A new Steam hardware survey has been released and could be interesting reading for Nvidia. On the one hand, it’s clear that the company continues to dominate the GPU market with eight of the top 10 GPUs being made by Team Green.
Nonetheless, these results (opens in new tab) also point out some potential difficulties for Nvidia, especially regarding the current approach to its imminent RTX 4000 series of next-gen graphics cards.
This is because each of these eight GPUs that is in the top 10 is a budget or mid-range GPU. The GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU is the most popular graphics card used by PC gamers who entered the Steam hardware survey, followed by the GTX 1060, RTX 3050, RTX 3060, and GTX 1660.
In fact, you don’t see a high-end GPU until you get to the RTX 3070 Ti laptop GPU at number 14. As for high-end GPUs, there’s only one in the top 30 – the RTX 3080 Ti – and this one only squeezed into number 29.
While it might not come as a surprise that PC gamers are gravitating towards more affordable GPUs, it seems like this is news for Nvidia – as it remains fixated on producing high-end GPUs.
Analysis: Is Nvidia making an expensive mistake?
With Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 4000 series of graphics cards, it seems like making affordable GPUs isn’t a priority for the company. At the launch event, we only saw three GPUs – two versions of the RTX 4080 and the RTX 4090. While all of these GPUs are undoubtedly incredibly powerful – and quite expensive – there was no mention of more affordable RTX 4000 GPUs, as in the RTX 4070 or RTX 4060.
Nvidia will almost certainly announce these GPUs in the future. However, for PC gamers who just can’t afford these high-end GPUs to play the best PC games, it might feel like the company is ignoring them. It certainly doesn’t help that, at a time when people are struggling to find GPUs they can afford, the only other Nvidia GPU released this year was the super high-end RTX 3090 Ti.
When releasing incredibly powerful GPUs to launch its new RTX 4000 series – and no doubt making impressive headlines – Nvidia shouldn’t neglect the market budget. Its main rival AMD will gladly accept more budget-conscious gamers who are feeling snubbed by Nvidia, and Intel is entering the discrete gaming GPU fray with its series of Arc GPUs that are likely to seriously hurt Nvidia when it’s about price.
When the RTX 4080s and RTX 4090 launch, we can’t imagine them appearing anywhere near the top of Steam’s hardware searches for long – if they ever do. But if Nvidia wants to continue its dominance, it should start attracting regular PC gamers – not just enthusiasts.