The PC market rose in Q3 from the previous quarter but declined from the same quarter last year. The quarter-to-quarter gain was largely due to gaming as well as data center sales. PC suppliers are seeing growth in gaming desktops and notebooks, and hope this will offset the slowdown in overall PC shipments. While they are high ASP systems, the two segments combined can only contribute a few million unit shipments a year, less than the decline of the total PC market.
Overall GPU shipments (rounded up) increased 20% from last quarter, AMD increased 15% Nvidia increased 39% and Intel increased 18%.
Year-to-year total GPU shipments increased 0.3%, desktop graphics decreased -4%, and notebooks increased 3%.
If anyone doubted that the PC was the platform of choice for gaming, this quarter's results will correct that misconception. The gaming market is lifting the entire PC market and has overwhelmed the console market.
Nvidia did particularly well in Q3'16, fueled by its Pascal-based product line and the rash of new AAA graphics-demanding titles.
The third quarter is typically the strongest from the previous quarter in the seasonal cycles of the past. For Q3'16, we saw an increase of 20.4% from last quarter, and the gain was above the 10-year average of 9.52%.
The three market leaders – AMD, Intel, and Nvidia – all introduced new products in the first half of the year, while the channel and OEMs sold off older inventory. Q3 saw the channel and OEMs restocking for the holiday season and doing so with enthusiasm indicating a bullish attitude.
AMD's overall unit shipments increased 15.38% quarter-to-quarter, Intel's total shipments increased 17.70% from last quarter, and Nvidia's increased 39.31%.
The attach rate of GPUs (includes integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs for the quarter was 146%, which was up 14.96% from last quarter.
Discrete GPUs were in 34.84% of PCs, which is up 7.06%.
The overall PC market increased 8.09% quarter-to-quarter, and decreased -5.37% year-to-year.
Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs increased 38.16% from last quarter.
Q3'16 saw a decrease in tablet shipments from last quarter and saw notebook sales out-sell tablets for the first time in three years.
The third quarter is, on average, usually up from the previous quarter as the channel and OEMs stock up for the holiday season. Judging by the big overall increase, those resellers are anticipating a strong demand in the 4th quarter.
GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market, since a GPU goes into every system before it is shipped, and most of the PC vendors are guiding cautiously for Q4'16.
One thing to note, the Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, continues to deliver growth for PC makers. New gaming content and the promise of virtual reality help drive the demand for gaming desktops and notebooks.
This research finds that global GPU market demand in Q3'16 increased from last quarter, and increased from last year, to 100.30 million units. In recent years, as the gaming ecosystem is shaping up, software and hardware developers, information service providers, and even governments have been attempting to unearth market opportunities coming from this new arena. However, global PC shipment volume is forecast to fall further
The Quarter in General
AMD's shipments of desktop heterogeneous GPU/CPUs, (i.e. APUs) for desktops decreased -10% from the previous quarter. AMD's shipments were up 19.1% in notebooks. Desktop discrete GPUs increased 34.7% from last quarter, and notebook discrete shipments increased 23.0%. AMD's total PC graphics shipments increased 15.4% from the previous quarter.
Intel's desktop processor embedded graphics (EPGs) shipments increased from last quarter by 4.1% and notebook processors increased by 18.8%, and total PC graphics shipments increased 17.7% from last quarter.
Nvidia's desktop discrete GPU shipments were up 39.8% from last quarter; and the company's notebook discrete GPU shipments increased 38.7%, and total PC graphics shipments increased 39.3% from last quarter. It was one of, if not the best quarter in Nvidia's history, which the company attributes to the strong acceptance and demand for its new Pascal line of graphics chips and boards. The company's share price is at an all-time high.
Total discrete GPUs (desktop and notebook) shipments for the industry increased 35.6% from the last quarter, and increased 10.1% from last year. Sales of discrete GPUs fluctuate due to a variety of factors (timing, memory pricing, etc.), new product introductions, and the influence of integrated graphics. Overall, the CAGR from 2014 to 2017 is now -5%.
Ninety-nine percent of Intel's non-server processors have graphics, and over 66% of AMD's non-server processors contain integrated graphics; AMD still ships integrated graphics chipsets (IGPs).
For those who wish to understand the PC market, an understanding of the highly complex technology and ecosystem that has been built around the GPU is essential to understanding the market's future directions.
Graphics chips (GPUs) and chips with graphics (IGPs, APUs, and EPGs) GPUs shipments are a leading indicator for the PC market. At least one and often two GPUs are present in every PC shipped. It can take the form of a discrete chip, a GPU integrated in the chipset or embedded in the CPU. The average has grown from 1.2 GPUs per PC in 2001 to 1.46 GPUs per PC.
This detailed 54-page report will provide you with all the data, analysis and insight you need to clearly understand where this technology is today and where it's headed. The findings include discrete and integrated graphics (CPU and chipset) for Desktops, Notebooks (and Netbooks), and PC-based commercial (i.e. iPad and Android-based Tablets), or ARM-based Servers. It does include x86-based tablets, Chromebooks, and embedded systems.
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