Mercury Research has released its "PC Graphics Market Share Update" report for the third quarter showing that, for the second consecutive period, AMD maintained a lead in the discrete graphics market – albeit a small one. The data firm puts AMD's total share at 50.30%, while Nvidia is at 49.60% (Matrox accounted for the remaining 0.1%). The titans are practically dead even in the big picture, but the pie isn't cut so neatly when comparing individual sectors.

AMD continued gaining ground in the discrete notebook segment, claiming another 5.6% of the market for a share of 61.9% in the recent period. That compares to Nvidia's 38.10% share, but both companies shipped less mobile units on-quarter. Meanwhile, Nvidia held 58.80% of the desktop market, next to AMD's 41%. Both saw gains in desktop sales as the market grew 20.80% sequentially with the arrival of Nvidia's GTX 460 and AMD's subsequent price cuts.

Although AMD is dominating the mobile sector and has had better desktop offerings for about a year (barring the GTX 460), International Business Times reported yesterday that ThinkEquity analyst Krishna Shankar says Nvidia will "become more competitive" with its rival in both segments. Shankar believes Nvidia has "entrenched software advantages" with better parallel/visual computing capabilities as well as the mindshare of game developers and gamers alike.