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Nvidia's RTX 3090 Has Apparently Sold More Units Than AMD's Entire RX 6000 Series Lineup

AMD Big Navi teaser
(Image credit: AMD)

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.

Steam Hardware Survey DirectX 12 Market Share
MARAPRMAYJUNJUL
Nvidia GeForce RTX 30701.29%1.38%1.48%1.50%1.56%
Nvidia GeForce RTX 30800.85%0.85%0.89%0.83%0.88%
Nvidia GeForce RTX 30600.05%0.17%0.27%0.52%0.64%
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti0.38%0.39%0.40%0.36%0.42%
Nvidia GeForce RTX 30900.33%0.37%0.38%0.35%0.38%
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT---0.09%0.12%
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT0.06%0.07%0.08%0.09%0.10%
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT0.04%0.06%0.07%0.07%0.08%
AMD Radeon RX 68000.05%0.05%0.05%0.04%0.05%
Nvidia Share2.90%3.16%3.42%3.56%3.88%
AMD Share0.15%0.18%0.20%0.29%0.35%
Nvidia to AMD Ratio19.33 to 117.56 to 117.1 to 112.28 to 111.09 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.

  • JerryC
    You can't buy any Nvidia or AMD GPUs right now unless you're an industry insider because they are selling all of their production to the crypto miners. Yes, you could buy the ones that are being sold for 3-6 times the MSRP, but who in their right mind would do that?
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    That's what happens when you bring a bunch of premium-priced products to market while consumers perceive you as a value brand.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    No surprise, because most of Ampere cards was shipped directly to mining farms.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Steam hasn't asked me to participate in their survey after I got my 6900XT, or my Vega64... I don't know why, but that's what is my personal experience. I was asked once with my RX480 and my GF that has a RX580 has never been surveyed by Steam.

    I'm also keen on supporting the theory of the net cafes and other "shared" types of PCs using nVidia primarily.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    Yuka said:
    Steam hasn't asked me to participate in their survey after I got my 6900XT, or my Vega64... I don't know why, but that's what is my personal experience. I was asked once with my RX480 and my GF that has a RX580 has never been surveyed by Steam.

    Steam doesn't ask. They already receive basic system information when client log into their servers.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    Krotow said:
    Steam doesn't ask.
    Yes, they do. Or at the very least they did, I suppose it could have changed in the last couple years. You will occasionally get a pop-up in the client asking you to participate in the steam hardware survey.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    Yuka said:
    Steam hasn't asked me to participate in their survey after I got my 6900XT, or my Vega64... I don't know why, but that's what is my personal experience. I was asked once with my RX480 and my GF that has a RX580 has never been surveyed by Steam.
    I would assume they use some (pseudo) random sampling, the same as any other survey. So how often any individual gets surveyed depends on Steam's goals for their survey error margins and how many active users they have.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    TJ Hooker said:
    I would assume they use some (pseudo) random sampling, the same as any other survey. So how often any individual gets surveyed depends on Steam's goals for their survey error margins and how many active users they have.
    That's how it should be done, but I can say that I always seem to get sampled when I'm running new/odd GPUs. Like when I tested Intel's DG1, up popped the HW survey. Could just be random luck, but if Valve is doing real random sampling, it should just say so. That it doesn't makes me suspicious.
    Krotow said:
    No surprise, because most of Ampere cards was shipped directly to mining farms.
    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.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    If the sampling method is bad then so are the results!
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Krotow said:
    No surprise, because most of Ampere cards was shipped directly to mining farms.
    Why would any of those cards appear in the steam survey? The circumstantial evidence points to AMD selling most of their inventory to miners, not Nvidia.
    Reply