Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has released its latest quarterly report on the State of the graphics card market. In an interesting turn of events, the headline is that Q1 2018 was a record breaking quarter for Add-in-Boards (AiBs). The AiB market grew 6.4 per cent compared to the previous quarter where the 10-year seasonal average is minus 4.1 per cent. At the same time desktop PC sales decreased by a significant amount, 24.5 per cent.
Reading the above you are likely to conclude that the market distortion is down to something not mentioned so far in this article, GPU-based cryptocurrency mining activity. If such activity managed to boost AiB shipments out of its seasonal Q1 lull, then the market should brace for a sharp reversal, according to a computer industry report published about a month ago. Apparently the demand for cryptomining equipment based upon PC graphics cards and motherboards dropped unexpectedly at the beginning of April. Of course that big change won't be reflected in the Q1 figures…
Already we are seeing graphics card prices dropping to MSRP or near prices (especially those from the Green Team). Further pressure is likely to come, as the market readies for next generation graphics cards. JPR notes that in a traditional Q2 in the AiB market there is a "significant drop in Q2 as OEMs and the channel deplete inventory before the summer months". This will be made more severe by the cryptomining demand downturn. Q3 is traditionally a restocking month and when early adopters can get new AiBs and then Q4 is where new AiB sales take off in the run up to Xmas.
Other observations from JPR are that:
- Over $5.0 billion dollars of AIBs shipped in the quarter.
- Quarter-to-quarter graphics board shipments increased 6.4 per cent (with an increase of 66.4 per cent year-to-year).
- Quarter-to-quarter PC shipments were down 4.5 per cent (with a 7.3 per cent decline year-to-year).
- PC gaming momentum continues to build and eSports had a positive impact but VR is yet to be seen as a driving force.
If you are interested in more data from JPR, you can head on over to the site and purchase the full 111 page market report, as summarised in its blog post.