Ask a PC expert: Why are there so many PC hardware launch supply problems?

We answer a common question from our Full Nerd community!

Credit: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

These days, flagship PC hardware tends to sell out mere hours after launching. We saw it with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. We saw it with Intel’s Core i9-9900K. We saw it with AMD’s Ryzen 7 3900X. Why do the biggest companies in computing struggle to keep their most powerful parts in stock?

Empty-handed enthusiasts often complain that it’s a manufactured PR ploy, but the truth is more nuanced, as PCWorld CPU guru Gordon Mah Ung explains in the video below. Making badass, bleeding-edge hardware is complicated!

And with high-end hardware going out of stock so regularly these days, it begs the question: Should you go against our usual advice to Never Preorder to claim a spot in line before hot new gear hits the street? Adam and Gordon spend some time pondering the thought.

We’re trying out a new format here, responding to common questions we receive on our Full Nerd podcast. If you like it let us know!

Have a PC- or gaming-related question? Email thefullnerd@pcworld.com and we’ll try to answer it in the future. You can also join the PC-related discussions and ask us questions on The Full Nerd’s Discord server. And be sure to follow PCWorld on FacebookYouTube, and Twitch to watch future episodes live and pick our brains in real time! 

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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