Wrap Up

The industry shipped 34.4 million discrete graphics cards in the first three-quarters of 2016, an increase of 5.35% from 32.65 in the same period last year. If everything goes as planned for AMD and NVIDIA, year-over-year unit sales of graphics adapters will increase in 2016 for the first time in nearly a decade. Obviously, shipments of desktop GPUs this year will barely touch sales of GPUs even in 2014, but it could be important that shipments of graphics adapters may have bottomed out.

With 9.34 million desktop AIBs sold so far in 2016, AMD has already beaten its last year desktop GPU shipments and is on a recovery path. Nonetheless, the company still cannot win back its market share from its arch-rival: its share has dropped to 29.1% in Q3 from 29.9% in the previous quarter.

NVIDIA’s desktop GPU sales so far (from Q1 to Q3 2016) are slightly behind shipments of its AIBs in the first three-quarters of 2015 because the company decided to aggressively clear out inventory in Q2. Nonetheless, with 25 million desktop GPUs sold this year (until September 30, 2016, to be correct), the company can still supply the same amount of desktop GPUs as last year.

As reported, iGPUs are slowly eating the lunch of entry-level and mainstream graphics cards that cost below $99. In Q3 of 2016, the industry shipped around five million of such AIBs, whereas shipments of gaming-grade desktop GPUs were around seven million. Meanwhile, the popularity of enthusiast-class graphics hardware decreased in Q3 2016 compared to Q3 2015 mostly due to classification, rather than due to changes in the general consumer behavior (what used to be enthusiast class performance can now be had at mainstream prices, in the classification scale based on price). Those who play games are going to continue to buy gaming-grade hardware and well-developed nations are going to increase purchases of more advanced GPUs because of factors like 4K/5K resolutions, VR and others.

“I think, one, the number of gamers in the world is growing,” said Jen-Hsun Huang. “Everybody that is effectively born in the last 10-15 years [is] likely to be a gamer.”

Important Notices

  • Jon Peddie Research does not officially disclose actual unit sales of AMD, NVIDIA and Intel in its press releases. All unit sales published here are derived from market shares of appropriate vendors.
  • Since in many cases JPR does not disclose quarterly TAM numbers, those numbers are derived from historical numbers published by the company.
  • Some historical numbers were re-stated by IHVs and JPR reflected such updates in subsequent reports and releases. As such, some numbers in our graphs may differ from publicly available press releases.
  • JPR did not release any data concerning sales of desktop discrete graphics cards in Q1 – Q3 2010, but only disclosed shipments for Q4 and total shipments for the year, which is why the numbers in the charts for Q1, Q2 and Q3 are the same.
  • Given the fact that unit sales and TAM figures are approximate, we recommend to buy full reports from Jon Peddie Research if you need the data for decision-making.

Related Reading:

Market Share: AMD Is Increasing Units, Not Share
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  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    It's actually rather sad that discrete GPU sales are only up 10% vs a year ago when they had been sandbagging on 2011 process tech for 4 years. I would have expected 14nm/16nm to provide a larger boost to sales. Reply
  • lefty2 - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    This is because no one is buying desktops anymore. All the top tech companies give there employees laptops, not desktops: http://www.techworm.net/2016/11/computerlaptop-big... Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    And the majority of those desktops were using integrated solutions, not dedicated ones. Business moving to laptops hasnt had that big of an impact. Reply
  • Sarah Terra - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    The slower sales are because of this reason: Nvidia has been milking process and architures for abnormal periods in order to maximize profts. As such a 2-3 generation old GPU is usually still "good enough" for most poeple, much like how users clung to sandy bridge. Back in the day, if you had a 3 year old GPU you were left in the dust, upgrades were far more frequent and necessary to keep pace. Nvidia is eseentially monopolizing themselves to a smaller market share, more competition will boost sales. Reply
  • OldManMcNasty - Thursday, December 08, 2016 - link

    Our engineers get whatever they want, I have a SurFace Pro 4 but I also have a virtual workstation with a Nvidia vGPU. If you're not an engineer, you're given a virtual desktop or you can select an iPad. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    Larger than 10%? Why would you expect that? Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - link

    Steadily bigger died and more efficient 28nm designs kept the performance gains coming, despite the process lag there wasn't a correspondingly huge buildup of demand. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Thursday, December 01, 2016 - link

    @Shadowmaster625: "It's actually rather sad that discrete GPU sales are only up 10% vs a year ago when they had been sandbagging on 2011 process tech for 4 years."

    You are making a perhaps faulty assumption that most people buying GPUs know or care what processes nodes do for the video card they are buying. In my estimation, more people are concerned with how much it costs and if it does what they want it to do. I don't suspect many of them track how new cards compare to the last gen products, much less the several generations back that they would need to know to be aware of the process node stall.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    This is an important counterpoint to the "PC shipments are falling" doom and gloom. PC shipments are falling because a 5 year old 2500K can still run modern games if the GPU allows. But PC /gaming components/ are on the upswing, so it's still a great time to be a PC gamer. Complete system sales are tertiary. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    This sums up the state of the declining computer sales nicely. While CPU performance and platform features (minor nod to USB) haven't pushed the performance envelope enough to matter AND software isn't demanding more, the GPU industry is driven by pent-up demand for a die shrink and widespread increases in screen resolution. Reply

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