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AMD Passes 30% CPU Market Share in Steam Hardware Survey, Loses in GPUs

Steam
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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.

  • waltc3
    Steam Survey = does not equal GPU share world wide--not even close. Why people like to make something out of the Steam survey--a 100% opt-in survey, that doesn't even include all Steam accounts because X number of Steam accounts never opt in--and we don't know how many Steam accounts there are because Valve never says--beats me. I guess it's always good filler material on a slow news day, imo.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    waltc3 said:
    Steam Survey = does not equal GPU share world wide--not even close. Why people like to make something out of the Steam survey--a 100% opt-in survey, that doesn't even include all Steam accounts because X number of Steam accounts never opt in--and we don't know how many Steam accounts there are because Valve never says--beats me. I guess it's always good filler material on a slow news day, imo.

    100%

    The steam survey is used because all the data is collected in one area for you doesn't require much work so makes it easy for articles like this. However it in no way speaks for the whole market. So anytime I see reports like this I mentally add an asterisk to it
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    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.
    That statistic is likely referring to base clocks, so it doesn't really mean a whole lot for modern CPUs, especially for the "lower TDP" variants. Even a brand new i9-11900T desktop CPU only has a 1.5GHz base clock, but it will boost up to 4.8-4.9GHz for lightly-threaded loads, and has a 3.7GHz all-core boost. The 11700T similarly has a 1.4GHz base clock, and the 11400T a 1.3GHz base clock. On the laptop side of things, the i7-10710U has a 1.1GHz base clock, and the i7-1060G7 a 1.0GHz base clock.

    waltc3 said:
    Steam Survey = does not equal GPU share world wide--not even close. Why people like to make something out of the Steam survey--a 100% opt-in survey, that doesn't even include all Steam accounts because X number of Steam accounts never opt in--and we don't know how many Steam accounts there are because Valve never says--beats me. I guess it's always good filler material on a slow news day, imo.
    The Steam Hardware Survey results may not perfectly represent all systems, and obviously won't represent things like business systems, servers and others without the service installed, but they are likely fairly representative of the systems running Steam, and in turn systems used for gaming in general. Most Steam users are realistically going to click through to submit the survey, as it's completely automated and takes no effort on their part, and while not every user gets surveyed every month, enough should be surveyed to provide a good representation of the userbase as a whole. And while some may choose not to submit the survey, its questionable that there would be any significant correlation between those users and any particular hardware configuration, so it's unlikely that would affect the results much either.

    And as for the number of systems represented, Valve recently reported during their yearly review that they had over 120 million monthly active players in 2020, so probably somewhere around that. Again, you don't need to survey every single system every month to obtain meaningful results, especially since a system's hardware typically isn't changing on a monthly basis. And due to the size of Steam's install base, the trends should be fairly similar for systems used for gaming that are not running Steam on a regular basis as well.

    Of course, there are some limitations with the data they provide. The results are worldwide, so they are not necessarily representative of the distribution of hardware in any given market. The ratio of hardware used in Asia may vary substantially from the ratio in North America, for example, based on the availability and pricing of various components in those regions, and they don't provide any way to restrict the results to a particular market. The size of certain markets can also grow relative to others over time, which can potentially shift growth trends in ways that are contrary to what's actually happening. Likewise, laptop and desktop data is mixed together, which can muddy the results, and the same goes for older systems compared to modern systems that are capable of running the latest games. Having more ways to filter the results down could make them a lot more meaningful, but Valve doesn't make that functionality publicly available.

    There have also been times where things like changes in the software used to manage internet cafes has thrown off the results until corrections get made some months later. So, changes from one month to the next will often not be particularly meaningful. The wider, multi-month trends are probably more meaningful though, like how AMD's processors have been gradually increasing from under 20% up to over 30% of the Steam install-base over the last 18 months.
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  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    I'm dead set on getting an AMD GPU even if they're worse on physics and reflections, and have much poor performance with Ray Tracing, just because in raw power and drivers they're much more reasonable.

    The thing is that I'm stuck with a 1000 series nvidia GPU because I can't find any AMD GPU besides the 6900 XT and at that price point right now, no thanks.
    Reply
  • Popolit
    Sleepy_Hollowed said:
    I'm dead set on getting an AMD GPU even if they're worse on physics and reflections, and have much poor performance with Ray Tracing, just because in raw power and drivers they're much more reasonable.

    The thing is that I'm stuck with a 1000 series nvidia GPU because I can't find any AMD GPU besides the 6900 XT and at that price point right now, no thanks.
    Then you're gonna miss the amazing technology that DLSS is. Thanks to that the NVIDIA cards are much much more future proof than AMDs. I know that FFX Super Resolution is coming, but from the previews it doesn't really look very good. Also, since every game is now introducing raytracing and Nvidia perform much better in that (In a Metro Exodus enanched edition a 3070 performs better than a 6800XT), is gonna be another point in favor of the future proof thing. NVIDIA reflex is cool too if you're a competitive player.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    Popolit said:
    Then you're gonna miss the amazing technology that DLSS is. Thanks to that the NVIDIA cards are much much more future proof than AMDs. I know that FFX Super Resolution is coming, but from the previews it doesn't really look very good. Also, since every game is now introducing raytracing and Nvidia perform much better in that (In a Metro Exodus enanched edition a 3070 performs better than a 6800XT), is gonna be another point in favor of the future proof thing. NVIDIA reflex is cool too if you're a competitive player.

    hmm you joined the site today to tell him to buy an nvidia gpu when he said he prefers AMD....
    Reply
  • Popolit
    Makaveli said:
    hmm you joined the site today to tell him to buy an nvidia gpu when he said he prefers AMD....
    Just tryna not making him waste his money. I didn't force him to buy neither have I insulted him, just brought out some arguments about future proofing of the cards, that can maybe help him to change his mind. I got this article randomly on my discovery page.
    Reply
  • drinking12many
    I just upgraded to a 6700 XT from RX580. It took weeeeeeks of newegg shuffles and had to get a MB as well (I had an X370 so that was fine it went to kids machines) I haven't played a ton of games but in Borderlands 2 (yes I still play it) it took me from 40-50fps at 4K with most settings turned down to seeing over 200FPS at times with most settings turned up. I don't tend to play a lot of new titles so for me it's been a great upgrade.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    Popolit said:
    Just tryna not making him waste his money. I didn't force him to buy neither have I insulted him, just brought out some arguments about future proofing of the cards, that can maybe help him to change his mind. I got this article randomly on my discovery page.

    I don't know it seems kinda suspect. Your post reads like its from an nvidia marketing slide. And the extra features you mention he clearly said he didn't care about as he is looking for raw performance.

    There is no such thing as future proofing a gpu as there is always a faster one out in a year.
    Reply
  • Popolit
    Makaveli said:
    I don't know it seems kinda suspect. Your post reads like its from an nvidia marketing slide. And the extra features you mention he clearly said he didn't care about as he is looking for raw performance.

    There is no such thing as future proofing a gpu as there is always a faster one out in a year.
    Eeeerrmmmm... I don't think NVIDIA needs people to go on random forums to get visibility. Also, I gave advices on rasterization performance since they're gonna be better long term. I'm a simple 19yo guy living my life in high-school
    Reply