Forget GPUs, Crypto Mining Is Suddenly A Threat To AMD Ryzen 9 7590X CPU Supply

Closeup of an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU leaning on top of a motherboard.
In case haven't noticed, the cryptocurrency market is on an upswing led by Bitcoin's surge to record highs over the past couple of weeks—it's now trading at around $73,000. Historically speaking, as Bitcoin goes, so does the entire crypto scene. Fortunately, miners don't pose a threat to the supply of graphics cards this time around, but we could end up seeing a shortage of AMD's flagship non-X3D processor, the Ryzen 9 7950X.

Over on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, notable leaker MEGAsizeGPU (@Zed__Wang), posted an observation and question last week: "7950X is out of stock everywhere. What happened? Are there any special needs for this CPUs, or is it discontinued?"

Indeed, a quick spot check shows that the Ryzen 9 7950X is out of stock at Amazon and Newegg, save for overpriced listings by marketplace sellers. Same goes for B&H Photo, GameStop, and some other sites. It is showing as in stock at Best Buy for $549.99, though, and for $599 at AMD's own online store. So at least for the time being, it's not sold out everywhere.

MEGAsizeGPU post on X/Twitter about the 7950X shortage.

Whether that changes or not depends in part on if more miners flock to the 7950X. In a more recent follow-up post, MEGAsizeGPU noted, "Now I understand, 7950X is the king in Qubic mining."

MEGAsizeGPU is referring to QBIC, a Layer 1 (L1) cryptocurrency based on the Quorum protocol, which is not to be confused with Quantum Basic Income Coin, which is a cryptocurrency on the Stellar blockchain infrastructure.

Profit-mine screenshot showing QBIC and two other cryptos.

To the leaker's point, Profit-mine's calculator shows that the Ryzen 9 7950X is generating around $3 in profit per 24 hours at its current rate. That figure takes into account electricity costs (while running the chip at 170W), though obviously mileage will vary depending on a person's location, and of course there's the general volatility of the cryptocurrency market as a whole.

A measly three bucks may not sound like a lot over a 24-hour period, but that works out to around $90 per month. Still not life changing by any stretch. However, if that kind of profit level holds up, it's conceivable that giant mining farms could scoop up as many 7950X processors as possible to scale profits. Just 10 mining rigs with a 7950X inside pushes that $90 monthly figure to $900. And 100 rigs would generate $9,000 in monthly profits, at the current rate. With some tweaking to the CPU's voltage, there's the potential to squeeze even more money out of every chip.

The Ryzen 9 7950X is a 16-core/32-thread processor based on Zen 4, with a 4.5GHz base clock, 5.7GHz max boost clock, and 64MB of L3 cache. Notably, it supports the AVX512 instruction set, which some cryptos including QUBIC feast on (namely, those that run best on CPU hardware).

It's way too early to hit the panic button, though it's definitely a situation that's worth monitoring. And in a separate post, MEGAsizeGPU states, "Seems like a new round of GPU mining is very close. 4060 and 4060 Ti are already in shortage in some parts of China."

Fingers crossed that this all blows over and doesn't ravage the market like it did a few years ago. More clarity will likely come after next month's expected Bitcoin halving event, which appears to be one of the driving forces in the recent crypto resurgence.