AMD's graphics card market share took a hit towards the end of last year with consumers choosing to lean more towards Nvidia. The underlying narrative for that trend has been consumer preference for newer products from Nvidia, such as the highly popular GeForce GTX 970, rather than AMD's equivalently-priced offerings.
With a disappointing year drawn to a close for AMD its partners are bracing for a shaky first half to 2015 before things improve. Digitimes report that AMD add-in board partners (AIBs) have reduced their orders of AMD GPUs to prevent inventory build-up. The second half of this year will be crucial for AMD since the company announced it will release new products during Q2 and H2 of 2015. A new graphics card line-up is expected to be an integral part of that strategy.
In the longer term AMD's restructuring entails a reduction of research and development spending which affects its graphics division. This has led Digitimes to the conclusion "graphics card vendors are also concerned that the market could gradually lean towards Nvidia, causing them to lose bargaining chips with GPU makers".
Until the updated figures for Q4 of 2014 emerge from the likes of Jon Peddie Research it's difficult to draw any conclusions about the state of play in the graphics card market right now. We are certainly very excited to see what AMD will bring to the market in response to Nvidia's newly-released GTX 900 series.
The latest speculation suggests AMD will kick off its new graphics card series with the Radeon R9 380X in Q2 this year. The R9 380X is rumoured to be the first graphics card to make use of high-bandwidth memory (HBM) with throughput in the region of 512~640GB/s. The rumour mill also suggests a toasty 300W TDP that will, most likely, require a liquid cooling solution as standard.