In brief: The PC GPU market fell again in the fourth quarter of last year, mostly because of the cryptomining crash. Compared to the previous quarter, sales were down by 2.65 percent, while year-on-year card shipments dropped 3.3 percent.
With the cryptocurrency boom in full swing at the start of 2018, Nvidia and AMD were in a rush to produce more video cards to satisfy demand from miners. But neither firm predicted the market’s eventual crash, which left retailers with an oversupply of stock. Nvidia was hit particularly hard; its excess inventory of Pascal cards saw the company’s stock price fall 50 percent in December.
Jon Peddie Research’s latest report has Nvidia’s graphics cards down by 7.6 percent during Q4 2018, while AMD's GPU shipments fell 6.8 percent. As it wasn’t really affected by the crypto crash, Intel and its integrated GPU products experienced a drop of just 0.67 percent. Chipzilla was the only firm to see its market share increase during the quarter, by 1.4 percent. Nvidia and AMD both saw theirs fall, by 0.82 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
“The channel’s demand for add-in boards (AIBs) in early 2018 was out of sync with what was happening in the market,” said company president and founder, Dr. Jon Peddie. “As a result, the channel was burdened with too much inventory. That has impacted sales of discrete GPUs in Q4, and will likely be evident in Q1, and Q2’19 as well.”
Overall, desktop GPU sales were down 20 percent year on year, while notebook graphics increased 8 percent.
The report also showed that discrete GPUs were in 27.78 percent of PCs sold during Q4 2018, down 3.83 percent from the previous quarter, while desktop AIBs that use discrete GPUs decreased 10.75 percent.
There was some good news, though. Despite being down 3.79 percent YoY, the overall PC market was up 1.61 percent quarter-to-quarter.
While the crypto crash played a big part in the decline, the high prices of Nvidia’s Turing launch cards didn’t help the situation, neither did the supply problems faced by AMD’s Vega lineup.