Did you know that the majority of PC gamers with systems capable of DirectX10 and DirectX11 play their games using Intel’s HD Graphics 4000 chip? Or that 8GB of RAM is the most popular amount of system memory for gaming with Steam? Or that Windows 8 now makes up just over 25% of all operating systems that run the Steam service?

Well now you do, thanks to the results gathered by Steam’s latest hardware survey which are available to peruse at your leisure from the official page over here.

It’s always interesting as a gamer and a hardware guy to go through the list looking for things I know are brilliant – quad-core CPUs, dedicated graphics cards with 2GB of VRAM or more and multi-monitor setups – only to find out that real-world usage figures show how few people are actually taking advantage of them.

That’s certainly the case with this month’s hardware survey results. As it turns out, the vast majority of gamers game in 1080p (so on only one screen), most of their PCs have dual-core processors and Windows 7 64-bit is by far the most popular operating system among the people of Steam.

As as a big fan of AMD as a company, I was saddened to note the relatively low number of systems using Radeon graphics cards. Compared to its main rival, NVIDIA, AMD has convinced only 30.41% of all Steam gamers to buy their video cards, a rather paltry figure that even Intel is closing in on with a surprising 17.1%. AMD processors are even worse off, getting only the table scraps of the 25.92/74.18 split with Intel.

Still, in all fairness AMD isn’t anywhere as big or as wealthy as Intel, so their market share isn’t awful. As a fan of the brand, though, I had hoped for more.

The big takeaways here? Steam gamers believe Intel and NVIDIA offer the best value for money when it comes to performance-oriented upgrades, Windows 7 is way more popular than Windows 8 (but 8 is slowly catching up), and that multi-screen gaming is still the reserve of the ultra-rich.

[Source, Image – Steampowered.com]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.