High-end graphics cards for desktop PCs represent only a tiny fraction of the whole market of discrete graphics adapters, but as integrated graphics processors become more powerful and end-users cease to buy entry-level solutions, producers of standalone adapters need to refocus their businesses.
Demand for entry-level and mainstream personal computers has been decreasing for quarters and so is demand for entry-level graphics adapters. However, demand for expensive gaming systems running Intel Core i7 central processing units seems to be solid, so is demand for discrete high performance graphics adapters. According to a media report, makers of graphics cards recently started to pay more and more attention to the higher-end segments of graphics adapters markets.
For companies like Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology, high-end PC hardware for the DIY [do it yourself] market has always been a strong profit foundation. Asus- and Gigabyte-branded graphics cards and motherboards are very popular across the globe. Even in China, where Asustek is behind companies like Colorful and Galaxy, it maintains lead in the high-end segment.
Traditionally, many companies have tried to sell as many graphics adapters as possible. But as the market shrinks, suppliers of graphics adapters started to turn “their focuses to mid-range and high-end graphics cards”, reports DigiTimes. The publication does not elaborate what exactly changed recently in the strategies of graphics cards vendors. However, considering the amount of highly-custom $199 – $649 adapters introduced this year, it is clear that many suppliers do want to increase shipments of advanced products.
Shipments of graphics cards in the first quarter of 2015 decreased to 11.3 million units, an 8.79 per cent drop quarter over quarter and a 19.41 per cent drop year-over-year, according to Jon Peddie Research. Nvidia managed to increase its market share to 77.5 per cent in Q1 2015, whereas the share of AMD’s GPUs dropped to 22.5 per cent.
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KitGuru Says: It remains to be seen whether refocus of graphics cards makers will lead to price-wars and drops of prices of high-end DIY hardware.