How AMD’s impossible-to-find Ryzen 9 5900X somehow made Amazon’s top-selling list

How AMD’s impossible-to-find Ryzen 9 5900X somehow made Amazon’s top-selling list

We all know AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X has been unattainable since its introduction. So imagine our surprise when we saw it riding high on Amazon, reaching as high as the number-two spot on the Amazon Best Seller list for Computer CPU Processors, depending on when we checked.

How could a CPU that’s been sold out—or available only at inflated prices, be a bestseller on Amazon? Are PC builders desperate enough to pay $700 or $900 for a chip with a $550 MSRP? Are there actually enough available to outnumber other CPUs for sale? Surely there must be some glitch in Amazon’s algorithm. 

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We didn’t imagine it: AMD’s unicorn Ryzen 9 5900X was the No. 2 selling CPU on Monday at Amazon.

So we asked Amazon. The company’s answer, while not entirely helpful, inspired some further investigation that actually gave us some hope. Yes, friends, you may actually be able to buy this CPU at list price soon. Keep reading to find out why.

It is indeed a bestselling CPU

First, the facts: An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed that the Ryzen 9 5900X’s lofty position on its top-selling list was an “accurate portrayal,” but she declined to provide more specifics. She did point out Amazon’s list is updated hourly, which is why you’ll see this chip and others bounce around the bestseller list.

With no more information forthcoming from Amazon, we dug further by going to Keepa.com, a website that tracks Amazon pricing. Looking at the historical data, we began to see a pattern in the pricing madness.

Looking at the chart below, you can see just how stupidly expensive the Ryzen 9 5900X has been since day one. It reached as high as $940 on one day in February.

We also noticed that in two instances soon after its introduction, however, the CPU actually dipped to list price. While the prices went back up and stayed up for a long while, we also saw more recently that prices had dipped back toward MSRP.

Looking at another view of the data in Keepa, it seems clear that the price dips coincide with the times when Amazon receives a shipment of chips. The pattern suggests that the chips go on sale, promptly sell out, and third parties turn around to resell the CPU at inflated prices.

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