Q2’16 a good quarter for workstations, no excuses or disclaimers necessary

Lately, we've been having to put a lot of words around any positive commentary we make on the workstation market. Flat to modestly down numbers have been all-too common, and even up quarters had to be tempered, as more often than not a positive performance was just making up for previous lost ground.

But not so with Q2'16. No excuses, disclaimers or silver linings necessary this time, as the quarter was just plain good.

Q2'16 not only represented a welcome bounce out of the recent market doldrums, it set a new quarterly record. A total of around 1.1 million branded workstations shipped, representing a 21.7% sequential gain. In the cyclical workstation market, year-over-year metrics are typically a better gauge of market health, and the second quarter's 7.8% is a very welcome figure, particularly in light of the general malaise enveloping traditional PC-related markets.

Both HP and Dell reluctant to cede share to rival ... Q2'16 was Dell's turn to fight back

The workstation market looks to be the most competitive it has been in decades. HP and Dell are fighting hard for every point of share, while #3 Lenovo (13.6% in Q2) continues to gain ground, albeit slowly, using China particularly to boost 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 itself in the market driver's seat by 2013. But Dell is a far more stubborn rival than it was a decade ago. With a seemingly clearer focus and more precise execution in wake of its privatization, Dell's workstation business stemmed its decline and then gained back around six percentage points on its chief rival by the middle of 2015.

Fast forward to Q2'16, and we're now in a situation where neither is willing to give up significant share consistently over time. Where one makes a run one quarter or two, the other makes up any losses with commensurate gains over the next couple. HP's advance in Q4'15 and Q1'16 was met with a solid rebuttal in the second quarter, as Dell tacked on over 2 percentage points to claw its way back to 35.4%. Combined with HP's slide to 36.9%, we are back in a near dead heat for workstation market leadership.

Workstation vendor market shares for Q2'16


Professional GPU market follows workstation market upward 

Largely paralleling the workstation market it serves, the market for discrete, professional GPUs performed nearly as well as the market it served. All told, the duopoly of AMD and Nvidia shipped around 1.3 million discrete professional-brand GPUs in Q2'16, representing similarly robust gains of 20.0% (sequentially) and 12.3% (year over year).
The JPR Workstation Report Market Quarterly for Q2'16 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
  •  Q2'16 a good quarter for workstations, no excuses or disclaimers necessary
    • Workstation ASPs and revenue
    • Workstation shares by machine class
      • In the workstation market, desksides outsell mobiles by more than 2:1
        • Workstation market by vertical
        • Both HP and Dell reluctant to cede share to rival ... Q2'16 was Dell's turn to fight back
        • 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
    • Mobile vs. deskside distribution by global geo
    • Dell is claiming back its ownership of the U.S. market
    • Dell makes strides in EMEA as well
    • Dell and HP share lead in APexJ, while Lenovo's share steadily grows
    • HP leads in Japan, while "home team" NEC and Dell duke it out for #2
    • 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
  • Professional GPU market follows workstation market upward
    • Discrete workstation GPU ASPs firm
    • Another quarter of virtually no change in Nvidia vs. AMD GPU market battle
    • Estimating FirePro shipments to Apple
  • Professional graphics hardware market breakdown by product class
  • GPU segment big picture: 2D continues inevitable decline, 3D holds steady, and — lately — a marked, sustained tick up for mobiles
    • High-end and mid-range contribute around two thirds of GPU 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