Gaming bright spot in PC market, says IDC

Gaming PC
According to the Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC), global shipments of gaming desktop and notebook PCs reached 10 million units in the third quarter of 2019, up 10.1% year over year. (Pixabay)

The PC market has taken some lumps in recent years, driven by the rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. However, one sector of the PC market that has thrived is the gaming area, where innovative high-end processors are finding a ready market. According to the Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC), global shipments of gaming desktop and notebook PCs reached 10 million units in the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19), up 10.1% year over year.

The firm also reported that shipments of gaming monitors grew 76.4% year over year to 2.2 million units in 3Q19.

In addition to growing demand, shipments of gaming PCs and monitors were boosted by several external factors, chief of which was the fear of additional U.S. tariffs on imported notebooks and displays, leading to the channel taking on additional inventory to avoid potential price increases. Further fueling the sales surge were fears of further Intel processor shortages.

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"AMD's latest lineup of GPUs and CPUs has helped reinvigorate the market, providing gaming solutions at both the high-end and the middle of the market and has generally provided more horsepower compared to the competition across multiple price points," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement. "In doing so, AMD has also helped bolster the DIY segment which had been in decline since as recently as the first quarter of 2019, and we expect the chip maker to continue to gain ground in the short term."

While 2019 has been good for gaming PCs, some tougher times lie ahead. IDC projects the market for gaming desktops will remain roughly flat through 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.2% as China and Western Europe increasingly move toward gaming notebooks. However, IDC expects global premium gaming desktops will remain a viable market as the form factor offering the best experience. Gaming notebooks will also hold their own, with this sector exhibiting a 7.4% CAGR as the gaming audience increasingly prefers more mobile solutions, particularly thin and light gaming notebooks.

Meanwhile, the increasing demand for faster frame rates in conjunction with higher resolutions will help drive demand for gaming monitors. IDC expects the gaming monitor market to grow to 12.2 million units in 2023 with a CAGR of 11.8%.

"Several factors influence IDC's view of a solid future for gaming monitors, both in the short and longer term," said Jay Chou, research manager for IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker. "Aside from tariff concerns, recent overcapacity in the display component industry has lowered costs and helped to expand the selection of larger-screened gaming models. Additional factors in the longer term, such as cloud-based gaming, could also benefit monitors as the resulting gaming device expansion would need more robust displays."

Worldwide Gaming Tracker Forecast by Product Category with Shipments, Market Share, and 2019-2023 CAGR (shipments in millions)

Product Category


2019 Market


2023 Market

2019 - 2023

























Source: IDC Quarterly Gaming Tracker


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