Intel and the Changing Market for Graphics Cards

Updated on December 2, 2017
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I'm just a small time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.

Raja Koduri to Spearhead Intel Discrete Graphics Card Branch

Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am going to be discussing 2017 and the tech industry’s graphics card landscape. For the last decade, the graphics card picture has been dominated by nVidia and AMD. However, that may be changing with the latest news coming out of Intel and AMD. Why is that? Well, that is because of Raja Koduri, who is, or I should say was, AMD’s lead GPU architect.

Koduri, who had been at AMD for some time, has agreed to become Intel’s new senior vice president and head of its new Core and Visual Computing Group. This, to me, says that Intel is finally getting serious about investing into the GPU market, possibly pushing for an overall monopoly of computer components. Soon, the GPU race may, and probably will, become a three-way race between AMD, nVidia, and now Intel. With Koduri in charge, Intel is set to give AMD and nVidia competition in the graphics card department. With this should come better competition which should ultimately lead to lower prices and better performance.

Intel Corporation

In the past, Intel has had to rely on their partnerships with AMD and nVidia for their processors to handle high-end triple A games and 3D processing. If you have ever tried to play any game or do any significant 3D work, you would know that Intel’s onboard integrated graphics just cannot cut it.

In the current graphics card landscape, it appears as though nVidia is the clear-cut leader. Their GTX 10 series cards, which include the GTX 1050 through the GTX 1080 Ti, are the obvious leaders in price-to-performance value. nVidia currently owns approximately 75% of the market share for discrete graphics. And with nVidia pushing into the automotive industry and their Tegra X1 chip powering the Nintendo Switch, it’s pretty obvious that Intel has a lot of catching up to do.

AMD

AMD APU and Integrated Graphics

Looking at AMD with their newest line of CPUs and GPUs, they are definitely pushing Intel. Last month, AMD announced its own CPU and GPU combo solution, or APU as they call it. The speed and performance in those were much faster than anything Intel has on the market in their current integrated graphics line. If Intel were to stay on its current course, they may lose big in the long run.

Intel's i740 GPU

Intel had attempted its own graphics card in the late 90s with the i740 GPU and again in 2009 with its project Larrabee line. As you can probably guess, having known nothing of the tech industry then, they failed pretty miserably. This time however, Intel is making a big push to aggressively expand their computing and graphics capabilities and build a very strong and broadly differentiated IP foundation. Still, according to an Intel press release, they will continue work with their integrated graphics while also developing their own discrete graphics for use in gaming, imaging, data service, and artificial intelligence.

i740 GPU released in 2009

Monopoly Building?

Raja Koduri is expected to join Intel officially in early December 2017 but there is still no timetable for when Intel actually plans to release a discrete GPU of its own. However, in a market that is dominated by 2 major players in AMD and nVidia, and has been for quite some time, their business endeavor may be just the thing we consumers need, in the form of competition, to lower GPU prices. And let us all be honest here, lower GPU prices to budget builders, casual gamers, and enthusiast gamers alike, is and will be welcome and greatly appreciated.

nVidia (75%) and AMD (25%) Control the GPU Market Currently

Conclusion and Thoughts

So, what do you think? Is Koduri going to be the savior of GPU pricing? Will he actually make as major of an impact as Intel is hoping? Only time will tell but I personally feel this is a great thing and will help all of us gamers and computer junkies get better products at lower prices along with better performance. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again in the next article.

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