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Valve publishes hardware survey results

Valve publishes hardware survey results

Valve has published the details of the December 2009 hardware survey, revealing XP 32-bit as the most popular OS.

Valve has released the details of the December 2009 hardware survey revealing, among other things, that the most popular operating system is still Windows XP 32-bit, with 44.77 percent of the market.

Intel dominates the CPU market, with 68.97 percent to AMD's 31.03 percent, while Nvidia similarly trounces ATI with 63.46 percent of Steam users using it's products. ATI carves the next biggest sliver of the GPU market with 28.97 percent, while Intel has 5.03 percent (that is, onboard graphics) and 'Other' companies take the remaining 2.54 percent.

You can see the results in full, with charts galore and lots of pretty colours, over on the official site. Check below for the most popular hardware choices among Steam users.

Windows Version: Windows XP 32 bit 44.77%
System RAM: 2 GB 30.94%
Processor Vendor: GenuineIntel 69.06%
Intel CPU Speeds: 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz 26.86%
AMD CPU Speeds: 2.0 Ghz to 2.29 Ghz 9.62%
Physical CPUs: 2 cpus 56.93%
DirectX 10 Systems (Vista with DirectX 10 GPU): ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series 6.78%
DirectX 10 GPUs: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 13.64%
DirectX 9 Shader Model 2b and 3.0 GPUs: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 12.83%
DirectX 9 Shader Model 2.0 GPUs: ATI Radeon 9600 16.79%
NVIDIA Drivers: 8.16.11.9107 (9/27/2009) 19.19%
ATI Drivers: 8.14.10.700 (9/23/2009) 10.18%
Multi-GPU Systems: NVIDIA SLI (2 GPUs) 2.40%
VRAM: 512 MB 40.01%
Primary Display Resolution: 1280 x 1024 21.20%
Multi-Monitor Desktop Resolution: 2960 x 1050 12.95%
Audio Devices: Realtek HD Audio output 40.70%
Microphones: Yes 77.82%
Language: English 56.76%
Free Hard Drive Space: 10 GB to 99 GB 36.78%
Total Hard Drive Space: 250 GB to 499 GB 32.02%
Network Speed: 2,048.0 Kbps 34.61%

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

51 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Omnituens 8th January 2010, 11:30 Quote
Shows how many people don't look for driver updates often.
mi1ez 8th January 2010, 11:34 Quote
Some interesting figures, especially regarding gains and losses.
impar 8th January 2010, 12:11 Quote
Greetings!

So, will Bit-tech write a review of the performance difference between an "ordinary-according-to-Steam-survey-PC" versus a current PC?
Bindibadgi 8th January 2010, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

So, will Bit-tech write a review of the performance difference between an "ordinary-according-to-Steam-survey-PC" versus a current PC?

That's a good idea!

Acccctually I think CustomPC did something similar on "upgrading your old PC" in this month's mag (goes to press today).

So XP-32bit, 2GB memory, 8800 GT 512MB graphics, 1680x1050 monitor, dual core CPU

versus

7 64bit, 4GB memory, 5770/5850 graphics?, 1920x1200 monitor, quad core CPU.

Actually, yea the more I think about this the more I want to knock the article together ^_^
smc8788 8th January 2010, 12:16 Quote
More worrying is the fact that there appears to be Steam users who still use dial-up :?
[PUNK] crompers 8th January 2010, 12:21 Quote
there are steam users all over the world though smc, some parts of america are still on dial up as well as eastern block countries. most of them probably never play anything online its all just to DL games
impar 8th January 2010, 12:24 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
That's a good idea!
...
So XP-32bit, 2GB memory, 8800 GT 512MB graphics, 1680x1050 monitor, dual core CPU

versus

7 64bit, 4GB memory, 5770/5850 graphics?, 1920x1200 monitor, quad core CPU.

Actually, yea the more I think about this the more I want to knock the article together ^_^
Good! ;)

Ideally, it would have three PC systems. The OATSSPC (ordinary according to Steam survey PC), a mid range PC (i3-i5 + 5770) and a high specced PC (i7 + 5870).
smc8788 8th January 2010, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crompers
there are steam users all over the world though smc, some parts of america are still on dial up as well as eastern block countries. most of them probably never play anything online its all just to DL games

That's my point though, the primary use of Steam is to download games, and that must take an age on a 56k connection, especially with most of today's games reaching well over 5GB.

If you only have dial-up, why wouldn't you just buy the game from a shop?
[PUNK] crompers 8th January 2010, 12:45 Quote
i reckon in some of those countries it will probably be hard to get hold of everything you want from a shop, also if you live 200 miles away from the nearest city in america you are probably more likely to put up with a week long download time than driving the pick up cross country
AlexB 8th January 2010, 12:48 Quote
Wow. Most people seem to have shiteoboxes. :/
phuzz 8th January 2010, 12:54 Quote
So, 45.1% of steam users have DX10, and altogether 72.8% have a DX10 capable system.
Oh, and there's still people running XP on a home machine, why?
[PUNK] crompers 8th January 2010, 13:02 Quote
i am still dual booting XP as I have older software on there which wont work in W7. its fairly common.
steveo_mcg 8th January 2010, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phuzz
So, 45.1% of steam users have DX10, and altogether 72.8% have a DX10 capable system.
Oh, and there's still people running XP on a home machine, why?

I still run XP and since its only really used to boot up games why bother upgrading to Win7.
Bauul 8th January 2010, 13:35 Quote
Or more realistically most people still use XP because that's what people use! Of all the people I know who play games, only one (me) upgraded to Windows 7. All my friends and family won't upgrade until they change PC. We're a very abnormal bunch here on Bit-Tech, don't think for a moment we're representative of even a small part of the actual population.
FelixTech 8th January 2010, 14:00 Quote
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 isn't very precise is it? :P I guess it shows I'm not alone in not being able to justify an upgrade from my 8800 GTX yet.
klimatekhange 8th January 2010, 14:06 Quote
I'm dual booting XP and Win 7 - with the Win 7 on a eSATA attached drive. The only issue I have is with my onboard Digital Out which has stopped working and the driver doesn't load up. I'm a total convert to Win7 though so don't think I'll boot much into XP.

I'm going DX11 as soon as there's some competition.
LeMaltor 8th January 2010, 14:53 Quote
When Dx10 becomes the bee knees must have I'll upgrade to using Vista.

Ow wait.

When DX11 becomes the bees knees must have I'll upgrade to using 7......
Gunsmith 8th January 2010, 14:57 Quote
nice to see im part of the 0.04% with Tri-SLI under the bonnet
Jipa 8th January 2010, 15:00 Quote
These Steam-things serve excellently in bringing us geeks back to earth. NOBODY in real life has a SLI/CF-setup for example. Also I would love to know if the second most popular CPU setup is a single core, or a quad. Judging by the low end graphics, I'm betting on a single core.

On the other hand the number of XP-users out there doesn't surprise me at all. Not everyone just can give a **** about the OS. As long as it works, there's no reason to change it. Also DX10 has been largely irrelevant to most, including me. If it wasn't for the need to run 3dmark vantage for GPU reviews and the XP installation getting slow, I'd probably still be using XP...
Hg 8th January 2010, 15:50 Quote
tbh i would say the reason for values results are those whinny little CSS kiddys who are still using the HP machine mummy and daddy brought them several years ago for Christmas, I know this is true as you see a lot of said machines in the CSS section of the i-series here in the UK…

I liked XP but it is now a bit long in the tooth, many a PC gamer now is either using Vista *cough* or is moving onto Win7, Nearly every New machine today offers one of these OS's and just shows how oftern those machines running CSS 24/7 get upgraded...
smc8788 8th January 2010, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
These Steam-things serve excellently in bringing us geeks back to earth. NOBODY in real life has a SLI/CF-setup for example. Also I would love to know if the second most popular CPU setup is a single core, or a quad. Judging by the low end graphics, I'm betting on a single core.

On the other hand the number of XP-users out there doesn't surprise me at all. Not everyone just can give a **** about the OS. As long as it works, there's no reason to change it. Also DX10 has been largely irrelevant to most, including me. If it wasn't for the need to run 3dmark vantage for GPU reviews and the XP installation getting slow, I'd probably still be using XP...

Full results are here:
Quote:
1 cpu (-2.69%) 18.08%
2 cpus (-0.25%) 56.93%
3 cpus (+0.11%) 0.95%
4 cpus (+2.84%) 23.99%
6 cpus (0.00%) 0.00%
8 cpus (-0.01%) 0.05%

I assume the 8 CPU figure must include Hyperthreaded i7's.

I'm actually surprised there's not more SLI/Crossfire setups, as that's usually a favourite of pre-built systems to include a couple of low-powered cards and market it as a high end machine. Though, judging from the figures, most of those systems probably pre-date either technology
supermonkey 8th January 2010, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phuzz
Oh, and there's still people running XP on a home machine, why?
Because it does everything I need it to do, and I have no real need to upgrade at the moment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
That's my point though, the primary use of Steam is to download games, and that must take an age on a 56k connection, especially with most of today's games reaching well over 5GB.

If you only have dial-up, why wouldn't you just buy the game from a shop?
I have DSL but I bought my copies of L4D1 and L4D2 at a local store. Despite having a physical copy of each, I still need to log into Steam to activate and play the games.

Of course, not all games are humongous. My wife downloaded a couple of older games that clock in well below that size.
Evildead666 8th January 2010, 18:49 Quote
What type of Multimonitor setup produces 2960 x 1050 ?
Considering that one of the displays will be 1680x1050.....
Evildead666 8th January 2010, 18:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by klimatekhange
I'm dual booting XP and Win 7 - with the Win 7 on a eSATA attached drive. The only issue I have is with my onboard Digital Out which has stopped working and the driver doesn't load up. I'm a total convert to Win7 though so don't think I'll boot much into XP.

I'm going DX11 as soon as there's some competition.

Dual booting also, XP for most of the stuff, and Win7 for Games and benchmarking....
dextro 8th January 2010, 19:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Full results are here:



I assume the 8 CPU figure must include Hyperthreaded i7's.

I'm actually surprised there's not more SLI/Crossfire setups, as that's usually a favourite of pre-built systems to include a couple of low-powered cards and market it as a high end machine. Though, judging from the figures, most of those systems probably pre-date either technology

Maybe Intel Skulltrail?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
What type of Multimonitor setup produces 2960 x 1050 ?
Considering that one of the displays will be 1680x1050.....

1280 x 764
frontline 8th January 2010, 20:00 Quote
90% of these users are using their system to play CS or CSS. Amazing how many threads you see in the steam forums asking how to improve performance on a single core laptop with integrated graphics....
Mentai 9th January 2010, 01:23 Quote
I wonder what percentage of DX10 capable users will convince Valve to implement DX10 into their games. Remember when they were pushing the latest DX9 features?
LordPyrinc 9th January 2010, 01:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hg
tbh i would say the reason for values results are those whinny little CSS kiddys who are still using the HP machine mummy and daddy brought them several years ago for Christmas

No need to single out HP computers. My Pavilion Elite was (and still is) a really good machine. I did swap out the stock power supply, but I was planning on doing that when I purchased it. It has been a really good gaming rig, however, the case just does not accomodate newer video cards in part due to the wiring and motherboard plug setup. It can handle a long card, but not one that takes up two slots (at least the HP model that I have can't).

Larger graphics cards are the primary reason I decided to build a new custom PC instead of buying it off the shelf.

BTW. My mummy and daddy have not bought me any of my computers for the last 15 years or so.
PureSilver 9th January 2010, 02:02 Quote
Does it say anywhere how many users Steam surveyed, and how many Steam users there are registered in total?
SMIFFYDUDE 9th January 2010, 14:56 Quote
When you think of how few DX10 games are out there, I see no reason why most people would need to upgrade to Vista or 7, or even upgrade their hardware for that matter. The posters on this site aren't really an accurate reflection of the average PC user. I suspect the average user doesn't even know what SLI or DirectX actually is.
Matticus 9th January 2010, 15:15 Quote
I am surprised the most popular res wasn't something like 640x480. All those css "pros"...
leexgx 9th January 2010, 15:33 Quote
there are a lot of systems that still use CS so some of these results can be bit messed up with all the CS lower end systems (should go to mutiplay events more then half of them are just there for CS only last time i when they had an Floor just for CS only)

most are quite happy with XP, due to poor feedback on vista (or its own fault + driver makers) has not taken off and users are Not likely going to Buy Vista upgrade or Win7 upgrade on there currant pc, they get it with there new pc comes

windows 7 does work well even on low end hardware as i have found out, but if the currant OS works no need to upgrade untill the PC brakes completely as most home users do

(companies will not even bother until the currant XP windows support has expired and even then they may hang on for 1-2 years after that) Vista will be skipped in most companies due to its bloated issues and network issues (we still got 5 more years on XP extended support left ? 2015 july exp )
SchizoFrog 9th January 2010, 15:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

So, will Bit-tech write a review of the performance difference between an "ordinary-according-to-Steam-survey-PC" versus a current PC?

That's a good idea!

Acccctually I think CustomPC did something similar on "upgrading your old PC" in this month's mag (goes to press today).

So XP-32bit, 2GB memory, 8800 GT 512MB graphics, 1680x1050 monitor, dual core CPU

versus

7 64bit, 4GB memory, 5770/5850 graphics?, 1920x1200 monitor, quad core CPU.

Actually, yea the more I think about this the more I want to knock the article together ^_^

I think it would be better to stick with the 32bit version of 7 as that is still by far more popular than the 64bit, especially if you stick with 4GB RAM.
Cobalt 10th January 2010, 01:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I think it would be better to stick with the 32bit version of 7 as that is still by far more popular than the 64bit, especially if you stick with 4GB RAM.

Not sure why. 32bit might be more popular overall, but not on that type of system. Not to mention that even with a fairly standard 4GB you won't be able to use all of that on a 32bit operating system.
docodine 10th January 2010, 07:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dextro
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Full results are here:
I assume the 8 CPU figure must include Hyperthreaded i7's.

Maybe Intel Skulltrail?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
What type of Multimonitor setup produces 2960 x 1050 ?
Considering that one of the displays will be 1680x1050.....

1280 x 764

Or AMD FX-7x (wait were those dual core?), dual/quad Opty or Xeon.

Surprised that absolutely nobody with the hex-core CPUs is on Steam..
ashchap 10th January 2010, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
1 cpu (-2.69%) 18.08%
2 cpus (-0.25%) 56.93%
3 cpus (+0.11%) 0.95%
4 cpus (+2.84%) 23.99%
6 cpus (0.00%) 0.00%
8 cpus (-0.01%) 0.05%

What setup gives you 3 CPUs? it's surprisingly popular...
M7ck 10th January 2010, 10:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashchap
What setup gives you 3 CPUs? it's surprisingly popular...

Phenom x3?
smc8788 10th January 2010, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I think it would be better to stick with the 32bit version of 7 as that is still by far more popular than the 64bit, especially if you stick with 4GB RAM.

No it's not, the 64-bit version of Windows 7 is actually twice as popular as 32-bit (according to this survey at least):

Windows 7 32-bit - 7.45%
Windows 7 64-bit - 15.61%

It seems people are finally realising it's about time they switched to a 64-bit operating system, and the vast majority of pre-built PCs (even the very low end ones) now ship with 64-bit Windows 7.
frontline 10th January 2010, 13:45 Quote
The thing that distorts this type of survey is everytime some kid gets vac banned, or even just banned off their favourite server, they just get a new account and may have taken the steam survey on the same system multiple times, with various accounts.

I've had one account which will be 6 years old on 1st Feb this year, i wonder how many accounts some others have got through in this period?
SMIFFYDUDE 10th January 2010, 14:59 Quote
Don't see why 32 bit would be more popular as a boxed copy of win 7 includes 32 and 64bit versions.
DragunovHUN 10th January 2010, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
Don't see why 32 bit would be more popular as a boxed copy of win 7 includes 32 and 64bit versions.

Hardly anyone buys retail windows, and not everyone got in on the Win7 preorder deal.
yougotkicked 10th January 2010, 18:46 Quote
i think this brings up a few very interesting points, first of which is the fact that almost 60% of users now have dual core cpu's. i hope this detail can help push the development of multi-threaded applications (especially games, multiplayer FPS's and such would see great performance gains if there were more support for multi-threading). i was a little supprised to see 1280x1024 as the most common screen resolution, as i have always thought a 5:4 ration was somewhat uncommon (especially as games frequently fail to recognize it automatically on my system and set it to something like 800x600).

most importantly though, it shows that (save for the OS) the average computer these days is not so bad. i think publishers can start raising the standards on game requirements, allowing them to make games with better quality graphics, more advanced AI, and so on and so forth, without worrying that the majority of players wont be able to run the game.
mrbens 11th January 2010, 00:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
Does it say anywhere how many users Steam surveyed, and how many Steam users there are registered in total?

As far as I know Steam scans your PC automatically to gather information, you don't have to do a survey.

It annoys me when I load Steam as it wakes up all my hard drives to have a nosy at my system which adds about 20 seconds to the log in time (I have them set to turn off after 5 mins idle as hard drives are noisy and I have 5 mechanical storage drives!)
B1GBUD 11th January 2010, 17:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Shows how many people don't look for driver updates often.

That's because updated drivers can break older games. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I will only install an updated driver is if there is a tangible benefit, eg extra performance or fix of known bugs for the games that I play.
PureSilver 11th January 2010, 19:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbens
As far as I know Steam scans your PC automatically to gather information, you don't have to do a survey.

Well, the scan is automatic, yes, but you have to agree to the scan and to the submission of the data (at least I did) - I wonder how many people just said 'no' when asked and how many users there are on Steam in total...
mrbens 11th January 2010, 22:11 Quote
It was a few years ago when I joined Steam so can't remember if I was asked or not when I made my account. I've just had a look in the options menus and can't see a way to not be part of the survey (not that I'd see any reason not to include my PC in their stats).

On Valve's website it basically says everybody will be included. It's just personal details they keep secret: http://www.valvesoftware.com/privacy.htm
Quote:
Collection and Use of Information
By using Valve's online sites and products, users agree that Valve may collect aggregate information, individual information, and personally identifiable information, as defined below. Valve may share aggregate information and individual information with other parties. Valve shall not share personally identifiable information with other parties, except as described in the policy below.

"Aggregate information" is information that describes the habits, usage patterns, and demographics of users as a group but does not describe or reveal the identity of any particular user.

"Individual information" is information about a user that is presented in a form distinguishable from information relating to other users but not in a form that personally identifies any user or enables the recipient to communicate directly with any user unless agreed to by the user in advance of such communication. This information may be used to improve Valve's products and online sites, for internal marketing studies, or simply to collect demographic information about Valve's users.
GravitySmacked 11th January 2010, 22:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
That's a good idea!

Acccctually I think CustomPC did something similar on "upgrading your old PC" in this month's mag (goes to press today).

So XP-32bit, 2GB memory, 8800 GT 512MB graphics, 1680x1050 monitor, dual core CPU

versus

7 64bit, 4GB memory, 5770/5850 graphics?, 1920x1200 monitor, quad core CPU.

Actually, yea the more I think about this the more I want to knock the article together ^_^

I look forward to reading that.
klimatekhange 12th January 2010, 12:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Shows how many people don't look for driver updates often.
Interestingly I think Steam will tell you if your drivers will make running a game difficult (although Batman kept crashing my PC until I updated the Nvidia drivers on my 260 SLI set-up and Steam didn't say anything). Steam also seems to want to update DirectX on installing any new game too.
smc8788 12th January 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by klimatekhange
Steam also seems to want to update DirectX on installing any new game too.

It just runs the installer to check if you have the latest version/whatever you need to run the game. If you are already up to date it won't install anything.
Blarte 21st January 2010, 12:15 Quote
All this gathering of information about people is getting obsessive and somewhat worrying ... Who eventually will get all this info about individuals? ... and then will our government officials loose it all on their laptop in a cab/train whilst worrying about buying a coffee ...
Not that I have anything going on in my dull mundane life that I would like hidden ... I just prefer not to have my life inspected analysed and dissected by data analysts from respective governments
smc8788 21st January 2010, 12:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarte
All this gathering of information about people is getting obsessive and somewhat worrying ... Who eventually will get all this info about individuals? ... and then will our government officials loose it all on their laptop in a cab/train whilst worrying about buying a coffee ...
Not that I have anything going on in my dull mundane life that I would like hidden ... I just prefer not to have my life inspected analysed and dissected by data analysts from respective governments

What difference does it make if the government knows whether you have a dual core or quad core CPU? It's not like they're giving out personally identifiable information about you anyway (since they don't have it), so you're just one statistic among several million.

I'm sure there are far worse things you could be worrying about.
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