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PC gaming hardware prices rising today as Trump’s tariffs come into effect.. and it’s going to get worse

It's 10% today, with a 25% tariff imposed from January, prompting the big GPU partners to shift manufacturing into Taiwan

MSI RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio

Happy Tariff day! Yes, today’s the day, and Gigabyte has recently got in touch with it’s ‘valued partners’ to reinforce the fact that the $200 billion worth of trade tariffs the United States of America has imposed on Chinese imports will impact their businesses.

Effective today, September 24, there is a 10% tariff imposed on a host of different imports from China, and that will increase from January 1, 2019 up to a hefty 25%. The full tariff list covers 5,745 different items – with 297 taken off the original list, including tech like smart watches and Bluetooth devices – and in that list is pretty much everything that goes into making your gaming PC tick. In fact Trump’s list also includes a tariff on the outer workings too, even down to your mouse pad. We hope you’re happy with your current rig, because it’s going to get mighty pricey to upgrade…

Gigabyte’s notice lists all the different PC products that are going to suffer from the tariffs the US government is imposing, with only notebooks, keyboards, memory, and headsets seemingly left out. Though you will see a tariff added onto keyboards if they’re tainted by being bundled with a dirty mouse. Disgusting things.

The news-shot from Gigabyte has been posted on Linus Tech Tips and points to the government also imposing the tariffs on SSDs too. Considering your SSD is essentially just a stick of non-volatile memory, it’s tough to see what the difference is that means one gets stung and the other doesn’t. But then I’m no economics expert.

Product Tariff
Motherboard Tick
Graphics card Tick
SSD Tick
Mouse Tick
Mouse pad Tick
Keyboard and mouse Big Tick if bundled together
CPU cooler Tick
Power supply Tick
PSU Tick
Chassis Tick
Chair Tick
Notebook Cross
Keyboard Cross
Memory Cross
Headset Cross

Motherboards, graphics cards, coolers, PSUs, chassis, and chairs are all going to see a price rise for anyone buying hardware in the US. That’s going to make upgrading, building, or buying a PC from this moment forward even more expensive than it’s been up to now.

Imagine how much that’s going to bump up the prices of the already expensive third-party versions of Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti

Zotac RTX 2080 Ti AMP

Though according to WCCFTech, and its AIB sources, the price hike for most of Nvidia’s big partners, such as Gigabyte, will only be temporary. A recent report suggests that by moving manufacturing wholesale into Taiwan companies will be able to switch back to their original pricing model once that happens. In the case of the RTX cards that means going from utterly extortionate to only mildy prohibitive.

While the US doesn’t officially recognise Taiwan independence from China, it seems this manufacturing shift will be enough to mitigate the imposed tariffs. But that does mean smaller AIBs, which are only able to manufacture exclusively through China, will be stuck bearing the brunt of them with no respite.

It looks like Trump’s tariffs will result in a bigger disparity between the pricing of the tier-one GPU manufacturers and the smaller-scale companies, which could force some of them out of doing business in the States. It seems the likes of Gigabyte, MSI, and Asus will be dominating US graphics card sales for the foreseeable future.