Second Hand Components, a Quick Buyers Guide

A common question I get asked by a lot of my friends and family is “I found this part on this website, it’s B-Grade. Is it OK to use?”

My first answer would be no, buying new is better because you have the full warranty and what not, but now manufacturing processes have improved to the point that components are lasting years beyond their given warranty, maybe it’s worth it? Also most websites offer a 90 day warranty and a faulty product will normally fail in that time.

Let’s take a little look into the main components and what I would recommend you should buy new or what you could buy used. I will focus more on private sellers for this post as that will likely be where most buyers will source second hand parts.


A computer is generally made up of the following main components:

  • Processor
  • Motherboard
  • Power Supply
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Storage (SSD and HDD)
  • Graphics Card

Processor

I was in two minds with this, a processor is normally the most expensive part in your entire system apart from your graphics card. I would have normally recommended buying this new because of this fact.

Now, after a fair amount of experience removing processors out of motherboards, leaving them on tables, boxes, clothes and other non-favourable places, I would actually say buy used.

I’ve learnt that processors generally don’t “fail” on their own, external factors such as poor power, poor motherboard contacts or overclocking will cause a failure long before the processor would fail from wear and tear.

You can save a lot of money, but here are some recommendations.

Only buy if:

  • You can verify the life of the CPU – Check build logs and previous posts from the seller. Avoid overclocked processors if possible, only consider them if you want a guaranteed overclock or it is a last resort;
  • Avoid de-lidded processors – This trend is great to reduce the temperatures of your processor and there are tools which take most of the risk out, but you can’t always guarantee if there is any damage;
  • The seller accepts returns – If the seller will not accept returns, return to your searching;
  • You can buy from someone reputable – This sort of backs up the previous point;
  • Buying older processors, check the pins – Not as much of an issue in recent years, but older processors have pins which can be easily bent,

Would I buy used?

Yes


Motherboard

Motherboards actually follow a similar theme to processors. I have used and abused many motherboards. Thrown them around, built systems on carpet and even held a motherboard by the heat sinks while walking between systems.

As long as you’re not completely ruthless and bend a motherboard to the point of cracking, you should be OK.

Motherboards tend to have a lower saving potential because they are generally cheaper. Bigger savings can be made if you want more expensive (£250+) motherboards.

Only buy if:

  • You can verify the life of the motherboard – Check build logs and previous posts from the seller. Avoid motherboards that have been modified;
  • The seller accepts returns – If the seller will not accept returns, return to your searching;
  • You can buy from someone reputable – This sort of backs up the previous point;
  • You can check the socket pins – Same as with the processors, newer motherboards have pins within the socket. The worst part about this is that damage can happen during posting if the socket cover wasn’t put on properly. Make sure it has insurance!!!

Would I buy used?

Yes, in-fact, my motherboard is used!


Power Supply

Power supplies are a tough one, they supply the life into your system and is vital to make sure they are in peak condition.

While power supplies are being made better and better each year, they’re cheap enough to buy new and the potential savings to be made are minimal.

Only buy if:

  • You can verify the seller – Check any build logs and make sure the seller hasn’t used and abused it;
  • The seller accepts returns – If the seller will not accept returns, return to your searching;
  • You can buy from someone reputable – This sort of backs up the previous point;
  • You’re desperate!!

Would I buy used?

No


Memory (RAM)

 

Memory has lifetime warranty and in some cases is transferable to other buyers (check the manufacturer website first).

Same as with processors, RAM doesn’t die without some abuse either via overclocking or bending.

Due to the increase in memory prices, resale values have held strong and probably doesn’t make sense to buy used.

Only buy if:

  • You can verify the life of the memory – Check build logs and previous posts from the seller. Avoid overclocked memory if possible, only consider them if you want a guaranteed overclock or it is a last resort;
  • The seller accepts returns – If the seller will not accept returns, return to your searching;
  • You can buy from someone reputable – This sort of backs up the previous point.

Would I buy used?

Yes


Storage (SSD and HDD)

 

This is a tough one, probably the toughest on the list. We all need storage, but typically someone owns a HDD or SSD over the course of 2-3 computer builds (3-5 years). At this stage, any working units are stripped of all data and sold on at extremely cheap prices.

There is also a security element to this, as technology advances, its getting easier to pull data from storage drives, even if they have been stripped of all tangible data. This then leads to drives being destroyed.

Probably the biggest concern for buyers is the performance of the SSD with the early performance and longevity issues posed. While these issues aren’t as prominent, most people are put off because of this.

Only buy if:

  • You can verify the life of the drive – Check build logs and previous posts from the seller;
  • The buyer will provide performance screen shots – This should be common practice now with programs such as CrystalDisk and SSDLife being free and can provide a lot of information for prospective buyers;

  • The seller accepts returns – If the seller will not accept returns, return to your searching;
  • You can buy from someone reputable – This sort of backs up the previous point.

Would I buy used?

No


Graphics Card

Graphics cards are probably the most sold and bought component in the used market next to cases, fans and peripherals.

This category carries the same risks as processors with previous owners overclocking and removing heat sinks to perform modifications such as water cooling. Graphics cards are also more prone to failure compared to other components (storage excluded) with artifacts being the main tell to the failure.

Strangely, the higher risk in failure doesn’t actually put many people off as the potential savings outweigh the risk. In some cases, you can buy a 6-8 month old graphics card for around 20% cheaper.

You can save a lot of money, but follow the following recommendations.

Only buy if:

  • You can verify the life of the GPU – Check build logs and previous posts from the seller. Avoid overclocked graphics cards if possible, only consider them if you want a guaranteed overclocked or it is a last resort;
  • The seller accepts returns – If the seller will not accept returns, return to your searching;
  • You can buy from someone reputable – This sort of backs up the previous point.

Would I buy used?

Yes


Summary

So there we have it, my recommendations when buying used parts. I could go further into it, but this is designed to be a very high level buying guide.

I would always recommend buying brand new components, you then have the full warranties available and you know that the parts haven’t been tampered with.

Used parts are good if you are on a budget or in a pinch if a part isn’t available. I personally look at sale forums to check out used parts before buying new. My motherboard is used and it saved nearly 30% just 2 months after launch (Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7). I know some review companies sell samples after a review for up to 60% less than retail, yes, at one point I knew of a NVIDIA GTX 980Ti being sold for £300 just days after release.

The best place I’ve found for used parts is the OverclockersUK forums. You need to rack up posts or be a member for a set amount of time to be able to view the marketplace, but most sellers are very trustworthy and sell parts are very good rates.

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AOC Announce Five new Business Monitors

I work with computers all day, working on two 16:9 Lenovo monitors with pretty large bezels. This is quite annoying when I want to work on say a webpage optimised for ultra wide monitors and I have almost 2 inches of bezel in the middle.

AOC knows this is an issue and has addressed it with their new range of business orientated monitors. These feature 3 “bezel-less” borders and a stylish gunmetal grey chin bar and matching base.

These monitors ranging from 24-inch to 27-inch sizes and equipped with the advanced IPS panels with wide colour gamut are aimed at businesses and demanding prosumers. Users will appreciate their sleek 3-sided frameless design for seamless multiple monitor set-ups. AOC’s eye-protecting features reduce discomfort for users working long hours, and the monitors’ high energy-efficiency helps to reduce costs and users’ carbon footprint. Three of the new models are also equipped with an ergonomic and easily mountable stand.

Model I2490VXQ I2790VQ I2490PXQU I2790PQU Q2790PQU
Size and Panel 23.8″ IPS 27″ IPS 23.8″ IPS 27″ IPS 27″ IPS
Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 2560 x 1440
I/O VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort VGA, HDMI,  DisplayPort, USB 3.0 VGA, HDMI,  DisplayPort, USB 3.0 VGA, 2 x HDMI,  DisplayPort, USB 3.0
MSRP £149 £219 £179 £249 £349

All monitors include a range of energy efficient software; E-Saver turns the power consumption down when the user is away and Eco Mode automatically adjusts the screen settings depending on the content being displayed. A nice feature being introduced is the i-Menu which allows for typical on screen menu controls via physical buttons to be controlled via mouse; an earlier version can be seen in my review of the Philips 241P6VPJKEB.

We can expect to see stock in July 2017, and September 2017 for the Q2790PQU.

 

Summer of Computing 2017: Budget Builds

It’s that time of the year again, choose a few components to suit certain builds and compare it against a few retailers, but this time with a bit of a twist. Instead of just gaming, I will throw in a few other categories such as home PC, and HTPC.

A similar format to last year, but instead of running around different retailers, I will stick to just one that has the best equipment on offer for that price.

Each week will focus on a set budget and include one build or laptop which best meets the criteria.


This week will look at some of the lowest budget equipment you can buy; be it pre-built or in components and it will include all peripherals to suit that build. There may be some higher price equipment to make the system feel more user friendly, such as a 1080p monitor instead of a 768p monitor.

My chosen e-tailer will be OverclockersUK (OcUK).

overclockers

OverclockersUK started out in 1999 as a small company set to change the overclocking world by offering CPUs with a known overclocking performance. As the company gained traction it steadily grew until in 2012 it was bought out by German company Caseking where it has grown further.


General Purpose Home PC

This category will focus on building a general purpose PC which everyone has had experience with. It’s by no means a speed machine, but it lets you complete your homework or check out Facebook.

Processor AMD A4-6300 29.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-a4-6300-3.70ghz-socket-fm2-apu-trinity-dual-core-processor-ad6300okhlbox-cp-380-am.html
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 43.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-f2a88xm-ds2-amd-a88x-socket-fm2-ddr3-micro-atx-motherboard-mb-474-gi.html
Memory GeiL Black Dragon 4GB 1333MHz 17.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/geil-black-dragon-4gb-1x4gb-ddr3-pc3-10666c9-1333mhz-single-module-gd34gb1333c9sc-my-119-gl.html
Power Supply XFX XT 400W 34.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/xfx-xt-series-400w-80-plus-bronze-power-supply-ca-021-xf.html
Storage Toshiba P300 1TB 40.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/toshiba-p300-1tb-7200rpm-64mb-cache-high-performance-hard-drive-hdwd110uzsva-hd-044-ts.html
Case AeroCool CS-110 21.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/aerocool-cs-1101-midi-tower-case-black-ca-194-ae.html
Optical LG 24x DVDRW 13.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/lg-24x-dvdrw-sata-rewriter-oem-gh24nsd0-cd-121-lg.html
Operating System Windows 10 94.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/microsoft-windows-10-64-bit-dvd-oem-ms-kw9-00139-sw-172-ms.html
Keyboard LMS Bundle 9.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/lms-data-usb-keyboard-and-mouse-bundle-km9014-kb-000-ls.html
Mouse Bundle
Monitor ASUS VE228TR 22″ 1920×1080 79.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/asus-vs228de-22-1920×1080-tn-widescreen-led-monitor-black-mo-066-as.html

Total: £388.82

So that’s actually a pretty decent build considering it includes EVERYTHING to set up and go, okay you need a desk and chair.

It won’t be the fastest and it isn’t the most up to date, but it will have enough space to hold your family photos, complete homework and browse the internet without any issues. A good (and most would consider a must) upgrade would be a solid state drive (SSD) to really perk the system up, but it would push the build over £400 and isn’t strictly required at this stage.

A good side of building this computer compared to spending a little less at high street retailers is the fact you get the full warranty of each component and the components are higher quality.

Ways to save money:

  • If you plan on using a different operating system such as Linux, that can save you up to £94.99;
  • Most digital media can be found online or used via a USB pen drive, you can remove the optical drive;
  • The monitor is a standard 1920x1080p model; this can be swapped out for a lower resolution version to save up to £20.
Processor AMD A4-6300 29.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-a4-6300-3.70ghz-socket-fm2-apu-trinity-dual-core-processor-ad6300okhlbox-cp-380-am.html
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 43.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-f2a88xm-ds2-amd-a88x-socket-fm2-ddr3-micro-atx-motherboard-mb-474-gi.html
Memory GeiL Black Dragon 4GB 1333MHz 17.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/geil-black-dragon-4gb-1x4gb-ddr3-pc3-10666c9-1333mhz-single-module-gd34gb1333c9sc-my-119-gl.html
Power Supply XFX XT 400W 34.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/xfx-xt-series-400w-80-plus-bronze-power-supply-ca-021-xf.html
Storage Toshiba P300 1TB 40.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/toshiba-p300-1tb-7200rpm-64mb-cache-high-performance-hard-drive-hdwd110uzsva-hd-044-ts.html
Case AeroCool CS-110 21.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/aerocool-cs-1101-midi-tower-case-black-ca-194-ae.html
Keyboard LMS Bundle 9.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/lms-data-usb-keyboard-and-mouse-bundle-km9014-kb-000-ls.html
Monitor ASUS VS197DE 18.5″ 1366x768p 59.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/asus-vs197de-18.5-1366×768-tn-led-monitor-black-mo-052-as.html

Total: £259.84

Shaving off a few simple parts can gain a pretty substantial saving.


Home Theatre PC

This will focus more on building a computer for under your TV. Very likely used to stream content from Netflix of Amazon Video.

Processor AMD A4-6300 29.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-a4-6300-3.70ghz-socket-fm2-apu-trinity-dual-core-processor-ad6300okhlbox-cp-380-am.html
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 43.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-f2a88xm-ds2-amd-a88x-socket-fm2-ddr3-micro-atx-motherboard-mb-474-gi.html
Memory GeiL Black Dragon 4GB 1333MHz 17.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/geil-black-dragon-4gb-1x4gb-ddr3-pc3-10666c9-1333mhz-single-module-gd34gb1333c9sc-my-119-gl.html
Power Supply XFX XT 400W 34.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/xfx-xt-series-400w-80-plus-bronze-power-supply-ca-021-xf.html
Storage Toshiba P300 1TB 40.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/toshiba-p300-1tb-7200rpm-64mb-cache-high-performance-hard-drive-hdwd110uzsva-hd-044-ts.html
Case Silverstone ML03 HTPC Case 68.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/silverstone-milo-ml03-htpc-case-black-sst-ml03b-ca-163-sv.html
Optical LG 24x DVDRW 13.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/lg-24x-dvdrw-sata-rewriter-oem-gh24nsd0-cd-121-lg.html
Operating System Windows 10 94.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/microsoft-windows-10-64-bit-dvd-oem-ms-kw9-00139-sw-172-ms.html
Keyboard Logitech K400 PLUS 29.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/logitech-wireless-touch-keyboard-k400-plus-black-uk-layout-kb-257-lg.html
Mouse Bundle

Total: £375.91

You’ll notice a few key components will be the same as they’re good for what they are and can carry out this level of work perfectly.

We’ve removed the monitor because HTPC’s are generally connected to a TV. A wireless keyboard/ mouse combo has been added so you can use it on the other side of the room (up to 10 metres away) and the case should be ideal to fit in most TV stands without much issue.

The price is quite high due to needing more specialist parts, an extra £20 on a wireless keyboard/ mouse for example.

Just like the previous system, money can be saved by removing the operating system and optical drive:

Processor AMD A4-6300 29.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-a4-6300-3.70ghz-socket-fm2-apu-trinity-dual-core-processor-ad6300okhlbox-cp-380-am.html
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 43.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-f2a88xm-ds2-amd-a88x-socket-fm2-ddr3-micro-atx-motherboard-mb-474-gi.html
Memory GeiL Black Dragon 4GB 1333MHz 17.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/geil-black-dragon-4gb-1x4gb-ddr3-pc3-10666c9-1333mhz-single-module-gd34gb1333c9sc-my-119-gl.html
Power Supply XFX XT 400W 34.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/xfx-xt-series-400w-80-plus-bronze-power-supply-ca-021-xf.html
Storage Toshiba P300 1TB 40.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/toshiba-p300-1tb-7200rpm-64mb-cache-high-performance-hard-drive-hdwd110uzsva-hd-044-ts.html
Case Silverstone ML03 HTPC Case 68.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/silverstone-milo-ml03-htpc-case-black-sst-ml03b-ca-163-sv.html
Keyboard Logitech K400 PLUS 29.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/logitech-wireless-touch-keyboard-k400-plus-black-uk-layout-kb-257-lg.html
Mouse Bundle

Total: £266.93


Gaming PC

Moving on to gaming, an area which can get quite expensive. Let’s see how cheap we can make this while keeping the cost low. A gaming computer within this price range won’t play GTA V with high settings at 1080p smoothly, but CS:GO or DOTA will play perfectly fine with around 60FPS.

Processor AMD A8-7650k 74.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-kaveri-a10-7890k-wraith-12-compute-core-apu-w-radeon-r7-graphics-4-cpu-8-gpu-compute-cores-cp-396-am.html
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 43.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-f2a88xm-ds2-amd-a88x-socket-fm2-ddr3-micro-atx-motherboard-mb-474-gi.html
Memory GeiL Black Dragon 4GB 1333MHz 17.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/geil-black-dragon-4gb-1x4gb-ddr3-pc3-10666c9-1333mhz-single-module-gd34gb1333c9sc-my-119-gl.html
Power Supply XFX XT 400W 34.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/xfx-xt-series-400w-80-plus-bronze-power-supply-ca-021-xf.html
Storage Toshiba P300 1TB 40.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/toshiba-p300-1tb-7200rpm-64mb-cache-high-performance-hard-drive-hdwd110uzsva-hd-044-ts.html
Case AeroCool CS-110 21.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/aerocool-cs-1101-midi-tower-case-black-ca-194-ae.html
Optical LG 24x DVDRW 13.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/lg-24x-dvdrw-sata-rewriter-oem-gh24nsd0-cd-121-lg.html
Operating System Windows 10 94.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/microsoft-windows-10-64-bit-dvd-oem-ms-kw9-00139-sw-172-ms.html
Keyboard LMS Bundle 9.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/lms-data-usb-keyboard-and-mouse-bundle-km9014-kb-000-ls.html
Mouse Bundle
Monitor ASUS VE228TR 22″ 1920×1080 79.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/asus-vs228de-22-1920×1080-tn-widescreen-led-monitor-black-mo-066-as.html

Total: £433.82

Slightly more expensive than the previous builds, but it does include a better processor for gaming. It is by no means a “beast”, but for the price and what it includes, it is a pretty capable machine.

If you only plan on gaming with Steam games, you can save £95.99 and install Steam OS. However, with that saved money, I would buy better peripherals.

Processor AMD A8-7650k 74.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/amd-kaveri-a10-7890k-wraith-12-compute-core-apu-w-radeon-r7-graphics-4-cpu-8-gpu-compute-cores-cp-396-am.html
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 43.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-f2a88xm-ds2-amd-a88x-socket-fm2-ddr3-micro-atx-motherboard-mb-474-gi.html
Memory GeiL Black Dragon 4GB 1333MHz 17.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/geil-black-dragon-4gb-1x4gb-ddr3-pc3-10666c9-1333mhz-single-module-gd34gb1333c9sc-my-119-gl.html
Power Supply XFX XT 400W 34.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/xfx-xt-series-400w-80-plus-bronze-power-supply-ca-021-xf.html
Storage Toshiba P300 1TB 40.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/toshiba-p300-1tb-7200rpm-64mb-cache-high-performance-hard-drive-hdwd110uzsva-hd-044-ts.html
Case AeroCool CS-110 21.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/aerocool-cs-1101-midi-tower-case-black-ca-194-ae.html
Keyboard Steelseries APEX RAW Keyboard 19.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/steelseries-apex-raw-gaming-keyboard-64123-kb-051-st.html
Mouse ASUS Cerberus Gaming Mouse 24.95 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/asus-cerberus-performance-gaming-mouse-sp-012-as.html
Monitor ASUS VE228TR 22″ 1920×1080 79.99 https://www.overclockers.co.uk/asus-vs228de-22-1920×1080-tn-widescreen-led-monitor-black-mo-066-as.html

Total: £359.83

Still not bank breaking and even some change from £400 to get some games in the Steam sales.


Summary

There we have it, a range of budget pleasing computers to suit most needs. As I said earlier, don’t expect miracles, manage your expectations. AMD is still king at this price range with the APU range based on the FM2+ socket. If AMD can keep the train running from Ryzen and introduce a FM3/3+ range of APU’s, that would seal the deal for cheap computers for the future.

A recommendation I would make is to add a Solid State Drive (SSD), this can really improve the performance for an extra £50-£70 depending on capacity and model.

I would personally choose the Western Digital Green 120GB model for £52.99.

Wondering why component prices have risen in the last 12 months? Check out my post here.

These computers are nearly as cheap as you can buy brand new, you can save extra money by opting for less memory and a small hard drive, but with Google Chrome needing 3GB just to open and all of our media consumption being digital; larger capacities are better.

Next week, Week 2: 

NB: Prices were correct as of 12pm 27/06/2017.


If you like what this post has given, give it a share and also comment to tell me what you’d like to read in the future.

Want me to review a certain product? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Brexit, How Have Component Prices Changed?

It’s been a year since Brexit was made official and I’m sure most of us have seen a rise in prices of most components thanks to the weakened Pound conversion rates. I will take into account the rate of inflation of approximately 3% and offset against the final figures.

For the comparison, I will use posts from my mini series “Summer of Gaming” from last August.  At this point, Brexit was already announced, but this delay has given exchange rates time to level out.

If any parts are discontinued, I will find the next comparable part. This may include having to “uplift” other parts to suit the build.

To keep things fair, I will choose 3 of the most popular retailers in the UK and randomly choose one for each section.


Summer of Gaming: Week 1

For this, I chose Scan Computers, it was the one retailer to stock the majority of the parts.

The APU and SSD were swapped out for the next comparable (and in some case cheapest) parts left in the line up.

August 2016 (£) June 2017 (£) Percentage Change (%)
CPU AMD A6-6400K/ AMD A6-6420K 42.99 46.99 +9.30
Mobo Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-HD2 38.99 41.48 +6.39
RAM Corsair 4GB XMS3 1333MHz 17.63 29.99 +70.11
Storage #1 Toshiba 500GB 35.75 38.48 +7.64
Storage #2 AMD R3 120GB/ Kingston A400 120GB 30.95 52.49 +69.60
PSU ThermalTake TR2 500W 34.99 39.98 +14.26
CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer 7 Pro 17.99 17.99 0.00
Case CiT F3 24.98 28.49 +14.05

That’s not a pretty picture. Memory production prices in general have skyrocketed in the last 10 months. While ever increasing memory price is a pretty standard thing, it’s not until you see the figures that it hits home just how extortionate the increase is.

The key reason behind the memory increase is due to manufacturers transitioning to a smaller manufacturing process and it failing in most cases. The demand has then not been met with stock and has pushed prices up.

Excluding the memory, the average increase is 7.3%, which is only an additional 4% over inflation. However, with everything in mind, it will cost an extra £52 (or 21%) to build this computer excluding postage.


Summer of Gaming: Week 2

Moving on to our £500 budget, I’ll change to Novatech to see how this company has held it’s prices.

August 2016 (£) June 2017 (£) Percentage Change (%)
CPU Intel G3460/ Intel G4500 59.99 65.71 +9.53
Mobo MSI H81M-P33/ MSI H110 M Pro-VD 38.99 42.3 +8.49
RAM Klevv Fit 8GB 1600MHz/ Kingston Hyper X Fury 8GB 29.99 63.36 +111.27
Storage #1 Toshiba 1TB 40.79 42.65 +4.56
Storage #2 Kingston SSDNOW UV400 120GB 38.39 59.78 +55.72
PSU EVGA 500W 42.98 33.98 -20.94
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212X 27.98 29.26 +4.57
Case Bitfenix Neos 36.98 36.95 -0.08
GPU MSI GTX 970 ARMOR/ MSI GTX 1060 ARMOR 199.99 199.99 0.00

It’s not all doom and gloom though, some prices have actually reduced in price and quite significantly for the power supply. This single change brings the average increase to just 0.8%; excluding memory).So there is a bigger discrepancy here with the loss of previous generation Intel processor and MSI graphics card, I’ve had to uplift to the next available product which also meant moving motherboard and memory to LGA 1151 and DDR4 respectively.

However, all taken into account, it will still cost an extra £57.90 (or 11%) to build this computer.


Summer of Gaming: Week 3

Last, but not least is the £1000 build. This was the most popular post out of the 3, which shows more interest in this tier of products. There will be new factors to incorporate here thanks to water cooling and the more mainstream ‘K’ series processors, will there be as much of an increase in price?

For this comparison, I will use OverclockersUK.

August 2016 (£) June 2017 (£) Percentage Change (%)
CPU i5-6600K/ i5-7600K 324.98 369.98 +13.85
Mobo Gigabyte Gaming 3/ ASUS Prime Z270-A 0 0 0.00
RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 2400MHz 52.99 119.99 +126.44
Storage #1 Toshiba 2TB 58.94 64.99 +10.26
Storage #2 Corsair Force LE 240GB/ Kingston UV400 240GB 68.99 89.99 +30.44
PSU Corsair CX550M 63.95 69.95 +9.38
CPU Cooler OCUK Tech Labs 240mm 59.9 75.9 +26.71
Case In-Win 703 54.95 59.99 +9.17
GPU VGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 349.99 349.99 0.00

So again, price increases across the board, not as drastic with the SSD this time around, but a massive 126% increase for the same set of 16GB DDR4 is shocking.

One increase I wasn’t expecting to be as big was the water cooling system, however, this is a pretty standard theme across the board with the H100i GTX costing around £89 last year to now over £115.

With everything taken into account, it’s £166 (or 16%) more expensive; £88 of that comes directly from the increase in memory chips.


Conclusion

So overall prices have increased. Is this purely down to Brexit? Simple answer is yes, most prices have increased more than the average inflation rate in the UK. This is mainly down to the weakened pound exchange rate and with the elections just around the corner, it could get worse by this time next week.

Long answer is no, the majority of the increase comes from the lack of memory supply in the world right now. An article produced by PC Gamer provides and explanation behind the increase in memory prices. Essentially it is down to the manufacturers not being able to smoothly transition to the newer process and not producing enough memory chips to keep up with demand. A few years ago, hard drives faced a similar price increase due to floods in Thailand which decommissioned a production plant, it took TWO years for prices to settle back to pre-flood rates. 

 

My recommendation: I’ve been watching memory prices over the last few weeks to upgrade to 32GB. The prices have slowly increased by a few pound. If you need memory now or in the near future, buy now. It’s too tricky to judge prices for the distant future, but if current trends continue, we could see another 10-15% added on by Christmas.