The tumultuous roller coaster ride of the PC market has taken a sharp turn in recent times, with the pandemic boom providing a temporary boost that was just as quickly deflated in 2022. The fallout has been catastrophic for CPU and GPU sales alike, with both experiencing a downturn that has left industry experts reeling.
Market research company Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has reported a disheartening drop in GPU sales of 15.3 percent in Q4 2022, in comparison to the previous quarter, and a whopping 38 percent less than the same period the previous year. It’s worth noting that this fall includes all GPUs for PCs, including integrated graphics units (iGPU) in CPUs, which account for a significant chunk of the market share, alongside dedicated graphics cards.
Notebook GPU Sales Decline Sharply
The nosedive in GPU sales was particularly sharp in the notebook GPU sector, which plummeted by a staggering 43 percent, marking the steepest decline since the bygone days of 2011. In contrast, sales of GPUs for desktop PCs fell by a more modest 24 percent compared to the previous year.
To add insult to injury, all three major GPU manufacturers – Intel, AMD, and Nvidia – saw a significant drop in their GPU shipment volumes in Q4 2022 in comparison to Q3 2022. Intel took the biggest hit, recording a minus of 16.5 percent, followed by AMD at -12.7 percent and Nvidia at -11.7 percent.
Despite this downward trend, market shares have only experienced a minor shift, with Intel losing just 1.1 percentage points and maintaining its stronghold at around 71 percent. AMD, on the other hand, held its own at around 12 percent, while Nvidia made a marginal improvement to reach 17 percent.
CPUs Experience Largest Sales Drop in 30 Years
The CPU market suffered a similar fate, with JPR reporting a staggering drop of 35.3 percent in sales compared to the previous year, which is roughly in line with the 34 percent decline reported by Mercury Research. This marks the largest drop in sales in 30 years, with only 54 million units sold instead of the anticipated 84 million units.
Interestingly, JPR’s diagram shows a significant increase in the proportion of desktop CPUs, which jumped from 30 percent in Q4 2021 to 37 percent in Q4 2022, with notebook CPUs accounting for the remaining 63 percent.
JPR also regularly publishes a separate study that focuses solely on dedicated graphics cards, aka add-in boards. Sales in this segment increased by 7.8 percent from Q3 to Q4 2022, providing a glimmer of hope amidst the otherwise bleak outlook.
All in all, the PC market has undergone a dramatic shift, with significant declines in both CPU and GPU sales in 2022. While the market shares of major players have remained relatively stable, the decline in sales marks a significant turning point that could have far-reaching implications for the industry.