IF YOU‘RE LOOKING to get yourself a new system in the near future, then you might want to consider investing in a motherboard sooner rather than later as the price of motherboards are expected to rise by somewhere between five and 10 percent, or maybe even more in the next few months. The reason for the price hike is the rise in raw material costs, least not copper (no, not that Copper). Editor’s note: I owe you a pun.
With raw copper prices close to hitting $9,500 per ton the cost has to end up somewhere and motherboards use substantial amount of copper, the higher cost for this ends up hitting consumers. It’s not just copper that has increased in price though, as motherboard makers have started to use more and more exotic components on their boards to outdo each other with regards to who has the best features for overclocking, we’re seeing expensive additions such as tantalum capacitors being fitted.
We might eventually see a move back to cheaper components on the boards as a response to the increase in cost for the various materials used to make components and PCBs. Outside of the motherboard market PCB pricing is already on the rise according to Digitimes, although this isn’t only due to the increase in price of raw materials, but also due to the fact that the Taiwanese currency the NT$ has shot up significantly compared to the US$ over the past months. As most companies are trading in US$, a strong local currency translates to more expensive goods for the manufacturers.
In the short term this is likely to have a smaller effect on consumer goods, but if prices continue to rise, we might very well have to get used to more expensive electronics. The long term effect might be longer product cycles unless something changes over the next 12 months or so, as higher prices tend to lead to decreased consumer spending and when there are less people buying the latest gadgets and gizmos, then there tends to be a trend towards longer product release cycles. Think in terms of choosing your socket for a couple of upgrade cycles. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the potential upside is that the software developers get more time on their hands iron out all the bugs. We’re not expecting any immediate doom and gloom though, but the motherboard makers are already bracing for lower sales.S|A
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