The absence of the Ryzen 5 5600 and Ryzen 7 5700X from the consumer Zen 3 lineup has been rather glaring. A lot of gamers and enthusiasts have been curious as to why AMD still hasn’t launched a sub-$300 SKU, especially considering that Intel already has multiple with Rocket Lake-S: Core i5-11400F, 11500, etc.
Turns out the answer is rather simple: semiconductor shortages. Talking to analysts during the JP Morgan annual conference, AMD CEO, Dr. Lisa Su stated that the chipmaker has been forced to delay the release of budget-class SKUs on both the CPU and GPU sides due to the global shortage of semiconductors.
The lowest-end Ryzen 5000 part is the Ryzen 5 5600X which costs over $300 in most cases. The Ryzen 5 3600 which was the most popular Zen 2 SKU is yet to have a $199 successor. There were multiple Ryzen 5 SKUs with the 3000 series lineup the Ryzen 5 3500, 3500X, 3600, and the 3600X. Other than the latter, these were all priced below or at $199, the reason being that the 3600 alone wasn’t enough to meet the growing demand of this particular segment.
Similarly, we’re yet to see a 65W octa-core Zen 3 part or the successor to the Ryzen 7 3700X. The 3700X was easily one of the best processors of 2019, generally being the bestseller in most regions, second to only the Ryzen 5 3600. However, with these SKUs, the profit margin is relatively smaller, and as such AMD has been prioritizing the higher-end models.
In the GPU market, the Big Navi parts were the first to be launched with a price tag of over $500. The Radeon RX 6700 XT which is the lowest-end RDNA 2 on the market (theoretically) has a sticker price of $479+. The Radeon RX 6600 series has supposedly been delayed to the end of Q2 or even Q3 as the GPU shortages are showing no signs of relief.
Dr. Su stated that AMD is focusing on products that are most in-demand, and nothing is expected to stay in stock for long. The chipmaker hopes to increase its manufacturing capacity at TSMC as the PS5 shifts to the N6 process, and Apple’s 7nm products are phased out.