For the first time in 2021, Intel has snatched a fair bit of CPU market share from AMD as per Steam’s monthly hardware reports. Over the last 4-5 months, Team Red has been constantly gaining more and more share across most markets, with both Amazon and JD’s (China) top-5 bestselling CPU ranks going to Ryzen parts. While this may seem surprising to some, it’s not completely unexpected.
In the first quarter of 2021, AMD also lost some market to Intel according to Mercury Research. However, most of the gains for the latter come in the form of budget Celeron and Pentium chips, and in some cases, lower-end Core i3 and i5 parts. AMD has been somewhat ignoring the entry-level market lately, primarily due to the semiconductor shortages, and focusing on higher-end parts with larger profit margins. This was also confirmed by Dr. Su (AMD CEO) during a recent press conference. She stated that AMD is focusing on products that are most in-demand, and nothing is expected to stay in stock for long. The chipmaker hopes to increase its manufacturing capacity at TSMC as the PS5 shifts to the N6 process, and Apple’s 7nm products are phased out.
I believe we’re seeing something similar with the June Steam Hardware Survey. Most of the gains for Intel came from CPUs clocked between 2.7-2.99 GHz, meaning SKUs below the Core i7-11700K, such as the non-K Core i5-11500, 11600, and 11700. These parts tend to sell for rather affordable prices compared to the AMD competition (yes, I know. Surprise!) and have been popular among the masses.
For example, both the Core i5-11600 and 11600K have been selling for under $300 while the similarly performing Ryzen 5 5600X is priced close to $350 at most retailers. The Core i7-11700F is priced at $337 despite featuring more cores and threads than the latter. At the higher-end, the prices for AMD parts are more appealing. Both the Core i7-11700K and Ryzen 7 5800X are presently going for $400 at Newegg and Amazon, making the latter more desirable due to better gaming performance and efficiency.
The GPU segment saw a fair bit of movement compared to the preceding months. The supply of NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series graphics cards seems to be improving after all. While the RTX 2060 and GTX 1060 were the most popular SKUs, the RTX 3060 (DT and mobile) and the RTX 3070 (mobile) saw notable gains of +0.20-30% over the last 30 days. Unfortunately, none of the RDNA parts were among the top-10 or even top-20 most popular GPUs of June, an indication of just how supply-constrained AMD really is. The RX 6700 XT has seen its supply increase as of late, but we’re yet to see it in the Steam Database.