Microsoft's Windows XP, Nvidia's video cards, and Intel's processors are what computer gamers use most, if the January hardware survey of Steam, an online service of developer Valve that delivers video games straight to a user's desktop, is any indication.
Windows XP, running 42.15 percent of Steam users' PCs, remained the most popular operating system, ahead of Microsoft successors Windows Vista and the current Windows 7. January marked the first month, however, that the Windows 7 64-bit edition has surpassed Windows Vista in gamer popularity, accounting for 19.5 percent of Steam use, compared to Vista's 19.09 percent.
The Windows 7 32-bit edition was used by 9.03 percent of Steam users, giving Windows 7 a grand total of 28.53 percent usage. It was the only operating system that saw adoption growth among Steam gamers in January, according to the company's findings.
Since hardware components are just as important to a PC gamer as the software, Steam has also broken out individual component usage. And although Advanced Micro Devices won't like to see it, the company is lagging behind in both CPUs (central processing units) and video cards.
A whopping 65.01 percent of Steam users run Nvidia video cards, which include its graphics processors, the company revealed. Just 29.82 percent of user video cards are made by AMD's ATI. Intel video cards captured 3.61 percent.
On the CPU side, things were once again tough for AMD. Steam found that 69.06 percent of its users had an Intel processor running on their machines. The remaining 30.94 percent of Steam users' machines were running AMD processors. And although dual-CPU machines still reign supreme, Steam found that quad-core machine use has grown by more than 15 percent over the last 18 months.