Market analysis company Mercury Research has reportedly made public their study of the last quarter and concluded that AMD gained CPU market share from Intel.
AMD's market grew to 19.1 percent from 18.2 percent, according to Mercury Research, and Intel's share of the market dropped to 80.2 percent during the first quarter of this year, from the 81 percent it owned in last year's first quarter.
The overall x86 processor shipments went down in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 2011. This is probably because of the struggling economies and because of the floods in Thailand that led to the hard disk drive crisis.
AMD benefited from the recovery in the hard disk drive shipments and managed to reach a very consistent 43% of the desktop processor market.
This ultimately proves that CPU performance can be considered “enough” for the average user, and especially for the office productivity domain.
The low to mid end systems were always the big piece of the market pie and Intel always had the upper hand there. They were selling cheap CPUs bundled with mediocre motherboards with integrated graphics (IGP) and they were practically flooding the market with such products.
AMD only had the CPU. They’ve never manufactured motherboards so they never had anything to bundle with, while, although their latest IGPs were net superior to what Intel had, the overall cost of the system was not that much lower than Intel’s and the performance was not that much higher.
With Llano and Brazos, AMD offers a very affordable platform that performs up to three times faster than what Intel is bringing to the table.
Intel’s current low to mid-end solutions need to be paired with a discrete graphics card to be able to offer the same experience that AMD’s Fusion chips are able to. This raises the system cost considerably over AMD’s alternative, and most of the time it surpasses the price range of the customer.
We, the enthusiasts, were quite disappointed with AMD’s lack of x86 improvement, but AMD proved it was right all along: we have CPU power for now.
We’ve had enough CPU power ever since the Core 2 Duo times.
You can comfortably play the latest games with a “Pitcairn” based AMD video card on a Core 2 Quad processor. You’re not yet upgrading your processor and you’re not selling your kidney to buy the latest video card. Yet you can still play the games.
This was never possible before. This is 6 year-old technology you have in that processor, but it still satisfies the owner.
Think about the end of the ’90s and how CPUs were back then. Add 6 years and you’re in 2005 trying to play Quake 4 on a Pentium III processor, with a Radeon X1600 Pro. How would that look like?
AMD apparently really achieved that “good enough” CPU performance and the move towards more 3D performance seems to have been the right one.
This Core 2 Duo or Quad performance that the fully fledged Llano CPUs are able to achieve is enough for 80% of the users out there.
The question is: if you have enough CPU power and you want to play a little, are you willing to spend another 100 USD for the graphics card? Or are you going to get the “not so ultra” CPU that runs your game decently, for free?
AMD certainly knew the right answer to this question.