Intel Alder Lake Mobile CPU

(Image credit: Intel)

The recovery for the PC market in 2023 continued into the fourth quarter, which ended the year with a 20% and 24% year-over-year gain in GPU and CPU shipments respectively, according to Jon Peddie Research. Quarter-to-quarter gains weren’t quite as dramatic as Q3’s, but were still respectable at a 6% gain for GPUs and a 9% gain for CPUs. The market is back to growth, but is still relatively weak.

2023 ended the decline of the PC market seen in 2021 and 2022, with the year starting out with perhaps the lowest GPU shipments on record. However, strong quarterly gains throughout the rest of the year have boosted GPU and CPU sales significantly. Jon Peddie Research notes that while Q3 to Q4 growth for GPUs is usually flat, this time it was 6%, which may imply strong recovery.

Jon Peddie Research Q4 2023 GPU shipments.

(Image credit: Jon Peddie Research)

Obviously, the GPU market is still down significantly from its 2020 COVID-powered high, but even compared to the 2010s, shipments in 2023 were historically low. From 2013 to 2019, Q4 saw at minimum 90 million shipments, but Q4 in 2023 didn’t even break 80 million.

Additionally, the figure of GPU shipments includes all sorts of graphics: discrete cards for desktops and laptops, as well as integrated graphics. While desktop graphics cards shipments in Q4 were up almost 7% from Q3, year-over-year desktop GPU shipments actually went down 1%. The source of the increasing GPU shipments is in laptops, which saw a massive 32% boost year-over-year.

GPU marketshare chart Q4 2023.

(Image credit: Jon Peddie Research)

Most of these laptops graphics undoubtedly include Intel integrated graphics, which is presumably why Intel’s graphics market share went up 2.8% at the expense of both AMD and Nvidia, which went down by about 1.4% each. It’s not clear if Intel is surging because of its efforts with Meteor Lake and AI PCs, but it’s more than likely that these higher shipments are thanks to pre-Meteor Lake silicon. After all, Meteor Lake only launched just before the year ended, and Intel stood at a higher market in Q2 at 68%.

CPU shipments made an even more impressive recovery, with a 9% quarterly increase and a 24% year-over-year increase. Jon Peddie Research doesn’t provide any numbers specifically for AMD and Intel CPUs, but Mercury Research says AMD has done very well in 2023, though its Q4 performance was about as good as it was in Q3.

Though the results are very positive for the PC market, Jon Peddie Research cautions that “happy days may not be completely here just yet.” The results for Q1 of this year are expected to be down compared to Q4 of last year, which has been historically true. Of course, lots of companies are expecting the AI PC to change everything, and perhaps that will be the case, but the research firm says that AI PC features “won’t hit mainstream everyday utilization probably until the end of the year at the earliest.”

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Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

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