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TL;DR: It's Steam survey time. Valve's monthly software and hardware report gives us a good indication of what the platform's 120 million active monthly users are packing in their machines. July saw one of the largest jumps for AMD in the processor category, eroding more of Intel's share and reaching a record high. There was also a surprise drop in the number of Windows 11 users, and it seems more people are taking advantage of falling graphics card prices.
Starting in the Steam survey processor section, July was one of the best months for AMD in recent memory. Team red saw a rare decline in the number of participants using its CPUs in June, falling -1.28%, but it rebounded last month by +2.22%. That gives AMD a record-high share of 33.73%. It's not the news Intel wanted to hear, especially after its disastrous quarterly report caused Chipzilla's market cap to fall below its rival's.
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Moving onto the best-performing GPUs of the month, we find a lot of mid- to high-end Ampere and RDNA 2 cards at the top of the chart. The RTX 3070 (+0.27%), RTX 3080 (+.024%), and RTX 3080 Ti (+0.14%) did especially well, and it seems AMD's cards are finally getting more love, with the Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6500 XT entering the main chart in seventh (+0.19%) and thirteenth (+0.15%) place, respectively.
July's best-performing GPUs among Steam survey participants
The sight of so many graphics cards, especially newer, higher-tier ones, performing well is a welcome one. At the height of the chip crisis in November last year, only five GPUs made gains of over +0.10%. Today, falling prices and former crypto miners selling their equipment means more gamers are buying cards that were once too expensive or simply unavailable.
There was little change among the top GPUs, though almost all of them saw increases
Elsewhere, Windows 11 had its first-ever decline last month. Microsoft's latest OS has been taking share from Windows 10 since it arrived in the survey. That trend reversed in July as Windows 11 dropped by -0.11%, and Windows 10 went up +1.91% to gain a 73.17% share.
Finally, the long-awaited point when the Oculus Quest 2 is owned by over half of all Steam's VR users has come. Meta's headset is the preferred choice for a massive 50.32% of participants; the second-place Valve Index HMD has a share of just over 15%. It'll be interesting to see if the Oculus (officially called Meta) Quest 2 can keep up this pace now that it's $100 more expensive.
Another interesting part of the survey is the languages section. The two most popular—English and Simplified Chinese—both declined last month, while Russian saw the biggest increase (+1.59%). Steam is one of the few western services not banned in Russia, and Valve in April resumed payments to Russian and Ukrainian developers following a suspension.