Budget PC idea becoming obsolete due to soaring hardware prices


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, FIFA 11 – some of the most memorable games of the past 2 decades required no graphics card.

Playing a game was simple. We didn’t need the most high-end computer, RAM and cores didn’t matter, and we were all just one install away from having a good time.

Since then, the gaming world has evolved into a much more realistic and graphically rich industry. While hardware requirements have also increased, that hasn’t stopped some average gamers and consumers from playing the games they love.

This segment has always been the most popular category among consumers, and the Steam Hardware Survey shows that most people still use their 5-6 year old 4-core PC to play games to this day.

If we talk about it from the perspective of Bangladesh, building a budget PC was still possible until the end of 2020.

The Intel Core-i3 10100f only costs 7,800 Tk and a GTX 1650 costs around 14,000 Tk. A person could build a gaming computer by spending around 50,000 Tk and still include a monitor in that budget.

A gaming PC with the specs mentioned could handle most modern games at 1080p, with graphics details set to low to medium quality. But over the past 1.5 years, the scenario has completely changed.

We all know about the chip crisis and the price spike for every PC component that has taken place since then. But the supply shortage is not the only reason for the price spike.

Tech companies and manufacturers realized they could take advantage of the situation by launching new products with “better performance” (read slightly better) than their previous counterparts and charging a higher price premium.

If we think about the CPU market, the very popular Ryzen 5 3600, a capable six-core processor, costs Tk 16,500. The Intel offering was even cheaper, with the core i5-10400f, another six-core processor, costing just 14,000 Tk.

In less than two years, Intel’s latest six-core processor, the Core-i5 12400 costs 21,000 Tk and the Ryzen 5 5600x costs 26,000 Tk. Sure, performance is better, but the days when an average customer could buy a well-balanced six-core CPU between 15 and 16,000 Tk are over.

Intel’s latest budget offering, the Core-i3 12100 could cost more than 12,000 Tk after entering the market, which is 5,000 more than the core-i3 10100f. Not to mention that the prices of new motherboards have also steadily increased with the release of newer and more expensive processors.

The GPU market is in an even more dire position. The GTX 1650 Super was a popular budget GPU, costing 17,500 Tk in 2020, a price that now seems impossible.

When the RX 5600xt was released, it cost 31,000 Tk. The new RX 6600 GPU, which has similar performance to the RX 5600XT, now costs 53,000 Tk. It is currently the most “value for money” GPU on the market!

This type of price increase is likely to continue as manufacturers realize they can charge higher prices and customers can’t help it.

Getting an affordable GPU or building a budget gaming PC is on the way to obsolescence, and it all happened in less than 2 years.

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