The two major players in the Graphics market have wasted no time interpreting the Q3 2004 sales figures to their advantage, even though those figures will not be released until tomorrow. According to Mercury Research then, a company which takes great care to release accurate figures, both companies have something to celebrate.
According to the Q3 2004 figures, ATI had a clear advantage in the discrete (add-in graphics cards) market sector with a 59 per cent share against its rivals 37 per cent. Those figures mark a big market shift compared to Q2 2004, during which nVidia had 50 per cent and ATI trailed with 46 per cent.
nVidia however, is happy to claim that it has re-captured the high-end market segment (DirectX 9), with 64 per cent of total high-performance sales. Compare that figure to last quarter's 24 per cent and you can clearly see what a success the 6800GT has been for the graphics giant. The figures also suggest that the partnership with iD and Doom 3 has really paid off for nVidia, giving the company the edge over its Canadian rivals.
Another reason behind the high-end figures, according to nVidia, is that the company is the only one to offer Shader Model 3.0 support.
The mid-range end of the market was split fairly evenly between the two rivals over Q3 while ATI had a very clear advantage in the low end with a 99 per cent market share, mostly due to the success of its 9200 board.
The figures showing ATI having an overall market lead but nVidia getting the big bucks from the high-end segment, are a perfect setup for the holiday sales struggle which will see both companies calling-in re-enforcements for their product ranges.
nVidia is expected to introduce its GeForce 6600 and GF 6200 boards in time for Q4 and the battle between these two new boards and ATIs X700 is expected to be an epic one, with neither rival having complete advantage but with ATI expecting a lot from its, troubled, partnership with Valve and Half-Life 2.
Stay tuned for the post-holiday round-up coverage from Megagames.