What just happened? It's the start of the month, which means Steam has released the latest results of the hardware and software survey. August was not a good month for AMD; the company's CPU share crashed by -1.88% to 27.31%, its lowest point of the year so far, and the Radeon RX 6000 series still isn't in enough participants' PCs to make the main GPU list. Nvidia on the other hand, experienced gains across all but one of its Ampere line, while the RTX 2060 moved closer to becoming the top graphics card.
AMD had been gaining on Intel in the Steam survey's CPU category throughout 2021, finally passing the 30% mark in May, but its celebrations were short-lived: having fallen below that milestone a month later, team red's share is now 27.31%.
We do know that AMD's processors have faced more supply issues than Intel's in recent times. We've also seen more Intel CPUs break into Amazon's best sellers chart---it now has four in the top ten---a list that AMD once dominated.
Looking at graphics cards, it was an excellent month for the RTX 2060. The Turing product saw the highest increase in users (1.35%), pushing it into second place. We heard back in February that Nvidia would be "relaunching" the RTX 2060 to help alleviate crippling graphics card shortages, so we could be seeing the results of that action.
Nvidia will also be happy with the performance of its Ampere line. Only the RTX 3090 lost user share in August, down just -0.01%. The RTX 3060 saw the largest gains, up 0.42%. A recent report showed both Ampere and RDNA 2 cards were getting more expensive and scarce, so it'll be interesting to see if that's reflected in next month's survey.
The GTX 1060, meanwhile, cemented its long-held (since January 2018) top position with a 1.29% increase. We also see that no Radeon RX 6000-series cards have taken the minimum 0.15% overall share to make it into the main list. The Vulkan Systems section shows the highest RDNA 2 card to be the Radeon RX 6700 XT with a 0.24% share. However, all cards under this category are shown with twice their overall share, so the actual figure is just 0.12%.
Using this same method, we see the Radeon RX 6800 XT has 0.10%, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is on 0.08%, and the Radeon RX 6800 is at 0.04%. Even the RTX 3070 Ti, which only entered the chart last month, has a 0.23% share.
Elsewhere in the survey, Windows 7 64-bit continues its surprising resurgence and is now found on 8.68% of participants' PCs. And the Oculus Quest 2 remains the top VR headset despite losing a few percentage points, likely due to Facebook temporarily suspending sales for most of the month over skin irritation reports.