AMD drummed up a lot of excitement leading into summer 2019 with the release of its 3rd gen Ryzen 3000 processors and RX 5700-series Radeon graphics cards. The fever didn't quite catch on with its new graphics cards, but AMD is becoming a much stronger competitor in the CPU space with no signs of slowing down. According to the latest Steam hardware survey for November 2019, AMD processor usage is now at 20 percent—a massive jump considering where it was just two years ago.
Looking back at processor usage via archives, it's easy to see where the peaks in usage coincide with AMD releasing a new generation of Ryzen CPUs. The number of users with an AMD processor was just 8 percent in January 2018, but by June had sharply risen to 16 percent—basically doubled in six months. AMD's CPU prospects changed favorably with the initial release of its Ryzen family, but the Ryzen 7 2700X arguably turned that tide further, giving consumers a better quality and cost-effective alternative to Intel CPUs. The 2nd gen Ryzen CPUs released during this time period, which undoubtedly contributed to that sharp rise in percentage.
After June 2018, the percentage continued to steadily rise until July 2019, which saw a near 2-percent increase through November—which, again, makes sense to attribute to the release of the 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs. And now, for the first time, AMD is closing the gap between it and Intel, with usage at just over 20 percent.
The number of cores per CPU is also an interesting statistic to look at. 6-core processors, like the Ryzen 5 3600/3600X, saw the biggest change in percentage in November, up nearly 1.5-percent since October 2019. Unfortunately, the survey doesn't break these statistics down into Intel verses AMD, which would be nice to know considering Intel has 6-core processors as well. It's likely that people are buying new Core i5 and Ryzen 5 chips.
Also, AMD GPU usage has remained in the 15 percent range for some time. The RX 580 and 570 are still the most popular graphics cards, with barely any percentage share going to the new RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT at all. Maybe the next generation of Radeon cards will catch on like the Ryzen processors.