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PC Games (Games) Hardware

Steam Survey Takes PC Gaming's Pulse 172

Posted by Zonk
from the what's-under-the-hood dept.
Via Rock Paper Shotgun and Primotech, the latest in Valve's ongoing PC hardware survey via the Steam service. Some very interesting stuff in there, though probably nothing too surprising. From RPS's analysis: "Vista has shown a small increase in representation, but clearly nowhere near where Microsoft would have desperately hoped. Previously 7.99% of gamers were using the latest operating system. Now it's 16.91%, with a vast 81.13% sticking with XP. Rather confirming Valve's position on DX10, and what a massive waste of time it is developing for Vista only."
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Steam Survey Takes PC Gaming's Pulse

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  • by Nos. (179609) <andrew@t[ ]errs.ca ['hek' in gap]> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:16PM (#21353931) Homepage
    Its interesting to compare some of the results from the Spring 2007 survey (http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey_v6.html):
    • RAM went way up, almost 1/2 are using 2GB or more.
    • AMD is losing more ground with Intel up almost 4%
    • Almost 1/2 of gamers are using more than one physical CPU now (which includes dual/quad core)
    • Nvidia has taken a bigger lead at the expense of ATI
    Obviously an increase in system RAM and CPU numbers/speed is expected, but this is only over about a 6 month period.
  • Re:Waste of time? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chosen Reject (842143) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:44PM (#21354379)
    Having Vista is only half of it, though. Right under "Windows version" is this
    • DirectX10 Systems (Vista with DirectX10 GPU) - 9.00% of users
    So 20% have Vista, and some odd % have DX10 cards and the intersection of those two groups is 9%. Is it worth it now to create a whole rendering path that is only usable to 9% of your users? From the last survey they did there was only 2.31% of DX10 systems. That was 8 months ago. So if every 8 months DX10 systems goes up 6.5% then maybe it will be worth it for them to make Episode 3 DX10, but even then my guess is for just an episode that would be a waste of time. No, I suspect that Half Life 3 or whatever might be DX10 capable, but I wouldn't expect it for Episode 3.

    Having said that, I think they ought to port it to Linux and Mac. They already have their engine running on the PS3 (which means it isn't using DX at all) so it can't be that hard.
  • by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:47PM (#21354421) Journal
    As DX10 is implemented now, it can't work on XP, since relies on Vista usermode drivers. They can port it, feature for feature, of course (and some enterprising folks apparently already have to some degree).

    Besides, we're all pretty used to companies changing their stories [penny-arcade.com]. We let 'em have their justifications as long as they deliver.
  • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:55PM (#21354523)
    As much as I would like to see it happen, there actually are technical challenges to just straight getting Direct3D 10 on XP. While we certainly now know that it is possible to see the same pretty graphics, Direct3D 10 itself is not a possibility on XP without major overhauls. Shiny DirectX 10 Graphics you get from Direct3D 10 are, but not Direct3D 10 itself, since Microsoft has zero incentive to do the kind of work necessary to get it to work on XP, no matter how small Vista usage is. This Beyond3D [beyond3d.com] article explains why.
  • by gblackwo (1087063) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:55PM (#21355301) Homepage
    My gaming rig is running vista. Let me explain first that 64bit vista is leaps and bounds better than 64bit XP. So my powerhouse computer when it isn't gaming can put that 64bit goodness to use in the realm of digital audio, and CAD. On the otherhand- I have 4 gigs of ram and an O.Ced E6600. I see so many users with their new laptops that really shouldn't be running vista on their half gig of ram. etc.
  • by Rog7 (182880) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:05PM (#21356285)
    Why is it that Slashdot always posts the Steam Survey when it gets recycled? The survey was just restarted and has been running for less than a day, you're currently looking at about 3% of what their overall results will be.

    Sure, you can form a few opinions and conjecture over a sampling of 30k, but then again, over the course of less than a full day (AFAIK it was recycled at midnight), you're not even looking at the players from prime-time yet.

    More appropriate numbers will be known after a month or two.
  • Re:I hate Vista (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:16PM (#21356419)
    Ok, there are valid complaints about Vista, but your post doesn't really include much substance.

    1) Performance!
    The darn thing gobs up 600MB of RAM when it has nothing open, and even more when you open up applications. The bootup time is slow and the whole system feels very slow. This is unacceptable. This is bloated code to hell.


    As other people have said, this is due to pre-caching files you're likely to need in the near future. Guess what: blank RAM is useless RAM! There's no reason for ANY OS to keep ANY byte of RAM blank when it could pre-load something in it you're statistically likely to need in the near future. If your OS leaves blank RAM blank, it's slower than it needs to be.

    2) Lock-Ins
    Want to disable the stupid Windows indexing search thing? You can't! Want to uninstall all the stupid apps that are bundled in with Windows? You can't do that either.


    You can disable the search indexing by adding your HD to the exclusion list. In any case, this is a feature the vast majority of people actually like-- guess what, OS X does it too, so do most Linux distributions.

    3) The look
    I don't understand how Aero is supposed to be revolutionary. The interface is unbelievably distracting. The semi-transparent and blurry window borders look like a joke. Aswell, most programs will use that old-school rectangular look. It feels like I'd be running Wine.


    1) This is all opinion.
    2) Then turn it off and stop your whining. Vista includes the "Classic" Windows look, as well.

    4) Lack of innovation
    What does it offer more than than XP? XP is perfectly stable, it's fast and it WORKS. The features that Microsoft is touting are simply pathetic. An integrated Anti-Virus (I have a brain and AVG for that) and some other applications in the system.


    Shadow Copy is the main reason I upgraded. There are a million small fixes also that are pretty cool.

    In addition to this, I have experienced many bugs since my installation of Vista. I know that drivers are to blame, but I would assume that the Bootcamp drivers are well made. Here's what I had so far:

    I'm not going to respond to any complaints about Vista running on hardware made by a competitor with an BIOS emulation/driver set made by a competitor. Try Vista on an actual PC, then come back and let us know how much you hate it. (Since you obviously wouldn't change your mind.)
  • XP vs Vista (Score:3, Informative)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:08PM (#21356999) Journal
    This survey is still in progress. As time goes on, I'm already seeing the percentage of Vista users going down. Right now, it's 15.35%, over a full percent drop from what was in the story summary.

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