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The market of workstations pushed forward in the third quarter of 2011. Based on findings by Jon Peddie Research, over a million of workstation machines were sold in Q3 2011, an all-time-record, up both sequential and year-over-year increase.

Around 1.02 million workstations shipped worldwide in the third quarter, representing robust 12.5% sequential growth as well as 20.1% year-over-year. The quarter saw a new high-water mark for the market, marking the first time shipments have exceeded 1 million units. From mid-2008 to mid-2011, the market took a hit from the biggest economic downturn in a generation, followed by a relatively steady, but not stutter-free, recovery.

"The third quarter did represent a meaningful push forward, but the question remains as to whether it will last. Global economic uncertainty remains in abundant supply. The financial picture in Europe continues to change on a daily basis - one minute, it's a doomsday scenario and the next a light appears at the end of the tunnel. Until the volatility in financial markets subsides, we have no strong confidence that the workstation market (or any market, for that matter) will find a steady pace forward," said Jon Peddie Research analyst and workstation report author Alex Herrera.

Meanwhile, the closely related market for professional graphics, its results a harbinger for workstations, found its recovery pace a bit too brisk, stumbling into a mild - and fortunately short-term - second dip. In that context, the neither hot nor cold results from the workstation market's second quarter might not have elicited celebration, but they at least calmed some still-frayed nerves.

The research firm also reported that among workstations vendors, HP reinforced its top position, despite the company's awkward about-face in its plans for the personal systems group (PSG), the business unit that houses the company's workstation business. Dell remained at number two, though lagging further, while Lenovo gained ground at number three, in part thanks to its nascent joint venture with NEC.

In the closely related market for professional graphics hardware, Nvidia continued its dominance of the market, with its Quadro brand stubbornly refusing to cede much share to a more competitive FirePro line from AMD, JPR said.

Tags: JPR, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Nvidia, Quadro, ATI, AMD, FirePro

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