Add-in board market up in Q3, Nvidia increases market share lead

Quarter-to-quarter AIBs shipments increased 7.8%, and 0.7% year-to-year

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics add-in-board (AIB) shipments and suppliers’ market share for 2014 3Q.

JPR’s AIB Report tracks computer add-in graphics boards, which carry discrete graphics chips. AIBs used 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. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry using discrete chips and private high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.

The news was encouraging and seasonally understandable, quarter-to-quarter, the market increase 7.8 % (compared to the desktop PC market, which increased 5.8%).

On a year-to-year basis, we found that total AIB shipments during the quarter fell 14.5%, which is more than desktop PCs, which declined of 1.8%.

However, in spite of the overall decline, somewhat due to tablets and embedded graphics, the PC gaming momentum continues to build and is the bright spot in the AIB market.

The overall PC desktop market increased quarter-to-quarter including 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.
The attach rate of AIBs to desktop PCs has declined from a high of 63% in Q1 2008 to 39% in 2014 3Q, up from 38% last quarter.

JPR found that AIB shipments during 2014 3Q behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, but the increase was less than the 10-year average. AIB shipments increased 7.8% from the last quarter (the 10-year average is 12.6%).

  • Total AIB shipments increased this quarter to 12.4 million units from last quarter.
  • AMD’s quarter-to-quarter total desktop AIB unit shipments decreased 9.5%.
  • Nvidia’s quarter-to-quarter unit shipments increased 24%.
  • Nvidia continues to hold a dominant market share position at 72%.
  • Figures for the other suppliers were flat to declining.

The change from quarter to quarter was significantly greater than last year,7.8% this quarter compared to 3.9% a year ago. Quarter-to-quarter percentage changes for the vendors are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: AIB market shares

 

The AIB market now has just four chip (GPU) suppliers, who also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 50 AIB suppliers, the AIB OEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call “partners.”

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 2013 65 million shipped.