Microprocessor and GPU maker Advanced Micro Devices said yesterday that its financial results had been whacked by an unexpected downturn in discrete graphics processor sales in the fourth quarter, and Nvidia now says it had the same problem. In a statement, Nvidia put the blame squarely on the disk shortage that has been caused …
"...will range from $940.5m to $959.5m"
I don't think anyone could seriously characterise that as bad.
A revenue number in isolation doesn't mean very much. $950m in revenue is fantastic if your expenses are $400m. Not so good if your expenses are $2bn.
I would have expected sales of higher end machines with discrete GPUs to not be hugely affected by the HDD shortage... It's not that drives weren't available, they were just in shorter supply and thus cost more, but when your buying a full highend computer the drive is only a small factor in the overall price...
Similarly, i'd expect people who are buying higher end GPUs to be more likely to opt for an SSD instead of a traditional HDD.
A few comments
Joe: "i'd expect people who are buying higher end GPUs to be more likely to opt for an SSD instead of a traditional HDD."
You can't squeeze Battlefield 3, World of Warcraft, Crysis 2, and other such games onto a 120GB SSD comfortably, nor does it make much sense to do so. These gamer enthusists likely would need additional storage for multimedia and the like as well. Just because someone is willing to pay ~$400 for a video card (or two) doesn't mean they'll fork out for an upgrade on a computer on the eve of the Ivy Bridge launch, or the eve of the new Radeons and GeForce cards. And they certainly would avoid paying premiums on new HDDs when their old one(s) can be carried forward.
Article: "And the higher prices of disk-drives constrained some PC OEMs' ability to include a GPU in their systems"
That should likely read: "And the higher prices of disk-drives constrained some PC OEMs' ability to include a GPU in their systems, forcing them to realize there's a GPU built into the CPU nowadays anyway." (since most are flogging Intel, or pushing a cheapo AMD with on-board (integrated) GPU.
Holy shit, AMD and NVidia need new CEOs
Both of these companies are blaming the decline of discrete graphics chips on market conditions. Sure, I'm willing to say there's a little truth to that, but that's rubbish in the bigger picture.
The real (and bloody obvious) reason is, that with the exception of people who have high end graphics requirements, Intel has finally caught up enough that there's no real point to buying an additional GPU. In fact, in memory intense circumstances, using a faster GPU on a slower bus is a performance detriment.
I have been playing lots of games (WoW, DC Universe Online, etc...) on a laptop that has a Core i7 with the Intel GMA 3000 graphics adapter as well as the nVidia GT540M. The screen is 1920x1080. And frankly, I very rarely bother starting the games with the nVidia chip since the GMA 3000 is fast enough and my battery lasts A LOT longer and the fan doesn't make as much noise.
Ivy Bridge graphics are 3 -5 times as fast as Sandy Bridge and are coming soon. When next generation notebooks, desktops and tablets ship, it will be really hard to justify purchasing an extra video card unless you're playing Battlefield or Crysis. On top of that, Intel isn't sitting on their thumbs, unlike in the past where their graphics parts were a half assed attempt at a value-add, modern Intel graphics are increasing their performance at an incredible rate... sure, they're nothing in comparison to the really high end stuff, but they're quickly closing the gap with the sub-$200 adapters from AMD or nVidia. Another year or three and Intel won't be talked about as "I couldn't afford an extra video card, so I just used the Intel graphics", instead, they'll be talked about as "Oh... new generation of Intel graphics is out, I have to get a new CPU!"
So, nVidia and AMD, please stop lying to yourselves or to the investors and the world and realize that you won't be getting that market back. HPC, game consoles, mobile and integrated graphics is where you'll be earning in the future. High end cards for games won't matter much anymore.
"Oh... new generation of Intel graphics is out, I have to get a new CPU!"
And a new Motherboard, and new Memory, and new cooler.... Intel is far from upgrade friendly.
And you'll still end up with a system that you'll have to lower the detail settings, AA etc to the lowest setting to get a decent framerate.
"Oooooh the AMD 5870 is below £150!" Buy - 5 mins screwdriver work, and a driver download and you're done.
If *anything* it is CPUs that have got to the point now where it is largely pointless to upgrade.... Take a Mid-High end GFX card in 1 box with a Dual Core 2Ghz CPU and another with a 6 Core 4GHz monster and you'll see VERY little improvement.
Put in a better GFX card and the difference is HUGE.
Discrete GFX will be around for a good long while yet.