AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X officially went on sale back at the start of this week, but there’s one problem – even if your wallet has the stomach to meet the recommended price of £749 / $749 (around AU$1,100), you can’t actually buy one, because they’re not so much thin on the ground, as non-existent by all accounts.
Obviously there were some units available on the launch date of November 25, but they evidently sold out very quickly, and now looking at major retailers across the US, UK and Europe, no one seems to have the CPU up for offer.
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In the UK, Scan has the 3950X officially listed as on pre-order, but does give a date for estimated availability – but sadly that’s December 31, clear over a month away.
The picture is worse if you go by Overclockers.co.uk, which unsurprisingly imposes a limit of one chip per customer order, but has an ETA of January 31.
As Tom’s Hardware observes, it’s much the same scenario going on in Europe, where big retailers like Caseking, ComputerBase and Mindfactory are back to ‘pre-orders’ as well, and have ramped up prices due to demand.
The demand is reportedly such that according to ComputerBase, for every Ryzen 9 3950X processor they briefly had in stock earlier this week, they now have 16 pre-orders to be fulfilled. In other words, demand outstrips supply by a factor of 16 in this initial week.
As mentioned, ComputerBase noted that those other European retailers have jacked up the prices compared to the recommended asking price of €819, with Mindfactory selling the chip for €939 and Caseking €999.
Making matters worse
As ever in this sort of situation, there are folks looking to exploit other punters and make some quick money by buying one of these stock-challenged CPUs, and immediately selling it off on eBay.
In the US, you can get one for $1,250 (via ‘buy it now’), in one listing we spotted, and in the UK, you can forget it – there’s not even stock on eBay. Although you can order one via US eBay (with all the shipping fun and costs that might entail), or from Europe, where we spotted a chip (from Italy) going for €1,087, which translates into about £927.
All this has echoes, of course, of when AMD launched the Ryzen 9 3900X, and keen consumers wanting to get the most powerful chip from the 3rd-gen range faced much the same situation. The worrying thing being, perhaps, that this scenario persisted for a long time (indeed, only easing relatively recently). And given some of the estimated stock dates in the UK, it looks like this might be the case for the 3950X, too.
It’s also worth noting that ComputerBase observes that the new Threadripper 3960X and 3970X CPUs are facing similar shortages, as well. All in all, AMD seems to be struggling with CPU supply at the high-end right now (again).
- Luckily there might be great Black Friday deals on other Ryzen CPUs
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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).