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While Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has done tremendous job in terms of increasing market share and popularity of its products among enthusiasts of computer hardware and games, Intel Corp. still leads in terms of adoption among gamers, it seems based on the most recent survey results from Valve Software, the developer of the popular Half-Life 2 title. Graphics chips designer ATI Technologies is also behind rival NVIDIA Corp., it seems, based on the poll.

According to a recent survey among users of Valve Software’s Steam technology 52.6% used central processing units by Intel Corp. and 47.3% used microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices. Approximately 50% of Valve’s customers utilized an NVIDIA GeForce-based graphics cards and about 41% used ATI RADEON-based graphics cards.

More than 60% of processors supported SSE2 technology, meaning that these were either Intel Pentium 4, Intel Celeron, Intel Celeron D, AMD Athlon 64- or AMD Sempron-series chips installed into Half-Life 2 gamers’ machines. Approximately 22% of all chips featured Hyper-Threading technology, a feature that emulates presence of two virtual central processing units per single CPU core and is available only on Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition or Intel Pentium Extreme Edition central processing units.

ATI’s RADEON 9800- and 9600-series are the most popular graphics cards among Steam Software users with about 11% and 10% shares approximately. NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 GT products occupy 2.56% of computers of respondents’, NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 is installed into nearly 1% the gamers’ systems. ATI’s RADEON X800 PRO are available inside computers of 1.4% of gamers, RADEON X800 XT-based graphics cards are installed into PCs of 0.78% of Steam users.

Top-of-the-range ATI’s RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition graphic cards exist in computers of 0.57% of Valve’s respondents, whereas the GeForce 6800 Ultra was installed into 0.49% of computers connected to Steam.

It is unclear how many Steam users utilize NVIDIA’s multi-GPU SLI technology. It is also uncertain how many of the GeForce 6600-series and the RADEON X700-seiries, especially the GeForce 6600 GT parts, are installed right now. It is also vague how many of ATI’s RADEON X850-series as well as X850, X800 XL and X800 chips are actually used by consumers.

About 15% use computers with less than 256MB of memory, PCs of approximately 45% of customers have less than 512MB of memory installed, barely 38% of Steam users have from 512MB to 999MB of memory, while no more than 2% of systems with installed Steam boast with more than 1GB of memory.

Virtually all subscribersto Steam, more than 90%, used Microsoft Windows XP operating system, 66% have updated to Service Pack 2, 17% installed Service Pack 1, about 9% did not update Windows XP. Roughly 76% of Valve Steam subscribers use English operating system, 8.84% use German, 8.10% use French language.


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