Workstation market breaks out to record-setting quarter in Q2’14

Characterizing any mature market's quarterly performance as "breakout" verges upon oxymoron. After all, no one is going to confuse the well-established workstation market with a hot emerging market, nor should the former ever expect to see the big quarter-to-quarter growth numbers of the latter. However, in light of a lackluster recent history coupled with rampant negativity associated with any PC-related market as of late, we're inclined to call Q2'14 for the workstation market just that: a breakout quarter.

Completing its compilation and analysis of market results for the second quarter, JPR reports the workstation industry achieved record levels for both unit volume and revenue. Worldwide, the industry shipped approximately 1.05 million workstations in the second quarter, corresponding to growth of 10.8% sequentially and 11.5%, year-over-year (YoY).

The welcome jump in volume shook the market loose from its recent doldrums. While results from previous quarters had clearly shown the workstation market was on a different, healthier trajectory than the related market for mainstream client PCs, the basic truth is the market had been drifting sideways for a while.

With economic conditions more robust, and without the same threat of encroachment from tablets that has depressed PC shipments, we had been expecting some kind of meaningful thrust forward at some point. And it appears that's just what we've gotten, with Windows XP's recent end-of-support certainly providing a helpful tail-wind for replacement cycles. Add it all up, and the market's performing better than it ever has.

Figure 1 Workstation OEMs' market shares for Q2'14 (units)


No drastic change in workstation vendors' fortunes ... though Dell makes a bit more progress

Market shares among the major workstation OEMs once again changed little, with market leader HP's share of 39.7% identical to the prior quarter's figure. A revitalized Dell hung onto its previous gains, adding a few tenths of a percentage point to move to 33.6%. By a relative measure, Lenovo proved to be the quarter's winner. Though the #3 vendor's gains weren't dramatic, rising from 12.9% to 13.7%, the latter level did market a new high for the computer hardware giant.


AMD's share of professional graphics hardware shipments climbs again, on the back of FirePro shipments to Apple

Q2'14 marked the third quarter of shipments for AMD FirePro professional graphics products in Apple's recently revamped Mac Pro, and FirePro numbers continued to climb as Apple's premier professional platform ramped. With 74% of units shipped bearing its Quadro brand, Nvidia still commands the lion's share of the market, but AMD took another few points of market share in the quarter to rise to 25.0%.


  • Methodology
    • Some – but not all - white-box coverage
    • Navigating to new content: bold PDF bookmarks and yellow highlighted headings
    • Effective Q3'11, Lenovo inherits NEC workstation share
  • Workstations markets maintains slow-but-steady progress in Q2'14
    • Workstation ASPs and revenue
    • Workstation shares by machine class
      • The workstation market is — and will likely remain — the domain of the deskside
        • Tier 1 OEMs in Q2'14: market shares generally stable ... but Dell takes another modest step forward in its comeback
        • Vendor penetration by market segment
        • Apple's MacPro
    • Today, Intel stands virtually alone as CPU supplier to the workstation industry …
    • AMD is tipping its CPU toes back in workstation waters
      • Single versus multi-socket CPU
    • Windows dominates, with Linux holding minority share
    • Tier 1 distribution of workstations by geography
      • Dell holds onto U.S. lead for second straight quarter
      • HP and Fujitsu weaker in EMEA, with Dell and Lenovo picking up the slack
      • HP and Dell take back some ground from Lenovo in APexJ
      • Tier 1 OEM shares in Japan essentially unchanged in Q2'14
      • EMEA and APexJ: breakdowns by sub-region
  • Full-year calendar 2013 results for workstations
  • Mixed signals in the market for professional graphics hardware in Q2'14
    • ASPs stronger ... for a very logical reason
    • AMD's share sees the (full?) benefit of Mac Pro's adoption of FirePro
    • Nvidia / AMD fortunes relatively unchanged in traditional "Winux" worktation market
      • Professional graphics hardware market breakdown by product class
      • A continuing trend: 2D down, mobile flat, and 3D up
      • Mid-range and High End swells, thanks in part to Mac Pro's inclusion of AMD FirePro
      • Nvidia strengthens hold on mobile workstation GPU segment
      • Entry class professional graphics add-in cards take lion's share of volume ... and Nvidia
        • The 2D segment chugs on
    • Full-year calendar 2013 results for professional graphics hardware
    • Outlook on the workstation and professional graphics markets
    • Appendix A: Workstation vendor shares per EMEA sub-region

Tables and figures

  • Table 1 Total workstation market revenue (in $M)
  • Table 2 Typical Q2'13 characteristics of desktop workstation classes
  • Table 3 History of workstation unit share by vendor
  • Table 4 Historical share of Windows and Linux in x86 based workstations (Apple platforms not included)
  • Table 5 Total workstations shipped by year (units and revenue)
  • Table 6 Yearly workstation ASPs (in dollars)
  • Table 7 Growth (loss) of Tier 1 vendors’ unit shares
  • Table 8 Worldwide shipments of professional graphics (K units, including mobiles)
  • Table 9 Worldwide quarterly revenue of professional graphics add-in cards ($M, no mobiles)
  • Table 10 Professional graphics hardware classes and price bands
  • Table 11 Professional graphics market share history by vendor (units)
  • Table 12 Professional graphics add-in card (no mobiles) revenue history by vendor
  • Table 13 Professional graphics hardware, yearly totals
  • Table 14 Professional graphics add-in card ASPs, yearly



  • Figure 1 Workstation ASPs over time \
  • Figure 2 History of overall workstation unit distribution, by class\
  • Figure 3 Unlike broader PC market, deskbound workstations outsell mobiles by more than 3:1\
  • Figure 4 HP in firm control of the workstation market, while upstart Lenovo has some room to grow
  • Figure 5 Shares of mobile workstation units, by vendor
  • Figure 6 Shares of Entry class workstation units, by vendor
  • Figure 7 Shares of Mid-range workstation units, by vendor
  • Figure 8 Intel shipments into Tier 1 workstation market by processor (unit share of Intel platform by processor)
  • Figure 9 The rise and fall of Opteron in the workstation platform
  • Figure 10 Share of dual-capable (not necessarily dual-populated) workstations as a percentage of all deskbound systems
  • Figure 11 Geographic distribution (by unit shipments) over time
  • Figure 12 Tier 1 vendor shares of U.S. over time
  • Figure 13 Tier 1 vendor shares of EMEA over
  • Figure 14 Tier 1 vendor shares of Asia/Pac (excluding Japan) over time
  • Figure 15 Tier 1 vendor shares of Japan region
  • Figure 16 Tier 1 vendor shares of Rest of World (ROW) region over time
  • Figure 17 CEE and MEA represent the growth opportunities in EMEA
  • Figure 18 EMEA breakdown by sub-region
  • Figure 19 Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) breakdown by sub-region
  • Figure 20 China sub-region, breakout by vendor
  • Figure 21 India sub-region, breakout by vendor
  • Figure 22 Rest of APexJ sub-region, breakout by vendor
  • Figure 23 Overall yearly workstation unit share by vendor
  • Figure 24 Worldwide shipments of professional graphics (K units, including mobiles)
  • Figure 25 Professional graphics card ASPs, by class over time
  • Figure 26 Professional graphics unit share history, by class
  • Figure 27 Professional graphics units, by market segment
  • Figure 28 2D in decline and mobiles flat, as 3D cards take the lion's share of market growth
  • Figure 29 Professional graphics add-in card revenue
  • Figure 31 Vendor unit share history: mobile professional graphics segment
  • Figure 32 Vendor unit share history: professional 2D add-in card segment
  • Figure 33 Vendor unit share history: mid-range 3D add-in card segment
  • Figure 34 Vendor unit share history: entry 3D add-in card segment
  • Figure 35 Vendor shares of combined High+Ultra-high professional segment over time
  • Figure 36 Workstation market forecast 2013 - 2017(units)
  • Figure 37 Workstation market revenue forecast 2013 - 2017