NVIDIA Continues To Crush AMD In Steam Hardware Survey, GTX 1060 Most Popular GPU

As the most dominant platform for digital game distribution, Steam is a great indicator of what is trending among gamers. It also helps that Valve surveys the landscape each and every month and makes its data available to the public. In doing so, we can see that Steam gamers overwhelmingly chose NVIDIA hardware over AMD or Intel for graphics chores through the end of June 2017.

By the end of June, NVIDIA accounted for a dominating 63.61 percent of graphics card usage by Steam gamers. That is more than AMD (20.5 percent) and Intel (15.54 percent) combined, and you can throw the catch-all "other" (0.35 percent) in there as well.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060

The gap in market share is not difficult to understand. NVIDIA hit a home run with its Pascal architecture, and while AMD's Polaris GPUs are decent options as well, NVIDIA's solutions are simply more compelling from a price-to-performance perspective. On top of that, it can be assumed that many gamers who are interested in buying an AMD graphics card are waiting for Vega to see how the new architecture shakes out.

Cryptocurrency mining is also likely playing a role, and perhaps a significant one. While Bitcoin is largely mined by ASIC hardware these days, there are competing digital currencies that fare well on GPU hardware, such as Ethereum. Unfortunately for gamers, miners have dried up the supply of Radeon RX 580 and 570 graphics cards, leaving behind a market of cards by third-party sellers at grossly inflated price tags. Most of the 570 cards on Newegg, for example, are offered by outside sellers and cost $500 or more—well above AMD's $169 MSRP.

Steam Hardware Survey GPUs
Source: Valve/Steam

The most popular graphics card at the moment appears to be NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060, at least among modern GPUs that are DirectX 12-capable. It accounts for 6.29 percent of all DX12 GPUs. And to support the notion that crytocurrency miners are spoiling the fun for gamers, both the Radeon RX 580 and 570 do not appear on the list. The previous generation (but also still Polaris) Radeon RX 480 does, though it falls well below a long list of NVIDIA GPUs and claims a 1.02 percent share.

While NVIDIA has the edge—a big edge—at the moment, it will be interesting to see how things shake out by the end of the year after Vega has had some time on the market.