What is the most popular PC gaming hardware configuration 2022?

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Gaming has never been more accessible than it is now. With gaming PCs being more affordable to make than ever and digital storefronts allowing anyone anywhere to buy games, it’s a great time to be a gamer. This does beg the question though, with so many parts and components available, what is the most popular gaming hardware configuration for PCs?

To answer this question, we headed to a reliable source, Steam. While many don’t know this, Valve often does surveys for users of the platform asking about their configurations. This information is then compiled into charts showing the most common PC components used by gamers in their configurations during a period of time.

Now, while this information isn’t the be all end all of PC users, it’s one of the largest and most consistent aggregate sites available, so it’s the closest we get to an accurate and reliable reference point. So, let’s take a look at what exactly the most popular PC gaming hardware configuration 2022 would be!

Perhaps a bit unsurprisingly, Nvidia completely dominates the list when it comes to GPUs in gaming PCs. AMD makes a valiant effort to fight back, with the ever reliable RX580 popping up quite high on the list, though it still isn’t enough to knock Nvidia off its perch just yet.

Most popular graphic cards 2022

What is surprising however is the most popular GPU being the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with a commanding 8.19% of market share in December 2021. This is followed by the similarly mid-range Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 making up 5.97% of polled GPUs, and the even lower end GTX 1050 Ti making an appearance at third place with 5.75% usage.

While it’s not too surprising to see the more budget oriented GPUs taking the top spot, it is a bit perplexing that they’re ahead of the latest generation mid-range GPUs. Once you think about it however, the reason becomes clear. The recent GPU shortages have essentially meant that users can’t reasonably get their hands on newer mid-range cards, and with older cards being cheaper, it’s a no-brainer.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

That said, the new RTX 2060 is only trailing behind slightly with 5.64% of market share, so it’s not that far behind, and it’s been gaining traction with every month. It’s very likely we’ll see the new GPUs overtake soon, especially as stock issues start being addressed properly.

While CPUs don’t nearly have the same detailed, granular readings as GPUs on the charts, we can still make educated observations to deduce just what parts are the most popular. For starters, it’s obvious that AMD are once again playing second fiddle to their counterpart, Intel in terms of popularity. This time the red team has a respectable 27%.

Most popular CPU 2022

Looking at the clock speeds for CPUs, it appear the most common clock speeds are between 2.3GHz and 2.69Ghz, though these aren’t really very reliable. More often than not, gamers have already configured their systems to be overclocked or underclocked. We’ll still take it into account, though not too much in order to avoid muddying things up too much.

In terms of cores, quad-core CPUs retain their top spot as the most popular CPU core count, though they’re trailed closely by hexa-core CPUs. Octa-core CPUs follow after, though they’re a distant third by comparison.

Intel Core i5-8400

The closest CPU we can find that matches all these requirements is the Intel Core i5-8400H, from Intel’s Coffee Lake series. Not only is it one of the best-selling intel CPUs, it’s also a quad core CPU that’s relatively recent, affordable, and it defaults at 2.5Ghz. It’s a good choice, and what we’ll be using for this hypothetical build.

There’s even less to see when it comes to RAM than CPUs, but what we have here is just enough to go off to figure out a build. Without any contention, 16GB of RAM is the go to amount for most PC builders, and it’s not too surprising. It strikes the perfect balance between cost and performance for most people after all.

CVN Guardian 8GB DDR4 3200

So, what do we choose for the build then? Well, in following the more budget oriented selections on this list, we decided to go for one of the more popular choices for affordable gaming RAM, dual channel Colorful CVN Guardian 8GB DDR4-3200. Commonly selling well, it’s a fantastic choice for the mindful gamer.

This one’s another difficult one to figure out. The most used configuration listed on Steam charts is simply “above 1TB” making up 51.91% of users. This does at the very least disqualify SSDs from the list as they’re usually under 1TB, but it’s tough to narrow this down to any one specific GPU.

For the sake of this hypothetical build, we’ll be using the most popular gaming suitable HDD based on sales and popularity on online marketplaces, that being the WD Green 2TB HDD. It’s a reasonably fast hard drive at 7200rpm, and it’s affordable enough to fit in with the more budget oriented choices so far.

We’ve compiled all the data, now it’s time to actually piece together everything we’ve discovered. What’s instantly apparent is just how many components aren’t purchased based on their sheer prowess, but rather the value to performance ratio provided.

This carries over to every single component, from the GPUs all the way to the hard drives on these PCs. It’s an interesting shift, one that highlights that accessibility we mentioned earlier. The fact that anyone can own a PC is a wonderful thing and can only lead to good things in the future. Now, let’s look at the most popular gaming hardware configuration.

  • CPU:  Intel Core i5-8400H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
  • RAM: 2 x Colorful CVN Guardian 8GB DDR4-3200
  • Hard Drive: WD Green 2TB HDD
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

And with that, we’ve reached the end! We hope this little article was informative and helped you figure out a thing or two about building your own PC. If there’s anything to take from this, it’s about not worrying about buying mid-range hardware, everyone does, and it performs great!

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