Are computer parts cheaper in Taiwan?

I need to add some more RAM and a new battery to my laptop. Thing is, though, that I’m coming to Taiwan in the fall and I’m wondering if anyone knows if all that would be cheaper if I did it in Taiwan. Most of my Dell was made in Taiwan, and my girlfriend bought her iPod for about half price when she went home for a visit to her family in Taipei.

I’ve often heard from my Chinese/Taiwanese friends that things like iPods and computers are cheaper in Asia, but I’m wondering if computer parts are cheaper as well. I’m thinking of getting 1 GB RAM and a new battery which would run me more or less $300 through Dell.

Anyone got any insight on that?

No-name/small-name/white box/OEM parts are probably cheaper in Asia. These are the low price point items you often find on eBay these days. That’s been my experience. Brand names are not less expensive, however, despite that they are made there. Given that fact, the no-name/small-name/white box/OEM parts pretty much come from the same manufacturing process and have every reason to be just as well made … the only difference may be the QA control, support, and warranty. On the other hand, this is plenty good for do-it-yourselfers.

If you live in the U.S.A. you probably want to get you stuff there. In Taiwan computer parts seem very expensive, a little under European prices though, but that is because in Europe they have a high value added tax. And of course with the recent strong Euro you get some benefits when buying stuff in a country that depends strongly on the USD. Otherwise, I find computer parts also somewhat outdated, i.e. they hardly have the recent CPU types and try to ask somebody for AM2 socket motherboards. Ha!

I second that emotion. Check out or and get the RAM before you come here.

Agreed - When I go to Taiwan I like to browse for electronic gadgets that would be more expensive back home. Things like Hard Drive enclosures, cables, maybe CD ROMs…

For something like memory or CPUs I would buy it back home.

I’m not an expert on memory but my understanding is that there are three levels of quality to memory (A, B, and C). The A quality goes to OEM computer manufacturers and some of the high-end memory companies. The C stuff ends up being purchased by the crate and sold incredibly cheap through less-reputable computer shops. The C-quality stuff can be the cause for a lot of random computer freezes and other weird glitches.

I’m not saying that this is what you’ll end up with in Taiwan but if you don’t know who you’re working with (this is usually the case with me since I’m not there long enough to build relationships) then you don’t know who is selling the good stuff and who is selling the bad stuff. There’s no “A-Quality” stamped on the chips. :wink: