Add-in board market up in Q4, Nvidia gains market share

Quarter-to-quarter AIBs shipments increased 3%, and grew 3% year-to-year.

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry’s research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics add-in-board (AIB) shipments and suppliers’ market share for Q4, 2013.

Quarter-to-quarter, the market grew 3%, compared to the desktop PC market, which increased 4.45%. On a year-to-year basis, total AIB shipments during the quarter increased 3%, which is more than desktop PCs which declined 6.1%.

The AMD FirePro W5000 has been a strong seller into the professional design and media markets.  (Source: AMD)
The AMD FirePro W5000 has been a strong seller into the professional design and media markets. (Source: AMD)

GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market because a GPU goes into every system before it is shipped; most of the PC vendors are guiding down to flat for the next quarter.

The overall PC desktop market increased quarter-to-quarter including double-attach (the adding of a second or third AIB to a system with integrated processor graphics) and to a lesser extent, dual AIBs in performance desktop machines using either AMD’s Crossfire or Nvidia’s SLI technology.

The attach rate of AIBs to desktop PCs has declined from a high of 63% in Q1 2008 to 42.8% in 2013 4Q, and from 43.4% last quarter.

The quarter in general 

JPR found that AIB shipments during 2013 4Q behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, but the increase was less than the 10-year average. AIB shipments increased 3.% from the last quarter (the 10-year average is 12%).

Total AIB shipments increased this quarter to 15 million units. Other results:

  • AMD’s quarter-to-quarter total desktop AIB unit shipments decreased 3%.
  • Nvidia’s quarter-to-quarter unit shipments increased 3.6%.
  • Nvidia continues to hold a dominant market share position at 65%.
  • Figures for the other suppliers were flat to declining.

The change from quarter to quarter was slightly less than last year. Quarter-to-quarter percentage changes are shown below.

AIB market shares, 4Q13.
AIB market shares, 4Q13.

The AIB market now has just four chip (GPU) suppliers, who also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 51 AIB suppliers, the AIB OEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call “partners.”

In addition to privately branded AIBs offered worldwide, about a dozen PC suppliers offer AIBs as part of a system, and/or as an option, and some that offer AIBs as separate aftermarket products.

JPR has been tracking AIB shipments quarterly since 1987; the volume of those boards peaked in 1999, reaching 114 million units.

JPR’s AIB Report tracks computer add-in graphics boards, which carry discrete graphics chips. AIBs are used in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products, or are factory installed. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry using discrete chips and private high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.

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