Nvidia did particularly well in Q3'16, fueled by their Pascal-based product line and the rash of new AAA graphics-demanding titles.
The PC market rose in Q3 from the previous quarter, but declined from the same quarter last year. The quarter to quarter gain was largely due to gaming as well as data center sales. PC suppliers are seeing growth in gaming desktops and notebooks, and hope this will offset the slowdown in overall PC shipments. while they are high ASP systems, the two segments combined can only contribute a few million unit shipments a year, less than the decline of the total PC market.
Overall GPU shipments (rounded up) increased 20% from last quarter, AMD increased 15% Nvidia increased 39% and Intel, increased 18%. Year-to-year total GPU shipments increased 0.3%, desktop graphics decreased -4%, notebooks increased 3%.
The gaming market is lifting the entire PC market and has overwhelmed the console market.
The three market leaders, AMD, Intel, and Nvidia all introduced new products in the first half of the year while the channel and OEMs sold off older inventory. Q3 saw the channel and OEMs restocking for the holiday season, and doing so with enthusiasm indicating a bullish attitude.
According to JPR:
- AMD’s shipments of desktop heterogeneous GPU/CPUs, (i.e., APUs), for desktops decreased -10% from the previous quarter. AMD's shipments were up 19.1% in notebooks. Desktop discrete GPUs increased 34.7% from last quarter, and notebook discrete shipments increased 23.0%. AMD’s total PC graphics shipments increased 15.4% from the previous quarter.
- Intel’s desktop processor embedded graphics (EPGs) shipments increased from last quarter by 4.1% and notebook processors increased by 18.8%, and total PC graphics shipments increased 17.7% from last quarter.
- Nvidia’s desktop discrete GPU shipments were up 39.8% from last quarter; and the company’s notebook discrete GPU shipments increased 38.7%, and total PC graphics shipments increased 39.3% from last quarter. It was one of, if not the best quarter in Nvidia’s history, which the company attributes to the strong acceptance and demand for its new Pascal line of graphics chips and boards. The company’s share price is at an all-time high.
- Total discrete GPUs (desktop and notebook) shipments for the industry increased 35.6% from the last quarter, and increased 10.1% from last year. Sales of discrete GPUs fluctuate due to a variety of factors (timing, memory pricing, etc.), new product introductions, and the influence of integrated graphics. Overall, the CAGR from 2014 to 2017 is now -5%.
- Ninety nine percent of Intel’s non-server processors have graphics, and over 66% of AMD’s non-server processors contain integrated graphics; AMD still ships integrated graphics chipsets (IGPs).
The third quarter is, on average, usually up from the previous quarter as the channel and OEMs stock up for the holiday season. Judging by the big overall increase, those resellers are anticipating a strong demand in the 4th quarter.
One thing to note, the Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, continues to deliver growth for PC makers. New gaming content and the promise of Virtual Reality help drive the demand for gaming desktops and notebooks.