The February 2018 Steam Hardware Survey says ni hao PC wan jia

The uninitiated may not realize that Valve's ridiculously-successful content delivery platform Steam collects data about their hardware every month. Put down your pitchforks, privacy nuts—it's all anonymous. The company publishes the data, too, which occasionally makes for interesting reading. February's numbers are out now, and it's been a while since we last looked at them. Let's take a peek.

For the most part, the survey's 173rd verse is the same as its predecessors. Steam users mostly still have Intel CPUs, Nvidia GPUs, and 8 GB of RAM. However, almost every category-topping result saw a negative change this month, meaning that trends could be shifting. Plus, even though nearly every category barely moved this month, it's pretty interesting to compare to last year's numbers.

Most notably, in the last year, Steam has enjoyed a massive influx of Chinese-speaking users. According to the most recent survey, some 64% of Steam users are now using Simplified Chinese as their display language. That number dwarfs the share the second-largest cohort, English-speaking players, at 17.6%.

Until relatively recently, PC gaming was the only type of video gaming going on in China because the country's government had issued a ban on all foreign game consoles. That ban was lifted in 2015, though, so the the Asian Steam invasion isn't fully explained through this data alone. Part of the influx of Chinese users almost certainly has to do with the release of the mega-hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in that region. Steam could also be an easy way to acquire games that are otherwise unavailable in China, as many titles on the service likely haven't been formally approved by the government.

In any case, the massive influx of gamers from the Sino-Asian sub-continent has shifted the results in a couple notable ways. In June of last year, half of Steam's users were on Windows 10 64-bit. Today that number sits at around 25%, and some 68.5% of Steam users are now on Windows 7 64-bit. Last year, around half of Steam users were using monitors with a resolution of 1920×1080. That number has now increased to over 76%. The percentage of users using Full-HD monitors dropped slightly from last month, but it looks like most of the gains went to the 1366×768 displays that make up the next-largest fraction of Steam users, at 8.2%. Less than 5% of Steam users have 2560×1440 or higher-resolution displays.

Intel still holds the CPU crown with almost 91% of Steam users. However, AMD is gaining ground—albeit slowly. The scrappy underdog gained a whole percentage point of Steam share last month, putting it a bit over 9%. AMD also gained a little ground in graphics cards, although Radeons' sub-one-percent gain was really just a recovery from a loss in January. The red team sits at 8.9% of the Steam graphics card market, while green giant Nvidia holds over 85%. Most of the rest goes to Intel, although there's a tiny fraction (0.16%) of "other" graphics chips in there.

Over in VR land, Windows Mixed Reality headsets are making their way into the survey. Those visors comprise a bit more than 5% of the surveyed market. The HTC Vive was formerly the champion among Steam users, but it's taken second place behind the Oculus Rift in recent months. The two headsets still vie quite closely for supremacy: the HTC Vive has 45% of the SteamVR market share, while the Rift has 47%. Of course, less than a third of a percent of Steam users have any VR headset at all.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    What does TRs 2018 HARDWARE SURVEY say?

    • Stochastic
    • 2 years ago

    It would be nice if they added an option to sort the results by country. It would be interesting to compare results in different regions.

    • Rand
    • 2 years ago

    I wonder how many of those new Chinese users are on Steam just for Player Unknown’s Battleground (Could they not think up a less stupid title?) and how many are regularly contributing to Valve’s finances be it purchasing games/cards or buying in Free to play economies Valve controls.

    I’ve noticed significantly more Chinese language games on there, but it’s hard to get a good feel for how well their selling.

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]hard to get a good feel for how well their selling[/quote<] [url<]http://steamspy.com[/url<]

        • Rand
        • 2 years ago

        I know of the site, perhaps I misspoke. What I meant is it’s hard to know how well their selling relative to expectations and if those Chinese only titles are making any meaningful impact.

    • chubbyhorse
    • 2 years ago

    According to the Steam HW Stats .. there is 0.00% of users have 32 cores in their system.
    I wonder what the odds are that one other user who uses steam also has 32 cores.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]According to the Steam HW Stats .. there is 0.00% of users have 32 cores in their system. [/quote<] Well Steam is clearly biased against Epyc Games.

        • K-L-Waster
        • 2 years ago

        Someone’s getting RIPPED off….

      • Kraaketaer
      • 2 years ago

      According to Valve in early 2017, they had 67 million monthly active users. 0.01% of that is 6700 users. No, I don’t think there are 6700 people out there using Steam on 32-core PCs. More than 0, though? Sure. If they use standard rounding rules, there could be up to 3350 users out there with those PCs and it’d still show as 0.00% in the statistics.

    • odizzido
    • 2 years ago

    Almost 25% of systems can use DX12….how unfortunate 🙁 That’s way too many 🙁

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      WE’RE DOING OUR BEST TO KEEP THE NUMBER LOW HERE!
      — Intel’s graphics department

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        I think it’s mostly the W7 stalwarts.

          • meerkt
          • 2 years ago

          Don’t forget W8.

            • K-L-Waster
            • 2 years ago

            All 2 of them…

            • Concupiscence
            • 2 years ago

            Until recently I was one. It wasn’t out of loyalty, I just never bothered to upgrade to Windows 10, and now that box has been decommissioned.

            • BurntMyBacon
            • 2 years ago

            I think you are seriously underestimating the number of W8 holdouts … by like 50%.

            • Shobai
            • 2 years ago

            Sorry, what?

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            [quote=”Steam Hardware Survey: February 2018″<] Windows 7 64 bit - 68.50% Windows 7 - 1.32% Windows 8.1 64 bit - 2.26% Windows 8 64 bit - 0.23% Windows 8.1 - 0.06%[/quote<] It's not Windows 8.

      • LostCat
      • 2 years ago

      Add in the Xbox One systems and you can explain why DX12 gaming has taken off decently.

      (I’d make a guesstimate but eh.)

      It’ll be interesting to see how long China holds on to win7 after it’s unsupported.

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        My impression from travelling around the developing world is that popularity of a piece of software has zero to do with how well it’s supported and everything to do with how easily it’s pirated. That and people (understandably) want to use the same software the rest of the world is using (which is why ‘gimped’ versions aimed at the developing world always fail).

          • LostCat
          • 2 years ago

          I remember how long it took em to get off XP. Also had a friend in Romania with seriously crappy drives, so yeah I can see that. And win10s large patches would probably be enough to annoy people with poor storage options.

            • Spunjji
            • 2 years ago

            Not to mention decent broadband!

            • LostCat
            • 2 years ago

            He has 100Mb for like $5 a month or something, I think they got that covered.

            At least it seems like better than we do heh.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    OK. So you’re saying… [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDrfE9I8_hs<]China?[/url<]

      • chubbyhorse
      • 2 years ago

      China? Because……………..CHINA!

      • Mr Bill
      • 2 years ago

      He’s a little “Steamed” about China, would you say?

      • curtisb
      • 2 years ago

      Let’s saaaay…China.

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