Puget Systems recently shared sales data showing that its sales of AMD-powered systems have now passed the 50% mark, unseating Intel from its previously-dominating 100% share of the company’s sales. This win comes even though Puget Systems previously stopped selling AMD systems back in 2015 because Team Red was no longer competitive on the performance front. Still, after resuming building AMD systems again in 2017, Puget has seen explosive growth in the number of AMD systems it ships.
Puget Systems is a boutique system vendor specializing in higher-performance systems that range from smaller system builds to the highest-end workstations. Hence, the data strongly implies that AMD’s gains in the higher-end desktop PC and workstation markets are accelerating.
Puget’s sales of AMD-powered systems took quite some time to accelerate, with the lion’s share of its sales growth occurring after November 2019 when AMD began shipping its Ryzen 3000 series processors. That makes a lot of sense, as the Ryzen 3000 processors marked the debut of 12- and 16-core processors for mainstream desktop platforms. Those platforms lend themselves to lower price points than competing Intel HEDT processors but come with enough horsepower to match Intel’s expensive HEDT chips in many workloads.
The debut of AMD’s Threadripper 3000 series in early 2020 obviously helped accelerate AMD’s gains in the workstation market, and Puget’s sales of AMD-powered systems started a long uptick at the beginning of 2020. Naturally, those processors are a good fit for the highest-performance PCs, falling right into Puget’s target audience. Intel’s Cascade Lake processors, like the Core i9-10980XE, aren’t in the same class as the Threadripper processors, and Intel hasn’t refreshed its HEDT lineup in more than a year.
Fast-forwarding to the November 2020 debut of AMD’s beastly Ryzen 5000 processors, like the Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X, and AMD began its final push to unseat Intel as Puget’s top-selling CPU brand. That makes plenty of sense, as the Ryzen 5000 processors have completely unseated Intel’s competing processors in pretty much every metric that matters, and you can see the explosive gains in Ryzen sales right at the 5000-series launch. This isn’t surprising, the Ryzen 5000 chips have taken over the top spots on our CPU Benchmarks hierarchy by substantial margins, giving AMD a commanding performance lead. As you can see, currently there’s a pretty even split between Puget’s Ryzen 5000 and Threadripper sales, but that could change in the coming months now that Threadripper Pro has finally come to market.
AMD’s return to prominence in the desktop PC market is well known, but despite its remarkable turnaround, the company still only holds 19.3% of the overall desktop PC market share. As you can see in the chart above, which plots data from industry analyst firm Mercury Research, AMD still has plenty of room to grow.
Intel still holds a huge advantage in the mainstream OEM markets with the types of systems we see sold at big box stores, but given the trends we see at Puget Systems, we can expect AMD to begin taking over that segment, too. At least once it can work out its supply issues. Ultimately, supply is AMD’s biggest current constraint, but recent trends suggest that the company is working out the kinks as more Ryzen 5000 series processors are becoming readily available at retail. Of course, that leads one to wonder just how much more lopsided the situation at Puget would be if Ryzen chips were fully available.