Nvidia has never had a firmer grip on the GPU market, looking at the new numbers for the battle of discrete graphics cards from a well-known analytics firm.
You may be familiar with Jon Peddie Research (JPR), and the company’s latest GPU Arena report for Q3 2022 appeared earlier this week, showing the wild drop in sales we reported at the time. But now we have a fuller range of numbers showing the state of the discrete (discrete) GPU market and Nvidia’s ultimate dominance.
Wccftech (opens in a new tab) drew attention to JPR’s discrete GPU share chart, which shows Nvidia with a massive lead, securing 88% of the market in Q3, compared to just 8% for AMD. Intel owns the remaining 4% of the shares.
The overall picture is bleak, as you might expect, with discrete GPU sales dropping to just 14 million units in the third quarter – by comparison, 24 million graphics cards were pushed in the same quarter of 2021. So that’s a 42% year-on-year drop, a pretty scary drop, especially when the third quarter is usually a stronger quarter (with back-to-school sales and the holiday season looming).
Analysis: Paying for Nvidia Privilege
There is serious talk about how the picture has changed compared to the previous quarter. In Q2 2022, Nvidia was still king of the GPU hill, of course, but had an 80% share with AMD at 15% (and Intel at 5%). To see Nvidia hit 88% share in Q3 and AMD’s market share halved to 8% must be a major concern for Team Red.
Yes, this only focuses on discrete GPUs, so it doesn’t tell the whole story (not including laptop graphics cards or iGPUs), but as a snapshot of the desktop market, Nvidia must be very happy with it.
Indeed, we’ve never seen Nvidia have such a dominant share of JPR’s reporting in recent history. However, for consumers, this is obviously not such a healthy state of affairs.
Why not? Because Nvidia having such a strong position in the market will reinforce the company’s confidence that despite selling GPUs at exorbitant prices these days, people are still willing to pay for the privilege of owning a Team Green product.
And that’s one of the reasons Nvidia no doubt believes it can continue to charge very high prices for its high-end graphics cards when it comes to the new Lovelace GPUs that recently hit the shelves. A particular example is the RTX 4080 which, despite not being Lovelace’s flagship, has a price tag that will make you think otherwise (especially the more custom premium cards from third party card makers which are really exorbitant in terms of price/performance).
What about the numbers we might see in the fourth quarter when sales of these Lovelace graphics cards come into play? (Note that these weren’t available in Q3, so they’re not reflected in the current stats.) From what we’ve heard through word of mouth, Nvidia has moved quite a few higher-end cards, and of course, AMD doesn’t have their competitor RDNA 3 GPUs yet (they won’t arrive until mid-December, so it will have a more limited impact on Q4 results).
Which makes you think: can Nvidia really reach 90% dominance in Q4? It seems entirely possible, and perhaps entirely worrisome, that it could encourage Team Green to think that everything is fine with desktop GPU prices, and could move forward with the MSRP for the Lovelace range, which are clearly less than wallet-friendly.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that Intel’s discrete GPU share is now relatively significant (and was in the second quarter if I’m being honest), considering how early the game is for Arc graphics cards. Perhaps this is an angle where GPU price competitiveness could be further enhanced in the future, especially as Intel makes strides in constantly improving its drivers – we can only hope Team Blue can challenge on this front as time goes on.