Steam conducts a survey every month to outline the preference of gamers for the type of hardware they use along with the choice of Operating system. This survey is a clear indication of gamer's preference in term of choosing Windows XP over Vista and now moving aggressively towards Windows 7 as their choice of OS. Windows XP is the first choice for gamers with almost 48% share when it comes to games. Vista is following with 31% where as Windows 7 is speeding its way to replace [at least Vista] with 23% share in OS choice.
In terms of hardware usage, Nvidia remains the market leader with their GPUs, way ahead of ATI/AMD and others. Nvidia, according to the survey, has 65% market share whereas the closest rival AMD with their ATI chipset GPU have nearly 30%. Remaining is distributed amongst various other graphics chips manufacturers.
Intel has an obvious lead over AMD and other CPU when it comes to gamer's choice for CPU. With most now already using dual core processors but the demand for quad core is gradually increasing as well. We can expect the latest Core i7 and Core i5 series to fair well in 2010 as the prime choice for gamers. Nvidia 8800 series is the most used GPU for gamers. Although being over 2 years old, Nvidia's 8800 series GPU has proven to be the top choice when it comes to hardcore gaming.
System Memory has although been 2GB as an average RAM size for gamers but the trend is declining as compared to the past. 4GB RAM trend is catching up fast in gamers for effective gaming experience.
When it comes to gaming, DirectX 10 is the leader. There are nearly 50% systems now running DirectX 10 on their OS and the trend is increasing day by day.
More info on the survey can be found on Steam
All graphs were originally posted on Steam.