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Fast Ryzen 5000 CPUs and cheap Ryzen 3000 chips right some wrongs as Steam's January survey reveals a new high for AMD against Intel in processor usage share

AMD has made gains against Intel in January's Steam survey results. (Image source: AMD/Intel/Steam - edited)
AMD has made gains against Intel in January's Steam survey results. (Image source: AMD/Intel/Steam - edited)
Steam has published its hardware and software survey for January 2021 and there are certainly some differences in comparison to the previous month in terms of processor usage and share. AMD has achieved its highest share against Intel, likely aided by the uptake of fast Ryzen 5000 processors among the gaming community.

December’s Steam hardware and software survey was quite odd when it came to the processor usage section. The main chart on the survey page showed 81% share for Intel and 19% share for AMD, which deeply bucked the trend of the preceding months where Team Red had constantly eroded Team Blue’s share on this popular gaming platform. It’s possible people enjoyed a few more gaming sessions on Intel-based office computers during the more relaxed holiday period, thus rewarding the tech giant with something of an artificial spike for the month. But it now seems Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 CPUs with high clock rates are helping to turn things around again.

AMD started releasing the Ryzen 5000 “Vermeer” desktop CPUs in November, with a couple of more OEM-only SKUs joining the series in mid-January. Although it has already been very well-documented how difficult it has been to get hold of one of these Zen 3 parts, the fact that they are in great demand is reflected in the latest Steam processor usage chart: 27.99% for AMD and 72.01% for Intel. It’s a new 12-month record for AMD in this particular survey, and it’s a huge gain of almost 9% for the month. Looking through the more detailed table does seem to point toward Ryzen 5000 certainly contributing to this impressive turnaround, with cheaper Ryzen 3000 chips also having an effect.

Sorting the usage share on Windows-based devices by percentage change for the month reveals that the two highest-performing CPU speed classes for AMD are 3.3 GHz to 3.69 GHz (+1.27%) and 3.7 GHz and above (+0.81%). Five out of the six SKUs currently in the Ryzen 5000 desktop processor series offer a base clock of 3.4 GHz and above, thus fitting neatly into the two speed classes mentioned here. Additionally, discounted Ryzen 3000 CPUs will also be playing their parts too, as most of them have base clock rates of 3.5 GHz and above. Both the Ryzen 5 5600X (3.7 GHz base) and Ryzen 7 3700X (3.6 GHz base) have been making great business for retailers and AMD, which is evident in these latest Steam survey results.

Buy the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X on Amazon

Processor usage chart for January 2021. (Image source: Steam)
Processor usage chart for January 2021. (Image source: Steam)

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Daniel R Deakin
Daniel R Deakin - Managing Editor News - 2691 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
My interest in technology began after I was presented with an Atari 800XL home computer in the mid-1980s. I especially enjoy writing about technological advances, compelling rumors, and intriguing tech-related leaks. I have a degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies and count my family, reading, writing, and travel as the main passions of my life. I have been with Notebookcheck since 2012.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > Fast Ryzen 5000 CPUs and cheap Ryzen 3000 chips right some wrongs as Steam's January survey reveals a new high for AMD against Intel in processor usage share
Daniel R Deakin, 2021-02- 3 (Update: 2021-02- 3)