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Valve Releases Recent Hardware Survey Results

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the feel-the-love-for-vista dept.

PC Games (Games) 86

Freastro writes "Last week, Valve reset their on-going Hardware Survey in order to 'keep on top of what kind of hardware everyone out there is running.' Little has changed statistically since their first 200,000 responses, and it gives some interesting insight into what hardware and versions of Windows people are actually running. Their news article gives the following statistics and the full results can be found on their Valve Survey Summary page. According to the survey, 'Just over 1% of respondents can run a DX10 path for graphics. About 78% of you have microphones plugged in for voice communication. This will help you out a lot in TF2. A little under 5% of you have upgraded to Vista. Around 20% of your PCs are running multiple CPU cores."

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GenuineTMx86 (2, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395527)

Am I to understand that exactly one person has tried running a Valve game on a Transmeta processor?

Re:GenuineTMx86 (2, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395637)

Within the timeframe of the survey, yes. AFAIK this most recent survey took place in the last 5-6 days. I had my system polled for this over the weekend.

So if a large sector of the Steam population didn't happen onto this in the last few days you're going to end up with some skewed results.

I don't recall the last time the survey happened but I'm wondering if there is a wide swing in both the number of participants and the types of hardware/software used since most colleges are out. I know in the days when EQ1 was king there was always seemed to be a large drop off of players during college breaks.

Re:GenuineTMx86 (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395657)

Most likely that box could have been a server.

Re:GenuineTMx86 (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19399771)

I assume you mean running a game server, for example, a Counter Strike or Day of Defeat server. That's probably not the case since game servers don't run the steam client, and thus wouldn't be in the poll.

Re:GenuineTMx86 (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400235)

Half Life 2 DM dedicated server option is available in Steam. Therefore you can initiate the dedicated server from Steam.

Re:GenuineTMx86 (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405639)

Sorry, I should have specified... its not required to run the Steam client to run a game server.

Re:GenuineTMx86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19396153)

I am more concerned with the one person using a processor that is not even listed as unspecified. That one is definitely a mystery.

DVD! (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395589)

With 95% of these people owning DVD drives, can we please move to DVD-ROM as an industry standard, and drop support for the 10-CD-in-a-box versions?

(Just in time for the PS3 and xbox 360 to go to HD formats, or in other words, about damned time!)

Only in America (3, Informative)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395701)

One thing I have noticed about PC games releases in recent years, in Europe most games are on one or two DVDs, but in the USA almost all releases are on large numbers of multiple discs, which was a bit of a shock to me when I spent some holiday money in a games shop!

Re:Only in America (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398445)

One thing I have noticed about PC games releases in recent years, in Europe most games are on one or two DVDs, but in the USA almost all releases are on large numbers of multiple discs, which was a bit of a shock to me when I spent some holiday money in a games shop!

Don't know where you were shopping, but I've gotten everything on DVD for at least five years.

I suppose spending it in a games shop is your first problem... why pay 20% more than you have to?

Re:Only in America (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398467)

Well for me it's still nearly half price, at the current exchange rate from pounds to dollars :)

Re:Only in America (1)

ph4s3 (634087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404647)

Ass.

Re:DVD! (0, Troll)

neumayr (819083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395705)

when exactly did the 360 go to an hd format?

Not a troll... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400641)

It's true, the 360 actually hasn't gone HD-DVD yet.

To clarify, I'm guessing that by the time PC games finally standardize on DVD, there will probably be more than a few 360 games that are HD-DVD only.

Re:Not a troll... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402693)

*sigh*.... it will never happen, the way it's designed you can't execute code from the HD-DVD drive. You will never see an Xbox 360 HD-DVD game.

In the NEXT NEXT generation that might be different, but for this generation: when was the last time a console got an add-on drive for "more advanced" games that didn't completely flop? Aside from the inherent technical limitations MS would have to completely ignore video game history to let this happen. They might make some bad decisions but they're not THAT dumb.

Re:DVD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19395731)

Then how else will they be able to charge us $10 extra for a "special" or "collectors" edition that comes on a single DVD? Seriously, I got tired of CD swapping during installs years ago.

Re:DVD! (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395859)

But then they can't sell you a Collector's Edition on DVD for $10 more.

Re:DVD! (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19409231)

Are you by chance referring to Burning Crusade? The rare and expensive Collector's Edition comes, I am told, with both CD and DVD versions. It's pretty outrageous that Blizzard thinks that a DVD version is some kind of "bonus" when it should be a mundane, standard feature. Most games come on DVDs, at least in Europe.

Re:DVD! (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19420237)

At least Blizzard puts some effort into their collector's editions - they truly are for collector's and fans. I'm talking about games like NWN Platinum, where it was $10 more just for a DVD instead of 3 CDs. Unfortunately, I can't think of any more examples at the moment, but I thought it was a common practice.

Blizzard definitely should have shipped WoW and BC on DVD. WoW was a pain in the ass to install from those 4 CDs. What hurt even more though, was a $10 month-long trial in stores about a year after release, on DVD. I was tempted to pick one up, just for the DVD - instead I just stopped playing :)

Re:DVD! (1)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396149)

Jason Bergman (of 2K Games) a few years back posted [shacknews.com] that the problem with Steam is that it represents the "super hardcore" market (i.e., the people who play high-end first person shooters) and so it's not really representative of the rest of the market (that also spends most of the money). So while it's nice that 95% of the people who play games like Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike Source also own DVD-ROM drives, it doesn't mean that 95% of the people who play The SIMS 2 do.

Granted, this was late 2005 before Steam started carrying a lot more games (including games from 2K) and a lot more casual games like PopCap entries, so it could have changed by now. Of course this is assuming that most "casual, normal" gamers say "why yes send statistics about me to some company named Valve" (which is sort of going against what we've been teaching casual computer users for years now)

Re:DVD! (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396369)

Actually I believe this is incorrect, CS has (at least until recently, I haven't checked) been the number 1 game in the world. It may have been supplanted by WOW. The 95% DVD drive is actually really impressive, most lan houses and other places where there are low end computers don't have a need for a ROM drive at all.

Unlike the video card market (whih I think is what you were thinking of) hardcore gamers do make up a large part of the market (the PC market, which is what this survey relates to). Taking the pulse of the PC games market is pretty important, there hasn't been a major increase in performance since 2004/2005 (AMD XP and Pentium 4 systems)... Dual-Core simply doesn't affect gaming as much as it affects other areas and the graphics cards from that period (Nvidia 6xxx and radeon 8xx series) are still ABLE to run current games, valve pushes the envelope they want to be the game that you want to play but can't on your current hardware (nescessitating an upgrade in those who hold out as long as possible), they need to be very precise in how much of the market they want to put in such a position...

Especially important considering the arrival of DirectX10 hardware, especially considering how underpowered it is (ATI 2900XT and Nvidia 85/600 series have negligible performance gains, in the case of the new mid level nvidia lineup they show decreased performance).

Valve is debating pushing consumers upgrades into a crappy hardware environment, without serious sponsorship I imagine the answer will be no.

Re:DVD! (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396883)

"Jason Bergman (of 2K Games) a few years back posted [shacknews.com] that the problem with Steam is that it represents the "super hardcore" market (i.e., the people who play high-end first person shooters) and so it's not really representative of the rest of the market (that also spends most of the money)."

Yeah, that'll be why so many Steam gamers have FX5200 cards, 40% of them use AGP systems, and most of them run their monitors at 60Hz.

I'm continually surprised at how low-spec so many systems are in the Steam surveys.

Re:DVD! (3, Informative)

ddillman (267710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397213)

Yeah, that'll be why so many Steam gamers have FX5200 cards, 40% of them use AGP systems, and most of them run their monitors at 60Hz.

I'll agree with the first two, but not the last. Running your monitor at 60Hz is perfectly fine for anyone using a flat panel, which is the current trend. My take on this was that it indicated a lot of folks using new(er) monitors rather than older CRT technology.

Re:DVD! (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398255)

LCD use forms the bulk of the explanation, but there are two other groups that would add into the 60-Hz majority: 1) Folks who just never realized they could change their refresh rate and 2) folks who are running at the highest resolution their CRT can handle, even if it only supports 60 Hz. So, it's really easy to end up at 60 Hz, even with a CRT. :)

Re:DVD! (3, Interesting)

default luser (529332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398653)

I'm continually surprised at how low-spec so many systems are in the Steam surveys.

Why are you surpsied? Many of these people only have Steam installed to play Counterstrike 1.6, whch is STILL more popular than CS:Source.

I originally played Half-Life on a Rendition 4MB v2200 graphics card, on a machine with 64MB ram. I originally played Counterstrike on a 16MB Matrox G400. Is it any wonder you can play CS 1.6 today on any old Intel GMA 900-series with geat framerates?

Also, you'd be suprised how smoothly CS:Source runs on a FX 5200 if you run it in DX7 or DX8 modes. Most serious CS:Source players play with all the details turned off anyway.

The one that's really stumped me over the years is how ATI lost their spot on-top in the Steam survey. The first Steam survey, fueled by the impressive price / performance ratio of the 9600 series and the Half-Life 2 voucher program, put ATI on-top. It took two years of ATI continually ignoring the midrange, but they finally lost that spot to Nvidia's 6600 series. ATI continued to ignore the midrange, allowing the 7600 to become entrenched, and only now are they producing enticing midrange products.

It's really amazing how accurate a picture this survey is of the PC 3D gaming industry.

Re:DVD! (2, Insightful)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407083)

The one that's really stumped me over the years is how ATI lost their spot on-top in the Steam survey.
Do you think it might possibly be due to the fact that ATI has sucked and lagged badly behind nVidia in the past 2 years? They may be able to cobble together a massively overclocked monster with a higher power draw than a whole low-spec desktop, but like you say, they produce poor midrange products and have had a severe shortage of viable alternatives to cards in the 6000, 7000, and 8000 series. At some price points, I can now buy an nVidia card that draws half the power and works twice as fast as an ATI card at the same price point.

Five years ago I'd never think I would be bashing ATI or AMD for dropping the ball, but here I am...

Re:DVD! (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400365)

I'm continually surprised at how low-spec so many systems are in the Steam surveys.

I know several people who play CS and similar games because it runs on their old hardware.

Re:DVD! (1)

JPrice (181921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400051)

Ignoring the Steam numbers, common sense still seems to suggest getting rid of most games on CD-ROM.

Yes, there are people out there with 5 (or 10) year-old computers that still don't have DVD drives, but I can't imagine that the intersection of the sets of "computers that don't have a DVD drive" and "computers that can play most games from the past two years" is very large.

(Yes, I appreciate that there are still "casual" games being released that have lower system requirements; I'm not talking about those... I'm talking about the games that require DX9 and still ship on four CDs).

My point exactly. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400747)

If a game is going to require you to drop $50 on the game and $200 on a video card, another $40 or so to buy an optical drive really isn't much. That's $40 or so for a DVD burner; you could probably spend less than $20 now for a cheap DVD-ROM drive -- less than the game itself!

Any games I ever release (probably indie/homebrew) will be on CDs only if they fit on less than one CD. Otherwise, DVDs, or a later standard.

Good insight (5, Insightful)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395617)

I really like Valve's surveys. They provide a good insight about what hardware people have... the respondents are obviously gamers, and Valve provides very sober results that counter the claims of some l33t kidz that everyone has 2+ GB of RAM and a dual-core CPU. This time, I'm impressed by the high amount of people still working on 512 MB RAM, and the relatively high amount of GeForce FX 5200 cards. As many remember, those were a disaster, with Shader 2.0 support on paper while slowing down to 2 FPS maximum as soon as any scene with them is rendered. Other interesting points are that nVidia users are notoriously bad at upgrading their drivers, and that 96% of multi-GPU users use SLI, with only 4% for ATI Crossfire. Hmm. Of course, since this is Slashdot, I am obliged to assert my happiness that only 5% are using Vista and call them poor souls.

Re:Good insight (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395691)

This should open eyes at Microsoft, that gamers, those with fairly recent hardware can't really run Windows Vista that well. 70%+ have 1 gig or less RAM. Definitely an interesting set of data.

Re:Good insight (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19399371)

While I definitely agree, I'm sure Microsoft's response would be that Vista can run on 512 MB and runs "fine" on 1 GB.

Re:Good insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19395771)

[flame-retardant-suit]Meanwhile discerning users don't play cheesy 3D games, run *nix and would never run Valves DRM laden warez anyway (?)[/flame-retardant-suit]

The Vista figure sounds realistic, although well above the level of penetration I've seen in the real world. Even then I'd say perhaps 2/3rds of users I've encountered who are running Vista dislike it.

Re:Good insight (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395795)

...only 5% are using Vista and call them poor souls...

Hey man, Vista adoption is blowing Windows 2000 adoption out of the water! It's the best thing ever, and not at all like OSX, and...Hey, where the hell are you going?!!?

Heh. That was the first thing that leapt out at me as well. The second was the whole 60hz thing. Do people WANT to go blind? Ug.

Other high notes:
PCI Express has passed the magic 50% adoption point

Most people have ~10 gigs of free space and 100+ gigs of space, which means, obviously, that everyone is pirating MP3s and should be ashamed (or that they're hoarding porn, again SHAAAAME),

And more than 50% of users surveyed have megabit or faster internet connections.

Re:Good insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19395847)

Heh. That was the first thing that leapt out at me as well. The second was the whole 60hz thing. Do people WANT to go blind? Ug.
I'd say a sizeable chunk of the 60hz-ers are using LCDs.

Re:Good insight (3, Insightful)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395909)

Heh. That was the first thing that leapt out at me as well. The second was the whole 60hz thing. Do people WANT to go blind? Ug. About all LCD's have a 60Hz refresh rate....

Re:Good insight (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396407)

Why not change your monitor even though the CRT still works fine.. Besides, if I got rid of my giant CRT, the cat would have no warm place to sleep.

Re:Good insight (1)

emilng (641557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401541)

About all LCD's have a 60Hz refresh rate....

I got my lcd 5 years ago and it has a 75Hz refresh rate.
Both lcds at work also have 75Hz refresh rates.
A more likely reason is that people don't realize they can switch to 75Hz.

Re:Good insight (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401935)

They only have 75hz refresh rates if you're _not_ using DVI. DVI is always 60hz.

This is exactly why I still use a vga cable with my LCD monitor. It accepts DVI and I did have it hooked up that way for a while... but my LCD will do 75hz with a vga cable... so I switched back.

It's not that the refresh rate is hard on the eyes or whatever like it used to be... but I just find motion to be smoother at 75hz (dragging windows around in particular... but also playing games).

Friedmud

Re:Good insight (1)

Mortimer82 (746766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404945)

Wrong, DVI can do faster.

I am running an ASUS LCD at 1280x1024 in digital mode at 75hz, and the monitor OSD says digital, 75hz. So it's not all monitors, of course there is a bandwidth limit, the higher resolution you have, the lower amount of hz you can have, I guess some monitors DVI "processors" are slower than others, my old monitor for example, a Gigabyte, can only do 60hz.

Re:Good insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19410155)

Does the LCD actually refresh at 75Hz, or does it just accept input signals with 75 Hz and only refreshes the screen at fixes 60Hz, dropping 15 frames each second?

Re:Good insight (1)

Mortimer82 (746766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19412407)

I think it would be stupid to take a high frequency then drop frames, would be more annoying and result in a "jerky" experience, but check the specs yourself: http://asus.com/products4.aspx?modelmenu=2&model=1 378&l1=10&l2=86&l3=355&l4=0 [asus.com] (I am not sure why it asks for a password, just cancel.)

Good Insight on... (1)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397169)

This is derived from their Steam software, yes? If so, the insight is on Steam subscribers' hardware, and it's probably useful to extrapolate it out to gamers, but beyond that it gets a little dicey, no?

Re:Good insight (1)

IndieKid (1061106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397919)

Of course, since this is Slashdot, I am obliged to assert my happiness that only 5% are using Vista and call them poor souls.
If you assume that gamers will probably be the last people to upgrade to Vista given the performance hit and the current state of video drivers (especially those from nVidia), 5% is actually quite a high proportion.

Re:Good insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19398569)

Other interesting points are that nVidia users are notoriously bad at upgrading their drivers


Actually, I'd say that they're being good about updating their drivers, because the newest isn't always the best if you lose stability in the process. That and some people only use FutureMark approved drivers for their benchmark results. Then again, thats only a minority.


Re:Good insight (1)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19399781)

Is it really good insight? Sure, it tells you a lot about a chunk of the market that you collected data from but it tells you nothing beyond that. What about the people who run Steam but declined to take the survey? Their computer preferences could be totally different - maybe they are hot for Vista and would've significantly altered the apparent adoption rate as well as aggregate hardware specs have they participated? What of the people who hate Valve and spend their days playing Doom 3 or Unreal Tournament on dual ATI cards? (I agree, this might be a highly contrived scenario.) How about RTS freaks who are getting uber-monstrous machines of mad l33tness to play Supreme Commander? Or those who are happy playing Starcraft on a P3? None of them are counted or accounted for.

In short, this is only useful to Valve because it tells them explicitly and in agonizing detail about a large number of their customers, but nothing else. It's as good a survey as standing on a hill, regarding other hills with a scrupulous eye and concluding that you've surveyed the land - odds are you haven't seen more than you did see.

Re:Good insight (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19409183)

You assume that people who play Doom 3, Supreme Commander or Starcraft don't have Steam, and vice versa.

Re:Good insight (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400007)

Keep a mind on Steam's game lineup now.. it started with upper/mid endish requiring games, and now it offers up PopCap games and XCom:Terror from the Deep... hardly anything that requires even what would be considered 'lower' level in the current scale of hardware.

Re:Good insight (2, Informative)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403089)

Other interesting points are that nVidia users are notoriously bad at upgrading their drivers,
Having owned both ATI and NVidia cards, I think the reason for this is that the Nvidia drivers are just so much more stable and bug-free than the ATI drivers. With most ATI cards I've owned I had to upgrade my drivers every 2 weeks just to fix annoying bugs and try to resolve slow framerate issues. During the ATI 9x00 line of cards, it wasn't uncommon to get a 10% framerate increase from a driver update one week, then the next week get another 10-15% framerate increase from another driver update. In fact, the ATI drivers were so buggy and incomplete that people felt the need to release their own versions of ATI drivers just to fix some of the glaring bugs in them. I don't know if they've improved since then, but I also haven't bought an ATI card since then because Nvidia is just so much higher quality.

Re:Good insight (0, Flamebait)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405093)

Honestly the situation has completely switched. Nvidia's drivers nowadays are complete dogshit. ATi's drivers have NEVER given me problems. Then again, I never had an ATi card before my 9800, which lasted me like 2 years! I've worked with a lot of computers where the problem was a faulty video card, the culprit? 6600GTs. Like fucking 10 of them. Dead. Nvidia has MUCH poorer quality than ATi.

Popcap games are such system stressers... (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407231)

Yeah because X-Com: Terror of the Deep and Bookworm are such high end system games.

Steam is not a system only for the Half-Life series and mods. It also includes low, low, low end games like Bookworm which would be ported to cell phones if text entry wasn't so difficult and X-Com: TOTD was practically considered to be abandonware for almost half a decade (if you search around abandonware websites enough its still possible to find old DOS copies, it was originally released in 1996). The fact that the average level of system standards among Steam users has decreased since the first survey is nothing of interest. This is on par with Ford releasing a new line of low priced/budget cars and then announcing that the average price on all their cars being sold decreased since the 90's.

Re:Good insight (1)

VON-MAN (621853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19408071)

Yes, it is interesting stuff.

nVidia users are notoriously bad at upgrading their drivers
For me, I've never really had a specific reason to update my nvidia drivers (besides being up-to-date). Perhaps more people feel that way.

Video Driver update needed (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395659)

Looking at the video card update list I wonder if valve might want to put a front end filter to the database information that would email people with links to updated drivers for your cards.

"Valve collects statistics on your machine for analysis. Before this data reaches our database and is annonymized it is preprocessed to provide you with notices like this. For a look at the overall statistics we collect please visit Valve at VVV.

Your hardware, a XXX video card is using driver YYY. Please be advised the vendor ZZZ for this card has published an updated driver that will most likely increase your video card performance. This driver is available at WWWW. "

No need for email (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395715)

Just pop it up through a Steam update, that also provides a convenient wrapper around the nVidia/ATI driver downloads/installers. Note that nVidia, at least, does not actually provide any kind of auto-update for their drivers, so Steam is as good a place to do that as any.

Re:No need for email (3, Informative)

transmetal (904896) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395931)

Funny you should mention that. It looks like Valve's going to be distributing ATI driver updates through steam. Quote from Gabe Newell...

I'm pretty excited about finally getting some display drivers - the ATI announcement included that - where rather than having the situation they have right now where there are literally tens, close to hundreds of display drivers out there on people's machines, that everybody will have the most current, the most up-to-date driver, automatic bug-reporting and things like that. That's a nice step forward.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid= 25081 [gamesindustry.biz]

Re:No need for email (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400157)

I hope that Valve QAs them instead of just letting ATI plop their newest steaming pile of Catalyst drivers on us with automatic updates. I usually let the new drivers shake out for a month or so before checking the boards to see what the latest disastrous bugs are with the latest version. They still can't manage to keep the "easy install" for Catalyst drivers from locking up if you have a TV Wonder card.

Re:Video Driver update needed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19395891)

Keep in mind that many of these people are probably using laptops. More often that not, OEM's do not provide fully up to date graphics drivers for laptops and official drivers from Nvidia/ATI won't install on older laptops.

(Slightly off-topic, but now that Apple supports Windows on their notebooks through Boot Camp and provides a set of drivers which they update somewhat often, I wonder if perhaps Apple will maintain constantly up to date notebook graphics drivers for Windows. It would be rather ironic if Apple became the best vendor for Windows laptops for gamers outside of high end niche vendors like Alienware)

Re:Video Driver update needed (1)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19395959)

I seem to recall that Valve already does this. I remember when I first tried to load up Half Life 2, I got a message that basically said "You do not have the latest video card driver, Valve recommends updating to the latest drivers..." and, because I hadn't realized I was behind, I went off and downloaded it before coming back and continueing. Now granted, this was back when I had my old ATI card (I've upgraded since), but I found this to be a handy feature, as I recall it reminded me later on a few times when a new driver was released.

So there's another reason for all you Steam-haters: Not only does Valve automatically keep your games up to date for maximum performance, but also helps keep your devices up-to-date as well. Thanks Valve!

Re:Video Driver update needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19396047)

"Please be advised the vendor ZZZ for this card has published an updated driver that will most likely increase your video card performance."

Do you have any evidence that this is true? I've never noticed improved performance from a driver update. As far as I'm aware driver updates are generally to add features/hardware support or improve game compatibility.

Plus, as a general rule: if it ain't broke don't fix it. If your machine is working to your satisfaction don't mess with the drivers!

Re:Video Driver update needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19396123)

I installed Steam at the weekend and on launch it popped up a dialogue box and informed me that my ATI drivers were old.

Re:Video Driver update needed (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396163)

Actually, there is such a filter but it's set ridiculously low. I know because shortly after Lost Coast came out, I was forced to upgrade past version 5x.xx.

Re:Video Driver update needed (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396419)

Why is it Valve's job to make sure that the end user is using the latest graphics driver? How do you know that the user using the old driver isn't intentional (say, the new driver(s) happen to break some application or other or cause some odd instability in their system)? And what does it do if it knows what card you are running, but can't ID the driver (which could very well happen if you are running third party drivers)?

Vista fails again! (0, Redundant)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396011)

This is wonderful news, nobody is upgrading to Vista! Just like Luke Skywalker, now we can assault the M$ Death Star, overload the reactor, causing a chain reaction that will destroy it from the inside out! Then, we can bring about a New Empire, this one based around the Almighty Ubuntu!

Who is with me?

Re:Vista fails again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19396053)

You sound like an extra for Clerks 2.

Re:Vista fails again! (1)

Shuhadaku (958679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396673)

Hey, that would be great! Then I wouldn't be able to use my laptop, because Ubuntu blows up whenever I try to install it or run the LiveCD. I bought Linux for Dummies and spent 6 hours digging through mostly-incomprehensible documentation before I gave up.

(No, I don't have much experience with Linux.)

I had no trouble whatsoever installing a copy of Windows XP on said laptop. I also have no trouble using a Damn Small Linux LiveCD.

That doesn't bode well for the future Ubuntu Empire.

Re:Vista fails again! (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396837)

Maybe we can reform and be the Damn Small Linux Empire. Got a ring to it, don't you think? We're hip, we're agile, we can keep up with the kids and their trendy methodologies!

Re:Vista fails again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19410189)

But the thermal exhaust port is only two meters wide! That's impossible, even for Linux.

WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19396355)

24.39% have more than 250gigs of space. That's room for like half the internets p0rn!

The 5200 (1)

Mdentari (979766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397167)

Man I thought I was the last one to let that weak card go. I do remember liking the image quality a great deal at the time though but not enough to compensate for 7-15fps in Doom 3. Please people upgrade your video cards!!

Physical CPUs (1)

Punko (784684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397365)

Note that the survey did not ask for multi-core CPUs but rather the number of physical CPUs.

I didn't realize that so many people had multiple CPU machines - over 20%!

Re:Physical CPUs (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398047)

Yeah -- I wanna know which eleven joker's are risking getting fired for running CS on their workplace's 8-chip enterprise servers...

Wine users the "Other"? (1)

duffolonious (956722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397789)

Or are there still Windows 98 or ME users out there? (wouldn't be surprised) It's unfortunate they don't get a little more specific about that.

And still that category is only 0.1%? I wonder if that is the usual proportion of linux/wine gamers.

Or does wine showup in whatever OS you set it to (e.g. "Windows XP")?

Re:Wine users the "Other"? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398173)

Actually I think the Crossover Office people(who unlike Cedega actually roll back their changes to Wine) are working on getting HL2 and Steam to even work in a Windows simulation environment.

Re:Wine users the "Other"? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398727)

There still are Windows 98 users out there. I know because I am one. Someday I'll get me a new computer with Windows XP. Someday.

Re:Wine users the "Other"? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19416655)

For me (using Gentoo, with a recent version of Wine), running Steam in Wine caused it to show up as Win2K.

Obligatory (5, Funny)

erareno (1103509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398087)

You just gotta wonder how the 2 people with "Unknown" for language are speaking....

My Guess, Klingon.

A problem with statistics such as these (3, Interesting)

MichailS (923773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19398471)

is that you only see what people use NOW, not what they might want to use but does not work well.

I have sent E-mails to various websites over the years that only work with IE to complain about this fact, and received answers that "We focus on IE because according to our logs that is what people use". Well duh. I'd be surprised if you got any data at all on Mozilla then.

In this instance it would for example be folly to assume that DX10 is uninteresting since most people can only run DX9. It may well be the case that people are holding off both Vista and DX10 because Valve games don't use it - but the second they started implementing it on a broad scale people would buy 8800's by the dozen?

Re:A problem with statistics such as these (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400053)

Vista is a big cost. They'll sell at what they assume to be the target market. Why target something at where your market will be in a year's time, when you need to sell now?
Yes, games companies releasing games in DX10 only will finally be what drives the market to Vista over XP (same as they did with Win95 to 98). But you can't afford to produce a game these days and just hope that people will upgrade. When sufficient numbers have trickled through, then the market gets big enough to make the jump (i.e. you can pretty much say you'll get your money back in sales).
Everyone that hasn't got DX10 then will upgrade or not as they choose for the extra cost.
It's a trickle through that will be watched hawkishly.

Re:A problem with statistics such as these (1)

McP (5183) | more than 7 years ago | (#19414075)

Yep. 5% of Half Life 2 players will be able to play Halo 2.

Re:A problem with statistics such as these (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405169)

Correct, I am using Vista but I am thinking of going back to XP.
The reason: Stability and performance. Vista looks fantastic, I love some of its features, but I just cannot deal with games running at 1/3 the framerate as vista. BF2 crashes once an hour. Hl2:Ep1 crashes almost every map change. Games run slow and crash often. That is completely unacceptable.

This survey always blows my mind (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19399383)

It's astounding how many people (gamers no doubt) don't have 1GB memory, dual cores, and a sound card of all things, the standard hardware of average users must be insanely low.

Re:This survey always blows my mind (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19416743)

Meh, my setup works just fine for me, and I mostly play Source games. I have a P4 3.2, 1GB RAM, and a 6600GT (and I run games at full res on my 1440x900 monitor). It's lasted me several years. Because of this, a new computer is a want, but not a need. If I can run HL2:Ep2 with all the auto-detected features at full res with a decent framerate, I will. Otherwise, I'll turn down the settings.

Some people think they need to run games at 100fps with 8xAA, 8xAF, and they're willing to spend the cash to do it. I'm not.

Counterstrike (1)

UtmostCathode (786410) | more than 7 years ago | (#19399865)

A lot of people are surprised about the lack of "uber" hardware.

My guess is that a lot of these people are playing the old CS - not exactly a demanding game.

Re:Counterstrike (1)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400181)

A lot of people are surprised about the lack of "uber" hardware. My guess is that a lot of these people are playing the old CS - not exactly a demanding game
Even then, I have a FX5700 with a P4 and can run CS:S with no problems. Granted, its at 30FPS but that doesn't mean you running from B in dust can't get a hole put in your head from CT spawn. Seriously, even with CS1.6 I only get 60FPS and still hear people complaining that they don't have higher than that! Higher than that? You must like wasting your money, most monitors don't even show more than what 80-90fps, and even then the human eye can only see what....60-70? I can see if your getting 13fps, then yeah you have an issue. Getting a beefed up system, IMHO is only for just that....so your system doesn't chug along with your favorite game. The "eye" candy only gets as good as your eye's allow. It's just the big car syndrome in the form of computers. You've gotta be trying to compensate for something!

Re:Counterstrike (1)

MeeTra (625110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405257)

not only CS 1.6 but there're a lot of cybercafe computers.

In Ways, Older Cards Better (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404325)

I notice many people commenting on the high numbers of old cards. I'm personally not all that surprised. I play DoD:S a lot, and I recently upgraded from an X850 series to an x1950 series...and after about a half hour of playing, disabled nearly every whiz-bang graphics feature it offered that my old card didn't. The biggest issue was lighting...maps that were too bright, or that had poor placement / aiming of lights, resulting in bright spots fading down to dark spots, whereas on the old card lighting would be more uniform. It defeats the whole point of playing on an 'orange' map if you turn on HDR. While the new card does wonders for F.E.A.R. and allows me to now play Vanguard, I find myself disliking some of the effects it has on older games.
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