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When it comes to the current trends within the PC gaming community, the Steam Hardware Survey is, without a doubt, one of the best sources of information around. – Is it indicative of everything going on in the PC gaming world? Absolutely not. – Given the clear fact that the vast majority of PC gamers have Steam installed on their system though, it’s the closest thing we have to a metaphorical finger on the hardware pulse. And especially so in regards to where consumers may be viewing their next upgrade.
So, with the release of the figures from the latest March survey, what interesting nuggets of information are to be found? – Well, in one of the most standout pieces of news, hexacore processors, after many months of inching forward, appear to now be the new ‘standard’ of the average CPU gaming consumers’ needs!
Steam Hardware Survey – Hexacore is King!
Starting off with the overall processor market share, things have largely remained the same as seen in the last Steam Hardware Survey in February. Intel has inched ahead a little over the last 30 (ish) days, but AMD is still stubbornly holding onto that 30%+ market share.
In terms of the CPUs themselves, however, it is more than a little curious, albeit perhaps not overly surprising, to see that the predominant core count for the gaming market has finally transitioned from quad-core (4) to hexacore (6). – Why? Well, the most obvious answer is the fact that the vast majority of mid-tier CPUs from both AMD and Intel are pretty much dominated by 6-core models. Hell, the AMD Ryzen platform has been littered with excellent (and affordable) hexacore options ever since the Ryzewn 5 1600.
The bottom line though is that with quad and hexacore effectively gobbling up nearly 70% of the total market share, it’s hardly surprising that this is one of the most competitive markets around at the moment.
Entry-Level Graphics Card Upgrades!
It’s equally interesting news when you take a look at the latest figures in regards to graphics card ownership and apparent upgrades. While the Nvidia 1060 does still (for what I think is getting close to 4-years running) remain at the top of the list, and has even increased its market share, other entry-level GPUs have been making some interesting leaps forward. Both the 2060 and 3060, for example, have crept up the list quite substantially and this is particularly surprising for the latter since, while the stock has been getting better, it’s still not what most would call plentiful let alone overly affordable.
It does, however, seem that those waiting to pull the trigger on their relatively inexpensive GPU upgrade might be deciding to pull the trigger with the Nvidia 3060. – Oh, and just in case you were wondering, putting what I believe is their Ryzen APU graphics adaptors to one side, the best AMD has on the list is the RX 580 which resides in 20th place with their latest Radeon 6000 series still barely featuring in the top 50 at all!
Windows 11 – Better Than You Might Think
The last interesting slice of info is in regards to Windows 11. By and large, the operating system has been doing woefully poor in terms of its adoption rate following its release last November. – Again though, the Steam Hardware Survey shows that people are, slowly but surely, taking the plunge.
Now, admittedly, this figure is undoubtedly being bolstered by the purchase of new gaming systems and laptops that now “feature” the operating system as standard. It’s hard to deny though that while general consumers are either avoiding this or remain entirely ignorant of its existence, Windows 11 is, slowly but surely, gaining a little traction!
What Do We Think?
By and large, it would appear that following signs that some sanity is returning to the world of PC hardware, and especially so in regards to graphics cards, consumers are starting to again look towards upgrading their systems, and more so, appear to actually be making purchases! – With so much to digest, however, if you want a deeper dive into the details, you can check out the full Steam Hardware Survey for March 2022 via the link here!
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!