According to DigiTimes‘ (via Tom’s Hardware), Taiwan PC industry sources say Asus and Gigabyte have doom-laden projections for the motherboard industry through the rest of 2022. According to the report, Asus and Gigabyte have approximately 70% of the motherboard market and they both expect sales volumes to drop by approximately 25% compared to 2021. The publication says this is due in part to the end of GPU bundling with motherboards along with demand shrinkage in the Chinese DIY market.
I've been advocating a lottery system for high demand PC parts like the #RTX3080, so it is great to see @Newegg finally implement it. But the combo "deals" need to be ditched. Can't build an AMD+Nvidia computer without buying an Intel motherboard. #fail #AMD #Nvidia #Intel pic.twitter.com/HeQjypjWsR
— RyuGTX (@RyuGTX) January 20, 2021
An early warning sign of the coming slowdown manifested in the Q2 2022 motherboard shipment figures — larger than expected shipment reductions in Q2 portend weaker shipments going into Q3, and possibly into Q4.
As for the root causes, industry insiders say the end of the consumer GPU drought has hurt motherboard sales. GPU shortages allowed the likes of Asus and Gigabyte to promote motherboard sales by bundling them with GPUs, effectively forcing customers to buy their motherboards, thus leading to higher-than-normal sales volume. You might have also seen other components bundled with GPUs, too. During the depths of the GPU drought, people even bought and cannibalized whole pre-built PCs to get the GPU.
|Year||Asus motherboards||Gigabyte motherboards|
|2022 (projected)||14 million||9.5 million|
|2021||18 million||13 million|
According to DigiTimes, Asus expects its motherboard sales to fall ~24% and Gigabyte expects a ~27% decline this year. Moreover, the whole market will have dropped from ~40 million units to ~30 million units sold from 2021 to 2022.
According to a summary of the paywalled article posted by Tom’s Hardware. Digitimes sources say even something as exciting as the upcoming CPUs from Intel and AMD won’t be enough to change this outlook. That’s despite the fact that a lot of gamers are eagerly anticipating both Zen 4 and Raptor Lake. The article says the only forces that could boost sales would be the return of crypto mining, the end of the Russia/Ukraine war, or if inflation eases up.
With the introduction of AMD Ryzen 7000 and AM5 motherboards later this year, not forgetting Intel’s 13th-Gen Core Raptor Lake processors and 700-series motherboard chipsets, one might expect the motherboard industry to enjoy a boost. However, according to DigiTimes’ sources, the next-gen CPUs and motherboards won’t stir PC DIYers or laptop buyers into action. Instead, they contend that other events, like the return of crypto mining, the end Russia-Ukraine war, or an easing of inflation, could help spur a turnaround.
There are signs that crypto mining on PC GPUs is over for good this time around–or at least for the foreseeable future. Gamers have taken up some GPU sales slack from crypto miners, but it isn’t enough to compensate for the sudden supply imbalance. As a result, we now see plentiful supplies of modern GPUs. We might move into GPU oversupply territory with mining organizations selling their gear combined with current-gen stocks being left unsold as we near the launch of next-generation products. All of this means that the motherboard makers probably won’t be able to return to the days of selling motherboards forcibly by bundling them with GPUs, which is bad for them but good for us.