While AMD still has a ways to go to chip away at Intel's dominance in processors, its ATI brand has managed what seemed nearly impossible a couple of years ago: Its discrete graphics cards outshipped rival Nvidia's in the second quarter of 2010, according to a new report by Mercury Research.
A year ago, Nvidia stood atop ATI with a 59 percent share of the discrete graphics market, but now the tables have been turned. In Q2, ATI had 51 percent of the market, which isn't a huge lead, but is a significant swing in its direction. A lot of this can be attributed to the release of new Radeon 5000 series hardware at the beginning of the year, while Nvidia was still prepping cards using its new Fermi technology.
The third quarter could see Nvidia regain the lead thanks to its new Fermi boards, though the company did suffer a blow when Apple recently updated its Mac Pro desktops and made ATI the only graphics option. Because of the dominance of its integrated GPU, Intel still leads the overall graphics market with a 54.3 percent share, but AMD has a bigger lead over Nvidia following Intel (24.5 percent versus 19.8 percent).