Sales of dedicated graphics have continued to slide this quarter according to data from GPU market researcher Jon Peddie Research. Their quarterly report claims global graphics card shipments decreased a further 2.65% in Q4 2018, having already dipped 16% year on year when last we heard.
Nvidia was the biggest loser for the quarter. Shipments of Nvidia graphics cards dropped a hefty 7.6% during Q4 2018 alone, while AMD GPU shipments suffered a 6.8% drop. Intel held relatively steady, decreasing by a comparatively minor 0.7%.
As a result of these changes, Nvidia’s market share decreased by 0.82%, AMD’s dropped 0.6%, and Intel’s increased 1.4%. Intel seems well equipped to weather this particular storm as it’s desktop graphics cards that are being hit hardest. Overall desktop GPU sales were down 20% year on year, carving an entire fifth off of the gaming graphics card market. Meanwhile, notebook graphics increased 8%, suggesting more people are shifting to laptops for their computing needs.
Unsurprisingly, the drop in shipments still comes down to the cryptocurrency hangover. Both AMD and Nvidia are really paying the price for this one, attempting to get rid of surplus stock while retailers are sat on excess inventory. It makes for a perfect storm of dissatisfaction for investors.
“The channel’s demand for add-in boards (AIBs) in early 2018 was out of sync with what was happening in the market,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president and founder of Jon Peddie Research. “As a result, the channel was burdened with too much inventory. That has impacted sales of discrete GPUs in Q4, and will likely be evident in Q1, and Q2’19 as well.”
The second obvious point here is that AMD has yet to launch a new graphics card generation, and hasn’t for some time now, while Nvidia has disappointed with its expensive GeForce RTX 20 range paired with what appears to be an underwhelming performance leap with the GeForce GTX 16 series. Both AMD and Nvidia arguably need to pull their fingers out and deliver something both impressive and reasonably priced if they want PC gamers to commit to hardware upgrades en masse.