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Recession Hits CPU Sales Hard

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

The recession has hit every industry hard, including CPUs. Market research shows that x86 processors took a considerable dive heading into the fourth quarter.

According to market research firm Mercury Research, shipments of x86 CPUs for desktops, servers and notebooks declined 18 percent between the third of fourth quarter of 2008. Besides the weakened economy, another reason for the fourth quarter decline was due to an unusually strong third quarter, which was up 13 percent over the same time in 2007.

Overall, the x86 market was down 8.8 percent as compared to fourth quarter 2007.

We saw the same trend earlier when looking at GPU shipments -- an exceptionally active third quarter followed by a dramatic fall in the fourth quarter.

For the year, Intel gained market share, going from a 77.1 percent hold in 2007 to 80.4 percent in 2008. Via also went up 0.8 to 1.1 percent. That increase in market share from both companies had to come at the expense of AMD, which fell from 22.1 percent to 18.5 percent.

Intel’s gain is largely attributed to its Atom processor, which powers nearly every netbook on the market today. “Without the presence of Atom and strong netbook sales in Intel's business, the market share results would have appeared largely unchanged,” Dean McCarron, an analyst with Mercury, wrote in an email quoted by eWeek.

Like with the GPU market, shipments are unlikely to pick up again soon.

“Leading indicators are that the first quarter will be much worse than the seasonal average decline of 7.4 percent, with our forecast currently at 15 [percent] for the first quarter based on market conditions in mid-January,” added McCarron”Clearly the processor market has been impacted by the worldwide recession and financial crisis.”

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 4, 2009 5:29 PM
    Do you think we will see an even greater price drop in GPU's and CPU's because of the fourth quarter drops? I feel that computers are already one of the most popular products in the world, and one day, the latest tech will cost no more then a few hundred. I hope so, i want a 260gtx for 100 bucks
  • 3 Hide
    Pei-chen , February 4, 2009 5:36 PM
    Doubt it. I just bought a Q6600 G0 off eBay because the Q9550/9650 I had in mind are over $200. I refuse to pay more than $200 for mid range product.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , February 4, 2009 6:17 PM
    uhh... Aren't most processors x64 now?
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    pcolby , February 4, 2009 7:08 PM
    x86 (aka AMD64) is an extension to x86, and so I assume that the term "x86 CPUs" above is including both 32bit and 64bit x86 processors ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    timaahhh , February 4, 2009 7:08 PM
    falcharduhh... Aren't most processors x64 now?

    No, x86 is an architecture/instruction set, derived from the 8086 cpu. AMD and Intel processors use the x86 instruction set. Most IBM processors use the Power architecture. Though Cisc and Risc really are not used anymore the fundamentally x86 is Cisc and Power is Risc
  • 0 Hide
    crockdaddy , February 4, 2009 8:15 PM
    Quote:
    No, x86 is an architecture/instruction set, derived from the 8086 cpu. AMD and Intel processors use the x86 instruction set. Most IBM processors use the Power architecture. Though Cisc and Risc really are not used anymore the fundamentally x86 is Cisc and Power is Risc


    Christ, is it too much for someone to post something useful and actually have a clue as to what they are commenting on. Follow the wiki below and you shall have your mostly unbiased answer about 64 bit cpus.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit
  • 1 Hide
    Niva , February 4, 2009 8:28 PM
    Price on computer hardware always drops, you can get today for hundreds of dollars what you could have a few years for thousands (or not at all.) The top of the line products will always cost a premium though, that's true for everything in life.
  • 0 Hide
    crockdaddy , February 4, 2009 8:29 PM
    Very true Niva, hence why the smart play is to always buy mid-line products.
  • -1 Hide
    cruiseoveride , February 4, 2009 10:27 PM
    last time CPU prices were this ridiculous was like in the early 90s. $1000 cpus??? c'mon Intel.
  • -1 Hide
    eklipz330 , February 4, 2009 11:43 PM
    uhh, has some1 considered the fact that core i7 doesn't offer that large of an improvement over core2's? How are ssd sales compared to hdd's? I wouldn't be surprised if they did better from the previous year...
  • 1 Hide
    tayb , February 5, 2009 1:54 AM
    eklipz330uhh, has some1 considered the fact that core i7 doesn't offer that large of an improvement over core2's? How are ssd sales compared to hdd's? I wouldn't be surprised if they did better from the previous year...


    Core i7 is a large improvement over Core 2 the problem is that Core i7 requires a new motherboard and new triple channel memory. Even so the launch of Core i7 brought a DECREASE in price to Core 2 CPU's and most manufacturers (laptop and desktop) are still only shipping product with Core 2. The CPU and GPU sales decline is because people are being content with their machines instead of purchasing new ones. 2009 will be an awful year for the tech market.
  • -3 Hide
    arthur92710 , February 5, 2009 2:58 AM
    taybCore i7 is a large improvement over Core 2 the problem is that Core i7 requires a new motherboard and new triple channel memory. Even so the launch of Core i7 brought a DECREASE in price to Core 2 CPU's and most manufacturers (laptop and desktop) are still only shipping product with Core 2. The CPU and GPU sales decline is because people are being content with their machines instead of purchasing new ones. 2009 will be an awful year for the tech market.

    Yeah, a large improvement! In price that is.
    The I7 920 is $300!! You can almost build a whole system(that is very fast)with AMD parts for that price. A Phenom II is about $200 and it does not need super expensive 3x ram.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 5, 2009 3:25 AM
    My problem is that the i7, often found on sale around $250-280 depending on sales and combos, notably outperforms 45nm counterparts that cost substantially more. I know Intel is just marketing smart. Are you going to pay $350 or a CPU upgrade? Or $280 for a much better CPU, but be forced to buy a new motherboard and memory as well. The only thing helping 45nm processors drop is AMD. Because you can still snag one of their new excellent quad cores for $200 and a motherboard for less than $150 ... oh, and your DDR2 still works in it!!!
  • 1 Hide
    Christopher1 , February 5, 2009 7:14 AM
    Pei-chenDoubt it. I just bought a Q6600 G0 off eBay because the Q9550/9650 I had in mind are over $200. I refuse to pay more than $200 for mid range product.


    I have to agree.... no reason to pay a lot for a extremely beefy processor, when one that is only 100-200 dollars is more than good enough even for high impact gaming, when paired with a good graphics card (which is the more important part of the system, in all honesty!).
  • 0 Hide
    restrain_oligopolies , February 5, 2009 12:44 PM
    ECC parity memory on AMD, not on Intel!,
    ECC was a standard 10 years ago, but has left Intel's consumer CPUs,
    though remaining in AMD consumer CPUs.
    I believe all enterprise CPUs (Xeon, Opteron) use ECC memory,
    so why should we consider our home computer toys, not needing ECC memory.
    Largely for this reason, I bought two AMD CPUs this month, both
    AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 6000+
    which can use the DDR2 ECC memory I purchased.
    .
    For almost all my computer work, a $100 CPU works well.
    Before the last couple years, I would buy $600 and $1100 CPUs.
    What I have sought for the last couple years has not been CPU performance,
    but CPU/motherboard/memory robutstness..
    In my home, I physically replaced the BIOS on one computer,
    and saw another computer scramble two separate disk drives possibly because of parity problems arising out of the motherboard's bios,
    so the manufacturer issued a bios upgrade.
    The robustness of CPU/motherboard/memory is much more difficult to test and talk about than speed, so we hear little about robustness,
    but over a year's time many of us experience lack of robustness.
    The Debian Linux motto is to make new releases "when it's done", not when the marketing department wants release. Unfortunately, people understandably don't read media unless each issue (whether daily blogs or monthly magazines) has a wealth of information, even when that information greatly diverts attention from what's important.
    What we ignore is often more important than what we focus upon -- stop focusing on speed.

  • 0 Hide
    saturn77 , February 5, 2009 6:02 PM
    What? The i7 920 is not an improvement over the c2d? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Not only does the stock 920 wipe the floor with anything in its price range, if you are an overclocker, this sucker will match or exceed $1000 c2d extreme edition chips.

    Now that's a bargain.

  • 0 Hide
    goonting , February 5, 2009 6:20 PM
    i just hope to get more value for my money...not crappy hardware