A new Steam hardware survey is out, and it could make interesting reading for Nvidia. On the one hand, it’s clear that the company continues to dominate the GPU market, as eight of the top 10 GPUs are made by Team Green.
However, these results (Opens in a new tab) It also points to potential difficulties for Nvidia, especially with regard to its current approach to the RTX 4000 series of next-generation graphics cards.
This is because each of the eight GPUs 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 in 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. In terms of high-end GPUs, there is only one of the 30 – the RTX 3080 Ti – and that’s it simply Squeezed in #29.
It may come as no surprise that PC gamers are flocking to cheaper GPUs, which seems to be news for Nvidia as it continues to pump out high-end GPUs.
Analysis: Is Nvidia making a costly mistake?
With Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 4000 series of graphics cards, it seems that making affordable GPUs isn’t the company’s priority. At the launch event, we only saw three GPUs – RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 in two versions. While all of these GPUs will undoubtedly be incredibly powerful, and quite expensive, the cheaper RTX 4000 GPUs were not mentioned. RTX 4070 or RTX 4060.
Nvidia will almost certainly announce those GPUs in the future. However, PC gamers who can’t afford those high-end GPUs to play the best PC games can feel left out by the company. It certainly doesn’t help that in an age where people are struggling to find GPUs they can afford, the only other Nvidia GPU released this year was the high-end RTX 3090 Ti.
While launching the new RTX 4000 series with incredibly powerful GPUs – and certainly making for some exciting headlines – Nvidia shouldn’t neglect the budget end of the market. Its arch-rival AMD will be happy to welcome more budget-conscious gamers who feel left out by Nvidia, while Intel is getting into discrete gaming with its Arc GPU series, which Nvidia looks set to seriously undercut on price.
When the RTX 4080s and RTX 4090 launch, we can’t imagine they’ll be near the top of the Steam hardware polls for long. But if Nvidia wants to maintain its dominance, it needs to start appealing to mainstream PC gamers, not just enthusiasts.