Half Mag / Half Zine

With the reveal and launch of AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 series of processors drawing closer, engineering samples of the processors have begun to reach partners and manufacturers. However, some of these samples have reached a different location… a Chinese flea market.

As AMD prepares the reveal of Zen-4 based Ryzen 7000 series of processors in the coming weeks, they have started to send out engineering samples of the CPUs to various partners. While most of these samples will stay with those partners, occasionally some will slip through the cracks and have a chance to reach consumers.

This has happened many times before. Case in point, last year there were multiple Intel 12th-gen engineering samples that showed up on black market sites in China, most prominently the Core i9-12900K. While engineering samples are harmless to consumers, processor manufacturer don’t want these to reach consumer’s hands for numerous reasons. But of course, humans are naturally curious, and some will ignore those reasons and concerns in order to acquire an engineering sample.

Eager consumers now have the opportunity to buy an engineering sample of the upcoming Ryzen 5 7600X from a flea market site in China. The person selling these does provide a video showing the processor, which can be seen on the embedded tweet below. The video shows the new heatspreader design and the back of the processor, giving users a look at the new LGA layout that AMD is moving to. The seller also decides to run his finger across the back of the LGA lands for some reason.

It is worth noting that engineering sample processors will usually have lower clock speeds than the officially released chips. In this case, the official Ryzen 5 7600X is expected to have a base clock of 4.7 GHz, whereas the engineering sample has a base clock of 4.4 GHz.

A larger concern, however, is the potential for bugs and performance loss that tend to accompany an engineering sample, a leading reason why AMD and Intel do not want consumers to have these in the first place. Both companies insist that these engineering samples are not covered by warranty, and that the user is responsible for any and all potential damages. The seller is currently listing the engineering samples for the price of 9,999 Chinese Yuan, which is equivalent to nearly $1,500.

All in all, while this is exciting for consumers who are anticipating the release of next-gen Ryzen CPUs, is it really necessary to pay over a thousand dollars for an engineering sample of a processor? Probably not. The official release of this and other processors in the lineup is just around the corner and will cost a fraction of that sample’s price.