AMD cites high demand, not paper launch, for Ryzen 5000 series shortage

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,692   +124
Staff member
Bottom line: AMD’s highly anticipated Ryzen 5000 series desktop CPUs launched late last week in four different flavors across a range of price points. Unfortunately for some prospective buyers eager to part with their money, inventory issues are proving to be an early road block.

A quick check at Amazon turns up zero results for AMD’s new lineup. It’s a similar story over on Newegg as all Zen 3 models are out of stock Tiger Direct has nothing, either. You’ll have better results through outlets like eBay, but expect to pay a significant premium.

Similar “inventory” issues plagued Nvidia’s Ampere GPU launch last month, prompting the company to push back the arrival date of the RTX 3070 by two weeks, to October 29. As of writing, Ampere cards are still next to impossible to find in stock.

In addressing some of the concerns on Twitter, AMD’s Frank Azor said there is a difference between a “paper launch” and shipping tons of units but demand exceeding supply.

When asked if AMD implemented a plan to prevent bots from interfering with the Zen 3 launch, Azor said they did make a strong effort that succeeded in many cases. “It’s a battle that is never completely won,” Azor added, applauding his team’s efforts and those of retail partners. “We continue to learn & adapt with every launch. We want our products in the hands of their intended users.”

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Justausername

Posts: 13   +18
Funny. Same excuse, demand exceeds supply. We can quibble on supply all day, but the fact is a CPU is an easier manufacturing process than a GPU.

As a company, it is a good problem to have, more demand than product. Product will dribble out, and people will get their CPUs, it just might take a while depending on what you are looking for.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,082   +1,234
"There's a big difference between a "paper launch" and shipping tons of units but demand exceeds supply."

Canada Computers typically uses "10+" when showing stock above 10.
I noticed Ryzen 5000 CPU's stock showed as "5+" Canada-wide.
 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,292   +1,976
This has been exceptionally frustrating for me. I have the money burning a hole in my pocket waiting to build a next generation rig. I've been planning and saving up for it for over a year.

There's no doubt in my mind that both nVidia and AMD knew full well in advance they weren't even going to remotely be able to meet demand. But so anxious to go to war against their competitors and get their product specs and tech website reviews done that they "released" them with no inventory anyway.

To me it almost falls into the antitrust legal category.
 
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brucek

Posts: 577   +700
TechSpot Elite
They can only make so many per week, fine. But there is plenty of disk space to manage an order queue of up to every person on earth, so I still don't understand why we can't submit our order and get an (reasonably accurate) estimated ship date.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,559   +607
Nonsense! How difficult can it be to limit the number of products sold on a single credit/debit card? Sell just one product, and it will make 99.9% of legitimate buyers happy.
The problem is, that's all under the control of the retailer, not AMD themselves. They worked with retailers to try to curb the scalping, but ultimately it is up to the retailer in question to implement any safeguards in the situation. This is the same for Nvidia, Intel, etc. Somehow, it always seems like the retailers fail to protect the sales chain from abuse, and it's the manufacturers that get blamed by the consumers

Now, if it's a direct sale manufacturer to consumer, and the issues still occur, that is totally on the manufacturer.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,631   +1,688
TechSpot Elite
It would be nice if AMD quoted the number of CPU that were available at launch (even roughly).
Now, they don‘t have to, but saying „It wasn‘t a paper launch, we had x number of units available on launch day“ is more convincing.
Pretty much.

How many Ryzen 5xxx units were available the first day, the first week, the first month?
How many RTX 3xxx units were available the first day, the first week, the first month?

Show me the numbers!
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 477   +379
'When asked if AMD implemented a plan to prevent bots from interfering with the Zen 3 launch, Azor said they did make a strong effort that succeeded in many cases."

Total BS. Other than making real customers happy, AMD, NVidia, and retailers have no incentive to stop BOTs from buying up the inventory. As long as they make the sale who cares.

Here is an idea. Limit 1 per payment method / shipping address for the first week or so.
 
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smartroad

Posts: 15   +6
How is this seemingly a sudden issue now? The Wii was out of stock for ages and that was, what, 2006? New highly desirable items going out of stock is nothing new. Super Mario 3 back in the late 80's was apparently a nightmare to find because of supply problems, with 3 years between the Japanese and European releases because of it.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,061   +2,617
People, dont get your panties in a twist just because stock is out. It's a CPU, not a life saving medicine. Just be patient, in a few months stock will return to shelves and with all the scalpers trying to offload product you'll be able to pick one up for under MSRP

Source: my vega 64 was just $250, this was before the turing launch, my 9700k was bought for $50 under MSRP 10 months after launch on ebay, same story with motherboard, memory, ece. Scalper's pain is my gain.
 

brucek

Posts: 577   +700
TechSpot Elite
As enthusiasts we are frequently asked to remember that we are a tiny segment of the overall chip market.

If that's true, and I think it is, just how much volume could AMD have sold if it couldn't supply even this tiny segment? After all, I'm assuming that none of the launch day shoppers were the purchasers for the big data centers operators, or the big resellers like Dell, or certainly not Apple which maybe has left the external market entirely. If they can't handle us, what hope do they have for the real volume players?

I think this all may help explain something else I was wondering about. In the enthusiast press, it is clear AMD is kicking Intel butt. Meanwhile it is much harder to find good AMD pre-builts (ie laptops) than Intel, and in the Wall Street Journal I read that Intel expects to announce record sales and near-record earnings for 2020. I suspect that has something to do with being able to ship in volume and with the predictability the large players need.
 

lvzx14

Posts: 11   +5
Find this acceptable.
They can only make so many per week, fine. But there is plenty of disk space to manage an order queue of up to every person on earth, so I still don't understand why we can't submit our order and get an (reasonably accurate) estimated ship date.
That is exactly how it should be handled, even evga is starting to go in this direction.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 165   +118
Still buy the whole range in NZ - limit of 1 each - we don't have scalpers.
On the negative side - it was never possible to become a millionaire selling pet rocks here

You know they probably have to supply 100 odd countries
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,015   +452
So afterall the bs PR, AMD is no different than Intel and Nvidia when it comes to getting out new product that everyone knew would be in high demand. I guess AMD didnt believe in their own hype.

Sad times in 2020. Well at least we know 2021 will be a good year as all the latest tech will be available then. Upside is we all will likely be at home playing games or working from home. Fun times ahead.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,422   +2,995
Frankly, I can't remember a launch of a much awaited product NOT being out of stock. It happened with my 8800GT's, my i7 3770k, GTX680, 1070ti, ryzen 1700, nintendo switch, wii, PS3.

Yeah, scalpers are a problem but I don't understand why people think product shortages are some conspiracy.
 
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Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,559   +607
Frankly, I can't remember a launch of a much awaited product being out of stock. It happened with my 8800GT's, my i7 3770k, GTX680, 1070ti, ryzen 1700, nintendo switch, wii, PS3.

Yeah, scalpers are a problem but I don't understand why people think product shortages are some conspiracy.
Most of those people frankly just don't understand the "manufacturing / distribution / retail / consumer" chain and how those businesses and new product launches work in general. It's actually a little appalling how many people seem to think AMD (or Nvidia or Intel) should have held back, made a bajillion units, and then just thrown them up into the air to let them rain on the consumers like silicon snowflakes.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 503   +420
I doubt even be Xmas I'll be able to buy 5900X and 6800XT any where near close to RRP if they are even available. I'll bet it'll still be bad in 3 months.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,015   +452
Most of those people frankly just don't understand the "manufacturing / distribution / retail / consumer" chain and how those businesses and new product launches work in general. It's actually a little appalling how many people seem to think AMD (or Nvidia or Intel) should have held back, made a bajillion units, and then just thrown them up into the air to let them rain on the consumers like silicon snowflakes.
Its because people frankly dont care. They dont want to hear blah blah excuse. They are billion dollar companies, they have the means. Its the extra money they dont want to spend when they can just take there time n release more next yr. Enough product and money was made to keep the shareholders happy. More will come, sure, just not this year. These companies damn well knew demand would be high n they still fell flat on their face.
This is about business, nothing else. Simple supply n demand. Demand is high, release a lil then flood the market a few months later, company rakes in BILLIONS. Its been done thousands of times and this time is no different. Same thing is going to happen with the new consoles.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,053   +1,426
"There's a big difference between a "paper launch" and shipping tons of units but demand exceeds supply."

Canada Computers typically uses "10+" when showing stock above 10.
I noticed Ryzen 5000 CPU's stock showed as "5+" Canada-wide.
I was watching the stock on launch day I work from home so I was literally just sitting there refreshing the screen every few mins. And they barely had any stock at all stores and what was there was gone fairly quickly basically in like an hour. I'm not in a rush to get one and since I usually just go in-store and pickup not an issue for me.

We will see this same process for the GPU's just the way things are this year.

Canada computer also had different prices day 1 and day 2.

They are my go to store so I was not impressed!
 
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Dyper

Posts: 23   +8
Once they regained prominence they became stricken ISD, better known in medical circles as Intel Supremacy Disorder.
Stop quacking and deliver on the promises.
 

brucek

Posts: 577   +700
TechSpot Elite
Most of those people frankly just don't understand the "manufacturing / distribution / retail / consumer" chain and how those businesses and new product launches work in general. It's actually a little appalling how many people seem to think AMD (or Nvidia or Intel) should have held back, made a bajillion units, and then just thrown them up into the air to let them rain on the consumers like silicon snowflakes.
I'm not sure your understanding is as great as you think it is either. I'm aware that some segments we're discussing are relatively low volume, novel, and not like the majority of retail goods sold. Because of this they've been given a pass on a relatively immature rollout process for some number of years. I believe that pass is already on its way out, probably accelerated by Nvidia's particularly heightened shenanigans this time around.

As you've pointed out in other posts, yes, storing inventory while building it up has some cost involved, although these products have very high value-to-size ratios, probably way higher than virtually anything else sold at retail excepting jewelry. Risk is probably a bigger factor and worth considering.

But there are costs doing it the other way too. Your advertising, marketing and promotion budget is going out the window if you have no actual inventory to sell. You are hastening the depreciation of your existing previous generation inventory that you could otherwise still be selling. You have prematurely started the clock ticking on your product being perceived as stale, in an industry where that happens very quickly already. You are risking your relations with retailers, who typically take a dim view of reserving shelf space and promotional efforts for products that they can't actually get to sell. (In a more typical product category, a company behaving like Nvidia would get laughed out the door before being able to speak with say a Walmart buyer - they will demand and get an allocation that keeps those shelves full, or they'll be selling something else.)

I'm not denying the trickle out strategy has often happened in the past. It may still seem like the easiest for a manufacturer to implement. But it is certainly not the only choice, as Apple has proven for several generations now in what I suspect are much, much higher volumes than what Nvidia or AMD have shipped so far. Covered wagons and eight tracks were once seen as the only way too.

So getting back to Nvidia... why did they do what they did, which possibly was what forced AMD to also wait not too much longer? I have no concrete evidence but I can't help notice that their "launch" happened quite close to their purchase of ARM. Could it have been at least partially about short-term stock price manipulation to help with this large acquisition?
 

SRB

Posts: 16   +29
[/QUOTE]
Frankly, I can't remember a launch of a much awaited product NOT being out of stock. It happened with my 8800GT's, my i7 3770k, GTX680, 1070ti, ryzen 1700, nintendo switch, wii, PS3.

Yeah, scalpers are a problem but I don't understand why people think product shortages are some conspiracy.
I remember the original ryzen launch a bit differently....Microcenter has a TON of cpu's, bought a 1700x on day one...the motherboards, on the other hand, sold out in hours. I waited 4 months for the Threadripper 3960x to get just back to list from retailers, much less scalpers...when I did buy one, Best Buy was the only vendor selling at list, everyone else was still above list. Let's face it, doesn't matter what happens, as long as the market is hot, it's going to be tough sledding for anyone wanting the latest and greatest.