PC component supply nightmare could soon end… except for graphics cards

According to a new report, PC components may soon see a much better situation in terms of supply and demand, but some areas may still remain problematic to some extent, including graphics cards.

As spotted by Tom’s Hardware, Counterpoint Research recently released statistics on global PC shipments (which fell 4.3% year-over-year in Q1 2022), with an observation that component shortages are expected to continue. lessen during the second half of this period. year.

The Counterpoint report states, “Since the end of 2021, gaps between supply and demand have tightened, signaling an end to supply crunch across the ecosystem. Across all PCs and laptops, the supply gap for the most important components such as power management ICs, Wi-Fi, and I/O interface ICs is widening. is reduced.

In fact, as we head into the second half of 2022, only four areas of the broader PC component market will remain short of supply, and even those will only be around 10% away from meeting demand. according to Counterpoint estimates (while in 2021 supply was falling short of demand by as much as 20%, even 30% in some regions, causing big problems as we’ve seen most obviously with graphics cards last year).

Unfortunately, one such problem area that could remain a thorny prospect that the report highlights is GPUs, with supply still not expected to meet demand later in 2022. Other issues will be the power management IC for LCD screens (monitors), as well as some motherboard components and Wi-Fi chips.

Analysis: the GPU situation still looks quite promising to us

The main concern for the PC ecosystem here is therefore that graphics cards are not flagged for full recovery this year. But then, a full return to normal is one thing, and a perhaps marginal (less than 10%) supply shortfall – perhaps in certain categories or GPU price brackets – should still allow prices to recover. standardize, overall, and take the wind out of the scalpers’ sails (and sales).

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We also advise against reading too much about this GPU availability estimate anyway, as the report is a very generalized prediction here – a broad overview of the future state of the entire component market – and we have already seen quite a few signals elsewhere that the graphics card market is already recovering, well before the start of the second half of 2022. These cannot be ignored.

Also, it was in the second half of the year that AMD and Nvidia openly stated that we should see much better GPU stock levels coming in, and we also shouldn’t forget that Intel is also coming to the market for discrete graphics cards with its Arc desktop offerings (in the next few months in theory). This in itself will lead to increased inventory and should also boost price competitiveness (although the magnitude of the impact on price tags may depend on exactly what strategy Intel is taking and how much production Team Blue can to assemble).

In our books, things look optimistic enough that GPUs will soon be mostly out of the woods we’ve been stuck in for far too long now – not that there aren’t any potential dangers to all PC components when we are looking at the situation in China lately, with more supply chain disruptions caused by Covid lockdowns.

Similarly, there are other forces to consider on the demand side of the equation in terms of inflation and possible spending cuts, with weakness in consumer demand already seen by Counterpoint in these levels. declining PC shipments, and for example declining Chromebooks. So, to some extent, the supply and demand seesaw will also straighten out with some relief from that last load…

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