Steam has finally published its latest findings across its gargantuan platform, and as you'd expect there's some interesting tidbits about millions upon millions of gamers who use the service.
Windows 10 has finally reached the tipping point
It took a while, but Windows 10 has finally reached the point of no return. The 64-bit version of the OS was used by 50.15% of respondents, which is nearly twice the amount of users that have refused to move off Windows 7. Interestingly, despite being universally admonished as total garbage and getting bugger all support from developers, 0.1% of users surveyed were still using Windows Vista. Sounds like some cheeky office workers sneaking Nidhogg and Spelunky onto their office PCs, if you ask me.
The adoption rate of VR ... isn't much
Both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift became a little more popular from February to March, with little being the operative word. The Rift's userbase jumped by 0.02% among respondents to 0.13%, while the Vive remained top dog with 0.24% (up by 0.01%) of respondents owning the Newell-sanctioned headset. The survey didn't outline any other competitors bar the devkit variations of the Rift, however, although it's difficult to imagine the userbase of headsets like StarVR, OSVR and LG's prototype challenging the Rift or Vive anytime soon.
NVIDIA's GTX 970 is still the most popular gamer GPU
Whether it's a system playing predominately DirectX 10, 11 or 12 games, the end result is the same: NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970 is the most popular GPU among enthusiast gamers. It's not the most common GPU across the whole platform - that's the HD 4000, the integrated GPU that shipped with Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs around 2012 and early 2013. But for gamers who want something a bit more, the GTX 970 is the way to go. It's the top GPU amongst DX10, DX11 and DX12 systems, with the affordable GTX 960 runner up for older PCs.
For PCs on Windows 10 playing DX12 games, the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 have become the second and third most popular GPUs. The results are a good snapshot of what PCs use the further you go down the list: there are more people, for instance, running the mobile variant of the GTX 960 than the high-end GTX 1080. The GTX 970 is also the most popular GPU among Linux users, beating out the HD 4000 and HD 4400.
As for AMD's Polaris GPUs? The RX 480 is only used by 0.70% of respondents on Windows 10 PCs, and 0.81% of respondents on all variants on Windows. The real interesting part here is where the HD 7700, HD 7900 and HD 8800 GPUs, cards that are five and four years old respectively, was more commonplace in the survey than last year's RX 480. For PC gamers, that's a long time between upgrades.
Intel is getting more popular - for now
Nearly 80% of respondents were using an Intel CPU, a 1.46% bump from the previous year. That's a substantial chunk of the market, but it's also worth considering that the AMD Ryzen CPUs only launched in market at the start of the month. Most importantly, the Ryzen 3 and 5 series CPUs aren't available yet. And those are the CPUs targeted at the biggest chunk of gamers on Steam: just over half of respondents were using a system with only 4 CPUs, with almost 44% on a system with only 2 CPUs.
Given that the Ryzen 1700, 1700X and 1800X are targeted at developers, streamers, desktop workstations and gamers who dabble in between all three, it wasn't likely that Steam's survey would reflect any kind of shift towards AMD in the March results. (Only 0.32% of users surveyed was using a hexacore PC, which gives you an indication of what the PC market really looks like.) We'll get a better idea of how the Ryzen CPUs are received across Steam towards the end of the year, when all of the Ryzen CPUs have begun to disseminate throughout the market.
Nearly 18% of people don't know whether they have a microphone
This one says more about the people using their system than the survey, I think. Needless to say, 17.93% of those surveyed weren't sure about whether they could spout profanities to their fellow gamers on Steam. 18.67% of people knew for sure they didn't have a microphone at all - or just preferred to say they didn't.
Nearly 1% of Steam users are still using Windows XP
God bless your souls, you fine people.