The first AMD Radeon RX 7000-series RDNA 3 graphics card has appeared in the Steam Hardware Survey. We’d like to characterize this event as a rocket capsule splashing down into the ocean, but sadly for AMD, its flagship only created a tiny plop. In Steam’s July 2023 data, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX made its debut in the most popular PC video card charts at position 93.
While we know that the Steam Hardware Survey doesn’t give us any definitive data, sometimes it provides a useful guide to trends in the PC gaming market. We’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for the first AMD RX 7000-series GPU to appear since they first launched last December. AMD hasn’t made it easy for itself, as it released its most expensive ‘halo’ models first and only just followed up with the affordable mass-market Radeon RX 7600 this May.
It’s natural for the most expensive graphics cards to sell in smaller numbers than budget, mainstream, or even high-end products. Still, the positioning of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is 56 places behind the potent GeForce RTX 4090 (position 37). AMD’s new survey entrant currently rubs shoulders with the likes of the GTX 950 and GTX 750, which were popular in their time (2012–2016) but are now largely retired from Steam gamer rigs in 2023.
It is no secret that the Steam Hardware Survey graphics cards charts have been dominated by Nvidia for several years. AMD’s top placing at the time of writing is with its integrated “AMD Radeon Graphics” in position 12, which could be one of multiple iGPUs. There’s no discrete GPU entry from AMD until we scroll down to position 23, where the venerable Radeon RX 580 is hanging on with 1.07% share of Steam user eyeballs in July 2023.
It is hard to predict when AMD might make a top-10 gaming GPU again. However, one thing the red team can take solace in is that there are no RTX 40-series Ada Lovelace GPUs in the top 10 yet, either. The green team’s best placed RTX 40-series part is the GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU at position 26, and if you want to see an Ada desktop GPU in the rankings you have to scroll down to position 34, where the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti resides with a slowly growing Steam user share of 0.65%.
It’s also curious that the RX 7900 XTX doesn’t show up on the Steam API pages. Normally, those are more granular and will separate out GPUs with more than a 0.01% survey share. (Note: Don’t look at the Vulkan figures, as every GPU gets double counted for some reason — the percentages add up to roughly 190% instead of ~95%.) The main video card page and the API page don’t always fully line up, either: The RTX 4060 Laptop GPU sits at position 24 on the DX12 list, instead of position 26.
Overall, Nvidia’s RTX 40-series still only accounts for about 3.4% of the total, while the previous generation RTX 30-series continues to hold steady at nearly 30%. Also, in case you’re wondering, Intel Arc GPUs have yet to make an appearance on any of the Steam HW GPU lists.
CPUs, a Different Story
Elsewhere in the Steam Hardware survey, AMD is having a much smoother and satisfying ride. According to the latest results, the popularity of AMD Ryzen CPUs has grown well this year to 33.19% of the Steam user-base this July. (Again, don’t pay attention to the March data, which appears to have been broken.) AMD’s gains appear to have plateaued this summer, but one third of gaming CPUs still represents a healthy chunk of the market.
Unfortunately, there’s no granular data on what precise CPUs people are using. Clock speeds have largely overlapped going back to the early 2010s, plus the mix of mobile and desktop parts creates some confusion as well. The survey does show that 6-core CPUs remain the most popular option, followed by 4-core and then 8-core solutions. 10-, 12-, 14-, and 16-core options combined account for just under 12% of the market, while 24-core chips (Core i9-13900K plus a few Threadripper models) account for 0.77% of surveyed PCs.