Tempt fate with this Japanese CPU vending machine

Although the machine is stocked with Ryzen 5000 boxes, don’t be fooled.


The DIY personal computer space was historically dominated by Intel in Japan. As recently as 2017, the American tech company held close to an 84 percent share in the market space. The landscape began to change when AMD released its Ryzen 3000 CPUs during the summer of 2019. This release marked a new era of sorts for the processor manufacturer, and since then it has reigned supreme as the most desirable option for those looking to build out their own computers.

Within the last week, a number of CPU vending machines have popped up in Japan across arcades and even in retail outlets, displaying a sight that might send your average gaming enthusiast into a coma:

What we see here is a CPU vending machine displaying what appears to be a number of Ryzen 5000 units. It may come as a shock that the machine isn’t completely empty, considering the asking price is only 1000 Japanese Yen or $9. Compare that figure with the $260 retail price of the baseline Ryzen 5 and it seems logical that someone would have the wherewithal to buy out the entire machine. But there’s a catch, of course.

Oh, That makes sense — As it turns out, these boxes are exactly what they appear to be: Ryzen 5000 boxes. Inside, you may or may not find a CPU to match. By using these vending machines, you play a lottery of sorts: within each of these Ryzen 5000 boxes is an older Intel or AMD CPU, with the crown jewel being a first- or second-generation Ryzen. While still a serviceable computer, it certainly isn’t the heavily discounted Ryzen 5000 that it first appears to be.

The allure of grabbing what would be a useful CPU will probably keep people using the vending machines after the novelty wears off. Taking into account the price point of the current Ryzen 5000 desktop CPUs, it really gives users a bang for their buck.

As mentioned previously, AMD has taken the DIY personal computing space by storm over the last few years and is poised to continue that momentum. Aside from having the most popular Zen 3 desktop CPU, the company has branched out in other ways. Earlier this summer, Ryzen announced a collaboration with Razer to power its first gaming laptop and is the official partner of the Mercedes-Benz AMG Petronas esports team.