PC gaming is usually defined by its ability to chase the most intense hardware capabilities, from multi-monitor super high-resolution gaming through to the most immersive of virtual reality experiences. So it may come as something of a surprise to see that a survey of Steam users – the premier PC gaming platform – reveals the average specs of most PC gamers to be so, well, average.
Taking in the July results from Steam's monthly survey, it's full HD rather than 4K display resolutions which rule the roost, with 36.61 per cent using the 1920 x 1080 on a single monitor as standard. It's only with multi-monitor set ups do you start to even approach a 4K standard (30.50 per cent at 3840 x 1080), and that's split across multiple displays. There's a similar trend in terms of VRAM (34.02 per cent at 1024MB - sorry Titan X), 32.44 per cent on (actually rather sensible) 8GB RAM, and just two physical CPUs (47.44 per cent) clocked between 2.3GHz and 2.69 GHz (20.75 per cent) doing for most.
The nascent virtual reality category barely registers. While VR headsets have been both prohibitively expensive and difficult to find in stock, only 0.18 per cent of users have the premium HTC Vive, while Oculus Rift use (the relatively cheap PC VR option, worryingly) accounts for just 0.09 per cent of surveyed Steam users.
The only item that shows real bang-up-to-dateness, relatively, is the adoption of Windows 10 64-bit, with 44.93 per cent of surveyed Steam users making the jump. Interestingly, its 1.99 per cent rise in use over June's stats suggests that Microsoft's heavy-handed free upgrade tactics actually worked.
Now, it's worth noting that, while Steam has more than 125 million users, not all will necessarily chose to share their computer's specs with the company. Also, Steam doesn't offer the exact number of people it has surveyed. However, it's human nature for those with something to brag about (e.g, a souped-up PC) to sing from the hilltops about it, so I'd assume those with a fancy rig probably are still sharing their specs. In which case, those relatively low percentages for fancy gear are in even greater relief. [Steam]