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AMD makes significant gain on Nvidia market dominance

Both Nvidia and AMD are based in California. (Source: Deskdecode)
Both Nvidia and AMD are based in California. (Source: Deskdecode)
A report created by research company Jon Peddie has shown that AMD has been making decent inroads into Nvidia’s overall dominance of the discrete graphics card market. Figures for the fourth quarter of 2017 show AMD with a market share of 33.7% while Nvidia has 66.3%. This is a considerable market share leap for AMD, who managed 27.2% of the market share in 3Q17.

It appears AMD has been enjoying an increase in discrete graphics cards sales as far as data from Jon Peddie Research is concerned. Market share for AMD in the third quarter of 2017 was 27.2%, meaning Nvidia enjoyed the bulk of share at 72.8%. However, the final quarter of the year showed an interesting trend for Advanced Micro Devices as its market share rose by 6.5% to 33.7%. As the discrete graphics card market is practically a duopoly, this means Nvidia saw its share decrease by 6.5%.

The same research report also mentions a change in the types of graphics cards being shipped. High-end cards have gained in market share for the final quarter, whereas mainstream GPUs have decreased in share. In the final quarter of 2016, high-end cards made up 11.5% of the market and mainstream units had 39.2%. By the final quarter of 2017 these figures had changed to 16% and 26.1%, respectively. So why has AMD seen such growth and why have high-end GPUs become so popular?

There has been some speculation that the answer to both of these questions revolves around mining for cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency boom has gathered pace in 2017 and there has been a well-documented demand for high-end graphics cards. Nvidia has made an announcement that the company's focus is on gamers, which could mean virtual currency miners have been drifting toward buying from AMD. Nvidia made a request to retailers not to sell more than two identical graphics cards per customer, which would encourage those interested in mining to buy AMD GPUs instead.


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Daniel R Deakin, 2018-02-27 (Update: 2018-04-19)