Valve has released the results for the May 2021 installment of its monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey. The biggest takeaway is that AMD took one step forward by claiming 30% of the CPU market, at least as represented by Steam users, but it also took one step back by ceding more of the GPU market to Nvidia.
The survey results showed that AMD‘s share of the CPU market rose from 29.48% in April to 30.13% in May. That follows the same pattern as previous months: The popularity of AMD processors among Steam users has risen by roughly half a percent throughout 2021. Now those incremental gains are starting to add up.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if AMD continued its rise up the Steam survey’s results in the future. The company actually has more entries on our list of the best CPUs for 2021 than Intel, and several of them are more affordable than their Intel counterparts, which could help convince more gamers to give AMD CPUs a shot.
AMD has failed to make similar headway in the graphics market, however, and the survey results showed that its share fell to 16.18% in May. That isn’t a drastic drop—AMD graphics cards have powered roughly 16% of survey respondents’ systems since late 2019—but it does highlight the company’s struggle in that segment.
This isn’t for lack of trying. AMD’s latest Navi offerings are still found in some of the best graphics cards for gaming; at least part of the problem is that they are in short supply. The company said in April that it would increase GPU supply, but that’s going to take some time, so that promise probably didn’t affect these survey results much.
Of course, some of these results do need to be taken with a grain of salt. The Steam hardware survey may not be taken by every user and can't be completely representative. Still, it provides an idea of trends.
Not that many Steam users are quick to adopt the latest hardware. The most popular GPU on the platform is the GeForce GTX 1060, according to the survey, and 1% of Steam users are somehow continuing to get by with CPUs featuring clock speeds lower than 1.4 GHz. It takes a while for the survey results change much.