NVIDIA has been enjoying some great times since it launched its Maxwell architecture last year, but the domination of Team Green has been going on for a while, especially when you look at a graph from the Beyond3D forums.
The graph shows all of the GPU launches from Q3 2003, right up to Q4 2014. This includes the good old days of ATI with its Radeon X850 Pro/XT cards back in the first quarter of 2005, where AMD had 50.5% of the GPU market. Things really started diving down with the change to the HD 2000 series name change, where at the launch of the Radeon HD 2900 PRO, AMD had just 34.5% of the market.
Things hit another drop with the launch of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 295, GTX 285 and GTX 275, where AMD reached just 31%. But, with the launch of the very impressive Radeon HD 5000 series (including the HD 5850 and HD 5870, which at the time were beasts of VGA cards), AMD bounced back right up to 43.8%, but it didn't last long. They dropped down to 34.7% in Q1 2010, but bounced right back up to 44.5% in Q2 2010. It has stayed at around 38-40% of the GPU market share until recently, where in Q3 2014 (right at the time of the Maxwell launch from NVIDIA), AMD dropped from 37.9% in Q2 2014, to 28.4% in Q3 2014, and to just 24% in Q4 2014.
This isn't doom and gloom for AMD, and we're not saying that at all. This is a chart that shows the discrete GPU market only, and not everything else that AMD is involved in. Personally, I think the big swing around was with consoles, where AMD pushed to have its APUs in all of the next generation consoles (the Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4). It should've been investing heavily into GPU development for the PC, and we've seen no release of a new architecture from AMD since the release of the Radeon 200 series since Q4 2013 - some 18 months ago.
NVIDIA is left securing a massive 76% of the market, sucking up 14% of that from AMD in just six months. With AMD on the verge of releasing its new Radeon 300 series, there's no better time than now for AMD to try and scoop back a chunk of those consumers in the next two quarters, where we should hopefully see AMD back to around 35-38% of the GPU market by Q1 2016.