The discrete graphics card report from Jon Peddie Research was published earlier today. The company claims shipments of desktop video cards soared 38.2 percent quarter-over-quarter, and 9.2 percent year-over-year. These figures illustrate how strong PC gaming is growing, this is fantastic growth considering sales of desktop PCs fell 7.1 percent versus the previous quarter.
The age-old battle between AMD and NVIDIA is what interests people most, so I won't keep you waiting any longer. Last quarter, NVIDIA saw its marketshare increase from 70.0 percent to 70.9 percent, while AMD fell from 29.9 percent to 29.1 percent.
Overall, the marketshare evolution isn't that surprising considering AMD's lackluster Polaris lineup. It will be interesting to see if the upcoming AMD Vega lineup can topple NVIDIA's dominance.
AIBs using discrete GPUs are found in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products, or are factory installed by OEMs. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry with their discrete chips and private, often large, high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.
The PC add-in board (AIB) market now has just three chip (GPU) suppliers which also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 48 AIB suppliers, the AIB OEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call “partners.”
Lots of AIB suppliers, smaller shipments. In addition to privately branded AIBs offered worldwide, about a dozen PC suppliers offer AIBs as part of a system, and/or as an option, and some that offer AIBs as separate aftermarket products. We have been tracking AIB shipments quarterly since 1987—the volume of those boards peaked in 1999, reaching 114 million units, in 2015, 44 million shipped.
The news for the quarter was encouraging and seasonally understandable, quarter-to-quarter, the AIB market increased 38.2% (compared to the desktop PC market, which decreased -7.1%).
AIB shipments during the quarter increased from the last quarter 38.2%, which is which is above the ten-year average of 14.3%. On a year-to-year basis, we found that total AIB shipments during the quarter rose 9.2%, which is greater than desktop PCs, which fell -17.1%.
Gaming the game changer. However, in spite of the overall PC churn, somewhat due to tablets and embedded graphics, the PC gaming momentum continues to build and is the bright spot in the AIB market.
The gaming PC (system) market is as vibrant as the stand alone AIB market. All OEMs are investing in Gaming space because demand for Gaming PCs is robust. Intel also validated this on their earnings call., and the recent announcement of a new Enthusiast CPU. However, it won’t show in the overall market numbers, because like gaming GPUs, the gaming PCs are dwarfed by the general-purpose machines.
The overall GPU shipments (integrated and discrete) is greater than desktop PC shipments due double-attach—the adding of a second (or third) AIB to a system with integrated processor graphics—and to a lesser extent, dual AIBs in performance desktop machines using either AMD’s Crossfire or Nvidia’s SLI technology Improved attach rate. The attach rate of AIBs to desktop PCs has declined from a high of 63% in Q1 2008 to 54% this quarter, an increase of 48.7% from last quarter which was outstanding. Compared to this quarter last year it increased 31.7% which was outstanding.
If anyone doubted that the PC was the platform of choice for gaming, this quarter’s results will correct that incorrect misconception. The gaming market is lifting the entire PC market and has over whelmed the console market.