Service updates from UK Gaming Computers related to the COVID-19 outbreak

Understanding your build and test time

A common question we receive by our customers is "how long will my order be" so we have put this little helpful page together to help address that question.

We appreciate our customers would like to know exactly when their order will arrive on their doorstep, naturally you guys are going to want your shiny new PC as quickly as possible or you may have a pressing date as the PC is for an inportant event, birthday or gift.

We don't know

All systems that are built to order which is essentially everything excluding our, next day systems, the simple answer is we cannot give customers exact dates and times of when a system will be ready/shipped/delivered until it is actually ready to be shipped/delivered.

UK Gaming Computers sell a few hundred systems a month all built to order. When a customer places and order the amount of orders ahead of the newly placed order varies - The fair way to complete these orders is of course a first come first served basis and as a result there maybe 20 orders to get done first or there maybe 300 orders to get done first. Our workloads vary hugely throughout the month and year.

This isn't the main reason for not being able to give completely accurate ETA's as we can work out how many orders are ahead and give a rough estimation. There are two other factors that hinder us being able to provide a golden date;

1 - Testing

UK Gaming Computers pride ourselves on ensuring we thoroughly test all of our systems that go out the door, its one of the reasons that sets us apart from the rest. New components fail, no matter how good they are, its just the nature of electronics. Granted the better the quality the part the less chance of failure but even the very top stuff does have a day off by the time it finds itself into a build and is being tested.

Components that fail/don't meet our requirements simply need to be swapped out from a build. If this is something simple such as a iffy wireless card then it will take us half hour to diagnose, swap over and re test meaning the set back in time is only marginal. The problem comes when something isn't right with something that takes longer to test, take 16GB of RAM for example, to test it properly takes 48 hours of pure test time. Lets say that a 16GB kit of RAM fails 47 hours into its 48 hours worth of testing, it will take barely 10 minutes to swap over but the new RAM will require a full 48 hours of testing again to ensure its performing as it should be, meaning the set back time could be over 47 hours. We of course cannot predict if a part will fail testing.

2 - Part Availability

Thankfully this is a much less common occurrence as we hold stock for our builds but is definitely an important unknown with any custom PC build. Ultimately we hold as much stock as possible however PC components are made up of potentially hundreds of smaller components and sometimes through absolutely no fault of our suppliers/manufacturers or manufacturers suppliers control or knowledge those smaller components are not available due to shortages/logistics/production issues. The result is parts for builds can be delayed resulting in a hold up, most of the time this is only a few days but this could be weeks or months. Naturally with the longer times we contact customers to offer alternatives and logical workarounds if time is important, but either way its likely to impact the overall build/test time of a build. Once again this is something we can't always predict and often when the issue is far down the chain its impossible to get solid ETA's and can leave links in the chain in the dark.

Predicting the Future

The issues explained above need us to be able to predict the future in order for us to be able to give accurate time-scales and whilst we are good at what we do, we are yet to master predicting the future (but are working on it!).

Estimated Build and test times

So whilst we can't humanly give accurate time-scales we do give out the next best thing, an estimated build and test time which is the amount of time we estimate your order will be ready to ship from when your order was placed and subsequently processed by us. This is shown on every product page before you order and if the nature of the system allows, you can change should time be of the essence.

As default there are 4 options;

Standard 5 -10 Working days - The standard service
Priority 3-5 Working days - An Expedited service
Super rush job - We drop everything for these orders following a phone conversation before ordering
None - pre built system - Only applied to the pre built range as those are already built, tested and packaged

The first thing to take note of here is these are firstly estimated time-scales meaning absolutely nothing is guaranteed to adhere to these time-scales - if we do guarantee a date then its because we have mastered predicting the future and are probably working on next weeks lottery numbers!

The second thing to take note is these time frames are during working days. This means that during the weekend, bank holiday or Christmas day we are not woking towards completing your order.

The third is this is the time we estimate your order to be ready to ship and will be emailing you about arranging a convenient delivery date with yourself. This is not when your system will arrive on your door step. Deliveries are usually next working day subject to 2pm cut off times and 98% of the time this is the case but the 3rd party courier service we use also can't predict the future and have to allow for things like traffic, break downs and missed connections.

Finally these time scales will have additions simply because certain parts take longer to test;

16GB RAM + 1 Working Day
32GB RAM + 3 Working days
64GB RAM + 7 Working days
128GB RAM + 15 Working days
Overclocking + 1 Working Day
Fully Water cooled systems + 1 Working Day

Working it out

So, lets say you ordered a system with a standard build time of 5 - 10 working days with 16GB of RAM and an overclock on the 1st of January 2099, which if your calender doesn't go that far forward, falls on a Thursday. You first need to add on a day for the order to actually be processed as the 1st of January is a bank holiday, therefore your your processing date will be shortly after we open on the Friday 2nd of January. Similarly if you order a system at 23:00 it wont get processed until the following morning.

Next add on any extra times which in this case is the extra day for 16GB of RAM and a further extra day for the overclock. This would then make your estimated build and test time 7-12 working days from the 2nd of January.

7 working days from then is the 13th of January whilst the 12th working day is the 20th of January which is what makes up your estimated time window of when your order is ready to ship. In that period we will likely be in contact to let you know that your order is done and request a delivery date .