The December Steam hardware survey shows that the GeForce GTX 970 is now the most popular GPU

By midian182
Jan 15, 2016
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  1. Steam has just updated its hardware and software survey as of December 2015 and it shows that there’s a new favorite graphics card among PC gamers who use the store: Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970.

    This is the first time that the 970 has taken the number one spot from Intel's HD Graphics 4000. Nvidia’s GPU is now found in 4.89 percent of Steam users’ machines – an increase from the 4.75 percent in November. Moreover, the survey shows that almost every integrated graphics card has seen a decline in the last four months, suggesting that more PC owners are choosing dedicated cards over iGPUs.

    As usual, Nvidia cards dominate the top ten most popular DirectX 11 GPUs, accounting for 7 out of the 10 entries. The only Radeon product is the HD7900 series at number 9. According to the survey, the third most popular card is the GTX 760, followed by the 750 Ti at number four and the GTX 960 in fifth position.

    Steam Hardware & Software Survey: December 2015

    Out of all of Nvidia’s top-end cards, only the GTX 980 makes the chart, with 1.08 percent of Steam users owning the beefy GPU. Overall, Nvidia makes up 54.61 percent of the GPUs on the list, 26.33 percent of people opt for AMD cards, and 18.66 percent have Intel based GPUs.

    The most popular monitor resolution, meanwhile, is still 1920 X 1080, with 35.15 percent of people continuing to prefer it. Only 1.28 percent use 2560 X 1440, while UHD/4K has been taken up by just 0.7 percent of Steam users.

    When it comes to operating systems, Windows 7 stays at number one with 34.81 percent of users, but this may be its last month at the top; it has been in constant decline since the launch of Windows 10, which is at number two with a 32.76 percent share. The number of people using Microsoft’s latest OS has increased every month since its release, while Windows 7, 8 and Vista usage has fallen drastically over the same period.

    The GeForce GTX 970s success comes despite the 3.5 GB memory allocation ‘controversy’ earlier this year. The card has excellent performance, is easily overclockable, can handle 1440p, and is amazing value for money. It’s also the recommended card for the upcoming Oculus Rift. I’ve had my 970 for seven months and I can understand why it’s so popular.

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  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +492

    I bought my 970 back in May, great card, Strix so no noise EVER, even with a nice overclock. Unfortunately however the survey poped up when I was logged in on my portaputer which only has a 580 in it...

    I really wish they would have a separate chart for IGP, putting them on the same list as the 970 seems so very wrong.
  3. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,599   +411

    I got the vanilla MSI version and it still oc's to 1500MHz. Love this card. Might add another, but will most likely stick with the one until new GPU's come out. Oh, and get a high refresh rate monitor. You're welcome. :)
  4. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Welp, that's a lot of people that can't play Star Citizen then...


  5. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,184   +1,215

    So ridiculous. There isn't an issue with DX12 performance and the GTX 970 makes out fine with 3.5GB of VRAM, it would be more useless to load it up with an 8GB buffer and charge $100 more.

    For 1080p gaming the GTX 970 delivers the best bang for your buck, especially with lower end processors and I assume this is why it is the most popular graphics card.

    That said the Radeon R9 390 is really just as good at the same price so you could go either way and get much the same result.
  6. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Wow there's no need to bite.

    I don't recall ever talking about DX12 performance. We're almost 90% certain that a 970 won't cut it for star citizen.

    The "3.5" was a joke, and apparently you bit hard. As for what you said, it was supposed to be a 1440p card. And let me tell me you 3.5gb at 1440p (maybe even 1080p) won't be enough vram for SC. For other 2016 games, it might not be enough.

    Next time, don't bite so easily. Youre on the internet.
  7. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,184   +1,215

    Sorry it seemed like a ridiculous thing so say. I didn't realize you were joking, I missed the punch line.

    On that note if the GTX 970 can't play SC then rest assured that most current GPU's wont be able to either.
  8. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Sure, but I don't know why you brought up dx12 as if I was talking about it?

    I was actually talking about all of those gpus in the image. None of them will be able to play SC well (if at all).

    Also, what's with the AMD cards being grouped into their series?
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    By the time Star Citizen rolls out, the GTX 970 will be the current equivalent of a lower midrange card anyway - it will be at least one full architectural generation and 2+ years old. Nobody today expects the current equivalent ( GTX 760/HD 6950) to be holding its own any more than that of previous generational changes.
    People with new Pascal/Arctic Islands cards will probably still be waiting for the finished game.....and at the rate of its development the same might be said for Volta and whatever Islands code names AMD comes up with after Arctic/Polaris arch :(
    Fluffmeister and Steve like this.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,099   +523

    I think he meant the 970 won't play SC well. As it is, the GTX 970 is only good right now. Larger textures or larger resolutions take their toll on the 970 more so than it's AMD counterparts. GTX 970 owners will most likely find poor performance compared to AMD's cards, especially in DX 12 games, where AMD's entire lineup has better DX 12 support.
    darkzelda likes this.
  11. andrewyoung

    andrewyoung TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +9

    Well........being a hardcore ATI/AMD fan who switched to Nvidia last year.....I LOVE my 980 !!!
  12. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    You're telling me that as if it's news?

    I'm talking about the image of the most popular gpus. Most of them are far too old, and will force a lot of people to upgrade if they want to play SC.

    "and at the rate of development"

    2.1 has been pushed to live, they've got a number of their pipelines (ie creation of content e.g. ships, weapons) down pat. The next patch will (most likely) bring a cargo, trading and persistence, with other potential additions to be revealed later.
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    It's almost as if...hardware vendors and game devs work together in some way to ensure an upgrade cycle. Could this possibly be true???
    Look who's biting now!

    So Star Citizen's launch is imminent?*

    * Rhetorical. I'm well aware of the answer.
    gingerbill and Steve like this.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I'm wondering how many 970 owners couldn't give a **** about Star Citizen?
  15. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Plenty of them aren't going to play star citizen. Those that want to, can't unless upgrade. Which is not news. What was news to me, was the popularity of each of those gpus.

    You lot are making a big fuss over me saying "Welp, that's a lot of people [gpu owners] that can't play Star Citizen then..."
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Given the lack of excitement here and elsewhere allied with its long development cycle, I'm going to guess that it isn't priority one for most gamers. Those that have turned it into their primary focus and have a prior record of buying $300+ graphics cards will probably just upgrade when the new architectures roll out mid-year.
    I wouldn't take Steam's numbers as gospel, but the writing should have been writ tall considering Nvidia's gross margins are well over 50% and Nvidia had announced that it had shipped over a million GTX 980/GTX 970 cards within four months (September-December 2014) of the GTX 980's launch.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    Steve and jauffins like this.
  17. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Game developers (generally) push the graphics further to make their games look better. Of course that drives up system requirements.

    I was merely informing you on the state of development, since it seemed apparent that you didn't know too much about it. Call that biting if you will, but it is not. It's only natural that you would assume I'm some sort of SC fanboy, who has spent thousands of dollars on the game, and will religiously defend it. I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth.

    Personally I think SC will launch early-mid 2017, but a lot of it will be playable in 2016.

    It's a shame that someone can't post comments here without being treated with hostility derision.
  18. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    You are very clearly being a troll. One that doesn't own and hasn't used a 970 when it was required to utilize more than 3.5GB of VRAM, at that. A sizable number of games in my library pushed my 970 beyond 3.5GB of VRAM usage, before I got my 980 Ti at launch, and the only time I saw a performance hit was when settings were overall too high for the card. This topic is greatly documented, so lay off it, eh?
    Matti, gingerbill and Steve like this.
  19. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    It's rather disconcerting that you can't tell a joke from a troll anymore.

    So you're saying that the 3.5 has been a problem with you? Frankly, I don't care, I just put the 3.5 there, because I found it funny. If you don't like that. Again, frankly, I don't care.

    My main point is how there's so much old hardware around. but that doesn't seem to matter to you. Apparently you just want to label some trolls.
  20. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    That is basically for all GPUs (disregarding the 3.4% using DX9 and lower APIs) using a unified shader architecture. It adds in the 16% of GPUs that are limited to DX10/10.1. It also covers the system rather than the gaming hardware - that is to say it includes the IGP that resides in Ivy Bridge based systems regardless of whether the IGP is used in gaming, or sits idle while a discrete GPU(s) does the rendering.
  22. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Ah that is true, I probably should have figured that out.

    So for the 970 to beat it at all is quite the achievement.
  23. HonestTony

    HonestTony TS Rookie

    I almost bought a Nvidia GTX980 Ti. But that was way too expensive for my once in a while gaming online. So I ended up buying a GTX 970 instead, and I am very happy with my purchase! I was blown away loading up Batman Arkham Knight and I was able to add extra effects to the visuals. This was because my card could meet the challenge!
    jauffins and treetops like this.
  24. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    If my PC launched Arkham Knight, I would've blown it away too.
    jauffins, veLa and darkzelda like this.
  25. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    Honestly Tony (get it :D). How can you "almost buy" something if it is 'way' too expensive? That's like saying "I almost bought Apple until I found out how much they wanted for it" :D
    gingerbill likes this.

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