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Steam Hardware Survey Shows Considerable Multicore Uptick

Valve's latest publicly-released Steam Hardware Survey, which tracks adoption trends among the PC core gaming community, shows considerable growth in multicore processor support as well as in adoption of Windows Vista -- details within.
Valve's latest publicly-released Steam Hardware Survey, which tracks adoption trends among the PC core gaming community, shows considerable growth in multicore processor support. The survey aggregates a wide variety of voluntarily-supplied data about Steam-registered gamers' computers, featuring broad statistics like OS versions and CPU manufacturers and much more specific ones like graphics card chipsets and primary display resolutions. From July to November, prevalence of multicore processors (including dual-core, the most common, up through eight-core, the least common, CPUs) increased more than seven percent from 53.49 percent to 59.80 percent, representing considerably more significant growth than is seen in most of the survey's major categories.

Another big gain was seen in DirectX 10-capable GPUs, which also rose over seven percent, from 38.69 percent market share to 45.97 percent. Also of note is Windows Vista adoption. While Vista users are still considerably outnumbered by non-Vista users (a group overwhelmingly dominated by XP users), support for Microsoft's latest operating system is on the rise. From July to November, Vista usage rose from 25.20 percent to 30.01 percent of the market, with pre-Vista OSes dropping from 74.81 to 69.98 percent.

Growth of full DirectX 10 support, which requires both Vista and a DX10-capable video card, is comparable but less pronounced. It has risen from about 17 percent to 21.43 percent in the same time frame. Meanwhile, Intel continues to dominate the CPU space over AMD with 63.62 percent of the market, while Nvidia continues its GPU strength over AMD-owned ATI with 65.11 percent.

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