Motherboard sales are predicted to drop sharply in 2022, and one of the reasons for this might surprise you: namely, the diminishing shortage of graphics cards (and prices on it).
This news comes from sources that DigiTimes (opens in new tab) leveraged, which is aware of the supposed predictions of the two biggest motherboard players in the PC component market. Asus and Gigabyte account for 70% of motherboard sales, and both companies anticipate that the volume of swapped drives will drop by 25% by the end of this year.
Apparently, the motherboard shipment numbers for Q2 have already shown a drop in numbers – a bigger drop than expected, in fact – and forecasts show that this situation will deteriorate further in Q3 (and possibly the fourth quarter as well).
A one-quarter drop in mobo sales is a sharp drop, and the main contributing factors cited are declining demand in the Chinese DIY PC building market, and also the fact that the end of the road has been reached for bundling. GPUs with motherboards to create a tempting (but expensive) package proposition.
This is a practice you’re probably familiar with, as GPU inventory levels started to really suffer after the pandemic began. When gamers couldn’t get a graphics card – let alone at inflated prices – they were willing to spend even more money to secure one as part of a hardware package.
This included GPU plus motherboard packages and in some cases also with system RAM. In fact, there were a small number of desperate people who would buy a entire PC just to get the RTX 3000 or RX 6000 graphics card inside them, swap that GPU in your rig, put your old GPU in that newly purchased PC, and then sell it on eBay (or just sell all the components separately).
A confusing and downright ridiculous way of doing things, but this is how trying to buy a GPU is downright ridiculous at the worst of times.
Analysis: New hardware doesn’t come to the rescue of mobo sales either
The GPU crisis finally abating is great news for consumers, of course, but bad news for motherboard manufacturers. Not that there’s much sympathy for the latter, considering that effectively pushing motherboard sales up by bundling them with highly sought-after graphics cards wasn’t, shall we say, best practice.
It’s clear, then, that GPU plus mobo packages must have been popular enough, if they helped drive motherboard sales to the point that there’s a measurable impact of this practice now becoming irrelevant.
But wait a minute, you might be thinking – aren’t there new processors from AMD and Intel arriving later this year that should help boost motherboard sales? This is because AMD’s Zen 4 chips will need a new socket and therefore motherboard, and we also have Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors.
However, the sources DigiTimes spoke to believe that these new hardware releases will do nothing to help stop the decline in motherboard sales – although if things change in the wider world, this could have a more positive impact. to contain losses. By what they mean the end of the war in Ukraine, or a slowdown in the seemingly relentless pace of inflation.
Of course, Raptor Lake will have limited impact anyway in terms of motherboard upgrades, because whoever bought Alder Lake won’t need to upgrade their mobo (they’ll use the same socket). And the Zen 4 might arrive a little too late in the year to boost motherboard sales so much.
While the rumor indicates a September release for Zen 4 (and has already done so several times), that could be wrong, or even that could be the deadline for a reveal – but it may not be until a little later than an appreciable volume. of Ryzen 7000 processors are on the shelves.