2021 was the year of the pre-designed gaming PC

CLX RASource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

I doubt I’m alone in saying that 2021 was a blur in health orders, masks, and canceled plans. In a year when many people simply chose to stop most personal social relationships, space on the calendar for personal hobbies was at an all-time high. Many of us have occupied that extra time with video games. More than half of the people surveyed by Ipsos in their 2021 survey – with data collected by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – said they played more video games during the pandemic, while 90% of people surveyed said they would likely continue to play video games slowly. back to normal.

Both sides of the gaming community, console and PC, have struggled with the constant shortage of inventory, and many people still have to get something like the Xbox Series X | S or NVIDIA RTX graphics card despite months of trying. It’s frustrating, and it doesn’t seem to get much better as we head into another winter.

AMD Radeon Rx 6800 Asus Tuf RGB

Source: Windows Central

Unfortunately, console players are often put at the mercy of brokers and stock alerts. I’m in Canada, and one of my friends finally managed to get a PS5 after months of trying. There’s really no back-up option for consoles, unlike the PC market. Gaming laptops and desktops have always been popular casually, ideal for people who don’t have time to build their own or for those who just want to hit the power button and start having fun.

But as one of the only reliable ways to actually get the best graphics cards, pre-built PCs have also become a back-up for enthusiasts who usually buy everything separately and assemble themselves. Not all of this new interest has been positive, with plenty of manufacturers calling for less-than-stellar practices. But attention is attention, and 2021 was definitely the year of the pre-designed gaming PC.

Constant shortage of GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

I wrote an article on why you shouldn’t build a PC in 2021 in July, and unfortunately, most of the content is still accurate. I wish I had written something like, “The stores offer discounts on the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT; be sure to pick one up if you’re waiting.” But like six months ago, I’m here to tell you that finding GPUs isn’t any easier.

The surge in cryptocurrency mining – where about 25% of GPUs went to miners and speculators in the first quarter of 2021 – continues to weigh on the market, as well as factory closures and shipping issues due to the pandemic. It doesn’t help speculators who see an opportunity to outwit consumers by buying any available GPUs they swipe through, only to sell them at a massive price.

Our list of best graphics cards is still packed with hardware that, in most cases, you can’t buy without a great deal of effort. At least, some other PC parts aren’t hard to find. AMD’s Ryzen 5000 desktop CPUs are available in abundance, and the new 12th-generation “Alder Lake” desktop CPUs from Intel can usually be found at at least one major online retailer. However, it is almost difficult to find new DDR5 RAM that can be paired with such a GPU.

Reveal the pros and cons of pre-made computers

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen6 Review

Legion Tower 5i is a mess inside, but it’s an affordable option for casual PC gamers.Source: Windows Central

The lack of hardware has led people to investigate gaming computers as a way to reliably obtain the parts needed for construction. Pre-builds have always moved a ton of numbers, but the surge in playtime has amplified demand. Black Friday this year had absolutely no GPU sales worth writing about, but savings on pre-built gaming PCs have been more popular than any other year we’ve seen.

Pre-built PCs have been getting a lot of attention this year, and it’s not all in the positive.

Huge manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Lenovo — as well as PC manufacturers like ABS, CLX, and Maingear — have a direct line to source computer parts, making it easy for them to get their hands on everything from CPUs to GPUs to support units. software. This allows them to continue offering full gaming PCs even during severe shortages everywhere else. You pick the parts you want inside, have them assembled in a factory, and have them shipped to your door ready to go.

But not all pre-built gaming PCs are built to the same standard, as many discovered in 2021. It’s easy for manufacturers to overestimate pre-builds, assuming the majority of casual gamers won’t take apart or even look inside their new PC. their own to see what’s going on. It gets up and running, and that’s the end of it.

Sites like Gamers Nexus have released in-depth reviews of pre-built gaming PCs that reveal just how bad some of these PCs really are, with proprietary parts that remove any hope of future upgrades, exaggerated performance capabilities of OEM hardware, and shady subscription tactics. While many people still just want a PC that runs games without fuss, it’s great to see this kind of thing get dumped.

CLX RA

The boutique CLX Ra has some serious elegance, and is more suited to its fanciful.Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

It was not all negative. No doubt, boutique PC makers—smaller companies that use real retail PC parts instead of OEM hardware—felt a rise in popularity because enthusiasts who knew what to avoid got knocked over. Executive Editor Daniel Rubino began hands-on with CLX Ra in May, citing an overall positive build, purchase, and shipping experience.

And you don’t have to be elegant like this. Newegg’s ABS house brand has plenty of options to choose from, bundled with retail parts that make it feel a lot closer to personal design. It won’t quite match your design, but when you can’t find a GPU any other way, it’s a great alternative. Pricing also remains fairly competitive with the major brands, and any enthusiast who prefers to avoid OEM parts will undoubtedly find the extra cost worth every penny.

What is 2022 set to achieve

Intel 12th Gen Corei5 Chip

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

I have no idea what 2022 will look like; I stopped trying to predict over two weeks ago. New COVID variables, trade wars and climate change can take their toll at any time, and telling someone to “wait a little longer to build a new computer” is no longer good advice. If you’re going the pre-built route and are more interested in playing and playing your favorite games, be sure to check out the reviews, compare prices, and think about the hardware you already have. You can always buy a pre-made GPU, remove the GPU, and sell the rest of the parts to get some of your money back.

Our Senior News Editor Robert Carnival wrote an excellent article a few weeks ago detailing why, based on expert analysis, the global chip shortage should end soon. tl; DR There it is that 2022 will likely be more of the same, with 2023 potentially turning into a surplus of chips. Speaking at the Code conference, AMD CEO Lisa Sue said the same thing: Early 2022 will still be tough, although the show will stop later in the year. We’ll have to wait and see what the year has in store for players around the world.