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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  • snedzad - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    Not quite, #23. Pro edition of K8T800 chipset supports 939 sck., and non pro doesn't (intended for sck 754).
    Here is the evidence:

  • patrick0 - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    I don't care about on-die Graphics, prefer if they just add some PCIe lanes on-die (at least 17).
    I/O controller on-die is a great idea.
  • overclockingoodness - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    #15: I think you are wrong. The K8T800 Pro is for K8 Socket 754, so it won't support DC. Reply
  • Windaria - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    You know... I still can not understand why anyone would really like the BTX format. From everything I have read, it seems as if it is specifically designed for air to be blown in the back and out the front.

    The problem is that, while that sounds great, it appears to compeletely fail to take into consideration the environment that a PC is in. Every time I have ever had fans on a computer suck in the back and blow out the front... they get clogged with dust in no time because the rear of the computer tends to attract more dust. As a result I always have to switch them around.
  • nserra - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    Uli is profitable because they have very cheap to manufacture single chip designs, and they do a lot of chipsets for USB2 external HD, …..

    I am waiting for Uli come out with their SLI chipset with REAL AGP that can be a good buy, even without the SLI. I didn’t buy right now one of the 3 ASROCK ULi based boards just because of that.

    I think that Uli, sis, via aren’t bad, the problem is the “effort” that mobo makers have with them. If they could do the same they do with intel chipsets…. I won’t even talk about the quality of components they use on those chipset companies…..
  • Nayr - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    Actually #15, the K8T800Pro will support Dual-Core CPU's. VIA is only having a problem with the K8T890 Chipset and DC CPU's. It was on the front page a while ago.

    All in all, a good read and an interesting view on what's to come down the pipe line.
  • coldpower27 - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    You can probably take this article regarding the marketshare figures for AMD chipsets with a grain of salt, with the anonymity of these figures.

    Yes AMD was/is, a leader of the US retail desktop sales, however current retail US desktop marketshare figures for H1 2005 are not unknown.

    If they asked, motherboard manufacturer's primarily interested in retail sales, than these figures would be inline with the gains in the US retail desktop market.

    Though the OEM would be a different story, Dell would probably get most of it's mobos from Intel itself.

  • Sunbird - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    mmm, new movie,

    Chipset Wars, set on a island far far away...

    Uli: "Sis and Via, I'm am profitable, come over, and we could rule the motherboards together!"
  • ceefka - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    The shift with Taiwan mobomnfs is of course very nice for AMD, but doesn't Intel also make its own motherboards? And lots of them while we speak? How does that add in the total of motherboard making/selling?

    Anyway, you cannot expect the whole industry to go to sleep when so much speaks in favour of the Opteron and A64 especially since they are both coming in dual core also. AMD's growth is well deserverd.

    The Sempron going 64-bit was expected and needed. This will give room for:

    1. Hardware developpers to come up with the missing 64-bit drivers.
    2. Software devoloppers to release some more 64-bit applications.
    3. MS to eventually drop 32-bit support in favour of a full 64-bit (only) version.

    The less manufacturers hanging on to 32-bit apps the faster the transition to 64-bit.

    #9 Nice one. That Windsor core looks promising.
  • xsilver - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    oh my bad -- yea I meant the s939 k8t800pro -- names are too damn similar :)
    I have the abit av8
    hope it supports dual core

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