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A Look at Steam’s Hardware Survey for October 2012

Posted on November 12, 2012 7:30 AM by Rob Williams
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It’s been a couple of months since we last took a look at Steam’s hardware survey, and I’d be lying if I said a lot has changed. There seems to have been a relative slow-down in hardware adoption these past few months, no doubt due to both the Windows 8 launch and also the fact that the holiday season has been nearing. 

Since our last look at the survey, in August, CPU vendor marketshare has barely moved. AMD lost 0.33% whereas Intel gained it. This trend is currently not too surprising, but at least for AMD’s sake, the decline is moving at a snail’s pace. CPU cores-wise, quad-core use has grown 1.63%, while CPUs with more than four cores increased 0.13%. Exciting stuff, huh? If anything of interest can be gleaned here, it’s that dual-core usage dropped 1.04%. Single cores dropped 0.73%.

I wish I could say that things begin to get more interesting on the GPU side, but that’s hardly the case. The differences are so minor all-around that it almost seems unfair to even call them “differences”. “Other” has seen a slight boost from 6.56% to 7.13%, however. If Microsoft’s RT tablets manage to take off, we should see this number rise over the course of the next few months.

Across these big categories, the biggest difference seen is with DX10/DX11 GPUs under Windows XP. Since August, the share has increased from 4.38% to 9.98%. 

In all of the other categories, not much has changed once again. 1080p remains the most popular resolution, with a share of 28.44%, with second-place going to 1366×768, with 19.59%. There has been quite a bit of action on the multi-monitor front, but not in the way I’d suspect. Judging by most of the resolutions that gained in usage, it’s safe to say that dual-monitor is where it’s currently at, which usually has nothing to do with gaming. 3×1 1080p remains at 1.22%. The “budget” 4800×900 resolution ranks so low that it’s been relegated to the “Other” category. As someone who’s envious of those with tri-monitor setups, I admit I am surprised to see such low adoption here.

With Windows 8 having just been released, it’s going to be very interesting to see how its marketshare fares come next month. As it stands, the OS owns 0.22% of the overall share. Anyone want to take a guess where that’ll be next month? For the sake of making things interesting, I am going to guess 3.13%. Not to be specific or anything.  

Windows XP is continuing its decline to sit at 11.70%, while Windows 7 has actually seen a bit of an increase (+0.37%) despite Windows 8 having been right around the corner at the time. Sign of things to come? We’ll see. The same goes for AMD and its GPU marketshare. Its “Never Settle” promotion is extremely compelling, so it just may offer the boost in marketshare that the company is looking for. 

On a side note, don’t forget to join our Steam group!


  • http://techgage.com/ Marfig

    “Across these big categories, the biggest difference seen is with DX10/DX11 GPUs under Windows XP. Since August, the share has increased from 4.38% to 9.98%.”

    A weird increase that should make us think. The amount of folks, making use of unsupported cards more than doubled!

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Yup… crazy isn’t it?

    • Kougar

      Or maybe all those idlers & bot users upgraded their virtual XP machines to newer VM software that correctly reported their video card? I have always been slightly dubious of the extremely low-end numbers given the sheer number of tf2 idlers that do this…

      • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

        Hmm, I didn’t think of that.

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