The PC market is looking increasingly healthy as GPU shipments rise on the back of surging notebook demand

The GPU market is looking healthy, seeing a 5.9% rise in GPU shipments in the fourth quarter of 2023 and a dramatic 20% increase year-on-year. According to Jon Peddie Research, this growth is attributed to a surge in notebook CPU demand, which increased by 24% year-on-year. That’s the biggest increase in 25 years.

According to the study, Global GPU shipments reached 76.2 million units. The reported 20% increase is largely on the back of that astonishing 24% growth in CPU shipments, particularly those used in notebooks. Notebook GPU shipments rose by 32%, while desktop GPU shipments actually fell by 1% over the same period.

Why the big jump in notebook GPU shipments? That’s an easy one to answer. Both AMD and Intel (and just about every other tech company) have been hyping AI capabilities and that’s sure to drive a wave of upgrading. A chunk of those AI notebooks will feature discrete GPUs. It’s important to bear in mind that many of these shipments will take months to reach store shelves. And when the inevitable promotion of the AI PC really begins in earnest, consumers will line up to upgrade. I needz my AI.

AMD and Intel have both introduced chips with dedicated AI processing hardware, and that’s a trend that’s only going to increase. I’d place a pretty safe wager that most of that increase in CPU shipments is made up of Intel’s Core Ultra Meteor Lake family and to a lesser extent, AMD’s Ryzen 8000-series Hawk Point CPUs. They’re all about NPUs, or neural processing units.

There is some reason for caution in 2024 though. On the topic of AI, Dr Jon Peddie said: “It’s coming, and early examples from Adobe, Microsoft, and the CAD suppliers are good examples. But it won’t hit mainstream everyday utilization probably until the end of the year at the earliest. Therefore, we suggest caution in one’s optimism and enthusiasm.”

Getting back to the GPU side of things, and there wasn’t much change in terms of market share. AMD and Nvidia lost 1.4% and 1.36% respectively. That loss was Intel’s gain, recording a +2.8% increase. Numbers like that are not far outside a margin of error.

(Image credit: Jon Peddie Research)

However, GPU shipments saw bigger differences. AMD and Nvidia shipments decreased by 2.8% and 1.5% respectively, while Intel’s shipments rose by 10.5%. That points towards a lot of upcoming AI notebooks with Intel integrated graphics.

Add-in board makers had a rougher year, with a 1% fall in year-on-year shipments, which was offset by a 6.8% rise in Q4 of 2023. That’s interesting! Perhaps high volume discrete cards like the RTX 4060 and RX 7600 didn’t do enough to appeal to upgraders. Six months worth of slowly declining prices surely made more than a few gamers take the plunge and finally upgrade.

With AI being all the rage, and the software that makes use of it coming online slowly, it does look like the PC market is set to continue its bull run after the post-pandemic doldrums. It’ll be an interesting year ahead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post Today’s Wordle answer for Thursday, February 29
Next post IBM’s AI assisted SSD gives the middle finger to ransomware attackers