Following the AMD Ryzen 5000-series launch and with Cyber Monday now here, we've been scouring the web in search of available stock. These chips are promising serious gaming power, courtesy of the new and improved Zen 3 architecture, so it's no wonder everyone's clamouring to get hold of one for their next gaming PC. Problem is: You just can't find them anywhere right now.
'Out of stock' is unfortunately a term us PC lot are dealing with a lot right now. From Nvidia Ampere RTX 30-series GPUs, such as the RTX 3080, to AMD's RX 6800-series GPUs and Ryzen 5000 CPUs, there's not a great deal of stock going around—certainly not enough for everyone clamouring to get hold of these new chunks of capable silicon.
So why are AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs so in demand? That's an easy one. The Zen 3 architecture has come on leaps and bounds over the already rather exciting Zen 2 architecture found within the Ryzen 3000 CPUs (which are still great, by the way). With an improved and much larger L3 cache, brought together by a new CCX design, along with IPC (instruction per clock) upgrades, AMD is finally ready to wrestle with Intel for the gaming performance crown—with a serious hope of winning the title fight.
So far there are four Ryzen 5000-series CPUs to choose from: the six-core Ryzen 5 5600X, eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X, the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X, and the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X. Each one better than the last.
So let's not get too glum about the stock situation. We're only in this temporary mess because it's a great time to be a PC gamer, all told. The brand new graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD are, like AMD Ryzen, also offering massive generational leaps in performance. So it's no wonder there's a scramble to get hold of them.
And there's a light at the end of the tunnel, at least. Come next year, we should see availability improve, and even in the meantime you can still get hold of these new chips—you just need to know where to look. As is the case with the latest graphics cards, you need to be prepared to invest in a pre-built gaming PC if you hope to get your hands on Ryzen 5000 this side of the holidays.
Whatever it takes
How to bag a Ryzen 5000-series CPU before Christmas
You won't find stock listed on any of the major retailers for immediate purchase, unfortunately. That could still change with possible inventory popping up every so often across the globe, but we expect whatever few chips that may turn up to disappear in a flash.
Instead our recommendation is to buy an AMD Ryzen 5000 processor already fitted into a gaming PC. In other words, a pre-built gaming PC. That might not be exactly what you were after, but it's the only option that will assure you'll actually get a chip before Christmas.
If you were looking to update your CPU, though, perhaps you're more inclined to hear me out on this one. It's pretty unlikely that you'd be able to keep hold of your motherboard for the upgrade, and even less so that you'll want to considering PCIe 4.0 and SAM functionality is the exclusive domain of the latest 500-series chipsets. Plus, depending on the age of your PC, you might even need new DDR4 RAM, too.
And it's not like the parts you buy as part of a pre-built gaming PC aren't removable just as easily as they would be on one you've pieced together yourself. You could always configure it exactly to your liking with what's at hand and then sell the unused parts afterwards. Just promise us you'll list them at a fair price, okay?
We're still yet to see every one of the usual system builders offer Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, but below are a few that we managed to find with availability today.
Note for UK readers: Popular system builders in the UK, Scan and Overclockers, both are unable to offer any available stock of Ryzen 5000 CPUs, even with an entire system. Pre-order is available at Scan, while Overclockers lists these CPUs as 'ordered'. We currently do not have any exact dates for availability.
Origin are offering the quickest lead times for the latest AMD hardware of those we've managed to find so far. You could have a Ryzen 7 5800X or Ryzen 5 5600X gaming PC delivered in a little over a week, although you'll have to wait quite a bit longer for the high-end Ryzen 9 chips.
You can use the configurator linked below to select your choice of parts. You have four basic chassis designs to choose from, ranging from small form factor to almost a refrigerator in size.
Origin is also offering free US ground shipping right now, and a couple of extra bonuses dependent on your choice of GPU.
Origin PC | Ryzen 9 5950X, Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 7 5800X, and Ryzen 5 5600X available| Origin PC configurator
You can select from the entire Ryzen 5000-series lineup from Origin's configurator menu options. Just bear in mind that while the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 chips are available with shipping in 6-8 business days, the two Ryzen 9 chips will take up 19-21.View Deal
Origin Neuron | Ryzen 5 5600X | RTX 3070 | $2,361 at Origin
With just a couple tweaks to the configurator above, you can piece together a great gaming PC out of the Ryzen 5 5600X and RTX 3070—ray tracing, here we come. And in 6-8 business days, no less.View Deal
From Cyberpower PC in the US, we've got the Pro Gamer FTW Ultra 3000, an all-AMD gaming PC that's filled to the brim with the latest silicon. It features a Ryzen 9 5900X, a 12-core chip and one of the fastest Ryzen processors around, and an RX 6800 graphics card.
It's not only a rare find in the PC world today, it's destined to absolutely destroy just about every game you throw at it.
Pro Gamer FTW Ultra 3000 | RX 6800 | Ryzen 9 5900X | $2,449 at Cyberpower PC
With a Ryzen 9 5900X, this PC delivers a whopping 12 cores of CPU power. Combined with that RX 6800 we keep harping on about, and you've got yourself a superb gaming PC. And a neat and tidy one, too, fit within the NZXT H510.View Deal
Gamer Master 9500 | RTX 3080 | Ryzen 7 5800X | $2,325 at Cyberpower PC
If you want best-in-class gaming with RTX on, look no further than the Gamer Master 9500. Fit with two rare parts, an RTX 3080 and Ryzen 7 5800X, this gaming PC is built to deliver excellent 4K gaming potential.View Deal
There's also the moderately cheaper PC above, which trades the 12-core chip in for an eight-core model in the Ryzen 7 5800X, and uses those savings to upgrade to the RTX 3080. In my mind, that's a pretty great deal, too.
Just the chip, please
How to buy a Ryzen 5000-series CPU as an upgrade
These brand new Zen 3 processors are hard to come by, no doubt about that. If you're really committed to picking one up as a discrete part that you can drop into your existing machine, you're going to have to keep a watchful eye on retailers in your region.
Black Friday 2020 deals: the place to go for the all the best Black Friday bargains.
We've seen a real scarcity of Ryzen 5000 CPUs since the initial launch day rush, and even then we were left underwhelmed by the availability of the high-end chips, particularly.
Your best bet remains the Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 chips, as even without the stresses and strains of 2020 waning supply, we tend to see the high-end multi-core processors stay sold out for some time after launch. Just look at the Intel Core i9 9900K or 10900K launches. Or even the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X launch. Nary a chip in sight for many a week.
It makes sense, too, these are usually chips made with the most capable, and complete, silicon. Take the Ryzen 9 5950X, for example. That chip requires three discrete chiplets, two of which need to contain eight cores that not only function perfectly, but are able to be pushed to the absolute limit at 4.9GHz—the highest boost clock of the entire Ryzen 5000 lineup.
If you're sure that's a quest you'd like to take, you'd better start memorising the sites below and checking back often for stock. Signing up for notifications is a great first step, too, although don't always trust them to let you know about stock on time.
- AMD.com - First stop
- Amazon - No availability so far
- Best Buy - Worth checking
- Newegg - Worth checking
- B&H - Worth checking
I suggest checking out AMD.com as your first stop, as it appeared to have stock availability for the longest time during the initial Ryzen 5000 launch. It was also where AMD launched a great deal of AMD RX 6800-series GPUs, so it appears to be a favoured retail outlet for the red team.