AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPUs Are Out of Stock Thanks to Crypto Mining

We all remember when the pandemic joined forces with a cryptocurrency boom to make GPUs impossible to buy. Those were dark days, but crypto eventually crashed, GPU prices returned to normal, and we figured that was the end. Not so, as crypto prices are skyrocketing again, but miners are buying CPUs instead of GPUs this time. They’ve already cornered the market on one particular CPU—the Ryzen 9 7950X—which is reportedly more profitable for mining than an RTX 4090.

If you glance at online retailers right now, you will see that the Ryzen 9 7950X is out of stock everywhere, and it’s apparently due to revitalized mining operations. AMD’s flagship Zen 4 CPU offers AVX512 instructions, which is reportedly useful in mining a currency named Qubic, according to Wccftech, and thus has led to the current shortage. Intel no longer supports AVX512 on its CPUs, as it began disabling it starting with Alder Lake, making AMD CPUs more desirable for specific mining operations. The reason it’s also a better option than a powerful GPU is due to recent bans in China on cards like the RTX 4090, which have driven up prices and made those cards unaffordable and hard to find.

Qubic pricing has surged in just the past month, so it seems like the crypto boom v2 has arrived.
Credit: Coinmarketcap.com

Miners can reportedly earn twice as much money on a Ryzen 9 7950X CPU as on an RTX 4090, with the 24-hour earnings approaching $3 compared with about half that for an Nvidia GPU. The RTX 4090 also has a TDP of 450W, compared with just 170W for the Ryzen 9 CPU, which can also have its TDP lowered to around 100W without impacting mining performance significantly. Since an RTX 4090 costs roughly 4x that of a CPU, the math seems to add up here.

This isn’t the first time miners have sought AMD CPUs for mining. Back in 2021, a coin named Raptoreum utilized the large L3 cache on AMD’s Ryzen, Threadripper, and Epyc chips, causing a shortage of those CPUs as well.

If this mining funny business continues, the situation might deteriorate even further when AMD’s Zen 5 architecture launches later this year. As TechSpot notes, Zen 5 is supposed to offer double the AVX-512 performance of Zen 4. It could lead to the now-familiar bots buying them en masse on launch day, which should be around September.

For now, we just have to wait and see what happens with crypto, as it’s again experiencing a meteoric rise in value. Bitcoin crashed to around $20,000 per coin a few years ago but was recently selling for as much as $73,000 per coin. Ethereum is also on the move and has more than doubled in value in the past six months, though it can no longer be mined with GPUs. We also looked up Qubic, as it’s reportedly responsible for this current CPU outage, and it, too, is on a trip to the Moon.

https://www.extremetech.com/computing/amd-ryzen-9-7950x-cpus-are-out-of-stock-thanks-to-crypto-mining

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