PC components - Not just a component

DQW Bureau
New Update


Have you ever wondered how

does your PC manage to work at a go-getter speed without any

interruptions? What are the main features that make as well as break

a PC? Apart from the monitor, CPU, keyboard and Internet, there is

lot more to PC, better known as the PC components, which play a major

role in the building of a PC.

India is one of the

fastest growing IT markets in the world, the fastest growing PC

components market in the Asia-Pacific region, and also the country

with the fastest growth in Internet usage in this region. And with

the increase in PC/notebook uptake by youth, self-employed

professionals, SMBs, and the large enterprises, PC components such as

motherboards, processors and hard drives have seen a greater traction

in the Indian marketplace.

Computers prices are yet

to reach the levels of creating the point of inflexion. This is

partly due to the fact that while most of the major end-producers

are based in India, very few components/subsystem suppliers have

involved in any engagement here. The solution lies in facilitating

effective end-to-end supply chain ecosystem in India, which will

eventually lead to cost arbitrage and job opportunity. These actions

will establish India as an IT hardware location in the long term. The

fact that India has one of the lowest PC penetrations among the major

countries in the world, there is a paradox of stimulating growth to

attract investment in India. Prices for PC components are never

steady. They dip and rise like a roller coaster ride. The

fluctuations in prices can be due to a number of reasons such as

stock shortage or products with EOL (end of life) dates.


Now, lets take a look at

each of the components in terms of how are they faring in the market.

Considering the fierce competition in the motherboard market, it has

been going through some changes in the past couple of years. Vendors

had to bring out a lot of strategy to make themselves different,

wherein they have differentiated on the price and innovation fronts.

Some motherboard majors such as Asus and href="">Gigabyte

have achieved a

growth rate of 18-20 percent in India.

Rajan Sharma, General

Manager-Sales and Marketing, Gigabyte, said, “Motherboard segment

has evolved during last two to three years substantially with a major

market share of about 90 percent lying with Intel, Gigabyte, and

Asus. Channel and customers recognize the consistency and post-sales

infrastructure and also the focus has shifted to quality components

and branded products. Hence, as the customer gets more informed and

educated, the motherboard segment will reach maturity.”


Gigabyte India has

revamped its entry-level motherboards with some additional features

for better performance. Recently, Gigabyte had also launched their

new series of motherboards for the new second generation Intel Core

processors (Sandy Bridge). The new series of motherboards are based

on the Intel P67 and H67 Express Chipsets, and deliver a host of

cutting-edge features designed to provide maximum CPU power.

Divulging more details, Sushmita Das, Country Manager, Kobian, said,

“Motherboard segment follows the CPU trend and the current popular

models still remain the G31 and G41 chipset. The Intel G41 chipset

has a sudden spurt owing to the improvement of DDR3 Module pricing.

Mercury PIG41Z and PIG31Z has been the mainstream models.” “The

growth has been good for the PC component market and can be pegged at

an approximately 10-11 percent in India compared to 2009. As

predicted every year, growth in C, D and E-class cities has been

strong and the potential of smaller cities is being felt. Demand for

mid and high-end motherboards has been consistently improving in the

last six months in C, D and E-class cities,” added Vinay Shetty,

Country Head-Component Business, Asus India.

Consumers in India tend to

believe that higher CPU or memory capacity will solve their

application problems. But gradually, people have realized that their

CPU-GPU combination is a better and cost-effective measure to enhance

the performance of their system. Therefore, parallel computing is

gaining momentum. With proper education to the end-user, the sky is

the limit for the GPU industry. The sales of GPUs are gaining great

momentum with the evolving technology that demands a faster and more

efficient system to run the latest applications. It will only

multiply from here. Over the past few years, India has not only seen

an increase in the gaming population, but also in the use of graphics

card segment. This in turn has helped the add-on or graphics card

market to thrive. Looking at the frenzy in the PCs marketplace, it is

fairly obvious that PCs are fueling growth in the hardware market.


Talking about the graphic

cards market, Nishant Goyal, Head-Sales, South Asia, Nvidia said,

“We believe that graphic cards have moved from a luxury category

into the category of 'must-have' for all PCs, tablets and smart

phones. No longer is the demand for stellar graphics restricted only

to avid gamers, graphics professionals and tech-enthusiasts. This

shift has been driven by the increasing importance of visual

computing to every part of the PC and mobile phone ecosystem and in

every form factor.” As storage densities have increased

dramatically over the years, one of the most elemental aspects of

hard drive design, the logical block format size, as a sector, has

remained constant. Over the last year or so, the hard drive industry

is migrating away from the legacy sector size of 512 bytes to a

larger, more efficient sector size of 4096 bytes, generally referred

to as 4K sectors, and is now referred to as the Advanced Format by

IDEMA (The International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials

Association). All hard drive companies in the IDEMA organization have

agreed that all new product platforms for desktop and notebook drives

sold through distribution channels will be Advanced Format


Elucidating on the market

scenario for hard drive market, Rajesh Khurana, Country Manager-India

and SAARC, Seagate Technology said, “While the transition to

Advanced Format hard drives is good for customers and manufacturers,

the transition requires knowledge on the topic of hard drive

partition alignment. Advanced Format hard drives use 4K sectors on

the media, but still need to communicate to computers with legacy

512-byte sector logic. This is called 512-byte emulation and requires

that physical hard drive partitions to be aligned to logical

partitions used by the computer. When this does not happen,

partitions are said to be misaligned and hard drive performance is

negatively impacted. With the upgrade market in India being

particularly buoyant, high-capacity desktop drives such as the

Barracuda Green have very good scope in the market”.

Almost all major players

in the PC components sector are strengthening their product portfolio

and are coming out with new and feature-rich models at regular

intervals and with India-specific pricing. They are also bundled with

high capacity memory cards, better battery life, easy maneuvering

features and intelligent functionalities; thus promising more power

to the consumer.

The demand for PC

components is bound to go up and the future seems to be bright for

the IT hardware sector with the increase of PC penetration in India.

With the PC sales promising high growth/penetration in the coming

years, the PC components sales will automatically see a high growth