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Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix

The Steam Hardware & Software Survey now offers the June results showing the hardware being used to play games on Valve's service (thanks VG247). These results reflect jump in the use of newer hardware, and they kick off with the following explanation of how this is in part because they've addressed a bug in the system:

There was a bug introduced into Steam's survey code several months ago that caused a bias toward older systems. Specifically, only systems that had run the survey prior to the introduction of the bug would be asked to run the survey again. This caused brand new systems to never run the survey. In March 2012, we caught the bug, causing the survey to be run on a large number of new computers, thus giving us a more accurate survey and causing some of the numbers to vary more than they normally would month-to-month. Some of the most interesting changes revealed by this correction were increased OS share of Windows 7 (as Vista fell below XP), the rise of Intel as a graphics provider and the overall diversification of Steam worldwide (as seen in the increase of non-English language usage, particularly Russian).

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21. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 27, 2012, 10:48 Slashman
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 26, 2012, 02:30:
jacobvandy wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 15:55:
If you play Civilization a lot, upgrading from a dual-core processor to something like Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge will save you literally hours during a large scale, full length match. It cuts the waiting time between turns, while AI moves are being calculated, by more than half (I measured 50% decrease between i7-920 and Ivy Bridge, so I have to assume a dual-core would be even worse by comparison). Grand Theft Auto IV, and presumably any other game Rockstar puts out with the same engine, is VERY CPU dependant. In fact, I remember upgrading from Core 2 Duo to first-gen Core i7 increased my FPS a whole lot more than upgrading from an 8800 GTS to a GTX 275. Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3/NV and similar games on that engine also greatly benefit from a better CPU because of all the AI routines and other world simulation that goes on.

It's not necessarily about dual-core versus quad-core... Just that if you're still using a dual-core on a desktop, that is a very old CPU, and it's holding back all the games you're playing, albeit to varying degrees. Pairing a Core 2 Duo with any mid-range or better graphics card from the past couple generations is remarkably silly.

Games that are poorly optimized are usually CPU-dependent and also usually only take advantage of two cores at most. Skyrim doesn't make full use of quad core CPUs, for example. Like 90% of the load is put on one core. In most cases, if a game is well-optimized, having a Dual Core clocked at 3.0 GHz or higher is fine because a well-optimized game is GPU dependent, not CPU dependent.

Well are you then saying that the Witcher 2 is poorly optimized? When I bumped from a Core 2 Duo to a Core 2 Quad, my performance in that game changed drastically for the better. Or is it just that the game was aimed at quad cores from the start?

Also, I can't see how a game that does mostly number crunching would benefit from a good GPU more than a CPU. So I'd think that games like Civilization would fit into this category as a good example of dual vs quad.
 
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20. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 26, 2012, 15:57 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 14:31:
Interesting, thanks for the feedback fellas. I guess thinking back there were only a handful of games that really needed a quad core to run well. I think I saw the biggest generational upgrade out of an SSD more than anything else but that doesn't really apply to most games.

It does if you put your games on a separate SSD. Most games where people complain about long loading screens, I just grin, as they take like a second or so at most.

Creston
 
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19. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 26, 2012, 09:06 Gipson
 
their surveys could never detect my dedicated GPU as i'm sure it was the same for others, hence the increase.

maybe that's why i haven't been accepted into the CS:GO beta yet
 
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18. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 26, 2012, 04:17 Armengar
 
I have a black edition dual core AMD. It will unlock from 2 to 4 cores (all stable). In dual core it will OC from 3.1 to 3.7 with a minor voltage increase. In quad core I can OC to 3.2 only. Rest of my system is pretty frugal, ATI 6850 (OC a bit), 8gb RAM running at the max my mobo will - only 1600 (9-9-9) but the prize is the SSD

Civ5, SOTS2 and shogun 2 are the biggest eaters of CPU that I have (looking at perfmon in the other monitor) and I still get a better "turn by turn" performance in dual core OC with SSD than quad core without SSD (I use steammover)

Sure if I have bags-O-money(tm) then i'd love a better system but until then its cheapy mc cheap cheap for me.

My claim to fame is that I was one of the people who could luckily skew the results when I ran steam one day on a multi cpu new server (I was curious ok!)
 
Its not the cough that carries you off but the coffin they carry you off in.
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17. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 26, 2012, 02:30 Jerykk
 
jacobvandy wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 15:55:
If you play Civilization a lot, upgrading from a dual-core processor to something like Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge will save you literally hours during a large scale, full length match. It cuts the waiting time between turns, while AI moves are being calculated, by more than half (I measured 50% decrease between i7-920 and Ivy Bridge, so I have to assume a dual-core would be even worse by comparison). Grand Theft Auto IV, and presumably any other game Rockstar puts out with the same engine, is VERY CPU dependant. In fact, I remember upgrading from Core 2 Duo to first-gen Core i7 increased my FPS a whole lot more than upgrading from an 8800 GTS to a GTX 275. Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3/NV and similar games on that engine also greatly benefit from a better CPU because of all the AI routines and other world simulation that goes on.

It's not necessarily about dual-core versus quad-core... Just that if you're still using a dual-core on a desktop, that is a very old CPU, and it's holding back all the games you're playing, albeit to varying degrees. Pairing a Core 2 Duo with any mid-range or better graphics card from the past couple generations is remarkably silly.

Games that are poorly optimized are usually CPU-dependent and also usually only take advantage of two cores at most. Skyrim doesn't make full use of quad core CPUs, for example. Like 90% of the load is put on one core. In most cases, if a game is well-optimized, having a Dual Core clocked at 3.0 GHz or higher is fine because a well-optimized game is GPU dependent, not CPU dependent.
 
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16. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 16:27 Muscular Beaver
 
Still running great with my i5 750 and GTX 260. My SSD however, felt like a turbo kicking in in a Supra. Even in games, not only because of much lower loading times, but also streaming and mid-game loading is vastly reduced and thus minimum FPS are MUCH higher.  
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Oh that is so lame... You will PAY for your use of inappropriate dialogue!
- Mojo Jojo
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15. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 16:05 Dev
 
RailWizard wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 15:47:
I haven't run the "hardware" survey since they started scanning for apps. I can imagine there are probably many others who do the same.

I have no problem giving up hardware stats, but stay the fuck out of my software you 12 cheeseburger eating motherfucker.

Pretty sure they stopped that a while back.

"July 2010"

Thats the date of the last software scan update on the steam stats page
 
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14. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 15:55 jacobvandy
 
If you play Civilization a lot, upgrading from a dual-core processor to something like Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge will save you literally hours during a large scale, full length match. It cuts the waiting time between turns, while AI moves are being calculated, by more than half (I measured 50% decrease between i7-920 and Ivy Bridge, so I have to assume a dual-core would be even worse by comparison). Grand Theft Auto IV, and presumably any other game Rockstar puts out with the same engine, is VERY CPU dependant. In fact, I remember upgrading from Core 2 Duo to first-gen Core i7 increased my FPS a whole lot more than upgrading from an 8800 GTS to a GTX 275. Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3/NV and similar games on that engine also greatly benefit from a better CPU because of all the AI routines and other world simulation that goes on.

It's not necessarily about dual-core versus quad-core... Just that if you're still using a dual-core on a desktop, that is a very old CPU, and it's holding back all the games you're playing, albeit to varying degrees. Pairing a Core 2 Duo with any mid-range or better graphics card from the past couple generations is remarkably silly.
 
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13. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 15:55 jimnms
 
I can't remember the last time Steam asked me to take the hardware survey, so I think the bug wasn't quite fixed.

Is anyone else having problems displaying the survey page. The graphs use Flash, and since that wave of Flash fuckups and updates, the flash plugin crashes and other problems with pages using flash. The latest Flash update (11.6.5.635) fixed most of the crashes, but it still does weird shit on some pages. On the Steam survey page, the graphs load fine, but when I scroll down to see more, the graphs become distorted and mirror other parts of the page.
 
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MeanJim on Steam
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12. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 15:47 RailWizard
 
I haven't run the "hardware" survey since they started scanning for apps. I can imagine there are probably many others who do the same.

I have no problem giving up hardware stats, but stay the fuck out of my software you 12 cheeseburger eating motherfucker.
 
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11. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 14:56 Verno
 
Dev wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 14:50:
I don't know if there's many at all that require a quad core to run well. The biggest requirement for most games is to have a certain minimum capability of graphics card. After that, a better graphics card enables things like insane resolutions for multimonitor or 3d gaming

Maybe require was the wrong word, optimized for or whatever. There were quite a few games this gen that were CPU heavy just due to the limited GPU hardware on consoles.

Yeah, switching to an SSD might net you general usage performance, especially if you do a lot of office work on your machine. My desktop is purely for gaming, I have a laptop for general use/office work, so I didn't see much of a gain going with an SSD, except in games with a lot of loading (FO3/NV, Skyrim, etc.). I did stick an SSD in my 3 year old Dell Studio and the difference was phenomenal.

Yeah exactly, although in the games where you do see a difference its often quite drastic. Thankfully you can get cheapish SSDs in large sizes now so you can just dump most games onto one and stop worrying about it.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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10. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 14:53 eunichron
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 14:31:
Interesting, thanks for the feedback fellas. I guess thinking back there were only a handful of games that really needed a quad core to run well. I think I saw the biggest generational upgrade out of an SSD more than anything else but that doesn't really apply to most games.

Yeah, switching to an SSD might net you general usage performance, especially if you do a lot of office work on your machine. My desktop is purely for gaming, I have a laptop for general use/office work, so I didn't see much of a gain going with an SSD, except in games with a lot of loading (FO3/NV, Skyrim, etc.). I did stick an SSD in my 3 year old Dell Studio and the difference was phenomenal.
 
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9. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 14:50 Dev
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 14:31:
Interesting, thanks for the feedback fellas. I guess thinking back there were only a handful of games that really needed a quad core to run well. I think I saw the biggest generational upgrade out of an SSD more than anything else but that doesn't really apply to most games.
I don't know if there's many at all that require a quad core to run well. The biggest requirement for most games is to have a certain minimum capability of graphics card. After that, a better graphics card enables things like insane resolutions for multimonitor or 3d gaming.

Graphics cards have for the most part vastly out powered the average needs of games to play at HD resolutions like 1080p, just like CPU power. There are a few exceptions, especially if a game is a poorly optimized port.

Which is why nowadays you can get a super cheap pre-built system from a local store or from dell, and throw a graphics card in, and have a gaming computer that will play most games more than adequately.
 
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8. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 14:31 Verno
 
Interesting, thanks for the feedback fellas. I guess thinking back there were only a handful of games that really needed a quad core to run well. I think I saw the biggest generational upgrade out of an SSD more than anything else but that doesn't really apply to most games.  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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7. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 14:26 jdreyer
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 12:02:
Very surprising number of dual-core systems still out there, I guess maybe the laptops are skewing that.

Until 2 months ago I was running an Intel core 2 duo e6600 with 2 GB RAM. My graphics card was an Nv 460 1 GB, and I had no problem running any game I wanted, although I didn't have BF3, Metro 2033, or Skyrim. But Bulletstorm, Dirt 2, Sup Com 2, and Modern Warfare 2 all ran smoothly at full resolution with most options turned on. Now I've upgraded to a Core i5 Ivy Bridge and Nv 670 GTX, and I'm actually kind of disappointed b/c I'm not really seeing much difference.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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6. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 13:44 DrEvil
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 12:02:
Very surprising number of dual-core systems still out there, I guess maybe the laptops are skewing that.

Shouldn't be; I still have a high-end Core 2 DUO E8400 system at home I built with a nVidia GTX 580, 16GB of RAM, and a 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor. Since it's a 3GHz processor, it's been more than fast enough to play even recent titles. Of course, that's likely because every PC game is secretly a console game in disguise But seriously, I haven't felt the need to upgrade the base system.
 
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5. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 13:42 Angrius Maximis
 
35% of people are still stupid enough to use ATI cards. Interesting

This comment was edited on Jul 25, 2012, 13:50.
 
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4. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 13:16 ItBurn
 
I'm impressed at the high specs. Much higher than mine... Don't know why they'd need so much power, I can run everything fine. I'm waiting for the next gen consoles (or the death of my PC) before I upgrade my PC.  
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3. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 13:01 eunichron
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 12:02:
Very surprising number of dual-core systems still out there, I guess maybe the laptops are skewing that.

I would imagine it has to do with laptops becoming more popular, and Dual Core still being, a waning, standard for laptops. Yeah, I know you can get Quad Core CPUs for laptops, but unless you're buying one specifically for gaming it will more than likely have a Dual Core mobile CPU.
 
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2. Re: Steam Hardware Survey Results & Bug Fix Jul 25, 2012, 12:25 necrosis
 
I think that note about the bug has been there since the last survey.  
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