Sim Lim Square to En Bloc – 14 Computer Shops to Visit While You Still Can
The latest in a string of vintage shopping malls slated to go on the chopping block, Sim Lim Square is finally going on en bloc sale after what seems like a slow death over the past decade.
Formerly a tech geek haven, Sim Lim Square now has quite a chui reputation, no thanks to past scammers like Jover Chew, some sketchy-looking tenants, and a pretty unappealing mall layout. (What? No cinema on L6?)
All that, and the fact that building your own PC is not really in vogue anymore, except with the most hardcore of nerds and gamers.
If you’re one of the aforementioned, you probably already have your favourite haunts at SLS. But for the uninitiated, here are the top recommended (i.e. reliable) computer shops on HardwareZone – last chance to shop there before they disperse.
(Being a complete tech idiot, I cannot take credit for the content. This article would not have been possible without the goldmine of information that is HardwareZone.)
Sim Lim Square – 14 best shops for computer stuff
|Level||Unit||Sim Lim Square shop|
|4||#04-01||Cybermind [closed for renovation]|
#02-21 Xtreme Solution
Unless you’re looking for a camera, TV box, or CCTV system in particular, the lower levels of Sim Lim Square don’t have all that much by way of PC things. Most of the notable stores are clustered up on the upper levels (4 and up).
One exception is Xtreme Solution on level 2, which is very popular with gamers. They sell mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, speakers, gaming chairs etc. from brands like Ducky and Razer. Items here are on the pricey side, though.
When I visited, the shop was closed for an event, but they’ll be back again from 1 Jun 2019. In the meantime you can browse their website.
#04-01 Cybermind [closed for renovation]
Most “Hardware Clinic” types head straight up to level 4 of Sim Lim Square, where you can find some of the major go-tos for PC parts and systems.
Of the ones on level 4, Cybermind is probably the biggest, spanning several units and basically occupying its own corner. Supposedly, you can find just about anything you want here, but prices are the standard “recommended retail price”, as opposed to some of the cheaper shops you’ll see later on.
When I visited, it was unfortunately closed for renovation. It was a bit suspicious that they’d renovate when there’s an en bloc sale coming up, but they did have an office unit open so it’s definitely not dead – in fact, the Lazada and Shopee stores are still up and running.
#04-15 PC Themes
Most HWZ users and tech nerds I know are fond of PC Themes, which is a shop in a corner of level 4. It’s considered one of the most beginner-friendly of the computer shops in Sim Lim Square – my husband assembled his very first PC from here – and prices are pretty good, too.
The only thing to note is that PC Themes’ strength is in selling PC parts and full rigs, so they don’t really have a good range of peripherals like mice, keyboards etc.
#04-50 Best Price / #04-51 Infinity
Not much to say about these two shops, but while you’re on level 4, you might as well check out Best Price and Infinity. They are not affiliated (that I know of anyway) but they’re located side by side.
Both are fairly small shops – one unit each – so the selection is not exactly massive like Cybermind, nor do they boast spectacular customer service. But it can’t hurt to grab their price lists and see if the item(s) you want are on there.
Fuwell is another highly established shop on level 4. They’re about on par with Cybermind and PC Themes in terms of “respectability” and the store layout makes it easy to browse the products.
However, unlike, say, PC Themes, you won’t get terribly personalised service here – it’s really just a store. Fuwell is also known to be pretty expensive (i.e. recommended retail price) so you should definitely shop around before buying from here.
#05-02A Best Bargain
Onwards to level 5, where most of the small (and more competitively priced) shops are. Best Bargain is a shop that specialises in RAM, hard disk drives, thumbdrives, memory cards and so on – this is the go-to in Sim Lim for the best range and prices for such products.
Best of all, you don’t even need to enter the store and ask for help, because all the price lists are printed out and pasted right outside.
Of all the shops I visited at Sim Lim Square, Tradepac was the only shop where someone actually called out to me (“Yes what you want?”). I doubt they need to solicit for business though, because the shop already had a couple of guys waiting outside.
Tradepac is well known among the Hardware Clinic crowd for some of the absolute cheapest prices in town for PC parts… but on the other hand, they notoriously have no stock for almost everything.
#05-47 Dynacore / #05-48 Make Fine / #05-50 Bizgram
Another cluster of shops you can visit to compare prices easily on level 5 is the row comprising Dynacore, Make Fine and Bizgram.
Dynacore (pic here is of their other outlet at #05-77; see below) is a fairly new shop that opened only about 1 or 2 years back. Like PC Themes on level 4, it has acquired a reputation for being quite helpful and friendly for beginners building their first PC. Going by the lack of complaints on HardwareZone, I gather prices are pretty competitive.
The shop next door is called Make Fine. There is mixed feedback on Make Fine’s prices; some say cheap, some say expensive. They do have a Carousell account (@itsmine.pc) which appears to be priced better than in-store. So do check those listings and ask them to match their own prices if necessary.
Finally there’s Bizgram, which is the largest of the 3. Nothing very special here, except they have a fancy digital price list on the side which makes it a bit easier to read the small font.
#05-73/74 Video-Pro / #05-77 Dynacore / #05-78 Tec-Drome
Another key cluster on level 5 is this corner in one of the back “lorongs” of Sim Lim Square.
Also in the vicinity is the other outlet of Dynacore (mentioned above) which sells mainly laptops and monitors.
Last but not least there’s Tec-Drome which isn’t exactly a PC shop, more of a games shop that also sells peripherals like mice, joysticks and keyboards. If you’re not in a rush, it’s a fun place to shop and I hear the uncle here is really nice too.
#06-68 Media Mart
Level 6 of Sim Lim Square seems almost totally dead. The main shop here is Media Mart, which really looks like an Ah Beng gaming shop. It’s not as known as the major shops on levels 4 and 5 (I wonder how they survive…) but there are some positive reviews.
While you’re at level 6 of Sim Lim, you should definitely explore a bit because there are a few funny/sad things, like…
This Bitcoin ATM. Notice the police anti-scam flyers pasted all around it.
There’s this strange alley of what looks like abandoned junk. But it could very well be someone’s secret storeroom…
Where to find Sim Lim price lists
Most Sim Lim Square PC shops maintain price lists of their components, and they are updated every few days.
Apart from going down to all the shops and picking up the printouts, you can also download price lists from Best Bargain, Bizgram, Dynacore, Fuwell, Infinity, Laser, PC Themes and Tradepac from HardwareZone.
The rest of the PC shops usually maintain their own lists on their websites (if any). Some have online stores on Carousell or Qoo10 where you can see a small selection of items.
Before you rush straight to the cheapest shop, though, it seems that cheapest is not always best (depends on what you’re buying).
According to HardwareZone lore, shops selling below recommended retail price (RRP) or manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) might provide very poor after-sales support for the item, because they are not the preferred retailers of that brand.
Finally, there’s also a difference between paying for your item in cash vs credit card. Not all stores in Sim Lim Square accept credit cards, and among those that do, some are known to charge differently e.g. by offering a discount if you pay in cash. So shopping at Sim Lim is one of the rare instances where it might actually be better to pay in cash than card.
Sim Lim Square MRT, parking & opening hours
MRT station: If you haven’t visited Sim Lim Square in decades and forgot how to get there, don’t worry: It now has its own MRT station! The nearest MRT station to Sim Lim Square is Rochor MRT on the Downtown (blue) line. Take Exit A and turn right upon exiting; you’ll see it right away.
Parking rates: If you’re driving, Sim Lim Square parking rates are $1.80/30 minutes for the first hour, then $0.06/minute from 3am to 6pm. If you come by after 6pm it’s a flat $3 per entry.
Opening hours: Unlike the regular shopping malls which operate from 10am to 10pm, Sim Lim Square shops operate from 11am to 8pm, with many shops starting to wind down business once evening falls. So it’s best to arrive earlier.
As a bonus, I also took a picture of the Sim Lim Square floor plan/map, because some of these units are really hard to find.
Which is your favourite shop in Sim Lim Square? Tell us about it in the comments!