A DigiTimes report indicates that the DIY PC market is expected to shrink by as much as 30% this year. This could be a troubling blow to AMD in particular: much of Team Red’s current success rode on the back of massive gains it made in the DIY processor market with third-gen Ryzen chips like the Ryzen 5 3600.
The DIY slump is most likely because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Job layoffs and emergency supply purchases mean that many people in the United States, the EU, and elsewhere have less disposable income than they had before. Moreover, physical DIY computer hardware stores in many localities are closed or difficult to access because of lockdown restrictions.
Ironically, the actual user figures for PC games have increased substantially over the past few months. Microsoft indicated that as many as 90 million users were logged into Xbox Live over the past quarter. This indicates that a truly massive number of console and PC gamers are spending hours a day in front of their battlestations.
We expect the DIY market to show some improvement next year on the back of relaxed social distancing and economic factors. In the long term we’d argue that the changing paradigms today, with a greater emphasis on solo activities means that the outlook for DIY PCs is actually very good.