The PC market as a whole is in a bit of a transitional period; for the longest time, new CPU architectures or faster CPU speeds pushed for new technologies in the PC market.  Each major CPU release from AMD or Intel would push for new chipsets that would, in turn, enable new graphics and storage technologies, all of which would have to be implemented on new motherboards.  However, with the slow down in CPU releases, and the fact that AMD's dual core offerings don't require a new motherboard or chipset, we are seeing a great number of stagnant markets right now. 

Despite the stagnation, there's a lot of updating to do on the CPU, chipset, motherboard and memory markets based on our findings at this year's Computex in Taiwan. So without further ado, let's start with an update on the AMD and Intel market share.

AMD vs. Intel - 7 Months Later

Seven months ago, on a trip to Taiwan, we went around asking all of the motherboard manufacturers that we encountered what their split was between AMD and Intel boards being shipped.  At that time, we noted that despite what had been happening in the enthusiast community, motherboard manufacturers were still shipping mostly Intel based platforms.  In fact, the split between AMD and Intel motherboards was similar to the 80/20 market share split between Intel and AMD - obviously, in Intel's favor.

This time around, the tune was very different.  Note that only 7 months have passed since my last Industry Update, but a lot has changed in the market.  Whereas the largest percentage of AMD motherboards shipped (that we heard) 7 months ago was 30%, this time around, it was 65% for desktop motherboards.  Most motherboard manufacturers we talked to claimed that between 40 and 65% of their motherboard shipments were AMD platforms, not Intel. 

Intel, of course, did not have much faith in our findings, stating that they are in direct conflict with widely reported market share numbers that have been made public in the past.

Our feeling is that the truth is somewhere in between; Intel continues to lead in OEM sales; however, AMD has made some significant gains across the market.  Not to mention that our sources for these figures have little reason to lie blatantly about them, and not a single manufacturer that we talked to offered a vastly different story. 

With the exception of the recently released dual-core CPUs, we have not recommended the Pentium 4 in over a year - it's not too surprising to see some of this reflected in motherboard shipments.  To think that Intel has lost absolutely no ground to AMD in recent history is absurd in our opinion.  AMD hasn't taken over the market, but they've surely grown to be far more than just a thorn in Intel's side.  Just five years ago, motherboard makers were afraid to display AMD boards at their booths at Comdex or Computex, but today, AMD based motherboards are the most interesting and proudly displayed. 

Although the discussion above applies to desktop motherboard shipments, AMD also appears to be doing quite well in the server market.  We spoke to one server motherboard manufacturer whose current shipments are 90% AMD platforms and only 10% Intel platforms.  We were absolutely shocked by these statistics, but it seems that most of the Intel server motherboards are being shipped by Supermicro with manufacturers like iWill and Tyan focusing much more on AMD.

Rumor: AMD's Low Cost K8 with Integrated Graphics in 2008?


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  • ceefka - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Can somebody remind us why BTX was so much better than ATX?

    It doesn't look like Intel is throwing its weight about either. Having that strong partnership with Dell you wonder what's keeping them from flooding the world with BTX boards in BTX cases. My guess is Dell is holding back because their profits would suffer because of the high costs of implementation.

    If I remember right BTX was also introduced to battle a few heatproblems. Now that Jamie Oliver cooks meals on a 3.0GHz Prescott, Intel is working on the problem at the source. Sorry about that, Jamie. Much better than throwing a new standard at it.
  • Gooberslot - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    I hope BTX takes a long time to take off or better yet that it never does. Reply
  • tygrus - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    31 - Posted on Jun 13, 2005 at 5:13 PM by Nayr
    "You can see DDR3 anytime you want. Just put any current Gen Mid-High end Graphics card in your computer...=P

    As far as Desktop use...who knows.

    As explained elsewhere.
    GDDR2 not= DDR2.
    GDDR3 not= DDR3.

    The GDDR3 chips used by 3D graphics card manufactures is not the same as what might be used for desktop DDR3 modules. DDR3 will be by the same commitee as SDRAM, DDR and DDR2. GDDR from 1 to 3 were boutique/custom designs by mem makers with assistance from 3D graphic card manufactures and each design (GDDR, GDDR2, GDDR3) were by different people.
  • Quanticles - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    I want my k8 to have pcie! Reply
  • Nayr - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    YOu can see DDR3 anytime you want. Just put any current Gen Mid-High end Graphics card in your computer...=P

    As far as Desktop use...who knows.
  • Icehawk - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    So are we ever going to see DDR3? :( Reply
  • Aenslead - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    I say its a great win for AMD. I am glad that they are advancing as much as THAT in just a few months, and I hope that VIA nor SiS die over us... otherwise, that'd leave the market to nVidia only, and we know monopoly is NOT a good thing.

    However, OEMs love VIA chipsets. Heck, we integrators love them too. The warehouse where I buy stuff sells like mofo the Biostar U8668-D, and, as you can guess, its based on the ANCIENT PM400 Pro... but hey, its *cheap*; models for 800Mhz use P4M800 chipset; same goes for AMD K7 and K8 markets: the KM400 is the best selling chipset here in Mexico, suported by ECS/Pc-Chips, and K8M800 is having a real nice penetration in this market. I have not seen a single fellow integrator asking for an nVidia chipset.

    As the article said: costs rule.-
  • Son of a N00b - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    great arcticle Anand! Keep up the awesome work! Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    In Sov...

    Anyways, when I read the tidbit about AMD building on die graphics into a new K8 core, I got goosebumps all over my body. Let the fantasy commense:

    I have visions of them also incorporating that PPU (physics processing unit, if I am not butchering the abreviation).

    Imagine, 2008, which means from now till then, 3 years, at least before those first chips become available, which in my eyes means AMD is already working on said chips...

    AMD Dual Core 65nm,
    On die mem controller supporting DDR2,
    On die gpu
    On die ppu
    All operating at full processor frequency.

    I can't help but think, and I may be dreaming but AMD will put out kick ass graphics...
  • xsilver - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    I dont care what the name of the chip is
    as long as the VIA socket 939 boards support dual core -- everybody will be happy
    (except for the s754 owners... but they are probably using wishful thinking:P )

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