WOOF! Newsletter

July 10, 2019

Where to Get Computer Components Made in the USA

Why would you want components made in America? To avoid spying & security risks, for one. To support the American economy, for two. To help protect the environment, for three. Luckily for all of us, a few brands still make their components in the U.S.

TIME TO READ: 6 MINUTES

In the spirit of Independence Day, we are highlighting the benefits of American-made IT hardware.

Most people believe that all IT hardware is made in China now.  We are happy to say that this statement is not entirely true. Some computer makers have opted to assemble, or outright manufacture components for their systems in America.

This is good news for the American economy, for our IT workers, for our supply chains, and for our businesses. Let's illustrate why, so you can see the direct benefits of buying & using computers with made-in-America components.

(This is a follow-up to our 2014 article, "Where IT Hardware is Made and Why It's Important")

The Value in Making Components in America

American-made components offer three major advantages to every business.

  1. You minimize security issues & practice good Cyber Fu. Keep your IT stable & working properly, without adding additional risk of cyberattacks or spying.
  2. You support the American economy and your fellow IT workers.
  3. You help protect the environment. Buying American-made components means they only have to travel across land. Not only does this shorten supply chains by eliminating the 6-8 week wait for cargo ships (the world's worst polluters), it negates the chance of containers spilling into the ocean!

You may think it'll cost a lot more to "buy American" for your computers. Again, not entirely true. From our procurement experience, the pricing difference is small; sometimes it's not even there.

How? Two reasons: You avoid tariffs, and you're taking advantage of a shorter supply chain.  This brings prices down and reduces the environmental impact for product delivery.

We compiled a list of computer brands that either manufacture components, and/or assemble complete systems, in American facilities.

But first, let's clarify an important difference in terms.

The Difference Between "Manufactured in America" and "Assembled in the U.S."

On some computers and mobile devices, you often see ID tags and reference stickers marked with "Assembled in the U.S."

If a hardware brand says it "assembles" their computers in America, it doesn't mean it made the components here. Only that it took components made in another country and assembled the computer here.

Assembling computers in the U.S. is a start, but saying you "manufacture" them in America, now that's better.

Here's an example. The U.S. Government requires that computers used for governmental purposes be made in the USA. They buy a lot of Dell hardware as a result. Dell assembles some of the hardware in the USA, but its components are not originally manufactured here.

With the other brands listed below, we could close this loophole.

3 Computer Hardware Brands Manufacturing Their Components in America

Now, let's highlight three brands who DO make some of their components here.

Intel Components in USA
INTEL. The world's largest CPU maker, Intel maintains several American facilities. It manufactures microprocessor wafers in U.S. fabrication plants in Chandler, AZ (makes 14 nm and 32 nm microprocessors), Hudson, MA (makes 22nm microprocessors), and Rio Rancho, NM (makes 32 nm microprocessors). 

A Hillsboro, Oregon plant makes development wafers for microprocessors & storage technology. 

SuperMicro Servers Made in the USA
SUPERMICRO. A major enterprise server hardware manufacturer. SuperMicro assembles its servers at facilities in San Jose & Fremont, CA.

Motherboard production has been in China and Taiwan until recently, when they moved out of China to alleviate spying concerns. They transferred the manufacturing processes conducted there to facilities in Taiwan and San Jose. An admirable move.

Trenton Servers Made in the USA

TRENTON. A rugged server manufacturer based in Georgia. They actually design, manufacture, assemble/integrate, test, and support their ruggedized computers entirely in the U.S.! Their website is TrentonSystems.com.

 

3 Computer Hardware Manufacturers Assembling their Systems in America

Assembling computers here isn't as helpful to the American economy as manufacturing, but it does provide some jobs. Three easily-recognizable brands assemble computers here.

HP Computers Assembled in the USA
HP. HP has at least two stateside assembly plants for its computers. A facility near Indianapolis assembles HP workstations and commercial desktop PCs. A Texas facility near Houston assembles HPE ProLiant servers. 

Dell Computers Assembled in the USA
DELL. Dell builds its servers in an Austin, TX plant. It used to assemble desktop & laptop computers in the U.S., but has moved production to several facilities worldwide, from Mexico to Ireland.

Lenovo Computers Assembled in the USA

LENOVO. In our experience, the most reliable PC laptop brand. Lenovo has a plant in North Carolina where it assembles some of its ThinkPad laptops. 

They also manufacture the SR630 ThinkSystem rack servers in Monterey, New Mexico. We just ordered one such server for a customer's network—which allowed us to confirm its point of origin!


The Most Common Made-in-America Component:  Memory

Every computer has memory (also called RAM or DRAM). Someone has to make that memory. The process is not as involved as making a microprocessor. The component also has greater application—laptops, phones, tablets, IoT, USB flash drives, etc.

As a result, more brands choose to manufacture their memory chips here in the U.S.

As IT professionals, we love this practice for one critical reason: All data in a computer flows through its memory. If your memory has a backdoor (or malware running), that chip becomes a silent 24-hour data leak.

These are the memory manufacturers running in the U.S. (source: NewEgg Business):

Micron Components Made in USA
Micron has manufacturing facilities outside of Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. They make memory chips that end up in Crucial brand RAM and SSDs. 

Mushkin Components Made in USA
Mushkin manufactures memory components in Austin, TX. They also use wafers from Micron in their SSDs, doubling up on Made-in-America components.

Samsung Components Made in USA

Samsung manufactures some of its NAND Flash memory chips in a big plant in Austin, TX. They aren't used in all Samsung products, but odds are good if you buy Samsung memory in the U.S. it uses these chips.

Patriot Components Made in USA

Patriot Memory is right here in Fremont with us! They build some of their RAM chips and USB flash drives here.

PNY Components Made in USA

PNY Technologies has a plant in Parsippany, NJ where they manufacture RAM, video cards, and SSDs. (The plant even uses solar panels for green energy.)

 

How You Can Get American-Made Computer Components for Your Business

Now it's easy to get computer components "Made in America." Before your next IT order, ask your hardware procurement team or IT consultant order from the brands listed above.

We can source all of these components through our procurement channels. They all stock hardware from said brands, and have desktops, laptops, servers, and some mobile devices readily available.

We hope this article makes it easy to get the computers you need, and support the American economy at the same time.

 

ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

 

Did we miss any computers or components that are made in the USA?  Let us know!  Email us at woof@planetmagpie.com!