The graphics chip market is changing

Nvidia has faltered in recent times, with the company's sales not on par with its competitors. Because of this, they have lost their second place in the market of GPU sales. All the while, its major competitor, AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), has its ATI graphics card on the rise. With AMD's 'radical' shifts in sales and market share being recorded by a company that tracks all sales of GPUs, Mercury. Currently, after the recent financial quarter, AMD has surpassed Nvidia as the second best seller of graphic solutions as a whole, behind only Intel.

"AMD surpassed Nvidia this quarter in overall shipments...[and] is now the leading supplier of standalone GPU and of notebook standalone GPUs, and the second largest supplier of graphics solutions overall," the Mercury Research report says.

The reason behind the change in position for AMD is by and large due to the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series, which is used in both laptops and desktops. This is because the total number of mobile GPUs is now surpassing the number of desktop graphics cards. AMD saw "a huge burst" in sales from the shipments in the second quarter because of the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series, says the report by Mercury.

The mobile graphics market is changing a lot, and is now moving to a more streamlined single unit approach. With the GPUs becoming a part of the CPU, with Intel's new Core i3 and i5 processing units being fully implemented examples of these. The chips take the functionality of the GPUs and combine them with the single CPU.

"Talks with (PC makers) indicated that many are working on dual-graphics systems," according to Mercury. This system enables more power options, so that when it is running with a low performance, it would switch to the less power consuming Intel or AMD integrated graphics unit, but when more performance is needed, the unit uses the standalone graphics card. An example of this is the HP Pavilion dv7t, which can offer the switchable ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650.

This whole process benefits AMD substantially as the company has paired with Intel and its i3 processors, which have gained popularity "explosively". "This has lifted AMD's mobile GPU shipments substantially in the quarter." ATI graphics cards are also being paired more with AMD processors, according to Mercury. A trend, in turn, connected to a movement toward "dual graphics" laptops.

Nvidia, however, is not standing down, with the recent refresh of the MacBook and MacBook pros; Nvidia is combining with Intel to utilize the switchable graphics cards. Nvidia's downfall is by no means permanent, said Dean McCarron, the principle analyst at Mercury; "There are a couple of things going on with Nvidia that are independent of the whole AMD (market) share transfer," he said recently via a phone interview. "On the integrated front, Nvidia does not have an Intel (chipset) bus license for the new processors. So, their Intel products are dropping off."

"And in the desktop standalone space, Nvidia has a DX-11 high-end part, but most of the market share gets determined by low-end and mid-range parts and AMD introduced their low-end and mid-range (DirectX 11) back in Q1," he said. "Nvidia's low-end and mid-range parts aren't out yet. They're coming out this quarter."

This may indicate the industry is once again having that "ping pong" effect, this quarter it was AMD that was in front, but next it may be Nvidia. Next year may determine the top space, as the true impact of the dual units comes into play. Both company's will more than likely fall behind Intel as the company doesn't seem to be moving anywhere. Only one thing is for certain, the graphics chip is going through a huge transition, and is seemingly heading in the right direction.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

RIM to release iPad competitor, needs to work on product branding

Next Story

Verizon posts Froyo update instructions for the Droid

43 Comments

View more comments

MAVEЯiCK ☭ said,
I like nvidia more, and I don't know why. It just has some... feel on it.

Last nVidia card I had was an 8600GT. Was going to move to a 9600GT but ATI brought out the 4850 for cheaper and faster.

Next time I update, I won't necessarily stick with ATI. I think consumer loyalty like that is stupid. If nVidia has the better performing card for my price bracket, I'll get that. If ATI does, I'll go with that.

_DP said,

Last nVidia card I had was an 8600GT. Was going to move to a 9600GT but ATI brought out the 4850 for cheaper and faster.

Next time I update, I won't necessarily stick with ATI. I think consumer loyalty like that is stupid. If nVidia has the better performing card for my price bracket, I'll get that. If ATI does, I'll go with that.

Exactly. Everybody should buy whatever offers the best performances/features/price for them.

Earlier this month I bought an HD5850 Black Edition to replace an aging 800GTS 320mb. I was waiting for Nvidia to release they DirectX 11 parts but I decided to buy ATI because of the performance/price and my local availability.

When it's time to upgrade again, I will carefully review the optios, and if the better happens to be with Nvidia, I will switch again.

_DP said,

Last nVidia card I had was an 8600GT. Was going to move to a 9600GT but ATI brought out the 4850 for cheaper and faster.

Next time I update, I won't necessarily stick with ATI. I think consumer loyalty like that is stupid. If nVidia has the better performing card for my price bracket, I'll get that. If ATI does, I'll go with that.

QFT

FoxieFoxie said,
etc. nVidia is evil.

They always have been, can't remember a time when nV wasn't arrogant, lying and manipulating every step of the way. But back in the day at least a few of their cards were good. Until they completely stopped caring about quality control, e.g. I don't know a lot of people whose 8800GT is still working and then the fiasco with the Notebook-Chips. Well, seems like the days when they could get away with anything are gone. Good for us.

MAVEЯiCK ☭ said,
I like nvidia more, and I don't know why. It just has some... feel on it.

I don't understand the loyalty. I buy whatever happens to be best at the time. The "I don't like their drivers" response isn't really a valid excuse IMO.

dr_crabman said,

They always have been, can't remember a time when nV wasn't arrogant, lying and manipulating every step of the way. But back in the day at least a few of their cards were good. Until they completely stopped caring about quality control, e.g. I don't know a lot of people whose 8800GT is still working and then the fiasco with the Notebook-Chips. Well, seems like the days when they could get away with anything are gone. Good for us.


i know lots of people who are still using their 8800 GT. my 8800 GTS 512(which is also a g92 gpu) still runs just fine.
never heard of this fiasco with notebook chips. care to link an article on it?
as well nvidia AIB partners tend to have better warranties than their ati counterparts, except xfx, which has been gaining a rep as a partner that doesn't honour it's warranty when it's time to RMA lately.

IphoneMini said,
will intel ever fall into second place?

when ati and amd make their own intel cpu compatible integrated graphics chips which are are useful for non gaming/non gpgpu purposes only then one or the other might pull into first place if they make deals with major pre built companies like HP and dell.
but intel has been flexing it's muscle with it's licensing lately; case and point: the ongoing lawsut between intel and nvidia over motherboard chipsets et al.

AMD made the right choice when buying ATI ... I can see a lot
of new stuff coming out in the coming months. The ATI 6000 series
will be a more refined version of the 5000 series GPU. It's not about
having a higher clock speed, it's more about whats being done per
clock cycle. Having a chip doing more per clock cycle and not needing
1K PSU to run your SLI PC system would be nice.

GenBlood said,
AMD made the right choice when buying ATI ... I can see a lot
of new stuff coming out in the coming months. The ATI 6000 series
will be a more refined version of the 5000 series GPU. It's not about
having a higher clock speed, it's more about whats being done per
clock cycle. Having a chip doing more per clock cycle and not needing
1K PSU to run your SLI PC system would be nice.

current generation fo cards shows that ati cards have less going on per clock cycle than their nvidia counterparts. hence the higher clocks on 5000 series cards vs 400 series cards for lower performance per gpu on the ati cards.

I still don't like nvidia from their days of buying out 3dFX and the whole cheating on 3dmark fiasco. In use Nvidia cards always seemed more buggy with less image quality. Not a fan of nvidia products.

swanlee said,
In use Nvidia cards always seemed more buggy with less image quality. Not a fan of nvidia products.

my experiences with ati cards, and reading reports on the various tech forums and game tech support forums i post/lurk on say quite the opposite.

when fallout 3 came out my bro and i sat side by side playing the game, him with a 4870 and me with a 8800gts 512. my settings were obviously higher than his on teh same resolution, looked obviously better, and no stutter or fps drops. and that was all before taking in to account that after 15-30 minutes his screen would be filled with hardcore artifacting.

nvm the widespread reports of issues with ati drivers for the 5000 series from launch until driver relase 10.3, and with drivers after 10.3. ppl say ati drivers have gotten better but i still don't see it. especially when a common fix for text corruption in multiple mmo's is to uninstall catalyst control center.

I have used Nvidia all the way up untill last year. Then got my 5770 xfire setup. I am glad i dont think i would ever go back. It would take some nice work from nvidia to change my mind.(maybe free cards) But go with what is best for your money/performance/power efficiency or whatever u want to base it on.

After my 8600GTS broke down I switched to a 5750 and the performance jump is huge.

Though, I miss PhysX and as long as ATi doesn't find a way to enable it on their cards my next card will be nVidia again.

During the 8 series nVidia was 100% dominant. But starting from the 4000 series from ATi, they are the one's dominating, not in pure performance but as a whole product/design per price.
Now lets hope AMD does the same in the CPU market .

Wow! That was tough news to read. The writer really needs to think about making things flow a lot more than it currently does.

i recently built a new gaming PC from the ground up with the biggest budget i've ever had for a new build. i carefully looked at all the options read reviews from multiple sites about every card. i just happened to be building around hte time of ht e400 series launch so i got lucky in the amount of choices i had.
after weighing all the pros and cons of both brands, i decided to go with nvidia again and get a 480. i am very happy with this decision as i am able to crank the settings way up without losing performance and the drivers have been great. i don't seem to have the issues others claim the 400 series cards have either. i can crank up my AA to 16x and games are still very playable, don't even notice the fan volume over my game sounds, and the temps when i monitor them are pretty typical historically and show no artifacting, which is a major point of concern when it comes to graphics cards for me.
i've had better experiences with nvidia than ati overall. and the nvidia partner i tend to buy from has great support and warranty(evga) that i have come to trust through experience, and that is obviious to me when i look for other brands forums from both ati and nvidia if they even have forums is heads and shoulders above the rest.
when i am in the market for a new video cards in 2-3 years i will again look at all the reviews and do my research to find the best solution for me.
i'm long past the point of going into future shop with a tax return and buying whatever $100-$400 card they have on teh shelf and fanboying over it until i upgrade again in 6months toa year becuase it's died and there was no warranty information in the box or it doesn't run the latest games at acceptable settings anymore.
i buy a graphics cards to last me 2-3 years running new games at high to max at 1080p, and for me the 480 is that card. i'll post again in 3 years and tell you all if it was worth it or not.

Commenting is disabled on this article.