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Nvidia and AMD blame hard drive shortages for poor GPU sales

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Despite the fact that neither AMD nor Nvidia manufacture a product that requires a magnetic drive, both claim that the hard drive shortages that resulted from the 2011 Thailand flood disaster impacted their ability to sell graphics processors, and ultimately their bottom line.

WD hard drive 500GB stock 640
WD hard drive 500GB stock 640

Yes, you read that headline right: despite the fact that neither AMD nor Nvidia manufacture a product that requires a magnetic drive, both claim that the hard drive shortages that resulted from the 2011 Thailand flood disaster impacted their ability to sell graphics processors, and ultimately their bottom line. Both AMD CEO Rory Read and Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang had said last quarter that they didn't expect any impact at all from the floods — "it's really a non-factor," said Huang — but Nvidia just told the world that it may have earned roughly $116 million less revenue than the company originally expected due to the hard drive shortage (as well as Tegra 2 decline), and AMD told investors that it saw "a little bit of pressure in terms of hard disk" during its earnings call today.

There's a perfectly logical explanation, of course, because we've heard this rhetoric before: with fewer hard drives, fewer PCs can be sold, period, and all component manufacturers suffer. Interestingly, though, Nvidia also suggests that some OEMs chose not to include GPUs in their systems at all due to the price of hard drives. Perhaps Intel's somewhat-improved integrated graphics and AMD Fusion aren't the only reasons discrete solutions are getting the heave-ho.