What just happened? Valve's Steam survey for August has arrived. There were a few trend reversals last month, including AMD losing share to Intel in the CPU space, Windows 7 actually gaining users, and the Oculus Quest 2's share dropping by almost 10%.
Starting with CPUs, August was another period in which Intel scored a rare win over AMD as team blue's processor share among participants rose by 1.65% to 67.91%. AMD had enjoyed many months of chipping away at Intel's lead in this area, but Lisa Su's company has experienced both rises and falls since the release of Alder Lake. Don't be surprised to see an uptick in AMD CPU owners following the Ryzen 7000 launch on September 27, though.
Moving onto GPUs, it was an excellent month for the RTX 3060. A 0.66% share increase was almost double that of July's top-performer—the laptop version of the same card—pushing the mid-ranger up two places to the sixth spot.
Looking at the top discreet graphics cards, it's interesting to see how only the Ampere line made any significant gains in August. Nvidia might not be selling as many cards as it would like, despite the company's constant price drops, but it seems those who are buying new GPUs are opting for team green's current generation, especially the mid-range RTX 3060, 3060 Ti, and 3050.
At this rate, the RTX 3060 could eventually take the number one spot from the GTX 1060 that has topped the table since displacing the GTX 750 Ti in January 2018.
Elsewhere, Windows 11 bounced back from its first-ever share decline in July with a 2.66% rise. It means Microsoft's latest version of Windows is now the OS of choice for almost a quarter of the survey's participants. And amazingly, Windows 7's share increased very slightly, despite its extended support period ending in January 2020—business and education users can still pay for extended security updates.
One final trend reversal in August came from the VR headset section. The Oculus Quest 2 has absolutely dominated this area as its share increased every month. Meta's product passed the 50% milestone in July, but August saw an 8% decline. The only headset in the chart to see a significant increase was the Oculus Rift, up 0.09%. Is the turbulent economy in which people are making fewer non-essential buys also impacting the VR market, or was this a one-off anomaly? We'll know more when the next survey arrives.