for production add on like a compounding effect. Natural resources also play heavily in this like water (essential for production of many of these parts), of which Taiwan and China are facing acute to moderate shortages (I forgot the technical terms for that).

But Covid and these shortages are not the root cause, again only what broke the camels back (as was ramping capacity to 100% leaving no room). The root cause of this situation is globalization and the lack of many of these types of manufacturing facilities in the world, most of which are heavily concentrated in East/South-East Asia. Long before I spent my last 3 years studying supply chain management among other similar fields for my Master's, even I saw this as an issue when I was a teenager. Putting all your eggs in one basket (in this case location) is just asking for a total failure.

And no, don't expect things to go right back to normal when Covid is done. Supply chains are slow behemoths in their own right, and any upset can take a lot of time to correct--it is silly but sadly true. Like all those freighters sitting off the California coast waiting to unload, but can't due to a lack of dock workers and quarantine procedures, that backlog will take time to work through for instance.


Tldr: we caused these shortages ourselves by ignoring the holes in globalization that proponents would just ignore and pretend they didn't exist.