Before getting too excited about 2022’s hardware releases such as Nvidia’s RTX 4000 GPUs and AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs, it’s only right that we take the time to analyse and reflect on the last Steam Hardware Survey of 2021. December’s data shows that the dominance of quad-core CPUs is slowly but surely coming to an end.
The percentage of Steam users with quad-core processors has continued to decline since October 2021, but it wasn’t until November 2021 that CPU core counts of six or more just about eclipsed that of five or less, at 50.54%. This has since jumped to 52.20% (+1.66) and it’s likely that hexa-core chips will soon become the de facto spec of choice, accounting for 32.41% (+1.22) of rigs running Steam versus the 35.10% (-1.02) of quad-cores.
This shift has been a long time coming, as quad-core CPUs have been around for just over fifteen years. That said, four cores is still plenty for the majority of the best PC games and could make a fantastic budget option with Intel’s newly released low-mid level 12th gen Core chips.