Steam, the world’s largest PC gaming platform, has just released the results from its hardware survey for the year past. If the numbers are to be believed, and we see no reason to doubt them, AMD has suffered a battering on both the CPU and GPU fronts.
Steam’s monthly hardware survey involves millions of users voluntarily disclosing data on their PC configurations. As a bellwether for PC hardware trends, it’s hard to beat the data from Steam’s surveys.
The results of the survey, which are publicly available here, indicate that AMD has lost more than half its PC gaming market share to Nvidia graphics cards and Intel CPUs. On the GPU front, AMD’s market share has fallen from 24.7 percent in July 2016 to a mere 8.9 percent by December 2017. On the CPU front, this has dropped from 22.8 percent to 8.8 percent. The trend appears to have been accelerating since the September-October period.
It’s been years since AMD commanded the PC gaming market, but this unexpected and sharp decline must certainly be worrying for AMD. The company’s Ryzen CPUs and HBM toting GPUs were to change its fortunes, but by the looks of things, they simply weren’t enough.
On the other hand, AMD's fortunes might be entirely unaffected by this. Most of the GPU market is shifting towards cryptocurrency mining anyway and AMD's stock is certainly unaffected. If anything, CPU and GPU shipments are only going up.
In the VR space, the Oculus Rift saw a nice change in fortunes, acquiring about 50 percent more market share over the course of 18 months. The HTC Vive lost a corresponding amount of market share, so the two competing platforms are now commanding an equal audience.
Other interesting insights from the survey include the fact that with a 54.7 percent market share, Windows 7 is still the most popular operating system around and that the half of Steam’s market communicates in Chinese. The most popular graphics card in December appears to have been the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.