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GPU vendors concerned with declining AMD demand

by Ryan Martin on 27 January 2015, 15:20


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The state of play in the graphics card market in Q3 of 2014 according to Jon Peddie Research

AMD's graphics card market share took a hit towards the end of last year with consumers choosing to lean more towards Nvidia. The underlying narrative for that trend has been consumer preference for newer products from Nvidia, such as the highly popular GeForce GTX 970, rather than AMD's equivalently-priced offerings.

With a disappointing year drawn to a close for AMD its partners are bracing for a shaky first half to 2015 before things improve. Digitimes report that AMD add-in board partners (AIBs) have reduced their orders of AMD GPUs to prevent inventory build-up. The second half of this year will be crucial for AMD since the company announced it will release new products during Q2 and H2 of 2015. A new graphics card line-up is expected to be an integral part of that strategy.

In the longer term AMD's restructuring entails a reduction of research and development spending which affects its graphics division. This has led Digitimes to the conclusion "graphics card vendors are also concerned that the market could gradually lean towards Nvidia, causing them to lose bargaining chips with GPU makers".

Until the updated figures for Q4 of 2014 emerge from the likes of Jon Peddie Research it's difficult to draw any conclusions about the state of play in the graphics card market right now. We are certainly very excited to see what AMD will bring to the market in response to Nvidia's newly-released GTX 900 series.

The latest speculation suggests AMD will kick off its new graphics card series with the Radeon R9 380X in Q2 this year. The R9 380X is rumoured to be the first graphics card to make use of high-bandwidth memory (HBM) with throughput in the region of 512~640GB/s. The rumour mill also suggests a toasty 300W TDP that will, most likely, require a liquid cooling solution as standard.

HEXUS Forums :: 38 Comments

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It looks like a 1 month bump at the time the 970/980 was in full swing……I wouldn't draw too much from it yet.

I will start to worry if the new cards do require a LCS though….especially in light of the TDPs for the 900 series.

I do wonder if some of it is a overall AMD image issue. Their shyness from the desktop market may have a larger effect than I expected. Seeing more news of upcoming Kaveri refreshes, while no news of a replacement for the FX line doesn't bode well in that area either.
The rumour mill also suggests a toasty 300W TDP that will, most likely, require a liquid cooling solution as standard.

Seriously why is such a big deal being made about this? For comparison, 290X has a listed 290W TDP and does perfectly well on air cooling. Also worth consideration is the fact AMD values are essentially never-exceed values as far as gaming is concerned, Nvidia values have become something more akin to SDP on recent cards; this can be seen even across Nvidia's own generations where a negligible real-world power saving is accompanied by a massive spec TDP drop. And hence, TDPs are not comparable when you have nothing else to go on anyway.

Also, the whole 300W thing came from a profile page talking about some high-level design aspects - that in no way translates to ‘I designed 380X which draws 300W’. Rounding up, most current high-end GPUs fall into 300W class.
Yikes, 300W TDP… not something likely to fit in with small form factors or quiet computing. The rest of the industry seems to be moving beyond “turn it up to 11, sod the TDP” to improve performance, seems AMD's graphics wing need to do the same.
I will say from my limited group of PC building friends I know many who don't even look at AMD.

Personally I have usually gone for best value which has lead AMD cards for quite a while.

If I was buying right now it would be a 970, but personally I don't see it as a big enough jump on my 7950.

So in short I would guess there is a large number of nvidia fans, a smaller number of AMD fans and a good number in the middle like myself.

With that it would be a huge shame to lose either from the market, one big player would be a disaster.
GTX 970. 145W TDP apparently: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_970_Gaming/25.html

Considering you can't buy reference cards, look at the MSI numbers (but even reference far exceed TDP):
168W Average
192W Max gaming
213W Max Furmark.

Yeah. 145W. :rolleyes:

Also see the 290x which is 290W TDP;
258W gaming avg
294W gaming max
328W furmark peak

300W AMD TDP != 300W Nvidia TDP. And just to reiterate, 290/x are already nearly 300W TDP and are fine.

Add about a third to Nvidia TDP to get what AMD would call TDP.

Edit: Using some back-of-envolope maths, 300W AMD TDP it seems would be about 225W Nvidia TDP, for what it's worth. Which is incidentally lower than the 250W rumoured TDP of the GM200 GPU. Because we know how accurate these rumours must be, so that must also be true!
192 > 145 is a ~25% decrease. 300-25%=225.