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Steam December survey: Maxwell down, Pascal up

The results of the Steam hardware and software survey for December 2016 have been released. They show that while the GTX 970 and GTX 960 remain the two most popular GPUs, all of Nvidia’s Maxwell-based desktop cards have experienced a decrease in user numbers. Pascal GPUs, however, have all increased in popularity.

The GTX 970 is still the most common graphics card among Steam users, a title it has held since knocking Intel’s HD Graphics 4000 off the top spot way back in December 2015. But all of Nvidia’s 900 series desktop cards saw a decline last month, with the 970 dropping by the largest margin – 0.23 percent.

The green team won’t be worried, though; all of its Pascal-based cards increased in popularity during December. The GTX 1060 experienced the 10 series’ biggest jump, and is now sitting in sixth position thanks to its 0.56 percent rise.

As is the case with previous Steam surveys, AMD continues to lag behind its big rival. The red’s highest-ranking GPU, the HD 7900 Series, is the 20th most popular card on the survey, found in only 1.16 percent of Steam users’ PCs. But things could change once Vega arrives.

Away from graphics cards, Windows 10 (64 bit) continues its domination. Microsoft’s newest OS grew in popularity yet again, this time by 0.44 percent, and is now the OS of choice for 51.14 percent of Steam users. Surprisingly, Windows 7 also had a good December; it’s still found on almost a third of PCs and increased by 0.09 percent last month.

Powerful GPUs and high-resolution monitors may be getting cheaper, but full HD remains the favored resolution. 1920 x 1080 is used by 38.21 percent of people, and actually increased in popularity by 0.15 percent. 1440p, meanwhile, grew by just 0.01 percent and is preferred by just 1.84 percent of Steam users.

Finally, it seems more people are adding larger hard drives to their systems – possibly due to the ever-increasing amount of space demanded by modern games. Almost 30 percent of Steam users have PCs with more than 1TB of storage, a 0.35 percent increase compared to November 2016.

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