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August Was a Bad Month for AMD in the Steam Hardware Survey

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
(Image credit: Fritzchens Fritz)

It is the beginning of a new month, and Valve just updated its Steam Hardware Survey, giving us an updated glimpse into the millions of systems with Steam installed. The latest survey shows an interesting drop in AMD's CPU market share, hitting its lowest point during 2021.

Valve's Steam Hardware Survey is not exactly a scientific tracker of processor market share. The survey relies on millions of volunteers to participate, providing data on their rigs with Valve crunching the data ready for publication every single month. However, it still represents a great way to get some insights into market fluctuations and see where consumers are spending their money.

According to the report for August, released September 1, the CPU market share saw some interesting developments in terms of ownership. In August, AMD saw a 1.88% decline, with the latest figures now sitting at 27.31%, a decline from July's 29.19% share.

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Steam Hardware Survey CPU Market Share

(Image credit: Valve/Steam Hardware Survey)
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Steam Hardware Survey for August 2021

(Image credit: Valve)

A 1.88% decline may not seem like a lot, but once you account for all the millions of PCs participating in the survey, that's potentially more than a hundred thousand systems. At 27.31%, this represents an all-time low for AMD in 2021.

Before jumping to any conclusions, we have to note that the survey doesn't publish detailed collection statistics and is far from transparent about where the numbers come from. There's also a margin of error (usually at least a couple of percent) for any survey, so this might have just been a "bad luck" month in terms of users that were sampled. It could also mean that consumers are just buying more of the competing products from Intel. Either way, that's where the data stands and we'll see in the coming months if AMD's share keeps declining or gets back on an upward trajectory.

  • logainofhades
    Proof that Intel's fire sales are working, and AMD's TSMC bottleneck is hurting them.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    the shortages affect AMD more too because of their company size as well. they are no juggernaut
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Well if you look at their GPU share AMD went from 15.3% to 14.1% overall, the lowest since December 2020, with the 1060 and 2060 gaining significant share.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    Mandark said:
    the shortages affect AMD more too because of their company size as well. they are no juggernaut

    Intel has the luxury of having their own fabs.
    Reply
  • MB007
    AMD has the luxury of choosing what to produce with their limited capacities. They could sell anything that would get produced.
    They are simply rather pushing high margins products like server cpus than bad margins products like middle/high end gpus.
    GPU dies are way too big and the yields worse. Servers cpus are based on chiplet design (better yields and smaller).
    They can sell them for a pretty good price and make very high margins, while Sky/IceLake-cpus become shopkeeper.
    Hence, the lower gpu market share is pretty much just a consequence of their preference and yes limited capacities.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    MB007 said:
    Hence, the lower gpu market share is pretty much just a consequence of their preference and yes limited capacities.

    Except this article is about CPU market share, not GPU market share.
    Reply
  • Neilbob
    I really think it's a mistake to look at the Steam Survey CPU share in isolation. For example, the Windows 7 OS share increased by 3.2%, while Windows 10 decreased by a very comparable 3.02%. This has to suggest that Steam is not particularly representative of the current market when it comes to sales of new systems/components.
    Reply
  • MB007
    Sorry my bad. The margins for regular consumer cpus are still much lower than those for server cpus.
    But either way, from what I heard Intel sold more chips in the low-budget segment because AMD did not really have any products over there - for obvious reasons.
    But like I already said before, they are all victims of AMD trying to maximize profits.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    The Steam hardware survey is strictly opt-in--that is, it does not automatically query every Steam account to determine its GPU/CPU...As many times as this is patiently explained, some people assume that "millions of accounts" have been queried, when such is not the case. Valve doesn't tell us how many people opt in to the survey each month, nor does Valve tell us how many Steam account holders there are! For all we know in any given month it could be 50-500 people who opt-in to take the survey! But millions every month? Not a chance, imo.

    So, it's best not to extrapolate on the Steam hardware survey, either for CPUs or GPUs, because the survey depends on the people who volunteer to take the survey, only. Many people, including me, have had a Steam account for a decade or longer, but can count the times they have taken the monthly survey on one hand.
    Reply
  • drinking12many
    I have literally never done one... both of my desktop systems (kids and mine) are AMD with AMD graphics.
    Reply