Intel surges against AMD in latest Steam hardware survey

(Image credit: AMD; Intel)

The AMD vs Intel rivalry has had another strange turn, as Team Blue has reversed a long-running trend, clawing back processor market share from AMD. However, this is probably just because so many people are working from home.  

That’s according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey, which shows that during the month of March, Intel saw its share of the CPU market rise from 78.2% to 81.25%. 

This, naturally, comes at the expense of AMD, which saw its slice of the pie shrink slightly to 18.75%.

This marks a rare gain for Intel, which has seen its processor usage in Steam’s hardware survey tumble for many months. As PC Gamer notes, it’s likely this comeback – albeit a small one – can be credited to the rise of home working in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Steam’s breakdown of processor speeds, for example, shows a shift away from Intel’s more powerful chips running at 3.7GHz and above, with users instead flocking to Intel’s more mediocre CPUs that clock in at 3GHz and below. This is likely due to people digging out old Intel-powered laptops so that they’re able to work from home, though it’s worth noting that the chipmaker saw bigger gains in Linux usage (+1.23%) than on Windows (0.24%).

Not just processors

Steam’s GPU chart paints a similar picture, showing that usage of Intel’s integrated graphics also surged during March. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 saw a 2.95% increase in usage, while Intel HD Graphics 3000 saw a similar 2.75% uptick.

Elsewhere in the Steam Hardware Survey for March, the stats reveal that there are now at least one million VR gamers using Valve’s online platform.

The vast majority of these gamers (27.05%) are using an Oculus Rift S headset, 26.67% are using an HTC Vive headset, and a further 15.56% are using the original Oculus Rift. The company’s own headset, the Valve Index HMD, has managed to claim just more than 10% of users, despite its top-of-the-line $999 (£919, about AU$1,425) price tag.

The same can’t be said for Microsoft. Despite aggressively lowering the price of its Mixed Reality HoloLens devices, the Steam Survey shows that they account for less than one in 12 headsets.

News of Intel making rare gains on AMD come just days after the chipmaker unveiled its Ryzen-rivaling 10th-generation Comet Lake-H CPUs, which are its first mobile processors to break the 5GHz barrier.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a Freelance journalist, copywriter and editor specialising in Consumer/B2B technology. She has written for a range of titles including Computer Shopper, Expert Reviews, IT Pro, the Metro, PC Pro, TechRadar and Tes.