Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated PC graphics add-in-board (AIB) shipments and suppliers' market share for Q3'16.
The market shares for the desktop discrete GPU suppliers shifted in the quarter, too.
AIBs using discrete GPUs are found in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products or are factory installed by OEMs. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry with their discrete chips and private, often-large high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.
The PC add-in board (AIB) market now has just three chip (GPU) suppliers that also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 48 AIB suppliers, the AIB OEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call "partners."
Lots suppliers, smaller shipments
In addition to privately branded AIBs offered worldwide, about a dozen PC suppliers offer AIBs as part of a system, and/or as an option, and some that offer AIBs as separate aftermarket products. We have been tracking AIB shipments quarterly since 1987 – the volume of those boards peaked in 1999, reaching 114 million units; in 2015, 44 million shipped.
The news for the quarter was encouraging and seasonally understandable: Quarter-to-quarter, the AIB market increased 38.2% (compared to the desktop PC market, which decreased -7.1%).
AIB shipments during the quarter increased from the last quarter 38.2%, which is which is above the 10n-year average of 14.3%. On a year-to-year basis, JPR found that total AIB shipments during the quarter rose 9.2%, which is greater than desktop PCs, which fell -17.1%.
Gaming the game changer
However, in spite of the overall PC churn, somewhat due to tablets and embedded graphics, the PC gaming momentum continues to build and is the bright spot in the AIB market.
The gaming PC (system) market is as vibrant as the stand-alone AIB market. All OEMs are investing in the gaming space because demand for gaming PCs is robust. Intel also validated this on their earnings call and the recent announcement of a new enthusiast CPU. However, it won't show in the overall market numbers because, like gaming GPUs, the gaming PCs are dwarfed by the general-purpose machines.
The overall GPU shipments (integrated and discrete) is greater than desktop PC shipments due double-attach – the adding of a second (or third) AIB to a system with integrated processor graphics – and, to a lesser extent, dual AIBs in performance desktop machines using either AMD's Crossfire or Nvidia's SLI technology.
Improved attach rate
The attach rate of AIBs to desktop PCs has declined from a high of 63% in Q1 2008 to 54% this quarter, an increase of 48.7% from last quarter, which was outstanding. Compared to this quarter last year, it increased 31.7%, which again was outstanding.
If anyone doubted that the PC was the platform of choice for gaming, this quarter's results will correct that incorrect misconception. The gaming market is lifting the entire PC market and has over whelmed the console market.
Jon Peddie Research's AIB Report is available now in both electronic and hard copy editions and sells for $1,500. Included with this report is an Excel workbook with the data used to create the charts, the charts themselves, and supplemental information. The annual subscription price for JPR's AIB Report is $4,000 and includes four quarterly issues. Full subscribers to JPR services receive TechWatch (the company's bi-weekly report) and are eligible for a 10% discount. Bundle packages are also available.