A Look at Steam’s Hardware Survey for January 2013
Posted on February 7, 2013 11:00 AM by Rob Williams
Long before it got here, we had no doubt that January’s Steam hardware survey was going to be interesting. The biggest reason is the fact that we just went through the biggest gift-giving season of the year. Then there’s the cute little fact that in December, Valve invited Linux users en masse to beta test its long-awaited client for the platform. Yup – this should be good.
To start, let’s tackle the overview graphs. Here, the first stark change we can see takes place in the first one – NVIDIA’s overall share dropped to 52.22% from the 66.72% it managed in November. Countering that, AMD rose to 34.00% from 26.51%. Intel also enjoyed a nice boost, from 6.59% to 13.32% (not quite l33t, but I’m sure Intel doesn’t mind).
Looking at the next graph, we begin to see some odd behavior. DX10/11 & XP somehow managed to skyrocket to 21.77% from 9.02%, while the other values above it decreased. For DX10/11 & Vista/7, the values for DX10 dropped to 27.33% from 32.06% while DX11 dropped to 44.97% from 53.14%. Who wants to come up with a theory for this one?
For the most part, the CPU side of things didn’t budge much at all, with the biggest difference being a mere 1%.
An always-interesting part of the survey is with the OS trends, and this is especially true this month with the recent introduction of Linux. Combining both the 32-bit and 64-bit variants of Windows 7, it sat on top of the entire stack with 75.44%. Windows 8, released just three months prior to the beginning of this survey, takes 9.10%. All of the Linux versions combined were responsible for 1.27% of the overall – not too bad given it’s still a beta, but I do hope to see a trend of growth as we go on.
Let’s riddle out some quick random facts. 21.63% of users have 8GB of RAM in their PCs; 21.03% have 4GB and 20.34% have 3GB. A rather impressive 8.38% have 12GB or more. The current champ of multi-core CPUs are dual-cores, with 48.14%, but quad-cores are readily catching up – they’re settled at 41.88%. Interestingly, Valve has updated the survey to allow people with up to 24 cores to be represented. So far, only the 12 core entry has made a mark, of 0.01%. That lucky bugger.
As far as GPU deployments go, NVIDIA remains responsible for the top three chart positions, with its GeForce GTX 560 Ti, 550 Ti and 460. That’s followed by the AMD Radeon HD 5770, which is then trailed by three more NVIDIA GPUs, GTX 560, GTS 450 and GT 540M. As we saw above, AMD is beginning to make some real progress with its overall share, so things here might change in the months down the road.
For monitors, 1920×1080 continues to see some growth – 29.16% of the survey is equipped with it. The second most-popular resolution likely has notebooks to thank: 1366×768, responsible for 21.36%. The rest of the resolutions are all over the place.
As we expected, January’s survey has proven pretty interesting. It’s nice to see Linux crack into the 1% mark, and it’s interesting to see that initial adoption of Windows 8 isn’t too bad – at least as far as this survey is concerned. Especially interesting is AMD with its substantial growth in ownership. With its just-launched Never Settle Reloaded promotion, we have little doubt that this trend should continue for at least this quarter. Unless NVIDIA counters it, of course.
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