Nvidia GTX 970 now the most popular GPU according to Steam

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Nvidia’s Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 is a marvel, offering one of the best price-to-performance ratios of just about any video card on the market. Nvidia’s 970 offers the best bang-for-your-buck, so it makes sense that it’s now the most popular card according to Steam’s hardware survey.

That’s according to the December 2016 Steam Hardware survey. For a long time, the GPU that’s come up tops in that regard was Intel’s HD Graphics 4000, an integrated chip that’s still second in the charts. Whether that’s because a large number of Steam users are playing smaller, casual games or just that Steam users are prone to installing the service on just about anything capable of running it is up in the air.

Anyway, the point is that NVidia’s 970 is an unfathomably popular card, and for good reason; even with that crippled half a gif VRAM, it performs like a dream.

“There’s no doubt that Maxwell is impressive. Nvidia have really put it to AMD with their next-generation, while also undercutting their own range of high-end cards at the same time,” Alessandro said when he reviewed one a year ago. “The GTX 980 might be the flagship model right now, but a combination of local pricing and performance per Rand makes the GTX 970 a much better card.”

For reference, the first AMD card that shows up is the Radeon HD 7900 Series at 9. That’s not really all that surprising. AMD’s cards may offer great value – especially locally – but Nvidia just dominates the market.

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The 970 is still a tempting purchase (even with our perpetually declining exchange rate). Nvidia’s new cards, based on Pascal and featuring HBM stacked memory are expect this year. Maybe.

Last Updated: January 18, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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