Steam Hardware Survey Reveals The Rise Of DX11, Decline Of XP

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News Posted: Wed, Sep 29 2010 5:21 PM
The Steam Hardware Survey for August 2010 has been out for a bit, but it's always interesting to see what trends are influencing PC gamers over a period of months. There's a great deal of data available; we'll break down some of the more pertinent and interesting categories.

Video Cards:DX11 Ramping Well

The first thing of note in this category is the rate at which DX11 adoption is growing. Not only has the API's total market share grown by 82 percent in the past six months, the rate of growth from month to month has also grown. In May, DX11 market share grew by 10 percent; in June, July, and August it grew by 22 percent, 14 percent, and 18 percent respectively. Gamers have largely completed the shift to modern video cards; DX11 and DX10 jointly account for ~82 percent of the market.



At present AMD's Radeon 4800 is the most popular GPU family, with the HD 5700 and HD 5800 products accounting for 64.2 percent of all DX11 sales. NVIDIA is still limping badly on this front—it's most popular product is the GTX 470, which holds just 4.59 percent share. To give you an idea of how lopsided things are, note that ATI currently accounts for 87 percent of all the DX11-capable GPUs according to Steam. These results do not include NVIDIA's GTS 460 which is widely regarded as a strong, attractive product. Presumably the introduction and aggressive pricing of both it and the GTS 450 would tilt things slightly back towards NVIDIA.

Windows XP's Slow Goodbye

Checking OS numbers, Windows XP's share of the market fell 1.35 percent from July to August and 4.43 percent since April. Windows 7 64-bit is the big six-month winner here, up 1.42 percent since July and 5.41 percent since April. Windows Vista (both flavors) has lost market share as well, but less than some of its detractors might think. Over the past six months, total Vista usage is down just 2.58 percent. The rhetoric that Windows 7 is what Windows Vista should have been has had more of an impact on XP users than those of us actually using Vista. The lifespan and popularity of Windows XP make it difficult to argue that machines running it are automatically more likely to be replaced; Windows 7 now holds 46.66 percent of the market; if current trends hold it'll become the most popular OS in another 6-8 months. This is good news for gamers, as it increases the chance that developers will put more emphasis on DX10/11. Because the differences between those two APIs are much smaller than the gap between DX9 and DX10, it's easier to develop for both simultaneously. Those of you with DX9 or low-end DX10/11 hardware need not worry. Since virtually every PC game these days is a console port, DX9 will remain popular (and a key development focus) for the forseeable future.

For those of you who've upgraded recently, what's been the component or product that drove you to do so? DirectX 10 failed miserably when it came to giving people a reason to buy Windows Vista; has Windows 7 given any of you back on Windows XP a better reason to jump for DX11?
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Inspector replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 5:57 PM

Wow, i wouldn't of thought NVIDIA would be so low on count here.

We will slowly become windows 7 in full as people start to throw out old builds for a new build :).

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acarzt replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 7:20 PM

Inspector:

Wow, i wouldn't of thought NVIDIA would be so low on count here.

We will slowly become windows 7 in full as people start to throw out old builds for a new build :).

The results can be somewhat missleading inspector.

I have no doubt NVIDIA still hold more market share than AMD, and you'll also notice intel is absent from the list, and they hold more market share than anyone(in reference to what brand graphics card are in any computer)

This is only talking about DX11 capable cards. AMD has had DX11 cards on the market a lot longer than Nvidia, and when they did get to the market with DX11 cards, they came in at higher price points than most of the AMD cards. Nvidia is finally getting some cheaper card out on the market, and those cards weren't even included in this survery.

I have no doubt that with time Nvidia will take a majority chunk of the DX11 pie.

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Just because you are first does not mean you are the best!

Just ask any of my ex girlfriends :)D

I think nvidia will answer back with more competitive cards at reasonable prices! Their Drivers are better across the board. They just need to stop thinking like ATI and trying to release small increments at high prices to drive up their market share.

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Joel H replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 8:13 PM

Anima,

Have you paid attention to anything going on in NVIDIA-Land the past three months? They've already done it.

Exhibit A: The GTS 460 and 450. :P

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Nvidia has about a 60% chunk of the gaming market. The Steam survey is cool because it shows what people who are actively playing games have to game on. We all know that Intel takes the lead in GPUs, but should developers be coding for Intel GPUs? Maybe not because they only have 5% share in Steam.

Another intresting tidbit is that OSX is only about 5% share. If that small of a market is worth it to them I can totally see a Linux version coming out down the road.(I know I keep dreaming)

Also here is a link to the full survey.

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

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"Have you paid attention to anything going on in NVIDIA-Land the past three months? They've already done it. "

I know,...Have you been paying attention to my Hot Harware posts lately:P  That is why I am pissed at ATI, because I wish I waited and spent the money on one of the new Quadros Super Angry

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 11:56 PM

Nvidia will gain market share back if for no other reason than they have so many fan boys as is actively evidenced in these replies. I find it quite funny really as until the 400 series Nvidia had released almost nothing but re-branded cards for quite some time. As for Bob's last statement, it would seem Linux in it's varying versions, already has an a 3-4% holding does it not? It is just not concentrated like OSX is in one singular version, but spread over many iterations. I personally have both cards in my house although 2 hold ATI 5800 series and one holds an Nvidia 9000 (Mobile top of the line at the time) card.

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Super Dave replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 12:01 AM

animatortom:

Just because you are first does not mean you are the best!

Just ask any of my ex girlfriends :)D

I found THIS video of your ex girlfriends, Tom.Indifferent  Are you sure you want to go there?Ick!

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Ok Dave that is just nasty!

I dont need to know the type of women that you go forIndifferent Or see your home videos!

Asking my ex's was a double entendre...They have all been satisfied! First or not! They call me the stamp collector, without the stamps! My favorite game is Thursty PuppyStick out tongue

I have never dated a fat girl and never will! I like em tall &skinnyGeeked

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Super Dave replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 12:48 AM

animatortom:
Ok Dave that is just nasty!

I'm sorry Bro...I just couldn't resist! It's my Friday and I have the next 3 days off and, well, you know.Beer  So, did you order?Big Smile

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realneil replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 9:10 AM

Wait for the next 'Steam Survey' and check THOSE results.

You'll most likely see dramatic changes, now that NVIDIA is not only selling DX11 capable cards, but they have some of the best bang for the buck solutions on the market. NVIDIA's introduction of the GTX460 series are truly a game changer. It's hard to ignore their stellar performance, low heat signature, and the low price that they come in at. Add the fact that they have capabilities that are not available on an ATI based card and it's easy to conclude that ATI is gonna have to lower prices, or introduce some fantastic bling, and very soon, to keep from losing the increased market share that they've enjoyed for so long.

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lonewolf replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 11:48 AM

These stats are not surprising as ATI or AMD as they are now known had a 6 month head start on the DX11 front.

As far as Windows XP Windows 7 is a no brainer I would bypass Vista all together jump straight to 7.

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Geezy replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 5:09 PM

All of what you guys are saying does have some sense to it but i don't think ATI will be dropping their prices due to Nvidia's current cards but due to their upcoming 6 Series launch.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 7:40 PM

realneil:

Wait for the next 'Steam Survey' and check THOSE results.

You'll most likely see dramatic changes, now that NVIDIA is not only selling DX11 capable cards, but they have some of the best bang for the buck solutions on the market. NVIDIA's introduction of the GTX460 series are truly a game changer. It's hard to ignore their stellar performance, low heat signature, and the low price that they come in at. Add the fact that they have capabilities that are not available on an ATI based card and it's easy to conclude that ATI is gonna have to lower prices, or introduce some fantastic bling, and very soon, to keep from losing the increased market share that they've enjoyed for so long.

I agree Neil, the 460 is definitely a game changer... If it was 3x SLI capable... it would be perfect... and I would buy 3 of them :-)

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 8:55 PM

"Steam Hardware Survey Reveals The Rise Of DX11, Decline Of XP"

That should read:

"Steam Hardware Survey Reveals That New Users Aren't Buying Years-Old Computer Systems Running Antiquated Operating System."

>> For those of you who've upgraded recently, what's been the component or product that drove you to do so?

Old card died, wanted something that supported OpenGL4.1.  :p

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 9:13 PM

Joel:  You never mention the actual amount of market share that XP still has:  33.78%  That's a huge number given that Win7's been out for almost a year and Vista's been around for closing in on 4.

What this really tells us is that people use what comes with the computer they buy.  Many manufacturers didn't include Vista due to the horrible requirements/performance (recall the 'Vista Capable' lawsuits), so its relatively low percentage given it was only really viable for a 2 year period is no surprise.

The fact that XP still has such a huge percentage is a testament to the fact that it worked well enough for most users to not care about looking at anything else (New OS, nor new PC). Most gamers would be expected to be using computers less than four years old, so the Win7 numbers look average.

None of this really has diddly to do with DirectX11.  The only DirectX11 Steam game I own is Dirt2, and it's "meh".

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 9:22 PM

Noticed something scary: http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/

I didn't notice that in the fine print we gave them the right to scan our systems to see what non-Steam related SOFTWARE was installed as part of their HARDWARE survey. Why the heck to they need to know how many people have uTorrent installed? 

(Note:  I don't use uTorrent; I run Steam under Wine in Linux where it wouldn't see much if any software installed... but the fact that they collect and publish such data for what is billed as a hardware survey doesn't make me all happy).

On the other hand, it's cool to see Firefox has a 63%+ market share among these users (and 11+ for Chrome).

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Joel H replied on Sun, Oct 3 2010 4:47 PM

3vi1,

I don't consider XP's starting market share to be all that worthy of comment. We've always known that retail sales make up no more than a tiny percentage of overall Windows licenses. While I agree with your expectations regarding gamers, Steam *does* host some games playable on very modest hardware. The number of players on DX9 era hardware or below (something like 18%) is a testament to the age of some of the games on Steam.

We also should note that as more and more games are distributed through Steam, it becomes harder to compare past results to current ones. Steam hosts a number of classic games--as far as I know, all survey results count equal, which raises the question of whether or not old systems are an intervening variable to the actual state of Steam user hardware.

The reason I didn't address XP's large current market share is because I think it's a given. Everyone knows that Vista did relatively poorly (MS still made plenty of money off it); the surge in netbook sales *kept* XP in the market's eye. If not for Atom, XP probably would've been shoved out of the way more quickly, but netbooks were huge--which meant journalists kept talking, time and time again, about how Vista was too bloated to run well on netbooks.

While I personally use Vista, I'm more-or-less with the folks who stuck with XP. I never saw the DX10 game that would've made me want to switch. Even on Vista, I've typically stuck with DX9 + additional AA / AF as opposed to DX10.

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3vi1 The software thing is new. When I got the survey it asked me to do the survey like it always does and it also clearly asked me if it could scan my software as well. You can participate in just one or none of them.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Oct 4 2010 7:44 PM

Ahh... I have had the hardware thing pop up many times, but must not have seen it since they added the software option.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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nyran125 replied on Mon, Nov 22 2010 7:03 AM

I still use XP . Saw no games that required any change whatsoever. I used Vista for a few weeks. tested it on Crysis and Farcry 2 and i really couldnt notice much difference, ACCEPT i had to stop and look at a tree for ages and ages and ages to even see a difference in a couple of soft shadows (WOOFRIGIN HOO).

Crytec has stated they will never make a PC exclusive title ever again because of lack of sales for Crysis, thats why we have Crysis 2 on Playstation 3. So it will be mainly a Dx9 title (Like Crysis 1 was) with a few minimal lighting and shadow DX 11 features. Again not worthy for me to upgrade my OS from Xp again. It will be released for Xp too and im sure the graphics on DX9, like Crysis 1 was, will be amazing. But because its going to be a console port , i doubt even the graphics will be even close to the original :):). How could they be? Farcry 2 using the Cry engine for consoles was MILES away from Crysis 1 graphics on enthusiast or even high or even medium lol. MILES and MILES. Crysis lighting , textures were so far ahead of Farcry 2. Im guessing that the farcry 2 engine will be used NOT the crysis 1 engine.

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nyran125 replied on Mon, Nov 22 2010 7:06 AM

cry engine 3 for consoles will surely be a modified Farcry 2 engine not the original crysis 1, amazing engine. Crysis 1 and farcry 2 are miles apart in graphics. Crysis owns it, completely. There really needs to be more PC only titles for me to really care about changing from Xp to Windows 7. I just dont see the point. Because if we are talking future proofing,there WILL be another OS after windows 7 lol.

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