If nVidia's recent success is any indication, PC gaming is healthier than ever (and picking up momentum through ultra-slim options). In their list of third quarter highlights, nVidia underscores the release of Microsoft's Tegra-based Surface RT tablet as a contributing factor to its success, but by far the majority of the list is made up of Kepler's accomplishments. The launches of the GeForce 660 Ti, GTX 660, GTX 650 Ti, and GTX 650, all 600-series Kepler GPUs, were received favorably, with market demand for them "remaining strong."
In addition, nVidia pointed out the use of Quadro K5000s in Mac Pros and the release of the Kepler-based VGX K2 GPU, a cloud-based GPU which can deliver workstation graphics to PCs or even mobile devices. It's also worth noting Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer, which uses 18,688 Tesla GPUs to produce 90% of its computing power.
All of these achievements made for a $209.1 million Quarter 3 profit (using GAAP), an increase of 17.3% over last year's third quarter income of $178.3 million—enough for nVidia to start paying out a quarterly dividend for the first time. Whether or not the PC market is shrinking on the whole, as some suggest, the use of Tegra in mobile devices has helped nVidia more than overcome any threat to their high-end computing empire.
- Patrick Lathan.