AMD’s Ryzen CPUs fight back in Steam’s April hardware survey

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G motherboard

AMD have been a bit on the back foot in recent years, but it would appear the release of their new Ryzen+ CPUs is already paying off. According to Steam’s latest hardware survey for April 2018, AMD took a 4.8% bite out of Intel’s lead last month, taking the number of Steam users using an AMD processor to a new high of 15.96%. That’s an increase of 45% since December 2017.

Things aren’t so rosy for AMD in the graphics card department, however, as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 is still the reigning champion by quite some margin. 

The number of GTX 1060 users has actually been falling since January this year, but our best graphics card recommendation for 1440p gaming still makes up a sizable 12.29% of all Steam users’ GPUs. The next most popular card is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti at 8.6%.

It would also appear that the steadily falling graphics card prices have encouraged a few people to take the plunge and upgrade, as there’s been a 1.1% increase in the number of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 users, and a 0.72% rise in Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 owners.

AMD’s Vega GPUs and its RX 500 series, however, are still failing to make much of a dent, as the most popular AMD card on Steam’s list is one of their old Radeon R7 models, taking a massive 0.96% of all Steam GPUs and coming 19th overall.

Indeed, it’s not until you get significantly further down the list that the AMD Radeon RX 580 finally makes an appearance, taking a 0.29% share. That’s a 1% increase month-on-month, but AMD’s Vega 64 and Vega 56 cards don’t even make the list.

Meanwhile, 1920×1080 is still the most popular resolution for single-screen setups among Steam users, making up 61.39%. That said, this is actually 10.62% lower than last month, with the biggest gain (4.24%) being at 1366×768.

On the multi-monitor side, it would appear that 3840×1080 (or two 1080p monitors) is still the favoured resolution, nudging up 0.03% to a total share of 34.89%.

April’s hardware survey also introduces a number of fixes to address “the overcounting of cyber cafe customers” in Asia, according to Valve, which led to significant upheavals in OS and Language. “Many cyber cafes manage their hardware in a way that was causing their customers to be over counted,” Valve said, prompting a huge increase in the number of Windows 7 users as well as the use of Simplified Chinese over the last seven months.

As a result, both stats fell dramatically in April’s survey, with Windows 7 dropping by 20.9% and Simplified Chinese by 21.89%, allowing Windows 10 and English to take the top spot in their respective categories.


  1. Hunchback says:

    We’ve been planning an upgrade for my wife’s PC for quite some time, and holding on till “prices are good”…
    It kind of seems to be such a moment now, with that new Ryzen and all, at least when CPU/MB are concerned. Reading through some of the latest H/W reviews on RPS it seems that these new Ryzen CPUs are actually worth it?
    Trouble is, i’ve only had bad to horrible experience with AMD hardware, especially GPUs. I’ve “sworn” never to buy an AMD GPU ever again, and even if i am not as obstinate to actually “never” consider it, i’ll need some damn good convincing to invest in an AMD GPU. Still, i’ve had less trouble with their CPU selection.

    So, i am really pondering the jump. Is it worth it? How long will it last? Do you have to dump all your DDR3 or the new MBs are backwards compatible?

    • Sakkura says:

      DDR3 is obsolete, not compatible with any of the modern CPUs/motherboards.

      Ryzen and the brand-new Ryzen+ (AKA Ryzen 2nd gen) gets you extremely good multithreaded performance for the money, along with decent singlethreaded performance. So in terms of longevity for gaming, with games slowly getting better at using more cores, Ryzen/Ryzen+ is a good bet to last you many years. It’s also an easy pick for things like video editing or recording/streaming your gameplay (if it’s CPU-based encoding).

      It’s just that some current (and most older) games will favor Intel to some extent, especially if you have a top of the line GPU and a 144Hz monitor (or above).

      • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

        Not sure if Skylake is to be considered obsolete – I’m sure same trick is possible with Kaby Lake – but when I’ve upgraded to my i5 6600 and GTX 1070 combo back in 2016, I wasn’t ready to ditch my 8GB of trusty DDR3 memory with some crazy warranty time period (either 15 years or lifetime – not sure), so I’ve risked it and bought ASUS B150M D3 series motherboard that guaranteed to have support of normal DDR3 memory (specifically the model I own) with Skylake processors, as opposed to Intel announcing that only lower-voltage DDR3L were okay to use.

        Bought it, lowered the voltage for my RAM down to 1.355V just to be on a safe side and years later couldn’t be happier with my decision as the bandwidth of decently clocked dual-channel DDR3 is more than enough to not bottle-neck the loading times even when loading from SSD.
        A year later bought two more used sticks of memory of the same model and now sitting with 16GB of cheap (in comparison with DDR4) RAM and a beast of a machine that’s yet to fail to render anything on max below 60FPS on 1080p with no framerate hiccups whatsoever.

        • Sakkura says:

          The Skylake CPUs aren’t obsolete if you own them, but nobody should be buying/building new systems with them anymore.

    • Jabberslops says:

      The new Ryzen and Ryzen 2 CPUs and platforms are worth a look. It’s the first new generation of AMD CPUs worth investing in for lower budgets since the the early Phenom/Athlon and later Phenom II/Athlon II. Good prices and great performance overall.

      There are some Intel boards for Skylake that support DDR3L low voltage 1.35v modules, but 1.5v modules will kill the memory controller over time. Your best bet for reusing DDR3 is a Haswell system (i3/5/7 4xxx), although I wouldn’t even bother if it’s not at least DDR3 1600.

      You can still get new Haswell boards if you look around, but you will likely end up having to buy a used CPU, which is not nearly as big an issue with Intel CPUs, because the pins are on the Motherboard instead of the CPU like AMD.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      What’s the thing blocking you from AMD GPUs? They’re often substantially better from a price perspective.

      If you’re still on DDR3, like me, I assume you’re basing this on older cards?

    • Arcanon says:

      As much as I like RPS, this isn’t exactly the first place I’d go to for a detailed hardware review.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      Go with your own real world experience mate. You’ll save yourself a lot of mither.

    • Kaladin says:

      If you dont plan on doing some overclocking on your own (or do some mild OC only) get a decent B450 if you can find one and pair it with a Ryzen 2600x.
      The the 2600X(comes free with wraith prism cooler) +XFR2 on the new B450/X470 AM4 boards keeps the clocks at boost speeds on all cores at all times as long as you can keep it cool without having to OC, add in some good 3400 DDR4 and your good to go
      As for the GPU, go for whatever fits budget, AMD gpus arent really that bad if you can get them at decent prices especially if your planing or already using a freesync monitor, just dont get the RX550/560(or the GTX1030/1050 for that matter) if you plan on gaming at 1080p medium/high

      • Sakkura says:

        B450 boards are not available yet. The widely circulated bluechip roadmap indicates B450 will launch in July.

        But B350 does mostly the same thing, just needs a BIOS update to work with Ryzen 2nd gen.

  2. Sakkura says:

    The changes in the Steam hardware survey over the past year or so are more driven by China and changes in survey methodology than actual changes in the hardware adoption. Though Ryzen has been successful for sure.

    You can use the Oculus hardware survey for a less volatile source, but unfortunately they don’t keep an archive of older reports (use Wayback Machine, I guess). And of course it’s limited to the midrange and up, low-end gaming PCs don’t make the cut for VR.

  3. jezcentral says:

    Can you really tell if the 1060 numbers have been falling? I thought Steam just showed market share.

  4. racccoon says:

    I suppose this is like being a fan.
    I am a fan of intel and a fan of nvidia.
    It may change in time, for now I’m not jumping till I see more ….cheapness. lol