AMD RDNA 3 GPUs could be hard to buy when they’re launched

An AMD RX 7900 XTX graphics card seen from an overhead angle
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD’s RDNA 3 graphics cards are out next month, but they could be difficult to find online or in bricks-and-mortar stores, if the grapevine is correct with a fresh assertion.

As flagged up by @harukaze5719 on Twitter, Quasarzone (QSZ) dropped some info regarding stock levels of the RX 7900 models, which we must naturally take with a couple of handfuls of seasoning.

Worryingly, Quasarzone predicts that the initial stock levels of the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX will be “extremely low”, with the use of the word extremely being the concerning bit, of course.

That makes it sound like there will be very few units on shelves at least to begin with, when the new RDNA 3 GPUs are launched on December 13.

There is a twist here, though, because as @harukaze5719 elaborates, this likely refers to the reference boards – built to AMD’s baseline spec – whereas more powerful custom boards from third-party card makers won’t turn up until towards the end of December. However, those (more performant) models could arrive with beefier stock levels, but that’s just educated guesswork on the Twitter leaker’s part.

Of course, this whole parcel of rumors needs to be treated very carefully, as we’ve already noted.

Analysis: Rumor mill prompts worries not just about stock – but price tags, too

Part of the reason that we need to remain cautious with this new rumor is that in the recent past, we’ve heard more positive noises that AMD is going to have a robust volume of RDNA 3 graphics cards right off the bat.

So, for that to be directly contradicted, and Team Red theoretically now looking at extremely low stock levels feels like a stretch. However, what could be the case is that as we touched on above, the very first few days, or maybe week, of the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX GPUs being available could see scarce stock (and scalpers no doubt having a field day and making things worse) – but then, by the end of the year, inventory volume could be ramped up considerably (perhaps with third-party custom RDNA 3 boards as mentioned).

This marries up with other recent speculation we’ve seen that custom RDNA 3 cards aren’t likely to be out until a couple of weeks after reference boards (in the main, anyway).

If there are many more third-party custom models than reference, though, that brings another possibility to fret about in itself. Namely that the custom efforts are going to be pricey graphics cards, and “much more expensive” than reference boards, as per another recent rumor.

If true, that could mean we see a lot of stock at considerably pricier levels than AMD’s MSRP, and that’ll be another blow to gamers who are looking for a new cutting-edge graphics card – what with Nvidia’s RTX 4090 and 4080, GPUs that are already out there, being exorbitantly expensive. It’s not like the 7900 XT and XTX are anything like affordable even at Team Red’s recommended pricing, of course ($899 and $999 in the US).

This is a case where we have to hope the rumor-mongers are wrong, but as ever, only time will tell. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed we aren’t left hoping that the rumored to be imminent RTX 4070 Ti will have to come to the rescue on the pricing front, because we aren’t convinced that’s going to happen, either.

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).