Valve has published its latest Steam user survey data, covering April of 2022. Picking through the data, there are a few interesting observations. First of all, we see that the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6600 XT, and RX 6600 have entered the chart for the first time. Elsewhere, quad-core CPUs have regained the lead they lost to hexa-cores in the previous month (but we are sure the trend is against them). Lastly, nearly 40% of Steam Gamers on Mac are now using computers featuring Apple Silicon processors.
Graphics Card Movers
If you sort the video cards list by percentage change this month you can see that three AMD RDNA2 GPUs made their first dent in the Steam user base. In some ways, this shows just how constrained supply and demand have been with the terrible GPU market we have endured in the months previous.
AMD's biggest splash this month is the arrival of the mainstream Radeon RX 6600 XT in the charts at 0.30%. That makes it the third biggest gainer of the month. Not far behind is the cheaper 1080p orientated Radeon RX 6600, making its mark on the chart with 0.15%. Finally, AMD's powerful and pricey flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT matches the gains of the RX 6600, which is an interesting thing to see, entering the chart at 0.15%.
All these three cards were among the top 10 gainers in April 2022. But, of course, gamers and enthusiasts on the cutting edge might be holding off from buying one of these GPUs now, with rumors coming thick and fast of an RDNA2 refresh – specifically new Radeon RX 6650 XT, RX 6750 XT, and RX 6950 XT graphics cards.
If you are wondering, the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT has been common on the user survey charts for months. AMD's RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT are nowhere to be seen in the charts as yet, meaning they just haven't been popular enough among Steam gamers to be listed.
Before we move on to another category, it is worth mentioning that the GeForce GTX 1060 remains the top dog in the GPU charts with 7.15% of Steam users. However, it dropped over a full percentage point last month, with the second-placed GTX 1650 at 6.48% gaining 0.40%. If this change repeats in May, we will have a new Steam Gaming GPU king and one based on a 50-tier Turing GPU.
Last month we observed what seemed like a seismic shift with hexa-core CPUs becoming the most popular among the Steam gamer base. The rate of the advance in popularity of hexa-cores was remarkable.
In April, hexa-cores have been elbowed aside in what must be just a momentary change. However, there are still new quad-core CPUs and APUs arriving into DIY desktops and laptops, and thus the future was held back a little last month. In the chart above, you will also note that the biggest share gains in April were for dual-core CPUs.
We are pretty sure hexa-cores will pull back into first place, but octa-cores are a good bet for establishing a lead within a year or so and holding onto the top spot for a good length of time.
Also, you can observe the rise of Apple Silicon in the CPU charts and the demise of the Intel architecture in Macs. Currently, the share is split at 38.89% vs 61.07% - Apple vs Intel silicon. However, the rate of change was roughly 2% in the last month, so Apple Silicon should take over in popularity terms by Christmas. Moreover, the introduction of Apple M2 processors might accelerate the change of guard.