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Add-in board market increased in Q3’17 from last quarter, and Nvidia gained market share.

Posted: 11.28.17
Over $3.4 billion dollars of AIBs shipped in the quarter.

Quarter-to-quarter graphics board shipments increased 29.1%, and increased 21.5% year-to-year.

“The add-in graphics board market was outstanding in Q3'17, increasing 29.1% sequentially, explained Jon Peddie, president of the industry’s research consulting firm Jon Peddie Research. The seasonal ten-year average for Q3 is 14%, and this year it was over twice that.”

The market shares for the desktop discrete GPU suppliers shifted in the quarter too.

AIBs using discrete GPUs are found in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, rendering and mining farms, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products, or are factory installed by OEMs. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry with their discrete chips and private, often large, high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.

The PC add-in board (AIB) market now has just two chip (GPU) suppliers which also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 48 AIB suppliers, the AIB OEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call “partners.”

Lots of AIB suppliers, smaller shipments. In addition to privately branded AIBs offered worldwide, about a dozen PC suppliers offer AIBs as part of a system, and/or as an option, and some that offer AIBs as separate aftermarket products. We have been tracking AIB shipments quarterly since 1987—the volume of those boards peaked in 1999, reaching 114 million units, in 2016, 47 million shipped.

The news for the quarter was encouraging and seasonally understandable, quarter-to-quarter, the AIB market increased 29.1% (compared to the desktop PC market, which increased 21.2%).

The GPU and PC market have been showing a return to normal seasonality. That pattern is typically flat to down in Q1, a significant drop in Q2 as OEMs and the channel deplete inventory before the summer months. A restocking with the latest products in Q3 in anticipation of the holiday season, and mild increase to flat change in Q4. All, of that subject to an overall decline in the PC market since the great recession of ’07 and the influx of tablets and smartphones. However, this year, AIB shipments were out of synch due to great new games and cryptocurrency mining. 

AIB shipments during the quarter increased from the last quarter 29.1%, which is which is above the ten-year average of 14.4%. On a year-to-year basis, we found that total AIB shipments during the quarter rose 21.5%, which is greater than desktop PCs, which fell 8.9%.

Cryptocurrency mining was not as big influence in the AIB market this quarter as it was in the lat. Nonetheless, cryptocurrency mining (especially Ethereum) is still a factor in the market, and still just as impossible to accurately measure.

Gaming the game changer. However, despite the overall PC churn, somewhat due to tablets and embedded graphics, the PC gaming momentum continues to build and is the bright spot in the AIB market. The impact and influence of eSports has also contributed to the market growth and attracted new users. VR continues to be interesting but is not having a measurable influence on the AIB market.

The gaming PC (system) market is as vibrant as the stand alone AIB market. All OEMs are investing in gaming space because demand for gaming PCs is robust. AMD introduced their Threadripper CPU targeted at the high-end gaming market, and Intel also validated this with their recent announcement of a new Enthusiast CPU. Furthermore, desktop gaming PCs are no longer dwarfed by the general-purpose machines. That’s not the case in the notebook market

Looking at the above chart, the seasonally cycle has been re-established, suggesting Q4 will be flat to down, and the semiconductor suppliers and OEMs are forecasting a flat to down Q4. The swings are more dramatic now, as can be seen in quarter-to-quarter changes.

The overall GPU shipments (integrated and discrete) is greater than desktop PC shipments due double-attach—the adding of an AIB to a system with integrated processor graphics, or a second AIB using either AMD’s Crossfire or Nvidia’s SLI technology.

Improved attach rate. The attach rate of AIBs in desktop PCs has declined from a peak of 84% in 2002 to a low of 36% in 2015, and steadily increased since then to 70% this quarter, a increase of 6.5% from last quarter which was nominal. Compared to this quarter last year it increased 33.3% which was outstanding.

The gaming PC (system) market is as vibrant as the stand alone AIB market. All OEMs are investing in Gaming space because demand for Gaming PCs is robust. AMD and Intel also validated this on their earnings calls, and the recent announcements of a new Enthusiast CPUs.

This edition of Jon Peddie Research’s Add-in Board Quarterly Report covers the market activity of PC-based graphics for Q4'16.

This detailed 97-page report will provide you with all the data, analysis and insight you need to clearly understand where this technology is today and where it's headed.

The report contains the following content:

  • Worldwide AIB Shipment forecast by segment, 2015 to 2021.
  • Attach rate of AIBs from 2001.
  • Detailed worldwide AIB Shipment Volume, by segment, and forecast to 2021.
  • Major suppliers: Detailed market share data-on the shipments of AMD, Nvidia, and others.
  • Market share history from Q1 2004.
  • Percentage of shipments by region, from 2015 to 2021.
  • Market value of AIBs, and pricing trends
  • A Vision of the future: Building upon a solid foundation of facts, data and sober analysis, this section pulls together all of the report's findings and paints a vivid picture of where the PC graphics market is headed.
  • Memory load and forecast.

Pricing and Availability

Jon Peddie Research's AIB Report is available now in both electronic and hard copy editions and sells for $1,500. Included with this report is an Excel workbook with the data used to create the charts, the charts themselves, and supplemental information. The annual subscription price for JPR's AIB Report is $4,000 and includes four quarterly issues. Full subscribers to JPR services receive TechWatch (the company's bi-weekly report) and are eligible for a 10% discount. Bundle packages are also available. For information about purchasing the AIB Report, please call 415/435-9368 or visit the Jon Peddie Research website at www.jonpeddie.com.

JPR also publishes a series of reports on the PC Gaming Hardware Market, which covers system and accessories and looks at 31 countries. More information can be found here: http://www.jonpeddie.com/publications/pc_gaming_hardware_market_report/.

The overall graphics market includes discrete GPUs (dGPU) and GPUs integrated in chipset or embedded in CPUs. The overall PC graphics market is larger than the PC market, as shown in Figure 2. Discrete GPUs are on AIBs. Integrated and embedded GPUs are on the main, or system or motherboard, and are not covered in this report. For market and shipment information on all GPUs, refer to Jon Peddie Research’s quarterly report Market Watch. More information can be found at - www.jonpeddie.com/publications/market_watch/.

Contact Robert Dow at JPR (Robert@jonpeddie.com) for a free sample of TechWatch.

About Jon Peddie Research

Dr. Jon Peddie has been active in the graphics and multimedia fields for more than 30 years. Jon Peddie Research is a technically oriented multimedia and graphics research and consulting firm. Based in Tiburon, California, JPR provides consulting, research, and other specialized services to technology companies in a variety of fields including graphics development, multimedia for professional applications and consumer electronics, high-end computing, and Internet-access product development. Jon Peddie Research's AIB Report is a quarterly report focused on the market activity of PC graphics controllers for notebook and desktop computing.

Company Contact: 

Robert Dow, 

Jon Peddie Research 415/435-9368 

robert@jonpeddie.com

Media Contact:

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714.890.4500 

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