It looks as if AMD’s new Ryzen PC processors are having the desired effect.
While the Ryzen launch was a little fudged thanks to real-world performance that fell short of official benchmarks and a handful of compatibility issues, the new chips have at the very least at last offered a viable alternative to Intel’s dominance.
Data from Passmark concerning PC x86 chips in active use show that as recently as Q3 2016 Intel was commanding a massive 82.5 per cent share of the CPU market. However, by Q2 2017 that had fallen to 79.3 per cent and for the current quarter Intel stands at 74 per cent – that’s a big drop in the last few weeks alone and the biggest quarterly gain AMD has ever posted.
Intel has led for as far back as the data stretches (Q1 2004) but the pair remained close right up until 2006. In Q1 of that year Intel had just a 51.6 per cent share of the market.
Note however that Passmark monitors only active CPUs that are being benchmarked, and with all these new AMD chips hitting the market it’s fair to assume that lots more of those are being benched than Intel chips. In other words, this is not an entirely accurate reflection of the units sold market, but certainly does highlight purchasing trends.
Both Intel and AMD also have big releases on the horizon. AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper will in particular be one to watch out for.
"2017 will be an unforgettable year for AMD, its technology partners and the PC industry as a whole, and we’re thrilled to kick off the year at CES by showing wide arrays of high-performance motherboard and PC designs from our OEM partners for whom the future is Ryzen," senior VP and GM of AMD’s computing and graphics group Jim Anderson said in February.
"AMD and our partners are committed to supporting enthusiasts, gamers, and creators with a new generation of computing innovation and choice through AMD Ryzen processor-based motherboards, custom-built PCs, and coolers built to support these impressive systems."