What's wrong with the supply chain?

There's nothing more frustrating for us here at FusionTech than the current shortage of IT components - mainly graphics cards.

We have a robust supply chain, choosing to partner with three of the largest IT distributers in the UK to ensure our anytime, anywhere philosophy gives our customers what then need and when they need it. Unfortunately, even our partners are experiencing horrendous delays in the supply of a variety of products, with lead times of weeks, rather than days.

The shortage is driving up prices too, with some items costing hundreds of £ more than this time last year.

We thought we would explain what the problem is which we hope helps you understand what's going on. We've written the post from the purpose of GPU's - the graphics cards that power your PC for ultimate gaming experiences. The good news is that if you are using a PC for lower-end tasks, a separate GPU isn't required - the main processor has the ability to output information to your monitor perfectly adequately.

Firstly why do we build our PC's for our customers? Not only do we love doing it, it's often the case that you can get more power for your money. That, coupled with our amazing after-sales service ensures that you have confidence in the longevity of your new purchase.

Why Is There A GPU shortage? When Will The GPU Shortage End?

Cryptocurrency Miners

Without stating the obvious, the shortage of graphics cards is caused by demand outstripping supply, and one of the chief reasons demand is so great is due to cryptocurrency mining.

Hungry miners are buying mid-to-high-end GPUs as soon as they become available, rapidly emptying stocks and driving up prices as far as 2x MSRP. Mining can often be torture for a GPU as well, running it at full capacity 24/7, often resulting these GPUs being burnt out much more quickly than they would in a normal gaming PC. Cryptocurrency mining has been going on for several years now, but 2020 saw the demand of minders reach critical levels, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as people saw alternative income streams and were drawn in by the rising price of Bitcoin.

Disruptions to Manufacturing

However, demand from miners isn’t the only reason. Coronavirus generally disrupted the manufacturing process and therefore supply of silicon chips, and events like the winter storm which hit Texas in February 2021, causing factories to close, as well as US sanctions against China, have not helped. This has impacted the supply of many electronic goods besides graphics cards, including mobile phones and televisions, and has even affected car production. However, many of these supply issues, particularly those in China, had been overcome towards the end of 2020, so what’s the rest of the story?

Demand During The Pandemic

A huge, often understated, reason for the silicon and GPU shortage has been the dramatic rise of active PC users and gamers over 2020 and the early part of this year. The massive portion of the world’s population which has ended up stuck at home during COVID lockdowns, has itself led to an increase in demand for computer equipment from those seeking to upgrade their existing rigs or build new machines for both work and play. Demand for silicon chips for all devices generally has increased, not just PCs, due to a wide need for more electronic devices to permit people to work from home and generally overcome the various telecommunication challenges the pandemic has brought about.

When Will The GPU Shortage End?

All-in-all the GPU Shortage of 2021 looks to be no better than 2020 for much of the year. Two of the largest manufacturers - Nvidia and AMD have indicated that they believe shortages likely to continue at least until Q4 2021, if not into 2022.

So what can we do? Unfortunately, not a lot unless you want to invest hundreds of £ more into your GPU purchase. Second-hand is always an option however we are seeing evening second-hand card fetch a minimum of £200-£400 more than what they can be purchased for as a new product and even then you don't know if it has any problems or issues, much likely less any form of guarantee. 

Our advice is to let us get an order in for you. You may have to wait however the purchasing power of the distribution partners we work with means that you'll get a brand new product, backed by guarantee and likely faster than other retailers.