If there’s one company with its finger on the pulse — nay, hands around the beating heart — of PC gaming, it’s Valve. The company’s Steam Hardware and Software Survey is always interesting to analyse, given the massive sample size. Turns out December 2015 was a turning point for DirectX 11 GPUs, with the crown finally being taken from incumbent Intel.
The new king? NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970. It closed quickly over the later half of 2015 and overtook the HD 4000 series by December. It’s not all sad for Intel — still holds pole position with DirectX 10 devices.
DX11 GPUs make up over 80 per cent of all graphics hardware used on Steam, with DX10 hardware accounting for the bulk of the leftovers. The HD 3000 and HD 2000 rule supreme here and will likely do so for the rest of eternity, with a combined market share of 27 per cent.
Why does Intel have such a large showing in the first place? Because its graphics chips appear in a significant portion of notebooks and with newer generations, desktops as well. Basically, if you don’t have a discrete GPU, it’s almost certainly going to be an Intel GPU handling your system’s display workload.