If AMD is looking for validation that it is on the right path with its Zen CPU microarchitecture, which powers some of the best CPUs for gaming, all it has to do is peek at the latest market share data by Mercury Research. It shows AMD gaining ground on Intel across the x86 spectrum, save for server CPUs.
I should note that AMD is all too happy to share this data, though it doesn't take away from the fact that Zen is pulling more customers into AMD's fold than life before Zen. Overall, AMD now owns a 13.3 percent share of the x86 CPU market.
That's up a percentage point from the previous quarter, and 4.7 percentage points from the same quarter a year ago. That's nothing to scoff at, even if Intel is still way out in front of AMD.
AMD's gains came in the desktop and laptop segments. Year over year, AMD climbed 4.9 percentage points in desktops and 5.1 percent in laptops. Overall, however, its share of the desktop market (17.1 percent) is higher than its share of laptops (13.1 percent).
It's a bit curious that AMD is seeing the same kinds of gains in the server space—its share actually went down a few ticks compared to the previous quarter, though is up 1.9 percentage points from last year. No doubt AMD would like to see bigger gains in that particular segment.
Part of the sequential decline could be a holdout for 7nm Epyc chips. AMD is on the cusp of launching Zen in 7nm form (Zen 2) to pair with the best AMD motherboards, both on the desktop (Ryzen 3000 series) and in servers (Epyc Rome).
The tale beyond the numbers is that AMD has found its groove with Zen. AMD appears to also be benefiting from Intel's struggle to ship 10nm CPUs in volume, which it now anticipates doing next month, starting with mobile Ice Lake processors. Meanwhile, AMD is expected to announce to its 7nm lineup at Computex, also in June.