Since the beginning of the year, AMD had been eliminating Intel's market share among Steam gamers, but it all fell apart in one month. Looking at the latest numbers, Intel regained all the share it lost this year, and then some.
I’m not talking about huge monthly fluctuations, just a few percentage points, but it’s an interesting trend that probably reflects the short-term unavailability of AMD’s best CPUs for Zen 3-based games (Ryzen 5000 series). Even right now, the Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X are sold out on sites like Amazon and Newegg, except for listings of market sellers who have raised prices.
Of course, the Steam hardware survey isn't entirely scientific, but it's the best snapshot we have of PC gaming hardware trends. And what we see for the June Intel is down 1.72% of AMD's share of usage to 71.58%. This is a 3.44% swing (Intel gained 1.72% and AMD lost 1.72%).
Although not shown, Intel's stake in January this year was 66.51%, compared to 33.49% for AMD. Thus, during the first half of the year, Intel has managed to grow its dominant share by an additional 5%, at the expense of AMD. This represents a 10% balance in CPU share among Steam gamers.
It surprises me a bit, given the well-deserved positive reaction from Zen 3. While the two most important SKUs have been hard to come by, more affordable The Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 5 5600X have been easier to obtain (plus a couple of exclusively OEM SKUs, the Ryzen 9 5900 and Ryzen 7 5800).
The Steam hardware survey does not provide the "why" and the "how", but the "what" when it comes to tracking hardware trends. But I have to think that AMD's slide and Intel's resurgence are a combination of silicon shortages and low prices on Core processors.
Take for example the Core i7-10700K (Comet Lake). It sold for $ 380 earlier this year and is now limited to $ 320 on Amazon. And looking at the price tracking history CamelCamelCamel, fell briefly to $ 260 last month. This is just one of many examples: it’s as if AMD and Intel are suddenly changing personalities, with the latter now making the proposal.
Lack of GPU could also have an impact. It has been a difficult time trying to build a completely new PC from scratch, especially since there have not been enough graphics cards to circulate. And for a while, inventories of high-end power supplies were also erratic.
Speaking of graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 1060 remains constant as the most widely used GPU on Steam; represents approximately one in 10 GPUs. Then the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The top 12 spots belong to Nvidia, with the number 13 ranking of AMD Radeon RX 580, followed by the GeForce RTX 3070, the only part of Ampere with a share of more than 1%.
There are indications that the lack of GPUs is decreasing more and more. If this continues, it will be interesting to see how things change by the end of the year, although next year will be even more intriguing, as Intel has entered the discreet GPU range.