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Quad-core CPUs About to Surpass Dual-cores for Gamers

By - Source: Steam | B 84 comments

The latest data set published in the Steam Hardware & Software Survey suggests that processors with four cores are, five years after their introduction, ready to capture the top spot in gamer popularity.

Dual-core CPUs still lead the ranking with a 46.49 percent share, but the segment has declined more than 2 points from 48.71 percent in July. In contrast, quad-core processors have climbed from 41.37 percent to 45.02 percent in the same time frame. All other core counts do not play significant roles: Single-core chips are at 5.52 percent, six-core CPUs at 1.47 percent, triple-cores at 1.39 percent and eight-cores at 0.07 percent.

Intel dominates the Steam charts with a 73.90 percent, trending slightly up from July (72.72 percent), while AMD is down to 26.10 percent. Processors with clock speeds between 2.3 and 2.7 GHz account 40 percent of all Intel gamers (18 percent are between 2.7 and 2.99 GHz; 13 percent are between 3 and 3.29 GHz), while 25 percent of AMD gamers use CPUs with clock speeds between 3 and 3.29 GHz, and 21 percent use processors ranging from 2.3 to 2.69 GHz.

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  • 23 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 14, 2011 9:39 AM
    I'm still on a dual core, but I do have trouble running the newer games (CoD Black Ops, MW3, BF3, GTA 4 AND SA). I plan on upgrading to Ivy Bridge next summer.
  • 22 Hide
    Filiprino , December 14, 2011 10:00 AM
    Been on 4 cores since 2007. No more dual cores for me.
  • 21 Hide
    joytech22 , December 14, 2011 11:04 AM
    JOSHSKORNI'm still on a dual core, but I do have trouble running the newer games (CoD Black Ops, MW3, BF3, GTA 4 AND SA). I plan on upgrading to Ivy Bridge next summer.


    Trouble running black ops? The game uses almost exactly the same engine as MW2.
    I understand you might be having trouble in BF3 and GTA4 but definitely not GTA:SA, I mean C'mon my old Sempron 1.6GHz played that back in the day (With a 7600GS).

    Still, Been on quadcore CPU's since 2007. But I DO own systems with 2 cores and they still perform admirably.
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    pwnorbpwnd , December 14, 2011 9:21 AM
    Awe yeah, reppin a Phenom X3 8400 2.1Ghz and 3gb DDR2. ._.
  • 7 Hide
    reyshan , December 14, 2011 9:27 AM
    it's good that quad-core is almost in the lead. Many people don't really play cpu intensive and gpu intensive games. Simply because for most of the people it's costly and expensive in where they live.
  • -4 Hide
    theuniquegamer , December 14, 2011 9:34 AM
    Phew atlast !!!!!
    They are going to utilize the all the avialable 4 cores in playing game. They release different patchs like one for 2 core or less systems (there are a lot gamers with 2 core cpus & few single core pcs) and another optimised for 4 core more core/thread cpus. Games will run more smother with all the available cores/threads used.
  • 18 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 14, 2011 9:38 AM
    this is why intel is stopping at 4 cores at the moment and not going 6 or 8 in their mainstream,because the market as of now clearly shows that quad cores is where the main stream market is right now and even 4 cores is plenty of cores for most users at the moment.
  • 23 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 14, 2011 9:39 AM
    I'm still on a dual core, but I do have trouble running the newer games (CoD Black Ops, MW3, BF3, GTA 4 AND SA). I plan on upgrading to Ivy Bridge next summer.
  • -1 Hide
    Teeroy32 , December 14, 2011 9:53 AM
    woo hoo I'm int he 5.52% rocking a single core, mines the trusty old pentium 4 3.4ghz,.
    The cpu's still kicking strong its only my grapics card letting it down, old trusty G 6600
  • 22 Hide
    Filiprino , December 14, 2011 10:00 AM
    Been on 4 cores since 2007. No more dual cores for me.
  • 0 Hide
    nikorr , December 14, 2011 10:10 AM
    Good for everybody!
  • 21 Hide
    joytech22 , December 14, 2011 11:04 AM
    JOSHSKORNI'm still on a dual core, but I do have trouble running the newer games (CoD Black Ops, MW3, BF3, GTA 4 AND SA). I plan on upgrading to Ivy Bridge next summer.


    Trouble running black ops? The game uses almost exactly the same engine as MW2.
    I understand you might be having trouble in BF3 and GTA4 but definitely not GTA:SA, I mean C'mon my old Sempron 1.6GHz played that back in the day (With a 7600GS).

    Still, Been on quadcore CPU's since 2007. But I DO own systems with 2 cores and they still perform admirably.
  • -6 Hide
    Yuka , December 14, 2011 11:47 AM
    "...while 25 percent of AMD gamers use CPUs with clock speeds between 3 and 3.29 GHz, and 21 percent use processors ranging from 2.3 to 2.69 GHz."

    That... I'm having trouble believing that.

    I do know that most Athlon IIs and prior CPUs max out at 3.3Ghz-ish, but there IS market for 3.3Ghz + in AMD. I'm one with a 4Ghz PhII and I'm very sure all my friends have their Phenoms at at least 3.6Ghz. Where's the statistic for that? Is it such a lil' number? 8(

    Anyway, I'm sure it works for Intel too; there's tons of folks with their i5's past the 3.6Ghz mark.

    Cheers!
  • 3 Hide
    digiex , December 14, 2011 11:50 AM
    My specs is way out , outdated :( 
  • 8 Hide
    jacobdrj , December 14, 2011 11:59 AM
    Q6600 G0 FTW!!!


    So glad I got 1 a couple years back... But the company I bought it from, unfortunately, no longer exists...

    RIP ClubIT... Your giveaways and pension for super cheap components will be remembered and missed...
  • 4 Hide
    tmk221 , December 14, 2011 12:35 PM
    Yuka"...while 25 percent of AMD gamers use CPUs with clock speeds between 3 and 3.29 GHz, and 21 percent use processors ranging from 2.3 to 2.69 GHz."That... I'm having trouble believing that.I do know that most Athlon IIs and prior CPUs max out at 3.3Ghz-ish, but there IS market for 3.3Ghz + in AMD. I'm one with a 4Ghz PhII and I'm very sure all my friends have their Phenoms at at least 3.6Ghz. Where's the statistic for that? Is it such a lil' number? 8(Anyway, I'm sure it works for Intel too; there's tons of folks with their i5's past the 3.6Ghz mark.Cheers!


    for more numbers go to steam hardware survey:) 
  • 5 Hide
    nottheking , December 14, 2011 12:55 PM
    To me, this sounds like we're finally starting to phase out all the Core2Duo E8400s that were so popular a few years back. For all the hype over how great a deal for high-end gaming the i5 2500K is, this is practically nowhere near what the E8400 got. Even though it had a locked multiplier, it still overclocked very well.

    Of course, this shift to quad-cores doesn't mean a whole lot to most gaming, given that most games show no real benefit in moving beyond two cores, at least as of yet.
    de5_roythose are some nice numbers to look at. however, the ghz numbers are easy to misunderstand - intel's 2.7 ghz is roughly equivalent to amd's 3.2 ghz.amd's got some nice shares...quite possibly they have 100% lead in triple core segment.

    Given that Intel never really made a consumer-level 3-core CPU, that's not surprising.

    As for comparing clock speeds, it depends way too much on the architecture: on the flip side, on a core-for-core basis, an old Northwood-era Celeron could clock 2.4 GHz, but would be inferior to even a 1 GHz Phenom II. That ratio you use only really works if you're looking at the CURRENT "enthusiast mainstream;" i.e, i5 & i7 Sandy Bridge CPUs vs. the Phenom II or FX. Obviously, the Pentium and Celeron lines get noticeably worse performance-per-clock, and even among Steam users likely account for a large portion of the market. (as Gamers != Enthusiasts)

    SteelCity1981this is why intel is stopping at 4 cores at the moment and not going 6 or 8 in their mainstream,because the market as of now clearly shows that quad cores is where the main stream market is right now and even 4 cores is plenty of cores for most users at the moment.

    Well, it's not entirely this, actually. Rather, it's Intel's design philosophy, which clearly shows from die photographs, is that they're focusing less on "more cores," and more on the "uncore." Looking at a Sandy Bridge CPU reveals that the actual die area taken up by cores is a small minority: non-core fixed-function units (such as the memory controller, various extra accelerators, not to mention the embedded GPU in the SB chips) take up a much more significant portion of the die space compared to Nehalem, and even moreso compared to Core 2.

    AMD appears to be taking the opposite approach: aside from integrating the NorthBridge into the CPU, the FX-series focuses a lot less of the non-cache part of the die on the "un-core" stuff, and in fact appears to remain relatively close to the level found with the older Phenoms and Athlons.
  • 3 Hide
    dennis555 , December 14, 2011 12:55 PM
    I have been faithful to my first Quad core cpu, the Phenom II x4 945, for quite some time now. She has never let me down. Sadly you will be replaced with an i5 2500k soon :) 
  • 6 Hide
    jimmy-bee , December 14, 2011 1:01 PM
    Doesn't do us any good (Q9650 here) as long as they continue to write for the kiddie consoles then give the PC games half ass ports instead of taking a little more time and write some code for the PC.
  • 1 Hide
    jimmy-bee , December 14, 2011 1:03 PM
    Teeroy32woo hoo I'm int he 5.52% rocking a single core, mines the trusty old pentium 4 3.4ghz,. The cpu's still kicking strong its only my grapics card letting it down, old trusty G 6600

    To get the FPS from a rig it's best to match your CPu and GPU. It will do you little good if you put a GTX 480 on a single core, if it would even be compatible with that older MB. Same goes for building a Core i7 and putting some $50 video card with it.
  • 3 Hide
    dickcheney , December 14, 2011 1:13 PM
    Been on 4 core since the Q6600 came out, never looked back. Ok maybe a bit when I saw the OC numbers coming out of the E8400s but thats it.
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