JPR Q1’18 Market Share Report: AMD Gains Market Share From Intel As Cryptocurrency Mining Influence Wanes


Jon Peddie Research's quarterly market share report is out and reveals some interesting tidbits about the state of the graphics market. The first quarter has always been one of the slowest due to the effects of seasonality, but this is the first quarter in which the cryptocurrency market corrected from the highs seen earlier this year and demand from miners waned.

AMD gained market share from Intel in Q1 2018, NVIDIA holds steady: JPR

Before we get into the cryptocurrency mining side of things, lets go over the main course.

The overall graphics market increased 3% year over year and shrunk 10% since last quarter. AMD took market share from Intel growing to 14.9% from 14.2% with the latter shrinking to 66.6% from 67.4% a quarter ago. NVIDIA stayed constant at 18.4%.

  • AMD’s overall unit shipments decreased -5.83% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments decreased -11.49% from last quarter, and that of NVIDIA’s decreased -10.21%.
  • The attach rate of GPUs (includes integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs for the quarter was 140% which was up 5.75% from last quarter.
  • Discrete GPUs were in 39.11% of PCs, which is up 2.23%.
  • The overall PC market decreased -14.12% quarter-to-quarter and increased 0.46% year-to-year.
  • Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs increased 6.39% from last quarter.
  • Q1'18 saw a no change in tablet shipments from last quarter.

AMD's Vega GPUs have been MIA due to cryptocurrency mining demand and it's a very positive indicator to see the company's market share actually grow even in the face of declining mining demand. The increase in market share can also have something to do with the recently introduced Vega M series of products - the flagship of which is featured in Intel's Hades Canyon NUC. There are still plenty of gamers that love to buy VEGA graphics, but for that to happen, the price has to come down - bringing the profit levels along with them.

Over 3 million dedicated boards worth $776 million were sold to cryptocurrency miners in 2017, and another 1.7 million this quarter: JPR

Speaking of cryptocurrency mining influence, AIBs sold 3 million dedicated boards to miners, worth about $776 million and it looks like this quarter alone they sold just over half that. The problem with this particular metric is however, that most miners don't use dedicated mining cards. The reason for that is simple, normal cards have a re-sale value and a cushion in case the cryptocurrency mining crashes. If you buy a dedicated card, no one will buy that once the difficulty curves makes them obsolete or the market corrects.

This is why this is an incredibly misleading metric and is only useful as a general estimation of the enthusiasim and vigour of the cryptocurrency mining industry. That said, I think it can also serve as a proxy for the momentum of the same and is one of the reasons why we have seen AMD's market share increase this quarter. To be perfectly honest, it is actually impressive that the company has managed to retain its share in the market even though it has been plagued with supply issues and overpricing of its VEGA GPU.

All that said, it is clear that cryptocurrency mining is still a very strong influence on the graphics market and depending on what the release schedules for NVIDIA's GPUs are, we could see the market bounce right back in Q2'18. Rumors indicate that the company is planning to release its Turing class of GPUs sometime in July after Computex should tap into the pent up demand that gamers have been accumulating over the past couple of months.

The average amount of $ that any given gamer is willing to spend increases with time on average, and considering the situation of the market recently with GPUs going for 3-4x over MSRP, price levels which would previously have been considered insanely high will look quite tame in comparison. This is an excellent opportunity for NVIDIA to gain some market share and exploit this pent-up demand from gamers.