The video and chip battle: AMD and Intel, Nvidia and ATI

For a while, AMD won strong approval from gamers, and in March, 2006, AMD-based machines outnumbered Intel. But that trend quickly reversed.

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A similar war wages between Nvidia and ATI. Matters are further complicated by ATI’s acquisition by chipset vendor AMD. Back in 2005, ATI appeared to be catching up to its rival, but now Nvidia is pulling away.

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In fact, of the top video cards installed in the over 1.2 million survey participants in February of 2008, nine were Nvidia-based and only one was an ATI. This chart also shows the lifespan of high-end gaming hardware.

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* Part 1: Part 1: Valve’s Steam Survey of 1M+ Desktops & Their Components
* Part 2: The Valve Survey: Steam goes global
* Part 3: The Steam Survey: How much storage is out there?
* Part 4: The Steam survey: Our changing screens

Disclaimer: The components of gaming systems have changed greatly in four years. In 2004, for example, many video cards and drivers simply didn’t exist; while today, 4-year-old cards are obsolete. Valve also surveys different things over time, and the number of respondents varies from survey to survey. So while we’ve made an effort to normalize the data here, it may not be entirely statistically accurate.