What is the most used configuration by PC gamers? Steam tells us!

What is the most used configuration by PC gamers?  Steam tells us!

Let’s take advantage of Steam’s February survey to assess the situation on CPUs, GPUs, and various components most used by PC gamers.

The PC market is going through a very special moment, from the problems caused by the superconductor crisis during the pandemic to the price hikes involving components, not to mention the lack of availability of NVIDIA’s 3000 series GPUs so soon after their debut. However, with the advent of new processors and graphics cards, Many users have taken the path of upgrading their computersin some cases by replacing only a few hardware parts, in others by assembling a completely new one.

The trend of new market entrants from AMD, Intel and NVIDIA is depicted by the usual Steam survey, which is an accurate snapshot able to show how players welcomed the debut of the new generation of hardware. With the results collected in February, it is now possible to discover data on GeForce RTX 4080 And 4070Ti. However, as far as AMD is concerned, given the latest debuts of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and 7900X3D, we’ll have to wait at least two months to get a clearer picture.

In this article we will assess the current situation, try to understand how the market is moving and evaluate what are the PC configurations for Steam players.

NVIDIA to the rescue

After the appearance of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, the latest addition to NVIDIA’s house in terms of desktop GPU line, we wondered how a card with excellent parameters but with a high price tag would behave in the market. The leap from the previous generation is not only economical but also in performance and with The advent of DLSS 3 And the many innovations in terms of architecture introduced by the Californian giant, the curiosity to see if players have set their hearts on the obstacle is becoming more and more urgent.

Unlike its older siblings, the GeForce RTX 4080 and GeForce RTX 4090, the “younger” in the family doesn’t have a Founders Edition which makes it a little difficult to check actual sales that NVIDIA can’t actually announce. But in support of Steam comes to fill our desire for numbers and feedback.


Ranking of the most used GPUs
Ranking of the most used GPUs

In the ranking put out by Valve’s digital delivery platform, how this can be done can be seen Undisputed NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with its bumper spread of 6% Score a negative January-February value, which is an indicator of how players are moving towards something more performing. The decrease is 0.15%, which is certainly small, but significant if we consider the increase in the 3000 and 4000 series, which registered a positive value compared to January and December of last year. Starting with Major NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 achieving a penetration of 0.31%passes through the medium NVIDIA GeForce 4080 touches 0.20% with first month of availabilityreach to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti market debut, up 0.18%. Altogether, however, they don’t reach, even taken together, 1% of all players.

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It is very interesting to note the continued increase of the GeForce RTX 3060 in the laptop version which has already surpassed the 2060 YTD and grinds another +0.31% increase from January to February, firmly positioning itself as the third most used video card by Steam players. Among other things, adding a perhaps arbitrarily but still significant 3060 deployment in the desktop version with the laptop model, the overall prevalence is over 9%; A value that makes the RTX 3060 the most widely used GPU ever.

Will AMD close the gap?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, at the moment it is possible to make a brief analysis of NVIDIA’s sales of the 4000 series, while for the new AMD flagship it is not yet time to get concrete data. Looking at the Steam leaderboard, For AMD, the most popular GPU is the Radeon RX 580equipped is 1.10% of the total players as we find In second place is the AMD Radeon RX 570, owned by 0.87% of players, both of which declined in adoption, down 0.07% and 0.04%, respectively, from January to February. Interestingly, the new 7000 series of GPUs are completely absent, although it should be noted that in the ranking we find a series of generic AMD Radeon Graphics also in very high positions that could hide who knows which GPU.

The gap in terms of GPUs is quite large, as 75.82% of players bet on NVIDIA And only 14.93% relied on AMD. The third participant in this battle, with 8.95%, is Intel which, however, does not see the hoped-for success in ARCs, given that in the ranking we find only the different models integrated into desktop and mobile CPUs.

However, AMD’s latest generation looks promising especially in the gaming arena, and it can still nibble something on the huge gap with its competitor. Any analysis we can make of this Steam data, as fun and interesting as it is, is a casualty of an unprecedented historical period for the PC market. If the price increases did not hit the technology sector so hard, the data in our possession would probably be very different, with a decrease in the most important NVIDIA 1000 series, in favor of more recent models.

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Indeed, it is not only about the budget if the first two positions, with a total value of more than 11%, are occupied, respectively, by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. The game with the most hours and active players on Steamrespectively more than 650 million hours and just under 900,000 users It’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensivefollowed by DOTA 2 which takes second place with half the number of players and total hours.

Intel and Windows 11


Intel remains the #1 CPU maker by Steam gamers
Intel remains the #1 CPU maker by Steam gamers

To further the idea of ​​how the PC market will evolve, there is a Increase processors to at least 6 and 8 cores At the expense of those who have 4 cores lose 1.61% per month. For manufacturers, we see Intel dominating Steam with 67.17% vs. 32.80% for AMD CPUs, with the remaining 0.03% coming to MicrosoftXTA. The values ​​are very constant on a monthly basis. The Steam rating does not go into details about the most used processor model, it simply provides data on the power of the latter. 20.82% of Intel users have a CPU from 2.3GHz to 2.69GHz while to find something more performant you go down a lot until you find the range 3.7GHz and higher, equipped by 3.32% of gamers. On the other hand, AMD processors are more performers, clocking 12.69% of operators at 3.3GHz to 3.69GHz and 7.85% running at 3.7GHz and higher.


CPU manufacturers ranking
CPU manufacturers ranking

Steam ranking is based on the number of CPU cores
Steam ranking is based on the number of CPU cores

Another data confirming progress in the renewal of player designs with Steam is inherent in the operating system, where Windows 10 remains the most popularwith 64.68% of users, but Microsoft’s new Windows 11 is gradually catching up, increasing by 1.68% from the previous month.


Rating of the most popular operating systems among Steam players
Rating of the most popular operating systems among Steam players

The most used virtual reality headset on Steam
The most used virtual reality headset on Steam

Also debatable is the ranking regarding VR viewers as the market is segmented by Meta / Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index, which together exceed 60% of the market penetration, respectively at 44.65% and 17.00%. By the way, both of them are growing. The rest of the market sees all other models from the Meta/Oculus and HTC models as well with the Pico 4’s exterior positioned at just 1.19% spread.

costs and construction


Investing in a high-performance gaming PC today requires a very stocked wallet
Investing in a high-performance gaming PC today requires a very stocked wallet

With this data included in Steam, we can perform an additional analysis, i.e. the value of the most used PCs by gamers who use Steam. Our estimates are just an estimate on PCs, of course, but the hardware and software that occupy the top spots can give us an idea of ​​the price, in current values, of the builds on their desks. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650’s current valuation is rather strange and the current value is far from that at the time of its debut in the market, which dates back to April 2019; Not to mention the runner-up, who was “born” in 2016.

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Evaluating that 4 and 8 years have passed in a row since the release of these two GPUs, they honestly manage to convince us of the progress that the most important manufacturers are making, year after year, by ringing in even more performing and in some cases amazing technologies. Having said that, let’s go back to our reviews with a comparison of launch and current prices.


Do you think it's already been 8 years since the NVIDIA GTX 1060 debuted?
Do you think it’s already been 8 years since the NVIDIA GTX 1060 debuted?

About 7 years agobuy a fairly balanced PC without aiming for the top of the range in terms of motherboard or hard drive, with the GTX 1060 on board It would have cost us about 800-900 euros. This type of configuration, nowadays, hardly exceeds 500 euros, if we do not consider more than the many offers on used products, not to mention that it will be really difficult to find a new GTX 1060. Time also passes for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 what he can Fits a design that might have cost just over 1,000 euros at the time It currently only has a higher value than poetry, which occupies the second position.

If instead we go to the step, we will find the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 laptop graphics processorAnd NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 And NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Which, imagine within a balanced architecture without including CPUs from recent years with SSD and DDR4 memory, allows you to play while remaining well under 1500 euros. To be precise, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 desktop build required us about 1,000 euros; Alternatively, we are around 800 euros for the configuration with the RTX 2060 and looking at the laptop market we find a range of offers for the mobile 3060 from 750 euros to 1300 euros.

If your budget is less than 2000 euros, leave all hope to focus on the NVIDIA RTX 4000 series or the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and XT: GPUs with prices that do not tend to fall currently despite the fact that supply far exceeds demand.

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