AMD is evidently still battling a shortage of silicon at the upper end of its third generation Ryzen stack. This mostly affects the Ryzen 9 3900X. We took a quick peek on Amazon and found several marketplace sellers hawking the high-end chip at grossly inflated prices. Adding insult to injury, many of those same listings show the chip as being back-ordered.
The good news is, this should only be temporary. In a roundabout sort of way, AMD recently confirmed it is dealing with a shortage, saying it is "focusing on meeting the strong demand" for its newest Ryzen processors. The comment came when AMD announced the new ship date for its Ryzen 9 3950X would be November—that chip was originally supposed to arrive this month, for $749.
Meanwhile, the Ryzen 9 3900X launched in July for $499, making waves as the first mainstream desktop processor with 12 cores and 24 threads of computing muscle. Unfortunately, it quickly sold out, leading to price gouging by marketplace sellers.
On Amazon, the cheapest listing at the time of this writing is $722.62, up more than 44 percent over the MSRP, and that one is back-ordered. The most expensive is $999.98, which is double the cost of the MSRP.
Things are not any better on Newegg. Marketplace sellers have the pricing jacked up just as much as they do on Amazon. Even the regular listing (sold and shipped by Newegg) is higher than the MSRP, at $579.99, though it is not in stock anyway.
We suspect this nonsense will settle down in November, when the Ryzen 9 3950X is supposed to broadly available, along with AMD's third-generation Threadripper family. In the meantime, if you are laser focused on owning the Ryzen 9 3900X right this moment, your best bet looks like Micro Center. It has the chip listed for $569.99. That is still a markup, but it's the cheapest around. You can also knock $30 off the price if you bundle it with a compatible motherboard.
It's also worth noting that a Ryzen 9 3900 (non-X model) might be in the wings. The unannounced model made an appearance on Biostar's CPU support list, where it was shown with a 65W TDP (down from 105W on the Ryzen 9 3900X). That also means slower clocks, but if it debuts with 12 cores and 24 threads, users could potentially make up the difference by overclocking (and negating the power savings).