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.

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