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Nvidia, Intel up, AMD down as Q1 GPU shipments jump

Machine manufacturers start buying graphics chips again

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The figures for graphics chip sales during Q1 are in, and it seems both Intel and Nvidia gained a little at AMD's expense during the quarter.

According to market watcher Jon Peddie Research (JPR), Intel's market share hit 49.7 per cent, up from 47.7 in Q4 2008. Nvidia's share also rose sequentially, from 30.6 per cent to 31.1 per cent.

AMD, by contrast, saw its share slide, from 19.3 per cent down to 17.1 per cent, JPR said.

The other players - VIA, SiS and Matrox - also experienced declines, but so small are their shares with respect to the majors - 1.1 per cent, 0.9 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively - there's not much in it.

For instance, JPR said VIA shipped 840,000 units in Q1 - the same number as it sold in Q4 2008. Intel, by contrast, shipped 37.2m graphics chips. Nvidia sold 23.26m and AMD 12.81m. The Q4 totals were, respectively, 34.59m, 22.20m and 14.00m.

Overall, shipments increased 3.3 per cent from Q4 2008's 74.28m units to just 74.87m, the result, JPR said, of lower-than-expected shipments in the last six months of 2008, itself the result of moves by vendors to reduce their inventories in the face of the global economic downturn and reduced sales to end-users.

Come Q1 2009, and while World+Dog wasn't buying as many new machines as they did a year ago - then, shipments hit 94.88m units - sales were sufficient to cause machine manufacturers to start buying GPUs again.

That said, JPR said it isn't expecting the market to begin bouncing back until Q3/Q4 - look to Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard to drive sales - and vendors won't see shipments reach 2008 levels until sometime next year. ®

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