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AMD Is Poised to Gain Market Share in Race Against Intel

By Harsh Chauhan – Jun 29, 2020 at 8:10AM

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Advanced Micro Devices is turning up the heat on this industry rivalry.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 0.03%) has been chipping away at Intel's (INTC -0.69%) market share in the central processing unit (CPU) space thanks to its Ryzen processors, and it looks like it won't be giving Chipzilla a reprieve anytime soon.

AMD recently added new processors to the Ryzen lineup, bumping up the power of existing offerings as it looks to take on Intel's latest Comet Lake chips. This move should worry Intel.

The display box for the new AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT

Image source: AMD

AMD isn't giving Intel an inch

Digital video game distribution platform Steam releases a hardware and software survey every month. According to the platform's latest monthly report for May, the number of Steam users with an AMD processor increased to 22.45%. This was a slight bump from April's 21.71%.

While Intel commands the rest of the market, it is worth noting that Steam's monthly surveys indicate that AMD's share increased in four out of the first five months of the year. Of course, the survey is limited, as it only captures data from Steam users. Still, the platform had 95 million monthly active users last year, so it gives us some insight into the wider CPU market.

What's more, this isn't the only piece of data that suggests AMD's growing clout in the CPU market. German retailer Mindfactory's sales data for the week of June 1 to June 7 reveals that it sold 5,270 AMD processors compared to just 770 Intel processors. Again, this data has limitations, but it does hint at a worrying trend for Intel.

Chipzilla launched its Comet Lake desktop processors toward the end of this past April. Tom's Hardware even called the i5-10600K processor a "mainstream gaming champ" thanks to its strong single-threaded performance. Its price of $262 during launch added to its attractiveness.

But the launch of these new chips hasn't altered the emerging trend as Mindfactory data reveals that AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 processor remains the best seller. The Core i5-10600K moved just 40 units. AMD's latest update to its Ryzen lineup means that Intel's new chips will now face a bigger challenge as the former could reduce the prices of the older chips.

That's because AMD's latest chips deliver a minimal improvement of just 4% as compared to their existing versions. The updated Ryzen 5 3600XT carries a sticker price of $249, as does the Ryzen 5 3600X. If AMD reduces the price of the existing comparable chips, the price-to-performance ratio could improve further and make it more difficult for Intel's Comet Lake processors to make a dent in the market.

Turning on the heat

AMD has also made it clear that the launch of its upcoming Zen 3 processors is on track for 2020. This is more bad news for Intel. With this move, AMD is likely to further refine its 7-nanometer (nm) manufacturing process that powers the current generation of Ryzen chips. Intel's Comet Lake processors, on the other hand, are based on a 14nm process, as the chip giant has so far failed to make the jump to 10nm desktop processors successfully.

The rumor mill suggests that Intel's 10nm Alder Lake offerings that can compete with AMD's 7nm process will only arrive next year. If that's the case, Intel runs the risk of remaining well behind AMD on the technology curve, as it doesn't expect to launch 5nm processors until 2022 per its product roadmap.

So far, AMD's process node advantage has helped it deliver competitive processors and attractive prices, which have eaten into Intel's market share. The product roadmap ahead suggests that AMD will keep its foot on the accelerator and remain a top semiconductor stock.

Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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