It's Valve's Hardware Survey time again, wouldyabelieveit, and RPS' resident person who knows anything about hardware is currently in a bunker four hundred feet below the Earth's surface, working on a project so top secret that even he isn't aware what he's doing. So, er, best of luck to me then.
Based on 1.7 million results, these figures are obviously a massive help to Valve, telling them exactly what tech their audience has. But they are likely poured over by every other developer, keen to get a perspective on where the average PC gamer lies, and a direction for which setups to pitch their games toward. LucasArts, can we suggest you take a look?
Intel still dominate the processors, but AMD aren't too far behind. 58.5% to 41.5%, despite Intel's head start with the multiple cores. Talking of which, over 59% of gamers are still working with just the one CPU, with 36.6% spreading the load across two. A lucky few, 4.3%, have a quad core, and a completely mysterious 107 people claim to have 3 CPUs. 227 players (0.02%) report 8 of the buggers, while one person reports 30. Then there are three people lying about having 127 CPUs inside their machines. Unless they are space travellers from the future.
NVidia continue to shit all over ATI, with over 62% of the graphics drivers run coming from the former. ATI only get a 31% share. The GeForce 8800 is on a remarkable 9.35% of people's machines. (And apparently 71,425 people are still running DX7).
I'm slightly surprised by the lack of a big step forward for widescreen monitors. You'd be hard pressed to find a square TV for sale these days, but still 73.9% of Valve's users are playing on a 4:3 screen. Only 25.7% have gone 16:9. (3.5% are running multiple desktops. Also in, 3.5% of users like to pretend they are a super-tech detective in an action movie).
Obviously Steam attracts a lot of microphone users, in order that they can loudly announce the sexuality of their opponents, and 64.5% of Valve's audience say they have a mic. 23.4% say they don't. Which leaves an extremely troubling 12.1% of gamers who don't know if they have a microphone. Maybe it's hiding!
But most surprising, Vista has shown a decrease in its share of users since November's results. Six months ago it climbed from 7.99% to 16.91%. Microsoft must surely be expecting a significant increase by now, but rather the operating system was reported as being on only 14.95% of machines. No one wants your DX10, Microsoft!