JPR on Q4 2017 Add-In Board Market
March 13, 2018

JPR on Q4 2017 Add-In Board Market

"The add-in graphics board market behaved seasonally in Q4 '17, decreasing 4.6% sequentially, explained Jon Peddie, president of the industry's research consulting firm Jon Peddie Research. 

The seasonal 10-year average for Q4 is -4.4%%, and this year it was just below that, which JPR thinks is due to the sharp rise in prices driven by cryptocurrency miners’ demand.

The market shares for the desktop discrete GPU suppliers shifted in the quarter, too.

Market share changes quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year

Over three million add-in boards (AIBs) were sold to cryptocurrency miners worth $776 million in 2017. AMD was the primary benefactor of those sales.

Quarter-to-quarter graphics board shipments decreased 4.6% and increased 9.7% year-to-year.

The add-in graphics board market dropped in Q4 '17, decreasing -4.6% sequentially.

The market for AIBs decreased this quarter due partially to seasonal demand, as well as price elasticity caused by the increased price in AIBs as a result of the cryptocurrency miners’ demand.

AIBs using discrete GPUs are found in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, rendering and mining farms, 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.

Segment share this quarter, and last-year

The overall GPU shipments (integrated and discrete) are greater than desktop PC shipments due double-attach–the adding of an AIB to a system with integrated processor graphics, or a second AIB using either AMD's Crossfire or Nvidia's SLI technology.

The attach rate of AIBs in desktop PCs has declined from a peak of 84% in 2002 to a low of 36% in 2015, and steadily increased since then to 54% this quarter, a decrease of 23.0% from last quarter, which was negative. Compared to this quarter last year, it increased 15.8%, which was pretty good.