We've officially entered the era of gaming PCs shipping without a graphics card

Fierce PC GPU-Less Desktops
(Image credit: Fierce PC)

Fierce PC, a boutique builder in the UK, has launched a line of 'No GPU' gaming desktops that ship with every part of a PC build except the most critical component for gaming, that being a graphics card. The idea is that you can install your own GPU, whether you already own one, or are lucky enough to find a standalone graphics card in stock somewhere.

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"Introducing our range of systems, ready for you to install your own graphics card. This range of systems is not supplied with a graphics card and without a graphics card will not boot up. We ask customers to keep this in mind when ordering from this range," Fierce PC states.

Fierce PC's new line of GPU-less systems (via Overclock3D) range in starting price from £560 to £900 (around $775 to $1,245 in US currency). The least expensive build is a Micro-ATX systems with an Intel Core i5 9400F processor, Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120 all-in-one cooler, MSI H310M Pro-VDH Plus motherboard, 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3000 RAM, 240GB WD Green SSD, 1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD, and 600W PSU (80 Plus Bronze).

In addition to lacking a GPU, there's no operating system either—adding Windows 10 costs £90. All three baseline configurations can be customized to an extent, you just can't select a GPU with these particular builds (Fierce PC sells other system configurations with various graphics cards).

The timing of the launch is likely not a coincidence, as system builders find themselves dealing with the same GPU shortage as DIY builders. Worse yet, there is evidence to suggest the GPU shortage isn't improving anytime soon.

"Our overall capacity has not been able to keep up with that overall strong demand that we have seen," Nvidia CFO Collette Kress said in January. "We’ve seen in terms of constraints, constraints really from the overall global surge of compute and the overall capacity, capacity that may be necessary for assembly and test and/or sub trades as well. But again, we remain focused on this and working each day to improve our overall supply situation."

Looking at all the ways the world is trying to deal with the GPU shortage, selling prebuilt gaming PCs without a graphics card is akin to waving the white flag in surrender to an untenable situation.

That said, Fierce PC has not come right out and said the thin availability of GPUs is the reason for the new GPU-less desktop line. That's perhaps because the situation speaks for itself.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).