ATI Radeon HD 4800 most popular gaming GPU

Overtaking Nvidia’s established champion GeForce 8800 cards in terms of popularity was always going to be a tough challenge for AMD. However, the latest Steam Hardware Survey has revealed that the company’s Radeon HD 4800-series is now the most popular GPU among Steam users.

AMD’s sreadiy ageing DirectX 10.1 architecture now tops three of the charts in the latest Steam Hardware Survey. A substantial 11.64 percent of DirectX 10 GPUs on Steam are now Radeon HD 4800-series cards, while Nvidia’s GeForce 8800-series is just behind on 11.19 percent. The 4800 series is also the most popular GPU overall, commanding 8.7 percent of the graphics pie, while the GeForce 8800 series is just behind on 8.36 percent.

It’s not all bad news for Nvidia, though. The green team’s chips still account for a whopping 65.01 percent of all the GPUs among Steam users. It’s also worth noting that the GeForce 9800-series is the third most popular on the list, and these GPUs are based on the same G92 core as the later GeForce 8800-series cards. Basically, if it wasn’t for Nvidia’s rebranding strategy, the company’s GPUs would still be on top of the charts.

Still, it’s good to see a vaguely current GPU architecture capturing the imagination of Steam users. We were a bit concerned when last month’s resultsstill showed the crusty GeForce 8800-series sitting on top of the charts.

That said, Nvidia and ATI’s latest and greatest architectures are still lagging behind. The Radeon HD 5800-series only accounts for 1.64 percent of the GPUs among Steam users, which could well be down to the recession, as well as the lack of DirectX 11 titles, not to mention the supply problems with 40nm chips. Even so, this is an increase of 0.61 percent compared to last month. Meanwhile, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 260 is doing a bit better at sixth place on the grid.

The amount of RAM that gamers want on their graphics cards is also slowly increasing. Although 512MB cards are still the most popular by a long way (37.17 percent overall), cards with 1GB of RAM have increased in number to snap up 20.3 per cent of the Steam market; a rise of 2.55 percent of since last month.

Meanwhile, the survey also reveals a growing trend towards systems with quad-core CPUs, 4GB of RAM and 64-bit operating systems. Although Windows XP 32-bit is still the most popular OS, its use has fallen by 3.48 per cent since last month. However Windows 7 64-bit is quickly catching up, increasing its share by 3.95 per cent to an overall 22.99 per cent.

Similarly, machines with 4GB of RAM have also increased in number by 2.07 per cent since last month, while quad-core CPUs have also grabbed an extra 2.58 per cent of the share of Steam users.

Interestingly, triple-core CPUs only command an absolutely miniscule 0.98 percent of Steam users’ PCs. This perhaps shows showing that the difference in cost between AMD’s X3 and X4 CPUs isn’t enough to make the purchase worthwhile.

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