Although seasonally, shipments of graphics processors during the first quarter are typically flat to down, this year shipments were below the 10-year average of -3.6%, according to Jon Peddie Research.
Because GPUs go into every system before it is shipped, GPUs shipments are a leading indicator of the market. The average has grown from 1.2 GPUs per PC in 2001 to almost 1.55 GPUs per PC. Most of the PC vendors are guiding cautiously for Q2 indicating GPU shipments may be down in Q2 too, the research firm said.
The Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, was a bright spot in the market in the quarter, according to the firm. Nvidia’s Maxwell-based AIBs continued to do well and the company even managed to boost its market share in desktop. AMD on the other hand saw an improvement in its market share for discrete GPUs in notebooks even though the overall notebook segment dropped.
The quarter in general
AMD’s shipments of desktop heterogeneous GPU/CPUs, i.e., APUs, decreased -22.6% from the previous quarter, and were down -15.0% in notebooks. AMD’s discrete desktop shipments decreased -14.55% from last quarter, and notebook discrete shipments decreased -13.6%. The company’s overall PC graphics shipments decreased -17.8% from the previous quarter. AMD is bringing out a wide range of new products for this year and hopes to pick up sales from them.
Intel’s desktop processor embedded graphics (EPGs) shipments decreased from last quarter by -12.0%, and notebooks decreased by -12.0%. The company’s overall PC graphics shipments decreased -12.0% from last quarter. The company’s overall sales were helped by devices for IoT but not enough to offset the overall decline of Q1 in the PC industry.
Nvidia’s desktop discrete shipments were down -6.96% from last quarter; and the company’s notebook discrete shipments decreased -20.8%. The company’s overall PC graphics shipment decreased -13.5% from last quarter. The company saw strength in gaming from North America and China which helped it buck a down quarter for the industry.
Total discrete GPU (desktop and notebook) shipments from the last quarter decreased -13.66% and decreased -14.28% from Q1 2014. Sales of discrete GPUs fluctuate due to a variety of factors (timing, memory pricing, etc.), new product introductions, and the influence of integrated graphics. Overall, the CAGR from 2014 to 2017 is now -3%.
Ninety nine percent of Intel’s non-server processors have graphics, and over 66% of AMD’s non-server processors contain integrated graphics; AMD still ships integrated graphics chipsets (IGPs).
- AMD’s overall unit shipments decreased -17.80% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments decreased -12.01% from last quarter, and Nvidia’s decreased -13.5%.
- The attach rate of GPUs (includes integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs for the quarter was 148%, which was up 2.95% from last quarter, and 30.57% of PCs had discrete GPUs, which is up 0.39%.
- The overall PC market decreased -14.77% quarter-to-quarter, and decreased -6.5% year-to-year.
- Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs decreased -8.79% from last quarter -- less than the PC market.
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