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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  • AnnihilatorX - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    ElMoIsEviL you obviously didn't read the article. It mentioned they asked many different motherboard manufacturers. The article ALSO pointed out the fact that it does not agree with the studies BECAUSE Intel STILL has the majority OEM shares. OEM outsale custom-built PC and enthusasist market by far much margin.

    Nice to see competition heating up. Competition is what drives development
  • ElMoIsEviL - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    Those figures are BS. Which motherboard maker did you guys talk too? DFI?


    Actual marketshare figures taken from Mercury show results that differ greatly from these.

    Sorry to say but I call BS on this article.
  • Viditor - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    Well, remember that these are the independant mobo makers...that said, the huge shift is quite reassuring for my AMD stock...:-)

    Anand's comments on Turion are well taken. This has been the biggest discussion on most of the investment boards, and most people have a single theory. ODM/OEM manufacturers of mobiles usually require their designs to be completed by January each year. Most people I have spoken to (both Intel and AMD investors) agree that AMD probably wasn't able to get parts in to the designers in time for a January design release this year...
    What that means is that AMD will probably lag quite woefully until next year for the mobile space.
    Next year, we can expect both Turion64 and Sempron64 laptop designs coming out...until then, it looks like Intel will continue to run the table with Centurion.
  • cryptonomicon - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    And the one source that said 90% of server market? Heh... Reply
  • snedzad - Monday, June 13, 2005 - link

    Wow, between 40 and 65 percent. Unbelievable. Congrats AMD. Reply

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