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Four days after launch, AMD's Radeon VII is still not widely available

It's now been several days since AMD launched its Radeon VII graphics card to retail, and while it's too early to conclude there are supply problems, the lack of availability so far runs counter to what AMD was saying prior to the launch.

The Radeon VII represents the first consumer graphics card with a 7-nanometer GPU inside, specifically Vega 20. It doesn't quite match Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 in most games that we tested, and that's before flipping the switch on real time ray-tracing and DLSS (in the few spots those features are available). However, it gives AMD a competitive gaming solution at the higher end (check out our review for benchmarks and a full analysis), and could find an audience among gamers who don't want an Nvidia card for whatever reason.

Read more: AMD Radeon RX 5700 review

That would be the case, anyway, if the Radeon VII was in stock at places like Amazon and Newegg, like we thought it would be. However, at the time of this writing, there is not a single Radeon VII at either vendor that is in stock and ready to ship. We got our hopes up when we saw an "Add to Cart" button on one of the listings (an Asus card), but clicking it returned an message that it is "no longer available due to availability/stock insufficiency."

What gives? It's hard to tell because it's only been four days. However, the lack of availability runs counter to what AMD said after it announced the Radeon VII in January.

"While we don't report on production numbers externally, we will have product available via AIB [add-in-board] partners and AMD.com at launch of February 7, and we expect Radeon VII supply to meet demand from gamers," AMD said in a statement at the time.

Well, February 7 has come and gone and we're not seeing any stock. We reached out to AMD for comment and were told it is working with retail partners to restock their shelves.

"We are excited to see the overwhelmingly positive reaction to AMD Radeon VII.  The demand for Radeon VII during the first day of launch is strong, and we are working with our partners to restock throughout the next few days via e-tail, AIB partners and AMD.com.  Ongoing supply for the Radeon VII is expected to arrive on a weekly basis to meet demand," AMD said in a statement.

AMD's comment suggests that there was some initial stock, which quickly sold out. That's probably true. What isn't known, however, and what AMD isn't commenting on, is exactly how many Radeon VII cards were sold.

We also don't know if there are actual supply issues, or if AMD is taking a cautious approach to its initial Radeon VII roll out so that it's not left with unsold inventory. After all, this is a $699 card. As Steam's hardware and software survey indicates, most gamers opt for more affordable GPUs—the top three cards among Steam users are the GeForce GTX 1060, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, and GeForce GTX 1050.

In any event, if you're after a Radeon VII card, keep mashing that refresh button over the next few days and weeks.