AMD overtakes Nvidia's GPU market share

It looks as though Nvidia has paid a harsh price for delaying its Fermi architecture, as research shows that AMD has overtaken the green graphics giant in terms of discrete GPU shipments.

Cnet reports that AMD commanded a 51 per cent share of the discrete graphics pie in the second quarter of this year, compared with Nvidia's slightly smaller 49 per cent slice. The figures come from semiconductor analyst firm Mercury Research, which issued its quarterly PC Graphics Report yesterday.

As a point of comparison, Nvidia's share of the market was a much chubbier 59 per cent during the same period last year. Of course, there could be many reasons for this, not least the fact that AMD released its first DirectX 11 GPUs several months before Nvidia. However, there's little doubt that the extended wait for Nvidia's Fermi architecture, largely caused by TSMC's 40nm fabrication problems, has also played a part.

It probably also doesn't help that many reviews of the first GeForce GTX 480 and 470 cards criticised the cards for their noise and heat output, while the performance wasn't massively better than ATI's equivalent GPUs for the money.

It's also worth noting that these figures only apply to the discrete graphics business. The overall graphics market is still overwhelmingly ruled by Intel's integrated graphics, which is currently in charge of 54.3 per cent of the market. Again, the big picture also shows a win with AMD, with a 24.5 per cent share compared with Nvidia's 19.8 per cent.