As your team returns to the office, you may be considering purchasing new workstations to help increase productivity. However, many businesses are finding they are having some difficulty finding new workstations or seeing price tags that are much higher than normal.
As with most things, the pandemic got in the way of production. It became harder to deliver resources to factories, harder for factories to reach quotas, and harder for products to get distributed around the world. Combine that with people and businesses embracing remote work, which led to a huge demand for extra computing hardware and other electronic devices. Suddenly, chip manufacturers found their supply being outstripped by demand, which reduced the ability to purchase electronics and increased their costs.
Additionally, we have witnessed a massive demand for data mining for cryptocurrency. Data mining depends on GPUs (video cards) to perform the mathematical computations needed to verify blockchains. As the mining of cryptocurrency can provide significant profits (albeit subject to great volatility), speculators began buying up video cards to increase their ability to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and others.
As larger, mostly Chinese-based cryptocurrency miners began to create mining “farms,” they purchased as many video cards as possible, reducing supply. As such, they drove up the prices of technology due to demand. The result was and continues to be a lack of components, particularly video cards, in the market.
For nearly the last year, it’s been extremely difficult to get specific high-end computer components, thanks to this huge shortage and demand. There have even been widespread evidence of scalpers and automated bots buying up this hardware as soon as it becomes available online, and major reseller sites like eBay have had to take action to stop scalpers from buying a $600 piece of hardware only to flip it for $2000.
In other words, the PC market is a bit of a mess right now.
That said, modern hardware is better than it ever has been, as far as efficiency and longevity. For most users, a typical modern mid-range desktop is faster and better and lasts longer than a mid-range desktop from a few years ago.
It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s also worth noting that many PC manufacturers aren’t feeling the chip shortage as much as the general population. Major PC manufacturers don’t need to fight the scalpers to get the hardware they need, so depending on what you are looking for, you may need to wait a little longer to get it, and there may be some inflation, but it shouldn’t be as big of a roadblock compared to building the PC yourself.
Previously we discussed the rationale between upgrading your workstations and purchasing new ones by asking the question, "How to Know If You Should Repair, Replace, or Upgrade Your Computer?" However, that advice was based on last year's market. Now that prices have dramatically increased does the calculation change?
One way to think about this is by considering how many components you will need to upgrade your computer to increase its functionality. For example, a graphics card that cost $750 a few months ago has seen a price increase to $1,100 or more. Even if you're not considering a higher-end video card, even older components have increased in price due to a lack of supply. This price increase is reflected throughout all technology that relies on computer chips.
The result of this has been an increase in prices and a lack of inventory, causing delays in deliveries. Moreover, depending on which components you are interested in purchasing, you may be able to purchase a new system for the comparable price of replacing individual parts, particularly video cards.
Something to consider is whether or not you're purchasing your workstation from a large vendor such as HP, who still has access to an extensive inventory instead of building it yourself. That said, businesses will probably want the more personalized touch of a local vendor who can help them navigate the options and ensure they get what’s right for them. That’s where we come in.
If you have been having problems with getting the technology you want without settling for whatever a vendor has lying around, paying the “cryptocurrency” surcharge, or having to wait, we can help. We are South Dakota’s Hewlett Packard experts and can help your business find the right HP device for you.
As Rapid City’s technology experts we are able to help your business continue to grow and increase your bottom line. Our business communication suite of services including mobile solutions, VoIP, Zoom Collaborative Solutions, and even streaming music can provide you with the tools and solutions to increase your productivity and keep your business competitive.
Call 888-891-4201 today to learn more about which HP solutions are available for your business and let us get them into your hands at an attractive price point.