Intel's all-in with its Sandy Bridge platform, and AMD would rather talk about its Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) than anything else. And if you're building a rig for your mom and pop for Christmas (or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or just in general), you're probably eying up one of these two platforms and won't consider a discrete GPU. Scenarios like this one might help explain why discrete GPU shipments are down.
According to market research firm Jon Peddie Research (JPR) , discrete graphics card shipments fell 15.2 percent in the second quarter. JPR notes it isn't unusual for discrete GPUs to see a decline during this time of year, but the sector is underforming compared to last year and is 4 percent below the 10-year average for the quarter.
JPR didn't delve too much in to the how or why of it all, but as processors with integrated graphics continue to penetrate the market, expect to see more of this. Before Sandy Bridge and Fusion, a low-end discrete GPU prevented budget buyers from having to settle on a motherboard with an IGP, where sometimes the options weren't very good. Now that graphics have shifted to the processor, buyers are free to pick any board, as long as they match the socket.
Switching gears to market share, AMD swiped a 0.1 percent crumb from nVidia's slice of the discrete GPU pie, though AMD is down 0.8 percent for the year and Nvidia is up 1.1 percent. Nvidia now owns 59 percent of the discrete market and AMD 40.6 percent, according to JPR.
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