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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  • spinportal - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    It's not ironic or a surprise to see ATI or Nvidia pushing chipsets without integrated graphics solution since it will cannabalize their wonderful Turbo PCIe cards! When was the last time Intel's i/g tech or Via's S3 tech on an add-on board could compare or compete to any ATI or Nvidia offerings? It's basic hubris - you want 3D? you buy our cards at additional cost. No free lunch for you! Reply
  • redhatlinux - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Oooops that's FAB Reply
  • redhatlinux - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Great Article, couldn' expect anything less from the boss. Back in the days AMD produced their own chipset, but as so well put, $ talks. AmD MUST focus their R&D $ on the best possible Retun on Investment, its that simple. BTW I have a buddy, BRIAN who worked at the Austin FAM plant over 4 years ago, These so called 'new cores' were in R@D back then. SOI and 69nm gates as well. Brian still uses a Tyan mobo with 2 MP's. Still pretty smokin rig.

    Eric
    Reply
  • Nayr - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Thanks #33 for pointing that out.

    +1 Nerd power.

    =P
    Reply
  • Viditor - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    "This is, of course, why DDR2 is becomming popular for mobile computing where thermal dissipation is more important than performance"

    True...both heat and power are lower with DDR2, which will make it an excellent choice for mobile.
    Both AMD and Intel will be going DDR2 at the start of 2006...
    Reply
  • 2cpuminimum - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    What seemed odd was "Being able to run at much higher frequencies than DDR1 is the major advantage that DDR2 offers." when the greatest advantage supposedly held by DDR2 is lower heat production due to a slower core speed. Higher frequency isn't really much of an advantage when that frequency isn't high enough to compensate for higher latency. This is, of course, why DDR2 is becomming popular for mobile computing where thermal dissipation is more important than performance. Reply
  • Viditor - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Well let's see...Porkster is trying to use a stress test that wasn't benchmarked for multiple apps as a rationale for a supposed Intel superiority in multitasking...sigh.

    1. Has anyone done any tests that were designed for this? Well gee whiz I guess they have...
    http://tinyurl.com/chck7
    http://tinyurl.com/akueq
    http://tinyurl.com/7agle

    The results were that the X2 was vastly superior in 2 threads with heavy workloads, and that with 4 threads of heavy workload the P4EE 840 pulled equal (not better) because HT gives it superior load balancing. Of course in single threads the X2 was again vastly superior (in fact the 840EE proved slower than some other P4 chips...)

    2. What about the actual purpose of Tom's test...which platform handles stress better?

    Well, on the face of it the X2 was the hands down winner without contestation!
    The Intel system kept crashing (5 times IIRC), then they restarted after changing from the Intel Nforce platform to the pure Intel system. After that the Intel platform had to be rebooted 3 times...
    The AMD platform just kept running the whole time!

    That said, Tom's test doesn't show anything worthwhile...

    1. The test methods are extremely flawed. To show stability of a platform, using 1 or 2 systems isn't scientific...it's just sensationalist.
    2. Many mistakes were made both in the performance and the design of the test..

    As to porkster's (dubbed by many forums as the greatest Troll who ever lived!) assertion of AMD being driven by the "teenager" market, I must say that I'm glad to see so many major corporations hiring teenagers to head up their IT departments! :-)
    Reply
  • 4lpha0ne - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    @porkster:
    I'm sure, you'd also call Pentium Ds lemons, because they are also only able to run 2 threads at once. Everything else is a matter of priority settings (like low DivX encoding priority) and hyperthreading, which doesn't distinguish between low and high priority tasks.

    Reply
  • 4lpha0ne - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    BTW, AMD already has a graphics core (in Geode). And I read, that a part (50 people or so) of the National Semiconductor team, which they took over, was already working on a 3D core.

    So this would make sense.
    Reply
  • porkster - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    If you see the poor multitasking performance of the AMD X2 then you can expect the market share to drop big time, but are AMD users smart enough to avoid bad chips like the X2.

    AMD is riding the teenager market with a theme of join the club or feel out of it. It's peer group pressure into buying into poor hardware/old tech.

    Just check out THG review of the AMD X2 and you wont want one of those lemons.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/stresstest/load.html

    .
    Reply

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