AMD's latest RX 6000-series GPUs might offer very competitive performance compared to Nvidia's RTX 30-series products, and they're near the top of our GPU benchmarks hierarchy and hold several places on our best graphics cards list. However, according to Valve's latest Steam Hardware Survey, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090 alone has managed to outsell all of the Radeon RX 6000-series models combined. And that's the least popular (in terms of market share) Ampere GPU.
Currently, Valve's Steam Survey doesn't list any RX 6000-series products in its Video Cards category, because the total share for any specific GPU needs to be above 0.15% before it gets its own line. However, as Reddit user @zyck_titan discovered, Valve does list the RDNA 2 cards in its Steam Survey if you check out the DX10/11/12 Systems page.
Because there are a lot of old GPUs that still manage to show up on the overall video card list, by restricting GPUs to only more recent DX10 or better offerings, Zyck discovered most of the GPUs show roughly double the market share. In other words, about half of all PCs surveyed by Steam appear to use pre-DX10 hardware and drivers. Since we're mostly interested in more recent hardware, the API page gives us some useful data about how AMD and Nvidia's latest architectures and GPUs stack up.
For AMD fans, the numbers are disheartening. All of the cards listed so far, which means the RX 6700 XT, RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT, have a combined market share that's lower than just the RTX 3090. Nvidia's least popular gaming GPU (due to the extreme pricing) apparently still has more units sold than AMD's entire RDNA 2 lineup.
|Header Cell - Column 0||MAR||APR||MAY||JUN||JUL|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070||1.29%||1.38%||1.48%||1.50%||1.56%|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080||0.85%||0.85%||0.89%||0.83%||0.88%|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060||0.05%||0.17%||0.27%||0.52%||0.64%|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||0.38%||0.39%||0.40%||0.36%||0.42%|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090||0.33%||0.37%||0.38%||0.35%||0.38%|
|AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT||-||-||-||0.09%||0.12%|
|AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT||0.06%||0.07%||0.08%||0.09%||0.10%|
|AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT||0.04%||0.06%||0.07%||0.07%||0.08%|
|AMD Radeon RX 6800||0.05%||0.05%||0.05%||0.04%||0.05%|
|Nvidia to AMD Ratio||19.33 to 1||17.56 to 1||17.1 to 1||12.28 to 1||11.09 to 1|
Newer GPUs like the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti haven't shown up yet, and of course neither has AMD's upcoming RX 6600 XT. It takes a few months usually for cards to appear in any reasonable quantity on the Steam Survey. Give them some time and we'll likely see Nvidia's share increase even further, unless AMD can improve its supply.
Things have improved a bit since March, if you're wondering. Back then, RTX 30-series GPUs outsold RX 6000-series cards by nearly 20 to 1. The arrival of the RX 6700 XT in June and July — AMD's most popular RDNA 2 card — significantly boosted AMD's market share, lowering Nvidia's advantage to 11 to 1. But still, that's a huge advantage to Nvidia.
This is a testament to the difficulties of trying to pump out GPUs during the large technology shortage we're still experiencing today. We believe the supply issues mainly stem from AMD's silicon partner TSMC, who provides all the wafers for AMD's chips and has been overwhelmed with orders for nearly a year now. It's reached the point where AMD can't order more chips due to backorders piling up for TSMC.
AMD also uses TSMC as its primary silicon provider for its CPU and the console APUs, which gives the Radeon department even less silicon to work with. Considering Sony has apparently sold over 10 million PlayStation 5 consoles and Microsoft has sold 5–6 million Xbox Series S/X consoles, it's clear that a huge percentage of AMD's wafers fabricated by TSMC are going to the consoles right now.
Nvidia on the other hand has made the transition from TSMC to Samsung for its primary source of silicon since the start of the RTX 30-series and the Ampere architecture — not including the datacenter specific Nvidia A100. Samsung has fewer customers than TSMC, giving it more capacity to fulfill orders from Nvidia.
That could all change in the coming months and years, however. Nvidia is rumored to be switching to TSMC N5 for its Lovelace GPUs, AMD will likely use TSMC N5 for Zen 4 and RDNA 3, and TSMC has announced multiple new fabs and billions of dollars of investment into new foundries. Grains of salt and all that, and hopefully the demand from cryptominers trails off for many years to come.
Naturally, there are many disclaimers. Valve has never released clear details on how it gathers statistics for the Steam Hardware Survey, and Steam obviously doesn't track any GPUs that ended up in the hands of Ethereum miners. Our GPU Price Index that tracks sales of GPUs on eBay gives Nvidia about a 6 to 1 ratio, for example. But on the surface, it's clear Nvidia still controls the lion's share of the GPU market and has done a better job of getting its (currently very overpriced) GPUs into the hands of gamers.
I'm also keen on supporting the theory of the net cafes and other "shared" types of PCs using nVidia primarily.
Steam doesn't ask. They already receive basic system information when client log into their servers.
Ah, yes. The mining farms that apparently then participated in the Steam HW Survey! I'm pretty sure it's mostly the AMD and Nvidia AIB partners selling direct to mining farms, and I suspect they do so with both AMD and Nvidia GPUs. When you can't buy as many GPUs as you'd like, you'll take whatever's available.