Out of Stock: Power Supplies, Motherboards, & Video Card Shortage Explained, Restock Dates

by birtanpublished on August 24, 2020

Power supplies are basically completely unavailable on retailers right now at least most of them are and so we've had a lot of our viewers asking us to investigate where the power supplies have gone and when we can expect to see them coming back to wide-scale retail

Availability in the process of so doing we've also learned that video cards and motherboards are becoming rarer to find these days as well so the easy answer to where'd it all go is obviously human malware but there's a whole lot more

Nuance to it than that and we've spoken with manufacturing sources on record and off record we also have a ton of manufacturing experience ourselves the mod mats we've been making for a couple of years now and that involves the same

Process they go through just with a different type of product so we've got a lot of first-hand experience we can add to this but we're gonna be digging into the nuance today alongside information on when you can expect the computer

Hardware components to normalize in retail availability and when you should be looking at stores for purchasing them we also have interesting information on things like the average margin for a power supply and some of the usual

Timelines for making them so there's some cool information in here that you can learn from that's just interesting to know before that this video is brought to you by msi on the zi 490 unify ITX motherboard for Intel 10

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Availability or not available at all right now it's a comment a tweet we've seen constantly over the last couple of weeks people asking us to investigate it and so that's what we've done we've toured a lot of factories over the last

Couple of years we have a whole factory tour series on the channel and we have contact with a lot of those still so we've gotten information from various places for this couple of notes we're gonna have some filler b-roll in here of

Factories of power supplies things like that relevant products and when the b-roll pops up of that product it doesn't mean anything about where the information came from if we're quoting someone and there's

Doesn't necessarily mean it came from that source the video editors for this video have no idea with whom I spoke to get the information for the video so they're isolated from it and it's basically whatever they show is just

Gonna be to fill the space so it's randomly selected there's no implication of who provided the information okay so first off we need to talk about the usual manufacturing delays around the first half of the year and first

Remember that Lunar New Year affects shipping and production timelines annually every year sometime between end of January and beginning of March roughly most of the industry stops manufacturing things for a little while

Kicking off manufacturing runs in January and splitting them around Lunar New Year can also be challenging this is something we avoid at our own company because different workers will be on staff before and after the holiday and

Different supervisors will be there that means that quality can change mid run which causes QC issues and other challenges where you might have to get new samples most companies try to not split manufacturing orders around the

Holiday which means there's already a strain on supply that expected delay compounded with a few things this year first of all with the virus China extended Chinese New Year the State Council announced the extension for

Several of its major municipalities including Shanghai Suzhou Nanjing Russia Ning boi and critically a couple of other major factory districts like Guangzhou and Shenzhen most PC part manufacturers happened to be in

Guangzhou Shenzhen dong-gwon and the Guangdong province near the ports there's extended holidays there and so manufacturing didn't really get started again until about February 5th to 15th and even in that window

Workforce was slow to return and the factories operated at low capacity this is true normally but it was amplified this year factories were also getting inspected by government for health and in some cases factories were shut down

If they had an instance of human malware outbreak where they needed to be shut down for full cleaning that man saw these factories weren't really up and operating at capacity again until March so we had a three month window of low or

Zero supply which meant running off of whatever was in the warehouses at the time that this all started for perspective most cooler case and power supply manufacturers are either in hue Jo Shenton

Or elsewhere in the quantum province and they were all affected one factory that we've worked with isn't annette and taiwan and was mostly unaffected by all this but even though they could operate at high capacity the real problem was

That they couldn't get all those small parts that go through that some tea lines all the pick-and-place components that get Gatling gun Don to the PCBs are made in either China or Japan for the most part and that meant no supply even

For factories outside of China like the one in China the next issue was shipping with the factories operon operating again the next challenge obviously was getting the product out of the country and to wherever they need to go Europe

The u.s. South America or elsewhere and so the ports were completely jammed with products that was amplified by a massive and higher-priority influx of things like PPE and other essential products so the easing further of environmental

Regulations in China helped to increase the factory capacity and the amount of work they could output but knock-on effects obviously not discussed in this piece but the result of that further was compounding the limited availability of

Shipping space and freight space in boats there just weren't enough vehicles to take products out of the country commercial passenger jets often take Freight alongside passenger baggage in public information the USPS u.s.

Shipping service has leased space on upwards of 15,000 passenger flights per day during normal operations for the past few years out of the normal operation previous 25,000 flights per day commercial airlines make up to 10%

Of their gross revenue on freight transport if you look at any of the investor call documents with none of those flights in the year now because passengers aren't flying or are flying at reduced volume the freight space is

Lost and air shipping becomes prohibitively expensive and relegated mostly to large freight hauler planes or to boat we've experienced this ourselves with the mod maps in a previous news video we talked about this where

Typically we air freight our mod mats if we can to try and get them in to keep up with the back orders because we don't want people waiting too long to get their item that they've ordered and we know as customers what it feels like

That's still a small company so I'm very close being a customer of the product that I make so we air freight them and this time air frating was four to five times the cost can't really give exact numbers

But suffice to say it was over 10 grand to import the mats this time and most of that was the shipping cost so typically we're significantly under that but you end up in a scenario where with something like a power supply where they

Have less margin they really can't afford to just throw it on a plane and air freight it especially now we lost almost all of our margin by doing that and we're a smaller company so it's easier for us to do so that's why you

See power supply companies who have a heavy object that the ship in going by boat now you can do Express Freight to LA via boat and truck it across the country as a middle step but typically with ocean freight for us on the East

Coast you see times of 45 to 60 days arrival with express freight it goes to LA and then you take a truck across the country that's it cuts it down by about 10 days with air freight it's something like 7 to 10 days to the East Coast so

Times are a little shorter for LA where most of the companies are importing their stuff but you get the idea there is another problem though and that's that ocean freight has extremely limited capacity right now so even if you want

To put your products on a boat and you're ok with that you can't there's not enough space one of the top two power supply sellers in the u.s. the top two company is one of those in the listing of highest sales

Told us that they have containers on basically every boat coming into port in California right now a power supply container on every single one of those boats the problem is though they wanted to buy more space on each boat but the

Space is being reserved for other things like PPE shipments so they can't compete with that they can't just buy the space out from under them and other essentials are on there too so this means that some ships can only fit one to three

Containers of power supplies on them and once those arrive to port some retailers like Newegg and micro Center they buy their products that they sell often by the container so container gets off the ship the truck comes and picks it up and

That truck brings it straight to new AG or whomever it may be and drops it off and that's the end of its journey then it gets listed on the site and it all disappears within hours so that's why

You're seeing such limited availability of the product note that free is also charged by either dim weight or just weight whichever is worse for the importer so that means that the size of the power supply matters less than the

Weight here while the size of our mod mats matters more than the weight although both are high in this instance power supplies are talking about something that's maybe six pounds that's not cheap to ship by air and they don't

Have the margin power supply margin is about 10 to 15 percent depending on the PSU with the average closer to 15 percent this is information that we collected off record through manufacturing contacts in the industry

And we just averaged the bulk of them there's a heavy brick of steel that's the power supply and it's already expensive to ship on pallets and it's a race to the bottom of margin industry where everybody's competing with each

Other so that's what you end up with an off record contact answered our question about PSU logistical challenges and availability as follows quote PSU is our heavy and take a lot of space we typically don't want to air freight them

And right now there are fewer flights and most of those are filled with PPE it took a while for the supply chain to get back up and running after Chinese New Year and then the human malware shut down in China but after a month that got

Back up for the most part unfortunately the sea freight was shut down as well and also became backed up there's actually more freight to move then there is boats to move it while usually we could bring a couple dozen containers

Into port we might be lucky if we could bring a couple period right now air freight is up like 5x another source told us that they also had issues with limited shipping space on the boats today factories are actually able for

The most part to meet order volume but they can't get the shipments out of the country fast enough so it doesn't matter another off record source told us the consumer side of this quote ever since stimulus checks hit demand has been

Insane demand is significantly higher than this time last year this is normally the slow period and there's a long lead time on new orders doing some further research then on the industry we looked into what that means give us

Perspective was basically the follow up to all of that information so we learned that right now there's roughly 25% higher demand than this time last year year over year 2019 to 2020 the demand is unexpectedly high for this period

For further perspective May of 2020 has so far for some of the power supply manufacturers we've spoken with done the same numbers as in December which with Christmas there that's one of the highest sign periods of the year and may

Also did almost the same numbers as November with Black Friday and Cyber Monday another actually often the highest selling point in the year period so that means that some sectors are seen holiday buying season numbers during

What's typically their low season and because of the long lead time on manufacturing and logistics that means that no one was ready for this that's really the problem here whatever was in the warehouse when this all started it

Vanished quickly and we were told that companies could tell when the stimulus checks started getting received by Americans if you're not an American viewer I'm sure many of the other countries have some similar processes

But for Americans the there was a salary threshold and you might have gotten about twelve hundred bucks so for the non-american viewers that's what we're referring to and we talked about stimulus checks that was from the

Government to help deal with the economic impact so the companies were telling us that they knew as soon as the stimulus check started getting deposited because they saw an immediate ramp in sales volume which is amusing in the

Very least they get 1,200 bucks that's about what it costs to buy a new computer so it seems like that's what a lot of people did but either way the volume spiked on the first few days of that and then the warehouses were mostly

Depleted at that point so then it became an issue of both supply and the man where both are high but shipping is the low part on the supply side so we asked how close supply is to medium demand and we were told that the power supplies are

Getting close and depend on which company we spoke with they they differed here on the answer but depend on the company the power supply manufacturers are able to the factories are able to keep up with the order volume again it's

Just they can't get it out so both Corsair and EVGA on record should have a flood of power supplies hitting retailers in early June so that'd be about this week or next evj further provided gamers Nexus with this

Statement that we could give you all they said quote we're starting to ramp up supply start in early June you'll see a lot more inventory across the board start for video cards and power supplies EJ

Noted to us that its own EVGA store website had often better inventory than retailers because it's less visited at less trafficked so first party stores might be a good place to check if there's no stock on major retailers a

Lot of them have these now coarser has some format EVGA does NZXT does so that's a good place to check if you can't get it elsewhere we next to asked some video card manufacturers what demand looks like there and we were told

That quote video card supply isn't even close to meeting demand so it can supply from AMD and NVIDIA isn't a problem but demand is huge and no one anticipated this happening as you likely know from our factory tour videos the same exact

Factories that make motherboards also make video cards that means when one is in demand they can shift lines to make more of that part unfortunately with both video cards and motherboards in demand that means there's no load

Balancing mechanism and they're overrun SMT lines are also used for every other PCB in your computer at some level so those are also run into supply side issues and speaking with resellers and retailers off record we learned that

Amazon stopped buying power supplies and graphics cards completely for most of April and some of March which explains some of the shortage there this was due to logistical reasons like warehouse base being filled with essential items

And freight companies getting filled with those as well Newegg has reportedly been doing its best numbers in a long time Amazon has just started buying again so supply will begin to normalize there

With time a power supply maker told us soft record that they have quote a lot more inventory than usual but everyone is buying it starting this week we're getting a lot more supply if demand keeps increasing it's hard to say if

That stuff will be readily available for the average user I can tell you that there will be a lot more shipping out they told us another power supply manufacturer told us that their supplier factory is awaiting orders pending

Phrase base so ultimately that TLDR is shipping was the biggest issue but there are more than that like margin being a reason you can't just get faster shipping but remember that the company whose name is on the power supply they

Do a lot of the the QC work they do a lot of the specification they provide the spec on how they wanted to be made they helped work with the supplier on maybe what new bells and whistles they can find hey what's the new interesting

Marketing thing we can throw in there to say it's higher efficiency on the PFC or whatever but the companies that have their label on it although they get a lot of credit for making the product and that is one of the most important parts

They're not the ones who are in the factory assembling it so you have two different parties here and both of them have to be in alignment with supply availability and with order quantity otherwise nothing really gets done so

That's why it's it's a lot more complex than just Corsair or EVGA making it because they don't have their own factories or then enter max or NZXT even bigger in the case of NZXT where they aren't that large of a power supply

Makers so they have to rely on factories and companies that do lower volume aren't as high priority so they're gonna have even more trouble getting back to shelves for retail availability than the biggest sellers of power supplies would

Because they're the most valuable customers have the supplier factories but it depends on the supply orders that are agreements that are in place obviously we were told that most of the manufacturers should have shipments

Starting to flood at least the US by June and that means other places as well for Canada most of your shipments come into port in the US and they get trucked up sometimes they go to port and Vancouver but that's what and that gets

Into tariffs discussion to some of that but that's a the window for availability we were told that video card motherboard and power supplies should start to normalize for availability for sure in q4 but it looks like it might normalize

By q3 it depends on which component you're talking about video cards could get interrupted in the middle if there's a video card launch meant Vidya so we'll see we'll see what happens there that's the other problem too is to our

Knowledge the board partners are not currently manufacturing new cards for NVIDIA GPUs in their factories and they're pick-and-place lines and SMT lines but as soon as they start getting silicon from Nvidia there's gonna be a

Stop to the existing supply so you're just not gonna be any inventory if it's already selling out now and they stopped making that stuff to make something that's not out yet so that's what you're looking at for a complication of the

Video card side that's it for this one though if you want to support this type of reporting you can go to store that cameras Nexus dotnet and grab one of our new Mouse mats they're on backorder as are the mod mats because we're having

Trouble getting those or just like these companies are in that way and they're on the way though and we've got the dates on the website for when the backward is arrived we're pretty accurate with those often we

Overshoot it so that you might end up with it a bit early but you can check stored on cameras access net to support us there or patreon.com/scishow and is thank you for watching another investigative piece we really enjoy

Doing these this is my personal favorite type of piece to do so let us know what other ones you want us to do it's just it's a bunch of phone calls but that's kind of fun so leave them in the description in the comments below what

You want to see us do next we'll see you all next time

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