GPU makers didn't have a very merry Christmas according to market stats gathered by Jon Peddie Research. The firm reports that PC graphics shipments were down 7.8% on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010, highlighting unusually low seasonal demand. Overall growth for 2010 was 4.3%, which JPR described as unimpressive and disappointing considering the year's healthy beginning.

Manufacturers shipped some 133 million graphics chips in the fourth quarter, with Intel representing a majority 52.5% of the market. It's worth noting that CPUs with integrated graphics such as Intel's Clarksdale, Sandy Bridge and Atom processors are included in that figure. Despite its majority presence, Intel's shipments fell 7.3% sequentially, while year-over-year growth clocked in at 2.9%.

Meanwhile, AMD's GPU shipments grew 2.3% on-quarter and 11.2% on-year with a market share of 24.2%. The company recently reported that graphics products accounted for 26% of the company's total sales, which is up 8.7% sequentially and 0.7% from last year. Nvidia claimed 22.5% of the pie, moving 4.1% more GPUs than the previous quarter -- though shipments fell 15.1% from 2009.

Analysts predicted a slow-down in PC sales for the second half of last year, but some suggest that tablets -- namely the iPad -- dented low-end PC sales. That could explain the lower-than-expected graphics shipments. JPR believes 2011 will be a strong year for the GPU market as DirectX 11 graphics cards reach widespread adoption and Sandy Bridge along with Fusion chips hit full stride.