Gaming GPUs Are Gaining Traction, But Mainstream GPUs Are Still Strong

In our overview of Q2 2016, we mentioned that shipments of higher-end graphics processors were growing, whereas sales of mainstream GPUs were declining in the recent years as a result of major improvements of AMD’s integrated graphics and Intel’s iGPUs. In particular, sales of enthusiast-class adapters hit 5.9 million units in 2015, which was a record. This year is not that good for expensive graphics cards, but shipments of gaming-grade desktop GPUs are still very high.

Sales of enthusiast-class desktop AIBs in Q3 2016 were considerably lower than sales of enthusiast-class standalone desktop GPUs in the same period a year ago. Nonetheless, we are still talking about around ~1.5 million units, which seems to be higher than what we have seen historically. Moreover, since JPR considers everything that costs between $250 and $900 as “enthusiast”, it is obvious that unit shipments do not necessarily reflect revenues earned by AMD and NVIDIA. Moreover, since AMD and NVIDIA officially sell the Radeon RX 480 and the GeForce GTX 1060 for $249 and demand for these products (which performance is on par with much more expensive predecessors) was probably very high during the quarter, it is likely that some of the “enthusiast” buyers were classified as “performance” ($249 and below) buyers in Q3 2016.

Fall 2016 GPU Pricing Comparison
Market Segment AMD Price NVIDIA
$250 - $900
  $1200 TITAN X (Pascal)
  $599 GeForce GTX 1080
  $379 GeForce GTX 1070
$100 - $249
Radeon RX 480 (8GB) $249 GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Radeon RX 480 (4GB) $229  
Radeon RX 470 $199 GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
  $139 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Radeon RX 460 (4GB) $119  
Radeon RX 460 (2GB) $109 GeForce GTX 1050
No New GPUs <$100 No New GPUs

Despite the fact that shipments of higher-end standalone video cards dropped year-over-year (YoY) in the third quarter, gaming-grade graphics adapters (enthusiast + performance) hit around seven million units. The industry still supplied over five million of mainstream boards in Q3, which is quite a lot. Nonetheless, performance and enthusiast-class desktop AIBs have been outselling mainstream graphics cards for five consecutive quarters now.

Q3 2016: Good for GPUs, Mediocre for PCs AMD: Polaris Now Accounts for 50% of Channel GPU Revenue
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  • oranos - Sunday, December 4, 2016 - link

    gtx 1080 is to thank for this
  • Apollo999 - Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - link

    Well the numbers you have shown tell us that only one person in 1000 :))) changes his or her video card in 6 months...500 years :))) must pass before the whole population of 7 billion humans living on this planet,not counting the dragons and other intelligent species should change their computers and/or the graphics cards
    and please dont tell me about the integrated graphics by Intel and how really good they are...
  • jaden24 - Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - link

    But, but, PC gaming is dying...

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