Rumor suggests AMD could outpace Nvidia for stock levels of high-end GPUs


(Image credit: Asus)

AMD’s new RDNA 3 GPUs will have plenty of launch stock, if the latest rumor is right, at least over the first month of shipping.

December 13 is the big launch day for the RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT, and according to a fresh leak on Twitter – from Kyle Bennett (previously of HardOCP) – which is apparently verified by numerous sources (add seasoning here), there will be over 200,000 of these GPUs available in Q4 (meaning December, of course).

Verified from multiple sources. @amdradeon will ship over 200K 7900 XT and XTX GPUs in Q4. Over 30K reference cards on shelves on launch day.December 11, 2022

Bennett further claims that there’ll be in excess of 30,000 reference boards – those are graphics cards built to AMD’s default spec, which you can think of as a baseline, with custom cards set to go faster than this – on sale for the launch, right off the bat.

What we aren’t told is how many of those beefier third-party custom graphics cards will be on shelves on the first day, but given the mentioned timeframe of the rest of the month, a good chunk of those remaining 170,000 boards are going to be released in batches over the next couple of weeks.

Analysis: Taking stock of the inventory situation

There’s been quite a lot of buzz about how much stock AMD will muster for the initial launch of RDNA 3 GPUs. Earlier words from the grapevine suggested there’d be a robust volume of 7900 XTX and XT graphics cards available to buy, but more recently, we’ve heard concerning suggestions that stock could be thinner on the ground – at least to begin with.

The most recent rumor on inventory levels suggested that early stock would be ‘extremely’ low in quantity, and as previously speculated, custom third-party cards would be thin on the ground until later in December – but also that the latter could arrive in much greater numbers as 2022 rumbles to a close, easing stock issues fairly quickly.

So, this kind of fits with what we’re now hearing from Bennett, except he has a more positive slant. 30,000 launch reference boards (at least) – plus whatever custom models might be out initially, which is purportedly at least some – is hardly ‘extremely’ low. Indeed, if 200,000 cards are coming in December, that’s pretty much two weeks (just over), so we’d imagine that in the first launch week, there’ll be a good deal more than 30,000 units floating around. Unless it’s going to be a trickle of RDNA 3 GPUs in week one, then a flood in the second week, which seems unlikely (though not impossible, we guess).

Broadly speaking, this seems to be good news then – taken with all the usual caveats, as Bennet may be wrong in his assertions – compared to the more negative hints of late.

And certainly compared to Nvidia’s Lovelace launch, getting 200,000 units out in the first month would be a strong showing for AMD. Remember, by the last week of November, going by leaked figures (from several sources), Nvidia shipped something in the order of 160,000 units of the RTX 4090 and 4080 (most of which were the former). We need to be careful about that number, but it seems reasonable. And the likelihood is that in the last two weeks or so, Team Green will have shipped a fair few more Lovelace GPUs, but probably not that many.

After all, the RTX 4080 has been mired with an unpopular reception and suffers from a weighty price tag that doesn’t match its performance level (compared to the RTX 4090, certainly, and RDNA 3 could prove an embarrassing value proposition comparison as well, going by current performance rumors anyway). We can’t imagine the 4080 has shifted many more units since late November, then, and the RTX 4090 was always a niche proposition, though some further sales could be fueled by disgruntled buyers swerving away from their original plan to purchase a 4080.

What we’re driving at here is that Nvidia has probably now hit the 200,000 mark stock-wise, or thereabouts, and AMD is going to reach that in just over a fortnight – if this speculation is right.

Should RDNA 3 shape up as well as predicted, with lower pricing than Nvidia, Team Red’s next-gen graphics cards could shift some serious quantities. And that might well prompt Team Green to consider a price cut for the RTX 4080, something that’s been rumored to be in the cards already. We shall see, but all this looks like some much-needed positive news for gamers looking at buying a high-end cutting-edge GPU.

Via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)

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Darren Allan

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).


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