2022 may be the worst year for desktop dedicated graphics on record

The big picture: While financial analyzes summarizing 2022 continue to develop, they continue to spell bad news for the sale of tech hardware. The latest numbers from Jon Peddie Research paint a bleak historical picture for desktop dedicated graphics cards. The fourth quarter improved from the previous quarter but fell significantly year over year.

Shipments of dedicated desktop graphics add-in-boards (AIB) returned to growth in Q4 2022 as Nvidia maintained greater market dominance. However, the quarter closed out what is likely to be the worst year for discrete GPUs on record.

Major GPU manufacturers and their partners shipped 7.3 million AIBs in the quarter ending December 31, 2022. That figure represents a 7.8 percent increase from the 6.81 million shipped in the previous quarter but a 27.4 percent which decreased year-on-year.

Team Red saw the most significant quarterly and annual swings in either direction. In Q4 2022, AMD shipped 21.2 percent more GPUs than in Q3 but 62.2 percent fewer than in Q4 2021. Nvidia saw a small quarter-to-quarter jump – just four percent – but also suffered a minor annual fall of 22 percent. More importantly, Team Green commanded 84 percent of the AIB market in Q4, while AMD increased its share to 11 percent, and Intel gained five percent.

The president of the research group Dr. Jon Peddie credited Nvidia’s flagship GeForce RTX 4090 with most of the quarterly growth despite its $1,600 MSRP. A JPR analyst said the chronically low GPU stock shows that enthusiasts are okay with high prices. Since AMD launched the Radeon RX 7800XT and 7800XTX at the end of 2022, it is unclear how much of an impact it will have on its flagship Q4 sales.

The third quarter of 2022 was the worst for AIB shipments since 2005. The fourth was slightly better, still clocking in as the second poorest, taking 2022 as the worst year on record for desktop dedicated graphics of almost 38 million units. The all-time high was 116 million GPUs sold throughout 1998.

A key factor in the subpar numbers is likely the recent decline in desktop PC sales. Remote work in 2020 and 2021 caused a spike in sales that mostly went to notebooks, with 2022 marked by a hangover that affected various sectors such as DRAM, CPU, notebook graphics, and more.

Despite the dismal year, JPR expects the AIB market to expand by 7 percent over the next three years.

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