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What just happened? With the PC market continuing to recover after a few disappointing years, both CPU and GPU shipments registered substantial growth during the fourth quarter of last year. According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the PC graphics card market grew 20 percent year-on-year to reach 76.2 million units in Q4 2023, while PC CPU shipments increased 24 percent year-on-year.

On a quarterly basis, total PC GPU shipments increased 5.9 percent over Q3, but not all the GPU manufacturers benefited from the growth. While Intel’s shipments rose 10.5 percent, Nvidia and AMD saw their sales fall by 1.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. The improved sales saw Intel’s market share increase by 2.8 percent, while Nvidia and AMD’s market shares fell 1.36 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

PC GPU shipments increased 20% last quarter, AI tipped to drive future growth

Meanwhile, PC CPU shipments grew 9 percent over the same period, but the lion’s share of sales came from laptop processors. Around 69 percent of all PC CPUs shipped during the quarter were for notebooks, while only 31 percent were meant for desktops. The stats are similar for GPUs as well, with the market for desktop graphics cards said to have contracted by 1 percent, while notebook GPU shipments increased 32 percent.

Looking forward, the report predicts that GPUs will have a compounded annual growth rate of 3.6 percent between 2024 and 2026, reaching an installed base of almost 5 billion units by the end of the forecast period. Over the next five years, around 30 percent of all desktops are also predicted to run discrete GPUs.

PC GPU shipments increased 20% last quarter, AI tipped to drive future growth

According to JPR president Jon Peddie, fourth quarter results are typically a bellwether for the following year, and the latest stats suggest that 2024 will be a good year for PC sales. AI is expected to be the driving force behind the PC market this year, with manufacturers using it as a “shiny new thing” to ramp up the numbers. However, Peddie advises caution for the PC manufacturers, as AI “won’t hit mainstream everyday utilization probably until the end of the year at the earliest.”

AI has been the newfound buzzword for the PC industry in recent months, with manufacturers, OEMs, and chip makers heavily marketing so-called “AI PCs” to initiate consumers into upgrading their perfectly good laptops and desktops. It remains to be seen if people take the bait, but with Intel, AMD, and Microsoft going all-in on AI, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll end up with a PC with supposed AI smarts, whether you want it or not.

Images: Jon Peddie Research

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