Nvidia may have another reason to lament the rise of cryptocurrency mining: it’s knocking down its share of the GPU market while increasing rival AMD’s sales. According to a report from Jon Peddie Research, Nvidia’s market share fell from 72 percent to 66 percent in Q4, while AMD’s share went up from 27.2 percent in Q3 to 33.7 percent.
Even with the rise in GPU prices caused by cryptomining demand and video memory shortages, many of the red team’s GPUs have remained cheaper than Nvidia’s products while offering almost the same levels of mining performance, resulting in cryptominers snapping up AMD’s cards in bulk.
Nvidia has continued to do what it can to prioritize gamers over miners when it comes to sales of its GPUs. Last month, it said “For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience.” The company added that it was recommending retailers limit the maximum number of cards it sells to miners, though this wasn’t something it could enforce.
It’s estimated that around three million graphics cards were sold for mining purposes in 2017, equal to about $776 million in sales, but gaming remains the main reason for GPU purchases.
“Gaming has been and will continue to be the primary driver for GPU sales, augmented by the demand from cryptocurrency miners," said Dr. Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research. "We expect demand to slacken from the miners as margins drop in response [to] increasing utilities costs and supply and demand forces that drive up AIB prices."
Recent rumors claim Nvidia will unveil its next-generation of graphics cards at its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) next month. In addition to the new gaming-focused Ampere-based cards, it’s thought the company’s new ‘Turing’ architecture could be used in GPUs designed specifically for mining. If true, these could see gaming card prices drop slightly while increasing their availability.