Workstation market sticks to the right script in Q3’15

After a surprisingly disappointing first quarter of 2015, followed up by a welcome rebound in Q2, all eyes were on Q3 to find out exactly which script the workstation market would follow. Would it track PCs downhill, like Q1, or separate from the PC pack and keep on a long-term growth trajectory, like Q2? According to the market and technology research firm, Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the market took the latter path, faring far better than the market for consumer and corporate class PCs

While industry watchers have reported the PC market fell by nearly 11% year-over-year (YoY), JPR reports that workstation market volume grew by 2.0% and 2.1% in Q3, (YoY and sequentially, respectively). Total units climbed to around 1.04 million, and revenue rose a comparable amount, as ASPs were generally flat overall.

As the mainstream PC market has been contracting — due primarily to longer replacement cycles and competition from alternative computing platforms — JPR sees the workstation market staying on a growth path for the long-term, a narrative supported by Q3's positive, albeit modest, results.

Dell continues its 2015 market run

Dell, the current #2 workstation vendor in the market, continued padding its share of the workstation market in Q3, up another point to 35.9%. With market leader HP dropping another point to 37.1%, the two are now closer in share than they've been since the quarters following HP overtaking Dell for market leadership back in 2009.

JPR points out that Dell's gains are a result of the company's improved execution in the market, and not a result of poor performance from HP. Workstation firm analyst and JPR Workstation Report author Alex Herrera explains, "After years of indifference, Dell, as well as number three Lenovo, have in recent years deliberately and aggressively renewed their commitment to the market, and it's paying off. HP's commitment, strategy and product execution are as solid as ever. Rather, it's simply now having to face rivals who've taken their games up a notch."

Dell vs. HP in workstation market (units)

Largely paralleling the workstation market it serves, the market for professional GPUs held its ground in the third quarter of 2015. The industry, primarily composed of the Nvidia/AMD duopoly, advanced sequentially by 4.2%, shipping a total of approximately 1.2 million workstation-caliber GPUs in the third quarter, including both mobile modules and deskside add-in cards.

  • Methodology
    • Some – but not all - white-box coverage
    • Navigating to new content: bold PDF bookmarks and yellow highlighted headings
  •  Workstation market sticks to the right script in Q3'15
    • Workstation ASPs and revenue
    • Workstation shares by machine class
      • The workstation market remanins dominated by the deskside
        • Dell continues its 2015 market run
        • 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
    • Dell's Q3'15 gains come largely via U.S. growth
    • Fujitsu takes a bit of ground in EMEA in Q3'15
    • 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
    • China remains the primary — really only — engine for APexJ growth
  • Full-year calendar 2014 results for workstations
  • Professional GPU market holds its ground in Q3'15
    • Professional GPU ASPs show strength
    • Nvidia vs. AMD shares consistent ... as in exactly the same as the previous quarter
    • Estimating FirePro shipments to Apple
  • Professional graphics hardware market breakdown by product class
    • The big-picture trend: 2D down, mobile flat, and 3D up
    • 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 2014 results for professional graphics hardware
  • Revised for Q3'15: 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 $M)
  • Table 2 Q3'15 characteristics of desktop workstation classes
  • Table 3 History of workstation unit share by vendor 
  • Table 4 Historical share of Windows and Linux in x86 based workstations (Apple platforms not included) 
  • Table 5 Total workstations shipped by year (units and revenue)
  • Table 6 Yearly workstation ASPs (in dollars) 
  • Table 7 Growth (loss) of Tier 1 vendors’ unit shares 
  • Table 8 Worldwide shipments of professional graphics (K units, including mobiles) 
  • Table 10 Where Apple's new FirePro SKUs stack up against existing "Southern Islands" SKUs 
  • Table 9 Worldwide quarterly revenue of professional graphics add-in cards ($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