ATI has closed the gap with arch-rival and leading player nVidia to just six per cent, according to the latest figures from market watcher Mercury Research.
The Mercury report estimated that 48.9 million graphics chips were shipped in the second quarter of 2003, down five per cent on Q1, but 16 per cent higher against the same period in 2002.
gained its market share at the expense of nVidia, growing 1.6 per cent for Q3 2003 to hold 21 per cent market share.
In contrast, nVidia's share dropped by 4.5 per cent to stand at 27 per cent. This is the smallest gap between the bitter rivals in over 18 months, according to Mercury.
In the stand-alone graphics market, which fell nine per cent over the previous quarter, nVidia took the lion's share. Despite dropping three per cent it controls a 54 per cent market share, while ATI moved up two per cent to 37 per cent.
Because of a sluggish PC sector, the desktop graphics market declined by seven per cent.The strongest market sector was for notebook graphics, which rose by six per cent in Q2, with shipments standing at 8.8 million.
ATI jumped by seven per cent to control 59 per cent of the market, while Intel rose by eight per cent to take a 16 per cent share. nVidia dropped by seven per cent to 11 per cent share and VIA Technologies' share fell from nine to six per cent.
Commenting on ATI's strong quarter, Peter Stern, sales manager at Realtime Distribution, said: "It's not surprising from where we stand.
"ATI has a very strong chipset and also the fastest card for the first time in the Radeon 9800 PRO, at the top end of the market."
He added that card sales from both ATI and nVidia have been strong over the past three months.
"There's been a streamlining of ranges for both firms, with many cards going head-to-head, which is making it easier for people to see which card is best," Stern said.
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