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No one uses Fermi for gaming

HardwareNews
, 26 Aug 2010News

At first glance, the latest Steam Hardware Survey makes Nvidia look like the king of graphics. The green giant commands 59.11 per cent of the overall graphics pie, compared with its arch rival's 32.98 per cent. However, a little bit of digging reveals some bad news for Nvidia; virtually no one is using its Fermi graphics cards for gaming. 

If you take a look at the Video Card Description list on the main survey page, you won't find a single GeForce GTX 400-series GPU listed. That's because they come under the Other category at the bottom, meaning so few people use them that it's not worth Valve listing the stats on the main page.

You can see why if you dig deeper into Steam's detailed video card figures. Head over to the DirectX 11 GPU section, and you'll see that AMD's Radeon HD 5700 and 5800-series GPUs account for 71.29 per cent of the DirectX 11 segment.

Steam DX11

Comparatively, only 7.44 per cent of gamers with DX11 GPUs are using GeForce GTX 470 and 480 GPUs. That's 7.44 per cent of a small subsection, five months after the cards' original release. The picture for Nvidia looks even worse if you add up the percentages from all of AMD's other DirectX 11 GPUs, which together account for 91.74 per cent of the DirectX 11 GPUs used by gamers on Steam.

On the plus side, Nvidia's overall share figures are still higher than its competitor's, but this is purely down to the popularity of its older GPUs. Its most popular GPU range is the GeForce 8800 series, which was first released back in November 2006. This accounts for 5.99 per cent of the overall GPU results, while AMD's Radeon HD 4850 is still the most popular GPU with a 7.21 per cent share of the pie.

Elsewhere, the survey also revealed that one in 20 Steam gamers is using a Mac, with the various versions of Apple's OS grabbing a 5.07 per cent share of Steam gamers.

Interestingly, it looks as though most Mac owners are also choosing to run their games on a laptop. MacBook Pros accounted for 46.78 per cent of Apple-based Steam installs, compared with 23.18 per cent on iMacs and just 5.41 per cent on fully fledged Mac Pros.

However, it's worth noting that Apple's portion of Steam users has shrunk slightly since last month, owing to the increasing popularity of Windows 7 64-bit, which now accounts for 28.24 per cent of operating systems running Steam. Meanwhile, the age-old 32-bit version of Windows XP still remains the operating system of choice, commanding a 32.73 per cent share of Steam users.

This survey also revealed the results from Steam's first round of its Software Survey, showing that over a third of Steam users have a torrent client installed.

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