AMD has made a swift comeback in recent months, after a period of being the underdog against Intel in the CPU market. The tides are starting to change, with Team Red now clawing back a healthy 30% market share for gaming PC CPUs according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey.
As pointed out by PC Gamer, this news isn't exactly surprising, but we expected AMD to reach this point much sooner given its recent rise in popularity, so it's likely that stock issues fueled by the ongoing global shortage of silicon have resulted in slow progress, especially with the demand for AMD processors so high.
Given the way that Steam collects data for its Hardware Survey though, we can't actually show what products in the AMD processor lineup are winning the popularity contest, like we can for the GPU hardware survey, as only operating frequencies and core numbers are stored. All we can gather from the chart is that 8-core chips are leading the boost.
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Don't look so blue, Intel
Last month we reported that AMD Ryzen processors were growing in popularity for Steam users, having gained around a 7% increase in just 12 months.
When the Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 series was launched at the end of 2020, they were so impressive that they quickly become some of the most highly sought-after products on the market for gaming, shooting to the top of our own list for the best CPUs and breaking launch records. Unable to keep supplies for coveted products like the Ryzen 5900X and Ryzen 5 5600X to match the demand, this percentage could likely have been much higher.
There's a good chance that we will see this pattern continue for the foreseeable future too, given how badly Intel's latest Rocket Lake 11th gen processors have reviewed, with Gamers Nexus going as far as to dub the i7-11700K a 'waste of sand'.
AMD's phoenix-like rise from the ashes has been viewed even more successfully outside of a gaming environment too, with a previous survey from PassMark showed AMD with a 50.8% share of the Windows desktop CPU market worldwide to 49.2% for Team Blue on January 4, 2021.
Of course, for any further growth it's likely we'll need to see stock availability improve to enable gamers and PC building hobbyists to actually get their hands on the hardware. With issues expected to continue well into 2022, there's always a chance that Intel could come back swinging when the next generation of processors is announced.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.