This came directly from AMD’s Lisa Su in a JP Morgan conference call, as reported by Seeking Alpha (via PC Gamer), in which she observed: “There is some compute that we’re leaving underserviced. I would say, particularly, if you look at some of the segments in the PC market, sort of the lower end of the PC market, we have prioritized some of the higher-end commercial SKUs and gaming SKUs and those kinds of things.”
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This is, of course, only good business sense. When supply is tight, and you can’t make enough product to meet overall demands, it’s obviously the best move financially to make the high-end CPUs which command a large profit premium, compared to the budget models with much thinner margins.
Intel has done exactly the same in the past, and you may recall that when badly affected by production issues a couple of years back, the rival chip giant prioritized its heavyweight silicon (many-core and Xeon offerings) rather than lower-end models (or even mid-range to some extent).
Ultimately, both companies are businesses, and they need to make money to keep the silicon fires burning – but that will obviously be little comfort to folks trying to build a budget PC and looking for contemporary Ryzen options from Team Red. They’re either very tricky to find, or considerably more costly than their recommended price if you can locate the CPU you need.
While some cheaper Ryzen CPUs remain thin on the ground, AMD has improved the availability of some of the heftier current-gen Ryzen 5000 chips, as per Su’s comments here, with the likes of the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X now being more widely available and indeed coming down in price somewhat. And better availability still is expected in the near future, at least if this report on AMD’s purported revisions for Ryzen 5000 processors is correct.
GPUs, however, remain a thornier issue and are still extremely difficult to get hold of (but even that situation could hopefully change as 2021 rumbles on).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).