You are definitely not hallucinating that Micro Center display case full of AMD CPUs. Consumers can purchase AMD 5000-series CPUs again, and there seems to be plenty of stock to go around.
Over the last couple of weeks, as PCWorld also noticed, Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 7 5800X stock has been available at in-store retailers and online at Amazon, Newegg, and elsewhere at MSRP prices or slightly above MSRP prices. Currently, Newegg is selling the Ryzen 5 5600X for $380, but Amazon has it for $299. Both are selling the Ryzen 7 5800X for $449.
“We have shipped a significant volume of Ryzen 5000 series CPUs and are shipping out additional stock on a daily basis,” AMD told Gizmodo in an email. “We are also refreshing stock of AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors and Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards on AMD.com on a weekly basis.”
Unfortunately, the higher-end Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X are still scarce, but it seems like a better use of limited resources to produce the less expensive chips. Those will likely be affordable for more people than spending $549 or more for either of those two pricier CPUs.
Like Nvidia graphics cards and Intel 10th-gen CPUs, stock of AMDs CPUs and GPUs have been nearly impossible to find for the last several months, unless you buy them at a 100% markup from a scalper. The global chip shortage shows no sign of letting up any time soon, either. Speaking to CNET recently, Qualcomm incoming CEO Cristiano Amon said the shortages likely will continue until late 2021.
However, more Ryzen stock could be a good sign for the upcoming release of AMD’s RX 6700 XT. During the company’s announcement last week, AMD said it was “on track to have significantly more GPUs available for sale at launch” and had been taking steps to combat bots and scalpers on launch day.
Getting more Ryzen processors into the hands of consumers before the 6700 XT launches on March 18 seems like a good move, too. All Radeon 6000 graphics cards are Smart Access Memory compatible with Ryzen 5000 processors, which when enabled can give some games a decent frame rate boost. But Ryzen 5000 processors are also compatible with Nvidia’s Resizable BAR, which does the same thing. If AMD can keep the stock coming, and successfully combat the scalpers, it could put the company in a better position among gamers who have been trying to build or upgrade their PCs for months.