back to article AMD sees Ryzen PCs sold with its CPUs in Europe as Intel shortages persist

AMD is dramatically beefing up its share of PCs sold via distributors in Western Europe as Intel continues to flounder amid protracted production issues that are still limiting availability. According to official stats from boxcounter Context, 12 per cent of the 5.242 million desktops and notebooks flogged to resellers and …

  1. imanidiot Silver badge

    As I've stated before I suspect Intel bet the bank on EUV litho for 10nm. While that is now (finally) slowly coming into high volume manufacture, it's too late for Intel. They had to switch to much more error prone and slower multipatterning on DUV litho systems. It remains to be seen whether this is the blow that will bring Chipzilla to it's knees (unlikely imho) it's a sensitive blow nonetheless.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      A sensitive blow indeed

      But good for AMD, which gets to shore up its finances a bit to better compete in the future.

      I'm sure Intel will pull through, and AMD will be stronger. Competition FTW !

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: A sensitive blow indeed

        Not bad for Intel either if it avoids a monopoly review...

      2. rcxb

        Re: A sensitive blow indeed

        Good for AMD, and good for TSMC. Not so good for GlobalFoundries (formerly: AMD), which should be a concern. As much as I'd like to hate on Intel for being an anti-competitive monopoly, at least they still do domestic manufacturing, and haven't moved their fabs to Asia where labor is cheapest.

        1. Unicornpiss

          Re: A sensitive blow indeed

          Also good for users: Better, cheaper, more secure chips. And perhaps also throwing a bone to a slightly less scummy company. It's good to see the underdog win one, especially when they're right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you look at the evidence (10nm broken but 14/22nm still working, building fabs for 7nm and actively researching 5nm and beyond) Intel didn't bet the bank on 10nm BUT it has had a significant impact on how competitive they can be.

      I would also ask what the alternative was to 10nm? Intel had been researching it for years and believed they COULD make it work and the experience they have got from it is likely to aid them at smaller nodes. In hindsight, they have made bad decisions but corrected them as quickly as they likely could (i.e. by breaking ground on their 7nm fabs in Arizona in 2017...)

      As for quad patterning - Intel had the option of EUV or self-aligned quadpatterning (SAQP) and both TSMC and Intel choose SAQP. TSMC's approach of going with known chemistry and less demanding tolerances has clearly been the winner, although they had the advantage of using second gen equipment that addresses some of the accuracy issues Intel has seen. TSMC's 7+nm process will also show if EUV would have been a better approach for Intel if it yields/performs - early rumours suggest a significant reduction in yields although it is still workable (~70%) versus rumoured Intel 10nm SAQP yields (<30%) but there is no information on speed. Again rumours indicated Intels 10x SAQP process was 4x-10x slower than their 14nm double patterning (SADP).

  2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    I'd be interested....

    To see which ryzen chips this related to?

    By all accounts (mine included) the 3000 series are the best chips AMD have built for years and are more than good enough to make Intel worried (for example, I haven't even attempted to overclock mine yet. Normally I want abit more umph after a month or two but so far I've not felt the urge ).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd be interested....

      Interesting comment.... what "workload" are you running that would require monthly increments of CPU.

      I usually game and whilst CPU is a component, it's not like I want to upgrade/OC after a few months...

      Maybe the graphics card, but even then, it's not like there's a step shift in gaming periodically.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: I'd be interested....

        Gaming mostly with a smattering of code monkeying, but my last CPU was an i5 2500k. Two months after owning it I got 5ghz out of on an air cooler and left it there... For 7 years...

        Got a new 3700x and once the BIOS meant it wasn't cycling up and down on the fans all the time (and my memory could chugg along at its rated speed) it's been more than capable of doing everything I've throw at.

        Including leaving a few intensive Docker instances going and then gaming without even noticing Docker was still running.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd be interested....

        Performance degrading over time = windows

        That linux updates tend not to degrade performance as much is the reason that I dont have to regularly wipe and rebuild as I do with windows.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd be interested....

      This is Q3 2019 so my guess is it's a mix of gen 2 and gen 3 Ryzen chips.

      As it is skewed heavily towards consumers rather than businesses, my guess is 75% gen 3/25% gen 2 based on very competitive gen 2 pricing and performance driving gen 3 parts.

      The next step for AMD is mobile parts - if APUs based on Ryzen 3000 with decent graphics/power usage show up as expected in 2020, we might see a further doubling of market share at which point AMD has a product portfolio and sufficient volume to really compete with Intel.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Intel contraints

    They constrain Intel sales.

    Nothing to do with laptop, AIO and desktop PC sales.

    Tablets and especially phones are a rounding error market share for Intel?


    Desktop PC isnearly dead, though really a laptop with external screen, keyboard and mouse is better value than AIO, as they are portable, works out cheaper for same performance and you get a free UPS. The AIO are for people pretending to buy a desktop?

    1. andy 103

      Re: Intel contraints

      Desktop PC's are in no way nearly dead.

      They might not be what your average home user goes and buys anymore. But don't think that industry is going to be ditching them and coding on a tablet any time soon. Desktop PC's will continue to be used for a long time yet. Their appearance might change but the one thing they have is a size that's appropriate for doing actual real work on. Doesn't matter how much RAM your phone has, you're not doing any serious work on it, if we're being honest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intel contraints

        Not sure about that. My company is phasing out desktops and replacing them with laptops+monitor combos. And nice laptops to boot, I7s (yeah, not helping AMD, but there's nothing I can do about that, anyway)+16gb RAM+SSDs are more than enough for all the coding we do (all kinds really, from phone apps to custom front-end and exchange trading platforms). It's a global financial company with 1000s of coders all around the globe that buys 1000s PC every year.

        1. rcxb

          Re: Intel contraints

          My company is phasing out desktops and replacing them with laptops+monitor combos.

          Some companies have done that for decades now. If your employees need that mobility, you do whatever you have to. But it's more expensive than desktops, lower performance, more noise, and much worse ergonomics all-around... The best laptops have worse keyboards than the worst desktop. And a trackpad or touch-screen is simply no competition for a mouse (or trackball). If you're going with laptops docked to a monitor and keyboard/moise, you migh as well do mini-PCs which employees can take home with them... unless they really need the airport/coffee-shop level of portable operation of a laptop.

          1. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Re: Intel contraints

            Agreed, an external keyboard, mouse and monitor (preferably several) are the only thing that makes laptops usable for Real Work. (Which my employer fortunately understands: everyone has had only laptops for years, but external monitors and keyboards are also provided to anyone who wants). Attempting to work with a laptop alone makes me soon ache in multiple places, head included.

            1. elaar Silver badge

              Re: Intel contraints


              And if you're using a laptop with an external monitor and other devices, then it's no longer just a laptop and in fact a laptop trying to emulate a desktop PC.

          2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

            Re: Intel contraints

            Most development these days takes place using a laptop with 16-32GB of ram, and i7 or i5, SSD(s) and two external monitors, 22" or 24".

            I would say that is the standard... and essentially what I use at work.

            For my own dev/play time I use a desktop.. and yes, it is better, but not so much better.

            As for noise.. no way a dektop makes less noise.. on the contrary, it makes way more noise: active fans on PSU, and 65/95W TDP at the very least

            1. Wayland

              Re: Intel contraints

              "As for noise.. no way a dektop makes less noise.. on the contrary, it makes way more noise: active fans on PSU, and 65/95W TDP at the very least"

              Not true. A laptop has a tiny fan trying to cool an inefficient CPU. It's a compromise since the CPU can't be as powerful as a desktop CPU and quiet.

              The desktop can easily be built with huge coolers and lazy fans making no noise. That's how most people build them.

              Servers are a different matter. Like laptops the space is confined but unlike laptops the power they can draw is unlimited. This means that jet engine like small high performance fans are stacked two deep and terraced the whole width of the case. The air is forced through from front to back making a horrendous noise.

        2. georgezilla Bronze badge

          Re: Intel contraints

          So a folding desktop.

          One with a larger footprint on the desk.

          A way, way smaller screen ( until you plug it into a "desktop" monitor. ).

          Then you need to add a keyboard and mouse ( unless you keep it open. Yes, yes, a second monitor and all that. )

          So it's a desktop?

          Just in a different form factor?

          It's portable?

          And is much, much easier for someone to steal.

          Sounds like a good idea to me.

          1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

            Re: Intel contraints

            ... with a built-in UPS!

    2. RealBigAl

      Re: Intel contraints

      Desktop PCs are not even remotely close to dying and won't be unless financial businesses work out how to work without the use of some form of PC or similar desktop device.

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Re: Intel contraints

        By "financial business", do you mean "banks, insurance companies, financial services"?

        I think that misses the big picture. The majority of jobs in the wider economy are either not desk-bound, or use some very stereotypical system which can be classic "thin client" - e.g. tree surgeon or estate agent (tablet with app), or call centre employee (headset & keyboard).

        Financial services have only one million UK workforce in the UK => 250k annual replacement PCs max. Well over half of those fall into the call centre or other-non-typing-huge-program-or-document category, leaving you with barely 100k unit sales per year. That supports a cottage industry, but certainly not Intel, which is probably why they are throttling this market in favour of supplying the hyperscalers & data-centres, which is where their main market is now (already).

        There's a great model for "computer cottage industry": mainframes. Mainframe manufacturers still exist, exactly to supply support for legacy systems of banks. I suspect that's the future for desktop PC's, coming sooner than we think.

        But there's good news! If I'm right about this, Windows will be just a miserable memory within ten years. Essentially, the only people who need to do this very specific kind of "real work" will be exactly the businesses / users for whom Linux is the workhorse anyway. Non-power-users will find that tablets are sufficient for their needs, particularly as MSOffice is available there.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Intel contraints

          Not forgetting the other large employers still primarily using desktops, Government, Local Councils and the NHS. For those employers, they usually have to keep an eye on budgets. That means the lower power but more portable laptops get supplied for those where there is a business case. Everyone else gets desktops, either specifically for them or in hotdesking rooms for people who need to move around but only within offices/buildings.

          The range of laptops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets is great and prices have been falling such that they are an obvious option for those users with those needs. People who often had to do without up to recent past, taking notes and doing their reports when they got back to the office, will now usually have a decent laptop and no desktop. But for many organisations, the desktop is still the prime workhorse and will remain so for a good few years yet.

      2. Unicornpiss

        Re: Intel contraints

        "Desktop PCs are not even remotely close to dying and won't be unless financial businesses work out how to work without the use of some form of PC or similar desktop device."

        You're not going to see a lot of laptops on shop floors running production machines either. And while there are some pretty fine gaming laptops out there, if gaming is your thing, you can't beat the power and ease of customizing and expanding a desktop. Try upgrading a CPU or video card on 95% of the laptops out there. Or overclocking most of them. And you can make a desktop case light up "real purty".

      3. Trollslayer

        Re: Intel contraints

        Laptops are portable and if they have sensitive data on like you get in banks, a bit too portable.

    3. elaar Silver badge

      Re: Intel contraints

      "Desktop PC isnearly dead, though really a laptop with external screen, keyboard and mouse is better value than AIO"

      Only if someone works from home or on the move. Otherwise it's a more expensive device trying to be a desktop, surely?

      Laptops have a pretty dire lifespan in work environments in comparison.

    4. Trollslayer

      Re: Intel contraints

      Laptops can't match the cooling of a good business PC so for long term (>3 years) I would always go for a desktop machine.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intel contraints

      For some actual marketshare numbers:

      For 2019, ballpark sales are likely to be in the order of:

      90m desktops (34%)

      160m laptops (60%)

      15m servers (6%)

      ? mobiles+tablets (0% - the tablets shown in the graphs are non-x86)

      Adjust each up or down by a few percentage points and its likely to be accurate once final numbers are known sometime next year.

      The trend for laptops is up, desktops is down and servers are growing slowly but the overall number of x86 units is dropping very slowly.

      Desktop is unlikely to be dead for the foreseeable future (i.e. 5+ years it will make up at least a quarter of the market)

    6. Wayland

      Re: Intel contraints

      In that view then laptops are nearly dead since Smartphones are the most used web surfing device.

      In the 1990's and 2000's the PC escaped from the office and set itself up on a desk in people's homes. It was a bit out of place and the beige colour had to be changed to black and silver. The reason for it was really the Internet. Now there are better ways for the average person to use the Internet.

      Having said that there is nothing the behaves like a desktop PC more than a desktop PC. Even a laptop can't quite do it. No room for multiple hard drives and a huge graphics card.

      There is no point in having a modest desktop, you may as well have a laptop and external screen and keyboard, as you say.

  4. phuzz Silver badge

    It's nice to have some healthy competition in the CPU market again.

    Sucks if you've got shares in Intel, but it's good for practically everyone else.

    1. James 47

      Intel's shares seem to be relatively unaffected by competition from AMD and from all the Spectre stuff

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        It's almost like share prices are based on random people's opinions, rather than the performance of the company...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Intel has performed well over recent years - they have reported significant revenue increases for the last 5 years, although 2019 is looking less healthy due to the overall flash market and failure in 5G chipset space. Core CPU revenue is still healthy although the competition and capacity constraints are starting to hurt client revenue and margins.

          While AMD have made significant progress over the last 24 months, they are only reaching the point of competing properly in the next 12 months as their chips are included in more server/PC designs and AMD bring mobile Ryzen APU's to market that can compete with Intels low power premium processors.

          I expect 2020 to be a tough year for AMD and Intel unit sales - if AMD continue to have a significant price/performance advantage and can meet demand, market share might alter significantly (+20%?)

          Then we would see Intel share prices suffer. But Intel have a lot of cash ($10bn/quarter free cash flow) if they need to fight or invest.

  5. localzuk Silver badge

    I can see why

    The last 2 bulk purchases of laptops for our organisation were AMD - the price:performance comparison for business use at the moment makes Intel unaffordable. As an example, a low end laptop, i5 8GB, 240GB SSD is £20 per unit more expensive than the Ryzen equivalent. Multiply that number out enough times and it becomes expensive. Go up the range, and want better performance, and that price difference becomes bigger and bigger.

    1. andy 103

      Re: I can see why

      Absolutely. It's only when you extrapolate it out that you see such a difference. It's not so noticeable for 1 home user. But if you're buying 100 for an organisation, particularly at various ranges, the savings really do mount up quickly.

    2. Wayland

      Re: I can see why

      Is that all?

      A good reason to buy a RYZEN laptop is the graphics are better than those in an Intel CPU.

  6. defiler

    AMD laptops

    I was delightedly surprised whet a friend asked me about buying a laptop and the one he put forward was not only an AMD-powered one, but (unlike every other AMD laptop I've ever seen for sale at a decent price) had an SSD inside, rather than a clockwork drive made out of a gramophone and some dog-shit.

    Seriously, the number of AMD laptops I've touched that have been hamstrung by peculiarly bad HDDs. Not just regular ones, but awful ones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AMD laptops

      > Seriously, the number of AMD laptops I've touched that have been hamstrung by peculiarly bad HDDs. Not just regular ones, but awful ones.

      I'm sure Intel makes sure of it. *wink*

    2. jason 7

      Re: AMD laptops

      Usually AMD laptops have been hamstrung (mainly by HP for some reason) with single channel RAM, 500GB HDDs and 13x7 screens for as long as I can remember.

      Hobbling the dual channel RAM was a good way of keep the performance down compared to competing machines.

      However, AMD shot themselves in the foot once or twice...(E1 CPUs cough cough) without anyone else's help.

      Good to see them pushing a competitive range again.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AMD laptops

      AMD have found themselves at the budget end of the laptop market for a long time.

      Their laptop motherboard options have been limited and generally poor, the features they rely on for performance (i.e. memory bandwidth for APU's) has been hamstrung by only utilising one slot and storage tends to be whatever is cheapest.

      Having said that, the Bulldozer saga left AMD with pretty poor options for the mobile market. While Intel have made life difficult for AMD in the past, AMD and Global Foundries have been a significant factor too.

  7. Alistair

    Dammit scotty

    Cptn: AMD's stealing our market share again. Call the FTC!

    Scotty: Aye Cap'n they cannae dou a dang thing!

    Cptn: Bloody hell, well, what else can we do?

    Spk: Well Captain, we could start massive rumours about the quality and quantity of our production that indicate we'll be having issues with delivery, and then just raise the price. It would protect our Warp Drive payouts to the C Suite stockholders.

    1. Wayland

      Re: Dammit scotty

      Well Spock came up with a very logical plan. Limit the supply to keep the price high thereby creating more profit from less.

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