As an enthusiast reading this article your brain will probably implode, as usually happens when the mainstream media tries to be “hip” and “modern” in the world of gaming, but the news for NVIDIA is good none the less.
Nvidia’s graphics cards are now the most expensive part of high-performance PCs. Gaming fanatics will frequently supercharge a $1,200 desktop from the likes of Alienware, a Dell (nasdaq: DELL news people ) subsidiary, with another $1,700 worth of Nvidia graphics chips. The Santa Clara, Calif. firm has 62% of the market for desktop PC graphics cards, up from 57% a year ago, according to Mercury Research. Its archrival ATI stumbled badly last year in the two-company horse race for technical superiority and was bought by chipmaker AMD for $5.4 billion. In a PC industry racked by deflation, Nvidia has managed to increase its gross margin from 29% in 2004 to a current 46%. In the fiscal year ending in a few weeks Nvidia will gross $4 billion, up 33%, and net $900 million, up 50%. Since Huang took the company public in 1999, Nvidia’s shares have risen 21-fold, edging out even the mighty Apple (nasdaq: AAPL news people ) over the same time period. Such accomplishments, over the last 12 months and the past five years, earn Nvidia the title of FORBES’ Company of the Year.