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Microprocessors with two and more cores are gaining popularity among gamers, users of Steam technology by Valve Software Corp., according to the most recent survey by the developer of such popular games as Counter Strike and Half-Life. Perhaps, the reason for this is that the latest dual-core chips are more powerful for games than single-core microprocessors.

According to the automatic survey by Valve Software, about 50.36% of Steam users have computers running Intel processors, whereas AMD-based systems are utilized by 49.64% of all 847 thousand of gamers who have Steam installed.

The vast majority of gamers – 87.39% - still have systems with one processing engine, however, already 12.56%, or about 106 thousand of users at press time, own a system that has two physical central processing units (CPUs), including those who have dual-processor machines as well as PCs based on dual-core microprocessors. About 0.05% of users – or 416 people – have a system with four cores, while 2 gamers are lucky enough to own a personal computer with 8 CPUs.

Both Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp. introduced dual-core microprocessors in mid-2005, however, those chips did not have any benefits for gamers and still, as the numbers demonstrate, have not gain real popularity. Nevertheless, the trend is positive for multi-core CPUs even among gamers, which is not a surprise, as modern dual-core and quad-core chips offer higher performance in games than single-core chips, which lineup has not been updated for nearly two years now.

Intel has already introduced two quad-core CPUs and is planning to broaden the family during the year. AMD plans to introduce quad-core chips in mid-2007.

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