When AMD launched its 7nm Ryzen CPUs in July, it promised that there was another high-end chip still to come — the Ryzen 9 3950X, a 16-core processor with a 3.5GHz base clock and a 4.7GHz boost. In the intervening months, however, it’s become clear that the company was quite supply-constrained. We’ve been watching the overall supply situation with Ryzen 7nm CPUs, and while it’s improving, it hasn’t yet been all that good. The 3900X, in particular, has been difficult to find.
AMD has now notified us that it will be delaying the launch of both third-generation Threadripper and the 3950X while it continues to improve yields and part availability. The company writes:
We are focusing on meeting the strong demand for our 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors in the market and now plan to launch both the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and initial members of the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor family in volume this November. We are confident that when enthusiasts get their hands on the world’s first 16-core mainstream desktop processor and our next-generation of high-end desktop processors, the wait will be well worth it.
As annoying as this might be for anyone hoping to get their hands on a sweet 16-core chip or planning a near-term Threadripper upgrade, it’s the right call. Paper launches serve no one in the long term. They create frustration and distrust between a company and its customers, who feel that the availability of a product has been misrepresented, particularly if the only samples available are on eBay for 2-3x base retail price.
We don’t know anything about Threadripper clock targets yet, but the high boost clock on the Ryzen 9 3950X could be responsible for this delay. AMD has set an extremely aggressive target for itself and yields at TSMC may not have improved enough over the past few months to make the company certain of a launch. Overall demand for 7nm is high and lead times for hardware have reportedly been rising at the foundry manufacturer.
Waiting a couple more months to straighten out volume is the right move for AMD to make. Reports from retailers indicate the company is selling every 7nm CPU it can ship out the door already. Now it just needs to build more of them in absolute terms.
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