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AMD's RX 6000-series GPUs finally flex in Steam’s hardware survey

Radeon RX 6700 XT on a black and white background.
(Image credit: AMD)

Last month was a big one for AMD in Steam's hardware survey. Its CPUs hit an all-time high in usage, and one of its RDNA 2 graphics cards finally gained enough users to be included in the main GPU results, for the first time ever. That would be the Radeon RX 6700 XT.

AMD launched its Radeon RX 6000 series last November (ten months ago), and the 6700 XT has been on the market (technically) for almost seven months. But up until now, RDNA 2 has not been able to poke its head in the main GPU chart on Steam, falling short of the 0.15% share required to qualify for a shout-out.

The Radeon RX 6700 XT ended September with a 0.16% share among systems pinged by Steam. In all reality, it's possible the actual share among Steam users didn't move at all, and this is a reflection of Steam auditing a different set of systems. As the survey page notes, "participation is optional and anonymous."

Still, Steam's monthly survey is arguably the best snapshot there is of hardware trends among PC gamers. And RDNA 2 is finally represented in the main rankings, with the 6700 XT being on equal footing (in terms of share) as Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (0.16%) and its mobile GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q (0.15%).

Prior to this, the Radeon 6000 series could still be found, albeit when drilling down into individual DirectX and Vulkan API categories, which shows virtually all GPUs, regardless of share (even ones with no share at all). Joining the ranks of the main GPU sorting, however, is somewhat of a bigger achievement. 

It will be interesting to see what Radeon RX 6000 series card will be the next to hit a 0.15% share or higher. The Radeon RX 6600 XT is the least expensive of the bunch (until the Radeon RX 6600 arrives), but it's only been out a couple of months. And like all modern GPUs, it's in short supply.

AMD's CPUs have fared quite a bit better in user adoption among Steam users, and have collectively clawed their way to a 30.33% share. That ever-so-slightly eclipses its previous high of 30.13% in May of this year.

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I did some digging, and that represents around a 9% gain since just before AMD introduced its original Zen architecture in 2017 and, as a result, punched its ticket back into the enthusiast sector.

That's actually a smaller gain than I would have guessed before looking it up. However, this hasn't been a great year to try and build a new PC, which could be holding AMD back to some extent. The same can be said about some of AMD's Ryzen 5000 series CPUs initially being hard to find in stock (particularly the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X).

AMD chips are even better represented on Amazon, where eight of the top ten best-selling CPUs are AMD Ryzen processors. The Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 5 5600X occupy the top two spots. Overall, AMD is on solid footing as rival Intel gets ready to introduce a new platform (Alder Lake CPUs and Z690 motherboards), and can ride its momentum through to the release of Zen 4 sometime next year.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).