In less than two quarters
AMD announced that it has managed to ship in excess of 6 million DirectX 11 capable GPUs in the past two quarters.
The company introduced the HD 5800 series in late September and the cards started shipping in volume in early October. A month later AMD launched the HD 5700 series, which was followed by entry level parts and mobile GPUs.
AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said in a conference call that AMD had managed to ship over six million DirectX GPUs and that it has expanded the 5000 family into all market segments, so shipments will probably keep growing over the next quarter, as system integrators empty their inventories of low-end 4000 series cards embrace recently introduced 5500 and 5400 series products.
As for Nvidia, it has moved few if any DirectX 11 cards. Its first DirectX11 enabled cards, the GTX 480 and GTX 470, were launched a few weeks ago but they are still not shipping in any significant volumes. What's worse, even when they do, Nvidia won't be able to match AMD in sheer numbers of DirectX 11 cards shipped to consumers. It will take a few more months before mainstream and low end Fermi products launch and eventually filter down to consumers.
AMD, on the other hand, has plenty of time to ready new products to compete with Nvidia's upcoming cards. Even if it sticks to its current lineup, without any significant changes, AMD could probably fight Nvidia with lower prices, thanks to revenues generated by its 6-month head start. Take the HD 5850 as an example. It currently costs more than five months ago, when it was introduced, so it's quite obvious that AMD has some room to make price adjustments, as it's clearly operating with healthy margins.
We're not saying that a new price war is looming, but there is a strong chance that we will see some price maneuvering on AMD's part in coming months.
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