Intel processor shortage: How to save money when buying a new computer and parts

Intel’s processor shortage, combined with an uncertain economic climate, means that computers and laptops are likely to see a spike in prices.

Buying technology, especially for South Africans, has never been cheap. But a weak rand isn’t helping matters.

Even global consumers are feeling the pinch. Last year, the rise in cryptocurrency mining saw the prices of graphics cards spike significantly, especially on the second-hand market.

So with all these factors standing between you and those shiny new PC parts, what can you do?

ASUS has released a list of tips on how you can save money on your computer…

“Anyway you look at it, significant price increases for laptops, desktops, tablets, and IT components appear to be on the horizon,” the company said in a release.

So what do they suggest?

1. Buy sooner rather than later

It’s tempting to wait to see what other releases are on the horizon, especially in a tech world where new products are constantly being released.

But according to ASUS, in the current situation, it’s better to buy sooner rather than later.

“The weak rand and poor economic situation has already raised the spectre of hefty price increases for IT products,” the company says.

“Now, a shortage of Intel processors – which are at the heart of more than 90 percent of the world’s laptops – is adding to the likelihood that South Africans will have to fork out more for a computer and or components.”

This price hike will happen by the new year, according to the company.

“The price of a computer is unfortunately heavily dependent on the strength of the rand as most computers and PC components are imported. The recent weakening of the rand means that price increases are inevitable,” says ASUS.

The company estimates that prices could rise around 20%.

“That’s a significant increase for already cash-strapped South Africans,” the company says.

According to ASUS, buying sooner will help since the stock that most retailers currently have, was bought when the rand was stronger, “so computers and components are still available at old, lower prices”.

2. Black Friday bonanza

If you can’t afford to buy your desired PC or parts right away, you have a few weeks until Black Friday, which takes place on 23 November.

Online retailers will also have sales through the weekend, until Cyber Monday. ASUS recommends looking out for deals during this time.

Photo by Aleksander Vlad on Unsplash.

3. Consider buying at an expo

While Comic-Con Africa has passed and rAge 2018 is underway, you should look out for expos where computer retailers will be selling goods, since there are often expo-exclusive sales and discounts available.

“Participating vendors or resellers offer good exhibition discounts,” ASUS says.

4. Trade in your old device

If you’re a technology hoarder like me, you might be tempted to keep your old device or components “just in case”. But if you want to mitigate the cost of buying new parts, the best thing to do is trade in or sell your old hardware.

Trade in your old device,” ASUS says. “This serves the dual purpose of providing you with credit you can use towards a new device while also helping you get rid of your old laptop/device.”

5. Buy only what you need

This is probably the best advice of all. When you’re cash-strapped, it’s important to not burden your wallet even further by buying unnecessary tech.

“While the reason you need a laptop and how you intend to use it should always be at the forefront of your mind, you should also take into account that every extra specification costs you more,” ASUS says.

If you’re not going to be using your PC for intensive tasks, there’s no reason to have an i9 processor. And you should really consider how much RAM you actually need, rather than forking out more money for ridiculous amounts.

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