Hexa-Core CPUs now reign supreme on Steam
Over 50% of Steam users on Windows now use systems with more than 4 cores
Published: 4th April 2022 | Source: Steam Hardware Survey |
The Quad-Core Era is over, the Era of 6/8-Core CPUs has arrived
Earlier this year, we discussed how over 50% of Steam users now used processors with six or more CPU cores, highlighting the rising system requirements of modern PC games and the growing affordability and availability of high core count processors.
Now, Valve's latest Steam Hardware Survey has confirmed that PC gaming's quad-core era is over, with Hex-Core systems becoming the dominant CPU core count on Windows-powered gaming PCs. Today, 33.74% of (Windows) Steam users use quad-core CPUs and 34.22 of (Windows) Steam users use hex-core processors. 8-Core setups now account of 17.72% of Steam users n Windows, which means that 51.94% of Steam users now use six or eight core processors.
In Steam's March Hardware Survey, 51.48% of Steam users now use system with 16GB of system memory, with 11.97% of users having 32GB of system memory. Currently, most new AAA games on Steam recommend having 1GB of system memory or more. Nvidia's GTX 1060 has remained as Steam's most popular graphics card, with 7.95% of Steam users owning this graphics card.
What changed? Why are 6-core and 8-core CPUs becoming so popular?
With the launch of AMD's Ryzen series of desktop processors, the PC market started to get access to CPUs that featured six or more cores at affordable prices. After AMD launched Ryzen, Intel also started to release higher core count desktop processors with their 8th generation and newer Core series processors.
Today, most processors that are targeted at PC gamers feature six or more CPU cores, and many modern game now run much faster when played on processors with higher core counts. Today's best gaming CPUs now feature more than four CPU cores, and software has started to utilise these higher core counts.
The Call of Next-Gen
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S all feature 8-core Zen 2 CPUs from AMD. While Xbox One and PlayStation 4 already used 8-core CPUs, their modern equivalents now deliver much higher clock speeds, and utilise AMD's powerful Zen 2 architecture. The latest consoles now use high performance 8-core CPUs, and that means that new software will be developed with this hardware in mind.
Gamers know that they will need a CPU that is equivalent to or stronger than the CPUs uses in PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles for their systems to continue playing modern AAA games. This has helped to fuel upgrades to 6-core and 8-core CPUs, and will ensure that quad-core CPUs will continue their decline in future Steam surveys.
Quad-Core PC Gaming is Declining, but it isn't dead
Steam may be seeing 6-core and 8-core processors become increasingly popular amongst PC gamers, but that doesn't mean that quad-core CPUs will soon be useless for PC gaming. Remember, over 30% of Steam users still use quad-core processors, and developers are still targeting quad-core processors with their latest titles.
Valve's Steam Deck handheld will launch this year with a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, and that alone is evidence enough that quad-core processors will remain "good enough" for PC gaming for years to come. Yes, 6-core and 8-core CPUs will soon be recommended for new desktop gaming systems, but that doesn't mean that all PC games will be unplayable on quad cores.
Remember, over 30% of Steam users on Windows still use quad-core CPUs. PC developers would be silly to ignore that userbase, even if 50% of Steam users have more cores in their systems. The PC market is moving away from quad-core CPUs, but that doesn't mean that quad core CPUs aren't still useable.
You can join the discussion on 6/8 core CPUs dominating AMD's latest Steam hardware survey on the OC3D Forums.