Update: On March 6th, a week after this story was published, Jon Peddie Research released an update to its original analyst report, declining the impact of the numbers. Dedicated GPU and industrial supercomputer GPU data were combined for Intel, giving the company an inflated 9 percent market share instead of a more accurate 6 percent market share. According to the updated report, Intel is in third place behind AMD with a static dedicated GPU market share of 9%. What follows is our original story.
For decades, there have been two players in the desktop graphics market: AMD (formerly ATI) and Nvidia. Intel decided to enter this heated debate in 2022 with its Arc series of GPUs, along with similar dedicated laptop offerings. According to the Graphics Card Market Share Report, by the end of calendar year 2022, Intel managed to capture 9 percent of dedicated desktop GPU sales, the same amount as AMD had in the same time period.
The figures are from Jon Peddie Research, which paints a bleak picture of the current GPU market, following trends in PC sales in general. The same report said that sales of desktop graphics cards as a whole fell 24 percent, the biggest drop in more than a decade. And 9 percent market share isn’t exactly what you’re flaunting to shareholders, especially when Nvidia continues to dominate with a near-monopolistic 82 percent share.
John Peddy Research
But in the context of a new competitor in a well-established market segment, even one with the vast resources of a company like Intel, this is a staggering achievement. Desktop Arc chips have been maligned and shelved to the point where some industry analysts have wondered if Intel is considering scrapping the entire multi-billion dollar project. And the company is still not ready to compete at the high end of GPUs, where most of the profits are made. But coming out on top and taking second place in less than a calendar year by focusing on budget cards and specific performance goals can only be considered a win.
For example, the Arc A750, which was most recently officially reduced from $290 to $250, is our pick for the best 1080p GPU for ray tracing. It’s not the lightning-fast, superior performance that lets you get a fantastic $10,000 YouTuber PC build, but it’s the kind of value that sells a hell of a lot of cards to people who want to play PC games on a budget.
On PCWorld’s The Full Nerd podcast, Intel Arc spokesman Tom Petersen told us, “Come to think of it, we’re one of the few companies in the world that can enter a market as big as discrete graphics…Nvidia will probably continue to ignore us. , but AMD can’t ignore us. And over the years it will become much more competitive as we become more established.” (25:20 in the video below.) It is worth noting that Petersen’s last job was Nividia’s director of technical marketing.
Arc’s growth in the budget segment is truly impossible to ignore. It remains to be seen if Intel can use this momentum for a more dominant position on the high-end side of the GPU market and if it has the will to jump into that fight.