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AMD Overtakes Nvidia in Overall GPU Shipments for the First Time in Five Years (Updated)

(Image credit: AMD)

Update 8/29/19 7:55am PT: Jon Peddie Research provided us with more market share information, which we added below. We also removed reference to graphics units present in consoles, as the report only quantifies PC-based graphics units.

Jon Peddie Research has released its Q2 2019 GPU market results, and it's official: AMD shipped more graphics unit than Nvidia for the first time in five years, thanks to AMD shipping almost 9.85% more GPUs than in Q1 (by comparison, Nvidia sold about the same). The market share data represents cumulative shipments of all types of desktop PC graphics units, including those present in processors, which is an area that Nvidia doesn't have a significant market presence.

(Image credit: Jon Peddie)

The last time AMD led in GPU shipments, the Radeon R9 290X was the fastest gaming GPU you could buy, and Nvidia had not yet released the performance powerhouse that would be Maxwell. Nvidia has been the market leader ever since the Maxwell-based 9-series GPUs launched, but it seems AMD has finally gotten over it at last.

Total Graphics Market ShareQ2'19Market Share Last YearUnit Growth YoYMarket Share Change YoYLast QuarterShare % ChangeQtr. to Qtr. Share % Difference

Jon Peddie Research also reports that discrete GPUs were in fewer PCs than last quarter (from 29% to 27%), that the PC market increased by 9.25% since last quarter, and that AIB sales actually declined 16.62% since last quarter. Despite the overall market growth, Nvidia didn't ship significantly more or less GPUs than before, unlike AMD, which had a large jump in sales.

AMD's resurgence in GPU shipments is somewhat surprising considering the company's product stack and market penetration; AMD doesn't have a faster GPU than Nvidia, support hardware-accelerated ray tracing in any capacity, have a strong presence in the laptop market, or have a full product stack based on its most recent architecture. Perhaps the abundance of cheaper 14nm 500-series and Vega GPUs, decent APU graphics performance, and (if it was included in this report) promising 5700-series support pushed AMD above Nvidia. Of course, AMD likely wouldn't be generating revenue than Nvidia because less expensive products are not usually high margin products.

(Image credit: Nvidia)

If AMD continues to gain ground on GPUs, it could be challenging for Nvidia, which is heavily dependent on the PC gaming market and has enjoyed a record year of revenue driven by Turing-based graphics cards.

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Though Nvidia does have sources of income from the data center and professional users, gaming still makes up the bulk of Nvidia's revenue. It's highly likely that AMD's recent gains will encourage Nvidia to diversify more quickly to compete with AMD, an already diverse company, and Intel, which is planning on entering into the discrete GPU market in just a couple of years.