When Intel launched its all-new Alder Lake platform in late 2021, it was heralded by the company as its return to greatness after it spent several years launching lackluster updates to its existing 14nm platforms. During this time AMD had clearly leapfrogged the company, using TSMC’s more advanced 7nm node to deliver exceptional products that allowed the company to capture significant mind and market share in the DIY enthusiast space. All that looks to be changing now according to at least one source. The CPU benchmarking software Passmark has released the results of CPUs submitted to its software for testing, showing a clear reversal of fortunes in the desktop CPU space, and it’s a trend that started at the end of 2021. Alder Lake is gaining market share.
In figures released by Passmark showing the submission rates for CPUs going back almost 20 years, a clear trend has emerged. Whereas AMD appeared to leave Intel in the dust starting around 2019 or so, with AMD surging and Intel falling, that pattern has now reversed. In a tweet and blog post, the company noted the reversal started in Q3 of 2021, and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. The included chart for the DIY desktop CPU market shows that as of Q1 of 2022, Intel had clawed its way back to 58.5 percent market share, with AMD declining from its peak of 50.7 percent a year ago to just 41.5 percent in the last quarter.
In the notes for its numbers above, Passmark writes, “This graph counts the baselines submitted to us during these time period and therefore is representative of CPUs in use rather than CPUs purchased.” As Wccftech notes, AMD’s market share is currently where it was prior to the company launching its lauded Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. The reasons for AMD’s surprising turnaround likely include the chip shortage, which required AMD to focus only on its more expensive chips in order to protect its profits. It also doesn’t offer a true entry-level CPU, and has so far refused to allow widespread support for its 5000 series CPUs on older X370 motherboards. This is ostensibly due to compatibility reasons, though companies like ASRock have allowed it despite AMD’s wishes.
The same trend is evident in the company’s chart for “all CPUs,” which includes laptops. Somewhere towards the end of last year AMD began to trail off while Intel began to surge, which coincides with the timing of Alder Lake’s launch. Obviously the numbers here don’t specify which Intel CPUs began showing up more prominently in its benchmark results, but the timing of the swing is certainly an interesting coincidence.
Before you bust out the violin for AMD here, it should be noted this is just one data point for this particular benchmark. Overall AMD is still in the best position its ever been in financially. It finished 2021 with record breaking profits, which increased 68 percent year-over-year. It also finished the year with its highest CPU market share since 2006. The company is also about to launch its first CPU update in quite some time, as it should deliver its first 5000 series CPU with V-cache in the near future. However, that update will be limited to just one CPU, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which will be an 8C/16T CPU with a 3.4GHz base clock and a 4.5GHz boost. Whether or not that lone CPU will be enough to upset the apple cart remains to be seen, but all indications are Intel is in the driver’s seat for now with its Alder Lake platform. AMD will respond in turn with Zen 4, which should be available later this year.