Workstation and professional GPU market highlights for Q1’16

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The workstation market couldn't shake out of its doldrums in the first quarter of 2016. Total units fell to around 902.7 thousand, representing a year-over-year (YoY) decline of about 1% and a sequential decline of 12%. The sequential figure needs to be taken in cyclical context, as Q1 is typically down substantially from Q4. For all intents and purposes, the YoY figure indicates the market is still wallowing in flatness, continuing a no-growth trend that's now lasted over two years.

Of course, in the business of computing, market results could be a lot worse than "flat" and "no-growth". The broader PC market wishes it could experience such results, rather than the serious erosion it's been seeing, including a Q1 plunge of between 9.5 and 11.5% (Gartner and IDC, respectively). So while the lack of growth no doubt continues to frustrate workstation market stakeholders, it remains a relative bright spot in traditional client-centric computing markets.

HP follows up fourth quarter rebound with more of the same in Q1'16

It's clear HP has grown tired of handing Dell back market share. HP had put in ten years of hard work knocking Dell down, moving from a distant second behind Dell in workstation market share in 2004 to putting its rival a ways back in its own rear view mirror by 2013. But in 2014, the tables turned. In the wake of its privatization, Dell's workstation business stemmed its decline and then gained back around six percentage points on HP by Q3'15. 

Starting in the fourth quarter of 2015, however, HP stiffened its position. And in the span of two quarters, HP turned a thin and waning 1.2 point market share lead into a much wider 7 point gap (40.2% to 33.2%). Rather than taking share directly from Dell, however, it looks like most of HP's 1.5 point gain in Q1'16 came instead from Lenovo, which dropped a comparable 1.3 points to 14%.

Workstation vendor market shares for Q1'16


In the market for discrete professional GPUs, largely paralleling the workstation market it serves, the market for discrete showed no significant change in the battle between rivals Nvidia and AMD. Nvidia maintained its dominant share (79.7% of units) while AMD picked up the remaining (20.3%). 

The JPR Workstation Report Market Quarterly for Q1'16 delves into comprehensive depth across all slices of the workstation and professional GPU market, including:

  • Complete breakdown of traditional workstation market by units and revenue, and across product classes (mobile/entry/mid/high), platforms (mobile/entry/mid/high) and geography
  • Workstation market forecast
  • Complete breakdown of workstation GPU market by units and revenue, and across product classes
  • Breakdown of workstation market by vertical
  • Analysis and sizing of the impact of Apple platforms versus Windows/Linux workstations
  • Analysis and sizing of the impact of emerging workstation virtualization (in its multiple forms)
  • Analysis and sizing the impact of Intel's CPU-integrated graphics
  • Methodology
    • Some – but not all - white-box coverage
    • Navigating to new content: bold PDF bookmarks and yellow highlighted headings
  •  Workstation market doldrums stretch into 2016 (but a plateau ain't that bad?)
    • So what's putting the damper on the market?
    • Workstation ASPs and revenue
    • Workstation shares by machine class
      • The workstation market remanins dominated by the deskside
        • Workstation market by vertical
        • HP follows up the fourth quarter rebound with more of the same in Q1'16
        • 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
  • Virtual Workstations
  • Today, Intel stands virtually alone as CPU supplier to the workstation industry
    • Intel's push of Xeon brand into single-socket, entery-class workstations paying off
    • AMD's traveled a winding road in workstations, one that led to an absence in CPUs
    • A future for AMD workstations with APUs? Zen?
    • Single vs. multi-socket CPU
  • Windows dominates, with Linux holding minority share
  • Tier 1 distribution of workstations by geography
    • Ironically, HP's worldwide gain in Q1'16 came in conjunction with loss in the largest region in the U.S.
    • In contrast, EMEA was a big reason for HP's worldwide gains
    • HP turns tables on Lenovo in its home turf of APexJ
    • Japan also contributes to HOP's gains in Q1'16 
    • ROW vendor breakdown similar to that of the U.S
    • EMEA and APexJ: breakdowns by sub-region
    • China remains the primary engine for APexJ growth, with Lenovo the primary beneficiary
  • Full-year calendar 2015 results for workstations
  • Shipments of discrete, professional GPUs show a steady market in Q1'16
    • Discrete workstation GPU ASPs firm
    • Nvidia retakes two points of unit share from AMD in Q1'16
    • Estimating FirePro shipments to Apple
  • Professional graphics hardware market breakdown by product class
    • The big-picture trend: 2D down, 3D up and mobiles (mostly) flat
    • 2D cards losing their traditional application base, but they do have another, growing, market segment to lean on
    • 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 2015 results for professional graphics hardware
  • NEW for Q4'15: Integrated vs. discrete GPUs in workstations 
  • Appendix A: Workstation vendor shares per EMEA sub-region

Tables and figures


  • Table 1 Total workstation market revenue (in $M)
  • Table 2 Q1'16 characteristics of desktop workstation classes
  • Table 3 History of workstation unit share by vendor 
  • Table 4 Historical share of Windows and Linux in x86 based workstations (Apple platforms not included) 
  • Table 5 Total workstations shipped by year (units and revenue)
  • Table 6 Yearly workstation ASPs (in dollars) 
  • Table 7 Growth (loss) of Tier 1 vendors’ unit shares 
  • Table 8 Worldwide shipments of professional graphics (K units, including mobiles) 
  • Table 10 Where Apple's new FirePro SKUs stack up against existing "Southern Islands" SKUs 
  • Table 9 Worldwide quarterly revenue of professional graphics add-in cards ($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