Ever since AMD launched Ryzen, the CPU has been selling well — it continues to occupy multiple spots on Amazon’s best-selling CPU list (currently Ryzen chips hold #9, #10, and #15, with the old FX family holding spots #8 and #14, at the time of this writing). Ryzen motherboards, however, have been much more difficult to come by.
As LegitReviews notes (and ExtremeTech confirmed), there aren’t a whole lot of motherboards currently in stock for the platform. The screenshot below is from Newegg and current as of Friday afternoon.
There’s currently a bit of a gap between how AMD has described the desire for its platforms (strong demand!) and why motherboard manufacturers are apparently having such trouble shipping them. LegitReviews has a lengthy quote from an anonymous company that’s worth a read, basically arguing that AMD cut out the motherboard vendors until the last possible second, saying: “They have done nothing they should have been doing to support the launch platform partners and always delay or give no response on support requests.”
This is in-line with what ExtremeTech has heard from various motherboard vendors, many of whom have been frustrated with AMD’s overall approach to this launch. Some of that frustration may be flowing in both directions, but it definitely may be responsible for choking the flow of motherboards into the channel. We had some issues with our own Ryzen launch platform — issues that were both board-specific and out-of-character for motherboard manufacturers at a major launch.
Motherboard vendors appear to be right that AMD pulled this launch in and pushed for an extremely aggressive rollout. We have no doubt that this caused some problems on the motherboard side of the equation, since UEFI testing and feature specifications take time to implement. It also wouldn’t be surprising if the full lift for a launch like this caught AMD short-handed; the company has slashed headcount significantly since it last launched a new CPU family, and the degree of interest from enthusiasts and motherboard companies means more hardware to validate and more tests to perform. That’s a lot harder for AMD than for Intel, which has far more revenue and employees.
AMD does, however, appear to have a point about demand. So far Ryzen sales appear quite strong, and interest in the platform has been high. If you’re having trouble finding a board, we recommend waiting for some platform reviews and additional launches before picking up hardware, especially given the fairly early state of the platform in general.
Now read: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X reviewed: Zen is an amazing workstation chip with a 1080p gaming Achilles heel