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AMD Ryzen CPU stock is disappearing thanks to crypto miners

A resurgence in cryptocurrency has resulted in limited availability of the Ryzen 9 7950X as the processor is more profitable than GPUs.

An AMD Ryzen CPU sporting a hard hat and wielding a pickaxe

The past few weeks have seen the values of Bitcoin and Ethereum dramatically increase, renewing interest in cryptocurrency mining. Thankfully, this hasn’t led to widespread graphics card shortages like we endured a few years ago, but crypto miners are now buying AMD Ryzen CPUs instead and availability is already drying up.

One AMD processor in particular has been identified as the best gaming CPU to buy for mining several cryptocurrencies, the Ryzen 9 7950X. The chip is sought after by miners due to its relative efficiency and its support of AVX2 or AVX512 instruction sets, key points of many mining rigs.

The Amazon US AMD store, in which all CPUs are in stock save for the 7950X

At the time of writing, the Ryzen 9 7950X isn’t available directly from Amazon, and alternative merchants’ stock is either limited or only available for an inflated cost. For context, the 7950X was previously available for $515.70 in mid-February, but its price has jumped to $600+ in recent days.

This problem isn’t isolated to Amazon, though, with Newegg experiencing similar stock shortages and rising prices set by third-party sellers. Best Buy appears to weathering the storm for now, but it’s likely only a matter of time before the 7950X becomes unavailable there too.

A screenshot from Profit Mine, detailing the daily profitability of mining using a 7950X CPU

Profit Mine estimates that the 7950X can bring in $3.37 of revenue every 24 hours when mining Qubic (via WCCFTech). Its 170W TDP makes it an appealingly efficient means of mining compared to more power hungry graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 4090, not forgetting the $1,000 price difference that separates the two components.

Crypto miners previously flocked to Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series CPUs a few years ago, following the then rise of Raptoreum. So, while this behaviour is nothing new, its resurgence could prove problematic for system builders should interest in these processors persist.

A post from X (formerly Twitter) by Kepler_L2

With this in mind, rumors that Zen 5 CPUs will be twice as performant as Zen 4 processors in AVX-512 workloads could see gamers and miners alike competing for the chips. This is according to leaker Kepler_L2, as we’re still waiting for official word from AMD on its Zen 5 plans.

It’s too early to say whether we’re headed back to the days of Fast & Furious robberies for graphics cards, albeit this time for processors, but there’s undoubtedly little desire to return to such dire times from the PC community. Thankfully, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D isn’t in the crypto crosshair, yet, and remains the best option out there for a gaming CPU.