AMD jumps 11% in GPU shipments in Q2, Intel up 4%

Quarter-to-quarter total GPU shipments up 3.2%—Desktop graphics up 1%, notebooks up 5%


Graphics chips are without doubt one of the most powerful, exciting, and essential components in tech today: not only does every computer require one (or more), but the technology is entering into major new markets like supercomputers, remote workstations, and simulators almost on a daily basis. New technologies and compute programs are taking advantage of the ability of GPU power to scale. On top of that, PC gaming momentum continues to build. It would be no exaggeration to say that GPUs are becoming the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

The big drop in graphics shipments in Q1 has been partially offset by a small rise this quarter. Shipments were up 3.2% quarter-to-quarter, and down 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

Quick highlights:

  • AMD’s overall unit shipments increased 11% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments increased 4% from last quarter, and Nvidia’s decreased 8.3%.
  • The attach rate of GPUs (includes integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs, for the quarter was 139% (up 3.2%) and 32% of PCs had discrete GPUs, (down 3.6%) which mean 68% of the PCs are using the embedded graphics in the CPU.
  • The overall PC market increased 1.3% quarter-to-quarter, and decreased 1.7% year-to-year.
  • Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs declined 17.5%.

Q2 is, on average, usually mixed, up slightly some years, down others. There was an abnormal spike in 2009 after the massive market decline which warps the 10-year average to 7.1% and makes the 3.2% this year appear to be below average. If the anomalous 2009 spike is ignored, the 9 year average is just 0.5%, which would make the 3.2% increase for Q2 2014 a significant increase.

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 up to flat for Q3’14.

The Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, was a bright spot in the market in Q1. Nvidia and AMD high-end GPUs sales were strong, lifting the ASPs for the discrete GPU market.

Q2 2014 saw the first decline in tablet sales, and one of the few increases in PC sales. The CAGR for total PC graphics from 2014 to 2017 is basically flat. We expect the total shipments of graphics chips in 2017 to be 418 million units. In 2013, 438.3 million GPUs were shipped and the forecast for 2014 is 414.2 million.

The quarter in general

  • AMD’s shipments of desktop heterogeneous GPU/CPUs, i.e., APUs increased 16.7% from the previous quarter, and increased 10.3% in notebooks. AMD’s discrete desktop shipments decreased 10.7% and notebook discrete shipments increased 30.6%. The company’s overall PC graphics shipments increased 11%.
  • Intel’s desktop processor embedded graphics (EPGs) shipments increased from last quarter by 7.2%, and notebooks increased by 1.9%. The company’s overall PC graphics shipments increased 4.1%.
  • Nvidia’s desktop discrete shipments decreased 21% from last quarter; and the company’s notebook discrete shipments increased 6.9%. The company’s overall PC graphics shipments decreased 8.3%.
  • Year-to-year this quarter AMD’s overall PC shipments decreased 22%, Intel increased 4.2%, Nvidia decreased 12.7%, and others essentially went away.
  • Total discrete GPU (desktop and notebook) shipments from the last quarter decreased 3.6%, and decreased 13.3% from last year. Sales of discrete GPUs fluctuate due to a variety of factors (timing, memory pricing, etc.) and the influence of integrated graphics. Overall, the trend for discrete GPUs has increased with a CAGR from 2014 to 2017 now of -5.6% (from -10%).
  • Ninety nine percent of Intel’s non-server processors have graphics, and over 65% of AMD’s non-server processors contain integrated graphics; AMD still ships integrated graphics chipsets (IGPs).

Year-to-year for the quarter, the graphics market decreased. Shipments were down 3.2 million units from this quarter last year, which is a smaller decline than last quarter and suggests the big declines may be leveling off.

Graphics chips (GPUs) and chips with graphics (IGPs, APUs, and EPGs) 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 almost 1.35 GPUs per PC.

It is critical to get a proper grip on this highly complex technology and understand its future direction.

This detailed 50-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.
This fact and data-based report does not pull any punches: frankly, you will be shocked by some of the analysis and insight.

Our findings include discrete and integrated graphics (CPU and chipset) for Desktops, Notebooks (and Netbooks), and PC-based commercial (i.e., POS) and industrial/scientific and embedded. This report does not include the x86 game consoles, handhelds (i.e., mobile phones), x86 Servers or ARM-based Tablets (i.e. iPad and Android-based Tablets),or ARM-based Servers. It does include x86-based tablets, Chromebooks, and embedded systems.

We have been providing quarterly reports on the PC graphics market shipments since 1988.