Valve Updates Steam Hardware Survey

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
It's time again to peruse the results of the latest hardware survey on Steam. There are a few interesting and not-so-interesting results this time around. First up is network speed, which shows less than 5% are still on dial-up, while another 30% are on a 1Mbit or lower. The most popular network connection is 2Mbit, at 31%.

For RAM, an 38% are using 2GB and higher. The bulk of the CPU usage belongs to Intel with 58.48%, with AMD not so far behind with 41.51%. Interestingly, there are 109 Tri-Core Phenom users mixed in there, with three users running 127 cores. Is that even reasonably possible?

The majority of users are using NVIDIA's 8800 series, which could include pretty-well any of the models, which is unfortunate, since an 8800GS is far different in performance than the 8800GTS 512. NVIDIA dominates though, with ATI's classic cards being the most popular. The top ATI card is actually the 9600. Believe that!?

Here's another interesting stat, and one I'm having a seriously hard time believing. Where 16:9 displays are concerned, 15% are using a 24" offering, while a staggering 19.32% are using larger than that. The majority of users, however, use 1280x960, at 40% of all submissions. This makes no sense to me.

It's not at all surprising to see Windows XP in the lead for OS choice, with 81%, with Vista 32-bit at 15% and 64-bit at 2.65%. Check out the link below for the rest of the results, and just drop your jaw in the fact that some people are running less than 256MB of RAM and others run displays less than 7" in size. Nuts!

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Every few months we run a hardware survey on Steam. If you participate, the survey collects data about what kinds of computer hardware and system software you're using, and the results get sent to Steam. The survey is incredibly helpful for us as game developers in that it ensures that we're making good decisions about what kinds of technology investments to make, and also gives people a way to compare their own current hardware setup to that of the community as a whole.

Source: Steam Powered Survey Results


The Tech Wizard
It has always been an interesting survey.
Over the years you can see how game development has evolved.
Another thing is, it's an automatic survey, that you agree to, and stats are read from your virtualy there is no cheating.
There's nothing like the community also, working together on systems from the game it's self. Members actually work together to build their system to play together.
One guy in our group had a very old GPU, so we got together and sent him a better one, which we almost regreted because he started whipping our butts ( we teased that we wanted the video card back )
In the survey also, you can see a very small percentage using built in graphics, on the motherboard.
And available hard drive space is another result is always interesting.

:techgage::techgage: Merlin :techgage::techgage:
( 4 years on Steam )
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Hey Rob, woah, I kid of disliked how you wrote that. Basically by saying "Believe that!?" or "This makes no sense to me." you are saying "I don't understand why most of these people don't have super awesome computers".
Believe it or not, not everyone is capable of keeping up with the latest tech.
Btw, I have a ATI 9600. So what?

Rob Williams

Staff member
"Believe that!?" was referring to the fact that the most popular ATI card used is four-years-old. Yes, that does surprise me, big time. I didn't mean it as an insult. It just blows me away that the most popular ATI GPU used is a mid-range card that came out in 2003, when the most popular NVIDIA GPU listed is only a year old.

As for "This makes no sense to me.", I was referring to the fact that the things don't seem to add up. How could it be that 35% of people use 24+" monitors (that normally support 1920x1200 or higher), but 40% of people using widescreen use 1280x960?

It wasn't an exclamation of how impressed I am that people are still gaming at such low resolutions, it has everything to do with the fact that it doesn't seem to add up.


Techgage Staff
Staff member
ATI 9600XT was all ya need to max out CS, and had enough oopmh to even handle HDR CS:S maps, although it did lag at higher resolutions on HDR maps during intense action with nades going off. Still, way more than enough for those CS, CS:S, CS:Z and all the other versions of CS that were released back then. I ran my ATI 9600XT at 1280x1024, and 1152x864 sometimes.

It also helps Valve designs their games for these older GPUs... their latest game Team Fortress 2 will in fact play on something like a x1300, if you were willing. Extremely few modern game engines could claim the same. Even an 8400GS is playable with HL2 Episode Two, impressive for a 64bit card.
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