A healthier workstation market calms nerves in Q2’15

After a surprisingly painful first quarter, stakeholders in the markets for workstations and professional GPUs were looking for far healthier results in Q2'15, along with reassurance the market's fortunes were not following the downward path of the broader PC industry. Ultimately, they got both, as the industry breathed a collective sigh of relief over a significant rebound in shipment volume. All told, the industry shipped approximately 1.02 million workstations in the second quarter, equating to a gain of 11.5% over Q1 and bringing volume back to Q4'14 levels.

JPR has been emphasizing that the workstation market is not subject to the same forces that have been decimating the broader market for PCs, and for several logical reasons. First, as a tool for professionals, the workstation won't be replaced by an alternative device like a phone or tablet, as has been the case in the consumer space. And second, serving demanding customers in need of any and all increases in performance they can get, workstations shouldn't see replacement cycles dragging out further, at least not nearly to the extent they are in mainstream PC markets.

Of course, logical reasons don't add to the corporate coffers nor satisfy management and shareholders. Volume and revenue does, and the industry was anxiously waiting to see if Q2 results would align with the logic, where Q1 certainly did not. Fortunately, the second quarter followed the script with a solid rebound, and the markets now appear set up for a healthy second half of the year, as OEMs and IHVs alike prepare for major product line refreshes in support of Intel's imminent launch of its Skylake platform.

Dell and Lenovo take another small step forward in systems, while Nvidia continues to dominate in workstation GPUs

Market shares for the dominant workstation OEM trio of HP, Dell and Lenovo don't tend to fluctuate a great deal quarter to quarter. A couple of notable trends stand out over the past few years, however. One, Lenovo has seen the most growth, steadily driving up volume, mostly on the back of sales momentum in its home country of China. And two, after a long decline, Dell was able to first stabilize its share and then slowly and steadily gain back some lost ground. 

Both trends continued in the second quarter of 2015, with Lenovo posting its highest-ever share of 13.9% in Q2'15.  Dell followed suit with its own small step forward to rise to 34.9% its highest level since the close of 2010. Not surprisingly, the gains of #2 Dell and #3 Lenovo have come at the expense of #1 HP, whose share dropped to 38.4%, its lowest level in five years. Fujitsu and Others (aggregating a host of smaller players) rounded out the shipment tally in Q2'15 with 2.9% and 9.9%, respectively. 

Meanwhile, the supporting IHV duopoly of Nvidia and AMD shipped around 1.15 million professional GPUs into the workstation space, with the former responsible again for the lion's share of volume, with 80.4% of units shipped in the quarter.

Workstation OEM market shares in Q2'15 (by units)


  • Methodology
    • Some – but not all - white-box coverage
    • Navigating to new content: bold PDF bookmarks and yellow highlighted headings
  •  Healthy Q2'15, workstation market results calms nerves
    • Workstation ASPs and revenue
    • Workstation shares by machine class
      • The workstation market remanins dominated by the deskside
        • Dell and Lenovo take another small step forward
        • Vendor penetration by market segment
  • Apple's MacPro
  • Estimating Mac Pro shipments: the expected surge at launch, followed by a decline, and now starting to settle out
  • 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
    • Little change in Tier 1 OEMs' U.S. share in Q2'15
    • In 2015, Lenovo and Fujitsu gaining ground in EMEA
    • More of the same story in APexJ — Lenovo eats away at HP's share
    • NEC continues to leverage home-field advantage to strengthen its #2 position in Japan
    • ROW vendor breakdown similar to that of the U.S
    • EMEA and APexJ: breakdowns by sub-region
    • APexJ: China bounces back in Q2'15
  • Full-year calendar 2014 results for workstations
  • Professional graphics follow workstations, takes a dive in Q1'15
    • Professional modestly down
    • Nvidia takes a bit more share from AMD in professional GPUs ... but the storty varies by segment
    • Estimating FirePro shipments to Apple
  • Professional graphics hardware market breakdown by product class
    • The big-picture trend: 2D down (and quickening its pace), mobile flat, and 3D up
    • High-end and mid-range contribute 75% of add-in card revenue
    • Nvidia maintains dominant hold on 2D, Entry 3D and mobile segments
  • Full-year calendar 2014 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 $M)
  • Table 2 Q1'15 characteristics of desktop workstation classes
  • Table 3 History of workstation unit share by vendor 
  • Table 4 Historical share of Windows and Linux in x86 based workstations (Apple platforms not included) 
  • Table 5 Total workstations shipped by year (units and revenue)
  • Table 6 Yearly workstation ASPs (in dollars) 
  • Table 7 Growth (loss) of Tier 1 vendors’ unit shares 
  • Table 8 Worldwide shipments of professional graphics (K units, including mobiles) 
  • Table 10 Where Apple's new FirePro SKUs stack up against existing "Southern Islands" SKUs 
  • Table 9 Worldwide quarterly revenue of professional graphics add-in cards ($M, no mobiles) 
  • 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 classes and price bands 
  • Table 14 Professional graphics hardware, yearly totals 
  • Table 15 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 (on average) by almost 3:1 
  • Figure 4 Dell stabilized, then took back some share lost to HP .. but lately, positions for the two relatively stable 
  • 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 Estimated and hypothetical share of Apple in Windows/Linux/OS-X deskside workstation market
  • Figure 9 Intel shipments into Tier 1 workstation market by processor (unit share of Intel platform by processor) 
  • Figure 10 The rise and fall of Opteron in the workstation platform
  • Figure 11 Share of dual-capable (though not necessarily dual-populated) workstations as a percentage of all deskbound systems 
  • Figure 12 While the share of 2S-capable workstations is in decline, the 2nd CPU attach rate is relatively stable
  • Figure 13 Geographic distribution (by unit shipments) over time 
  • Figure 14 Tier 1 vendor shares of U.S. over time
  • Figure 15 Tier 1 vendor shares of EMEA over time
  • Figure 16 Tier 1 vendor shares of Asia/Pac (excluding Japan) over time 
  • Figure 17 Tier 1 vendor shares of Japan region time 
  • Figure 18 Tier 1 vendor shares of Rest of World (ROW) region over time 
  • Figure 19 EMEA breakdown by sub-region 
  • Figure 20 Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) breakdown by sub-region 
  • Figure 21 China sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 22 India sub-region, breakout by vendor
  • Figure 23 Rest of APexJ sub-region, breakout by vendor
  • Figure 24 Overall yearly workstation unit share by vendor
  • Figure 25 Worldwide shipments of professional graphics (K units, including mobiles)
  • Figure 26 Professional graphics card ASPs, by vendor over time 
  • Figure 27 Professional graphics units, by segment
  • Figure 28 AMD's mix of FirePro GPU products over time 
  • Figure 29 Estimated share of professional graphics units shipping in "Winux" workstations 
  • Figure 30 2D in slow decline and mobiles (mostly) flat, as 3D cards have taken the lion's share of market growth over the past several years 
  • Figure 31 Professional graphics add-in card revenue 
  • Figure 32 Vendor unit share history: mid-range 3D add-in card segment
  • Figure 33 Vendor shares of combined High + Ultra-high professional segment over time 
  • Figure 34 Vendor unit share history: mobile professional graphics segment
  • Figure 35 Vendor unit share history: Entry 3D add-in card segment 
  • Figure 37 Vendor unit share history: professional 2D add-in card segment 
  • Figure 38 Workstation market forecast 2013 - 2018 (units) 
  • Figure 39 Workstation market revenue forecast 2013 - 2018 ($)
  • Figure 40 Germany sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 41 UK/Ireland sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 42 Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 43 Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 44 Italy sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 45 Alps (Switzerland, Austria) sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 46 France sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 47 BeNeLux sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 48 Iberia (Spain, Portugal) sub-region, breakout by vendor 
  • Figure 49 Middle East and Africa (MEA) sub-region, breakout by vendor
  • Figure 50 Greece sub-region, breakout by vendor