It’s been a few months since I last took a look at Valve’s PC hardware statistics. As I’m sure most of you already know, Valve periodically releases results of a hardware survey they conduct from within the Steam software. Information is gathered from a user’s machine – like which processor they use, how much system ram they have, hard drive space etc. It can be fun to see the demographic you yourself fit into in the overall hardware pallet. Let’s take a brief look December’s results.
Intel vs AMD
Unsurprisingly Intel has a monopoly on processors, but you might be surprised at just how much. According to Valve’s December Hardware & Software Study, 72.37% of its users have Intel processors. This dwarfs AMD’s small footprint of a mere 27.63%.
As more and more PCs are equipped with multi-core CPUs, let’s take a look at the percentages. Single-core processors make up 9.79% (down from 11.22% in October). Dual-core is still the dominant blend with a whopping 52.11% share (but that is down from 56.97%). Quad-cores are on the rise accounting for 35.90% (slightly up from 33.13 in October); with hex-core still in its infancy, only 0.74% are booting up their Steam-based machines with 6 processing cores. This is obviously bound to change with AMD’s low-cost Phenom II x6 processors.
As with Intel, Nvidia also makes up a larger share of the pie with 59.11% of users having their GPUs, compared to AMD’s 32.98% market share (unchanged from October). Tragically 6.22 % still use on-board Intel graphics. Maybe we should take a moment’s pause to reflect on their pain. Why are they even using Steam? Although they may be slightly less fortunate if the new Sandy Bridge GPU can handle Portal 2.
Interestingly enough only 0.56% of users have 1.5Gb of Vram. It looks like Nvidia’s GTX 480 is not too popular among users of Steam.
Ram is not quite as important as it once was when it comes to gaming with 4-6 Gb being the mainstay for most avid gamers. 22.18% (down from 24.04%) are still on 2Gb, with 27.16% using 3Gb. 4Gb users are a slightly smaller bunch with 27.38% (up ever-so-slightly from 26.00%). Do you use more than 5Gb of ram? You’re in an illustrious club of 15.76%.
It seems that Windows XP just won’t die. Microsoft has cut off the life-support machine, and many PC vendors have already stopped supporting the aging OS. But like a stubborn old man, XP fights on with 24.64% (down 0.85%). I should note that Windows 7 64-bit has surpassed XP with 35.09%. The use of Vista 32-bit remains steady at 13.53%.
Has anything changed? Well, not a whole lot since October. Single and dual-core CPU usage is slightly down. Quad-core has made a fairly promising gain, although hex-core gaming clearly has along way to come.
XP is still not accepting death just yet. Although usage is down slightly, a staggering 24.64% still consider the aging OS to be where it’s at.
Windows 7 is on the rise, with a lot more people adopting the 64-bit variety to take advantage of all that RAM they invested in.
Windows 7 Service Pack 1, not quite ready