AMD Supply Chain Constraints and Jebaited RX 6000-Series Pricing

Taking a look at AMD’s stock price at the time of this post, the level of optimism for further enhancements to the company’s profitability have been alluded to by Dr. Lisa Su. However, the holiday season may be filled with disappointed individuals of all ages due to an overabundance of demand for everything AMD can produce being paired with a lack of available products across the full spectrum of categories. The unwillingness of AMD to release the Zen 2-generation APUs to the do-it-yourself building market effectively foreshadowed the demand for their products outstripping the capacity commitments at TSMC. Within the past few months, the following products have been paper launched or released in a limited manner.

  • Desktop Compute: Zen 2 APUs (Ryzen 4xxxG-series processors), Zen 3 CPUs (Ryzen 5xxx-series processors)
  • Server Compute: Zen 3 EPYC (Milan) for cloud providers and hyperscalers
  • Graphics: Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, Radeon Instinct MI100 datacenter GPUs (CDNA architecture)
  • Next-Generation Consoles: XBox Series S, XBox Series X, PlayStation 5

Having high demand for products that offer better-than-Intel performance or value propositions would effectively be the equivalent of printing money if capacity enabled the satisfaction of demand. However, it appears forecasts were far too conservative and did not account for pandemic demand. As a result, it’s incredibly difficult to find any of the aforementioned products at or near MSRP. Steve over at Hardware Unboxed summed it up well at the end of his review of the PowerColor Red Devil RX 6800 XT. There is complete agreement that the price premium for a non-reference design that outperforms a reference card has historically been a reasonable ten to fifteen percent. The fact that pricing for aftermarket RX 6000-series cards will exceed the pricing of aftermarket RTX 3000-series cards leads us to the following conclusions:

  1. Frank Azor owes $10 USD to millions of Twitter users.
  2. Scott Herkelman’s comment on RX 5000-series pricing is equally applicable to the RX 6000-series models in a manner that is not favorable to the wallets of customers.
  3. All of the previously noted AMD products may not be available to easily purchase at or near MSRP until Q2 2021.

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