There is a game of leapfrog playing out at Mindfactory, the largest online retailer in Germany that deals with processors and other computer hardware. Looking at the e-tailer's latest market share figures, Intel has skipped ahead of AMD in processor sales, regaining pole position after AMD's Ryzen family had propelled the Sunnyvale chip designer to the top spot back in September of last year.
Intel was dominating the scene when Ryzen arrive. It had a 64.4 percent in monthly revenue, nearly double AMD's 35.6 percent. But things started to change around the middle of 2017 when AMD for the first time jumped ahead of Intel with regards to CPU sales and revenue at Mindfactory. Clearly buyers were enamored by Ryzen and the allure of having more CPU cores without necessarily paying a premium price.
By comparison, Intel's Core i7-7700K was looking a little stale with 'only' 4 cores and 8 threads, versus Ryzen chips that had twice as many cores and threads. On top of that, AMD was promising longevity on its socket AM4 platform, whereas Intel's then-upcoming Coffee Lake would require a new motherboard based on Intel's 300-series chipset. With all that in mind, AMD was able to jump ahead of Intel.
Now it's a different story. Coffee Lake has better availability now than it has when it first launched, and the bump to 6 cores and 12 threads is once again enticing buyers back to team Intel. The Core i7-8700K is the most popular CPU right at Germany's largest online retailer, which has contributed to Intel seeing its share of CPUs sold per month rising to 58 percent, versus 42 percent for AMD.
More than just bragging rights, Intel's rise in market share at Mindfactory has lead to a bump in monthly revenue. It also helps that Intel's flagship consumer processor, the Core i7-8700K, is leading the way. In January, Intel claimed the majority of CPU revenue at 64 percent, versus the 36 percent chunk that belonged to AMD. And in December, the split in revenue between Intel and AMD was 62 percent / 38 percent.
The other interesting thing to note is how sales are broken down by architecture. For Intel, January saw a big jump in Coffee Lake sales, with around three-fourths of its processors sold being Coffee Lake chips. A relatively small sliver belongs to Skylake-X, Intel's high-end desktop (HEDT) line, which has dropped in half since November.
AMD, meanwhile, has seen its split stay relatively the same—91 percent of AMD processors sold are Ryzen, versus 9 percent that are Threadripper. In December, the split was 93.7 percent / 6.3 percent, and in November it was 92 percent / 8 percent.
It will be interesting to see what happens when Zen 2 arrives, and of course Cannon Lake is not too far at this point either.