NVIDIA Continues to Gain in the High-End Market, Says Mercury Research
NVIDIA Corp. managed to once again improve its positioning in the performance segment of the DirectX 9.0-supporting graphics cards market in the Q1 2005, according to recently released figures by Mercury Research. The data may indicate growing success of NVIDIA’s GeForce 6-series graphics chips as well as NVIDIA’s multi-GPU SLI technology.
NVIDIA Leads “Performance DirectX 9.0” Market
NVIDIA Corp. commanded 70% of the performance DirectX 9.0-supporting graphics processors market, whereas ATI Technologies supplied 30% of such graphics chips in the fist quarter of this year, sources indicated citing the most recent PC Graphics Report from Mercury Research. In Q4 2004 NVIDIA’s share in the market of what Mercury calls “performance DirectX 9.0” was 67%, whereas a quarter before it was 64%. ATI Technologies’ market share in the “DirectX 9.0 value” market segment was slightly higher compared to NVIDIA’s – 51% versus 49% in Q1 2005.
In total about 3.71 million “DirectX 9 performance” graphics products were shipped in the first quarter of 2005. Both segments of the DirectX 9.0 market indicated upward trends in Q1 2005.
During the first quarter of 2005 NVIDIA Corp. ramped up a number of competitive products, such as GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT for AGP, as well as indicated breakthrough shipments of its nForce4 core-logic sets that support multi-GPU technology called SLI in addition to natural rise in shipments of GeForce 6800-series graphics cards for PCI Express bus. Sources close to the company said shipments of the GeForce 6600-series products were up 16% quarter-over-quarter. The company also said significant amount of customers acquired two graphics cards to power their systems based on the nForce4 SLI chipsets.
Sources close to ATI Technologies indicated that the company ramped up production of the RADEON X700-series during the quarter and began to sell significant quantities of the RADEON X800-series products based on the latest R430 chips for both PCI Express and AGP interconnections.
Mercury’s estimates on DX9 and DX9c accelerators differentiate value and performance by transistor count, with devices at and about 100 million transistors being considered as “performance”. Since enthusiasts and media typically consider pricing and performance as two main measurements of a products’ market positioning, Mercury’s estimations may be regarded as not precisely reflecting reality.
Standalone Graphics Chips Shipments Down Sequentially
While the market of DirectX 9.0 graphics components demonstrated sequential growth, underperformance in different segments caused shipments declines at both ATI and NVIDIA, according to previously released data.
Market research firm Jon Peddie Research (JPR) estimates that about 60.2 million PC graphics devices were sold by eight suppliers globally in Q1 2005, a 6.2% decline from the previous quarter and a 4.9% increase over the same period the previous year. According to consulting firm IDC total shipments of personal computers rose 10.9% year-on-year in the first quarter to 46.1 million, roughly 1% above forecast.
Intel Corp. managed to maintain its leading position in the graphics market due to strong sales of chipsets with built-in graphics cores, according to JPR. The company posted 0.6% sequential increase in graphics shipments in Q1 2005 and now commands 43.1% of the market. ATI Technologies sustained its No. 2 position in the first quarter with an 11.3% sequential decline in shipments and reduced to 26.1% share of the total graphics market. NVIDIA Corp. remained on the third spot with a 9.7% sequential decline in shipments and reduced to 17.9% market share. All other graphics products vendors also faced declines in shipments and shrunk market shares
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