Where NVIDIA and AMD Stand in the Graphics Card Market

It’s been a rough year for the graphics card industry so far. Market leader NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) and rival Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) were both stung when the cryptocurrency bubble burst. Demand from cryptocurrency miners dried up, and an excess of inventory led to tumbling sales for both companies.

Total graphics card shipments crashed 43.6% in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to Jon Peddie Research. NVIDIA saw its revenue drop 30.8% in its fiscal first quarter, while AMD reported a 23% revenue decline. Both companies guided for another year-over-year decline in the second quarter.

It’s hard to say how much demand will pick up for graphics cards in the second half of the year, but one thing is certain: Competition between NVIDIA and AMD is intensifying. AMD will launch a pair of its new Navi-based graphics cards on July 7, aimed at the middle to high end of the market. NVIDIA is defending its market share by refreshing its product line — a price cut, for all intents and purposes — with new cards set to launch two days after Navi.

AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 graphics card.

AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 graphics card. Image source: AMD.

If that wasn’t enough, tech site VideoCardz.com is reporting that two sources have confirmed that AMD plans to launch its Navi-based cards at lower prices than it had previously announced. If this rumor is true, the new cards would be more competitive against NVIDIA’s refreshed lineup.

A distant second

AMD’s quest to reclaim market share from NVIDIA begins near a low point for the company. Its unit market share fell below 20% in the fourth quarter of 2018 amid the cryptocurrency rout. It recovered a bit in the first quarter of 2019, but NVIDIA is still the overwhelming market leader.

A chart showing NVIDIA’s and AMD’s graphics card market share over time.

Data source: Jon Peddie Research. 

AMD has been unable to effectively compete in the highest end of the market for many years. It tried in 2015 with the Fury…

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