A report is circulating that AMD has reduced production volumes of its latest range of Ryzen processors “amid a decline in the PC market and the general poor reception of the AM5 platform.”
We’re used to gaming hardware disappearing from stores the second it goes on sale. Whether it’s the latest graphics cards, like the new Nvidia RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) or the AMD RX 6800 XT (opens in a new tab) of days gone by, or a new game console. Expect a mad rush for stock, shelves running out in a matter of minutes, and the latest and greatest tech thing being hard to buy for years.
Unless it’s the new AMD Ryzen processors based on Zen 4, of course. New AMD CPUs have been released relatively recently, and we’ve been pretty positive on both the Ryzen 9 7950X (opens in new tab) and Ryzen 7 7700X (opens in a new tab) chips. But unlike most new technology launches since the pandemic began, it’s surprisingly easy to get your hands on a new 5nm Ryzen in the flavor you most want.
There’s an accepted decline in PC shipments this year, and last week’s Q3 earnings report from AMD showed the impact that has had. (opens in new tab) on the company’s income statement, with revenues of less than $1.1 billion. Towards the end of a generation of CPUs and GPUs, this is to be expected on the gaming hardware side, but total PC sales have also fallen, below pre-pandemic levels.
AMD cited a weak PC market and large inventory of backlogs as reasons for its recent revenue loss. And it is in this context that WCCFTech (opens in new tab) he is suggesting that he has learned that the company is cutting production of the Ryzen 7000 series.
The article also suggests that this is partly due to the “general poor reception of the AM5 platform”. Given that there is an abundance of chips on the shelves, I suppose that could be argued.
But with a general slowdown in the PC market that is leaving a lot of inventory in the channel, it would be a very foolish company to keep production at the same levels regardless of a changing hardware environment.
AMD’s new processor platform was always going to get off to a slower start than the recent Ryzen CPU releases, too. It not only requires a new chip, but a new motherboard and probably new DDR5 memory as well. I mean, I doubt many people are going to upgrade to a DDR5-based Alder Lake system. Especially considering the similar performance in games.
A new graphics card, on the other hand, can be a simple upgrade that will instantly benefit virtually any system. That makes for a much broader buying base for day one. When moving to a completely new platform, you’re more likely to wait for a specific time to upgrade, not just when it’s released.
That and there’s also a new Intel CPU version on the horizon with Raptor Lake.
So looking at the first day sales of such a setup is perhaps a bit disingenuous. We’ll see if AMD sees its new chips have problems when Raptor Lake launches, and if AMD changes the prices of its own competing chips in response. In the end, money rules, and any Zen 4 price change could speak volumes.
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