On 9/20/19 AMD twitted that Ryzen 3950X (16 cores) and 3rd Gen Threadripper will launch in November 2019, in volume. They also posted an image of Threadripper with text saying “premiering with 24 cores”. This lead to quite a reaction on the web.
First thoughts were of some disappointment. 3950X was originally slated for September 2019, so this is a delay. Meanwhile, Threadripper was supposed to launch late in late 2019, so November is actually a welcomed announcement. Second reaction was that TR is being launched with only 24 cores, whereas people were hoping for 32 cores or more. Third reaction was the speculation that AMD is suffering from a supply problem at TSMC. We will examine these points.
PCWorld put out an article talking about this launch. It talks about how Ryzen 3900X was suffering from supply issues and almost called it a paper launch. It also claimed that some inventory tracking websites showed Ryzen 3900X is last in stock on August 15, providing a link to gearinstock.com. Now this claim is completely untrue!
Yes, Ryzen 3900X has been a huge hit and has been very difficult to purchase. The demand for it probably had surprised AMD’s most optimistic projection. However, AMD has been continuing to supply 3900X in a steady manner.
Let’s look at data provided by nowinstock.com and mindfactory.de.
Nowinstock.com actually provides a history of how a specific CPU has been in and out of stock, at various retailers.
At Newegg, this page shows the in stock history of 3900X. As one can see, Ryzen 3900X has become “in stock” a total of 38 times since launch, and 17 times since August 15, 2019. Sometimes it became in stock multiple times on the same day. Each time it came into stock, it became out of stock in a matter of ten minutes.
At Amazon, this page shows the same story. Just for the past two weeks alone, Ryzen 3900X was available for preorder 33 times. Then very quickly it became out of stock. Whenever it was available for preorder, customers rushed in, then once the supply was exhausted, it became out of stock. The history goes back all the way to July 7.
Meanwhile, this Reddit post showed Mindfactory.de sold more than 600 3900X in two days. This Mindfactory web page for ordering Ryzen 3900X keeps a count of units sold. Today it shows 3900X will be available on 9/25/19. So AMD has been supplying Ryzen 3900X heroically, but the incredible demand has been overwhelming. It is absolutely not true that 3900X has been out of stock since August 15 as PCWorld had claimed.
Of course AMD would love to supply all the 3900X that the world wants to buy. However, realistically AMD will need to order a finite amount to start. At the same time AMD will need to meet the demand for Epyc, where Scott Aylor just stated that supply is not an issue. So if the initial demand for 3900X greatly exceed even AMD’s own best case scenario, then we would see the current situation plays out, where retailers will get a shipment in, and sell all of it immediately.
Personally, I managed to score a 3900X myself from Amazon when it was available for preorder, and it shipped after a few days, with me receiving it on August 15, 2019.
So what about the delay with 3950X? I think Epyc Rome is doing so well that AMD absolutely wants to meet all that Epyc demand. Meanwhile, AMD is stockpiling all those 8 cores chiplets so that they can launch 3950X and TR 24 cores in volume in November. This only bodes well for AMD’s business.
As for TR premiering with only 24 cores, once again, I think this is good business sense. Intel has nothing to compete with Ryzen 3950X and TR 24 cores, so why even put out TR >32 cores? AMD doesn’t want to cannibalize its own business. AMD has the 12 cores 3900X in the market now, then in November AMD will launch the 16 cores 3950X plus the 24 cores Threadripper 3rd gen. Once all that HEDT and workstation demands have been met, then AMD can come out with the 32, 48 and even 64 cores TR. This will be an orderly launch.
Finally, because of TSMC increasing the lead time for new 7 nm orders, is AMD suffering from a supply shortfall? I believe AMD is selling all Epyc incredibly well. AMD has denied a supply problem for Epyc. If they are found to be lying, they are open to shareholder lawsuits. What they are not denying is that 3900X demand is so massive retailers are having trouble keeping it in stock at all times. They are also pushing the 3950X back to November. Meanwhile Epyc 2 is likely flying out the window. I now feel that AMD will beat their Q3 guidance, and perhaps even Q4. We will find out soon enough.