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Steam Hardware Survey Loses All Credibility [Debunked]
Quote:There are three possibilities in play here. One, the SHS is terribly broken. Two, the SHS was terribly broken and has just been corrected. Three, the SHS’s data processing and aggregation are being processed by a mentally deficient giraffe on an old VAX terminal. We’re leaning towards #1 and/or #3.

These new results ask us to throw out everything else we know about the PC market. OEMs have not sold hundreds of millions of systems over and above quarterly projections to transform the market so quickly. The bulk of Intel laptops on the market are still dual-core + Hyper-Threading; the 8th generation family has launched and is definitely in-market, but customers would have to replacing hardware at a ferocious pace to show such dramatic changes so quickly — and nothing we’ve heard from any of the analysts that track this for a living show any such changes.

It’s possible that these changes are the results of a mammoth correction in the previous data set, but this only raises more questions: Why was the previous data set so cataclysmically wrong? What did Valve change that suddenly and properly corrected for huge swings in company market share? How did Valve miss Windows 10 adoption rates by a factor of two? Or ovestimate AMD’s market share in both CPUs and GPUs by the same factor? It’s not like finding out which CPU a person has is some kind of arcane art, and AMD’s share of the enthusiast market has bounced around the 20% mark for years.

Does anyone believe that the market for GTX 750 Ti and GTX 960 cards literally just doubled last month? No? Then why does Steam think it did?

Valve needs to explain this situation. If it doesn’t, we won’t be referring to the SHS for anything any longer. It was always an imperfect data set, but now it’s downright worthless.
The article has been updated with this:
Quote:Multiple readers have written to suggest this could be a surge related to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds opening in China. If so, it would be an extraordinary event — I can’t recall a single time when one title so overwhelmingly tilted Steam results in a given direction. But as multiple readers have observed, PUBG is now pulling in 2x to as much as 5x more players than the current second-place game, depending on when you check the data.

If this hypothesis is accurate, Steam’s current data set cannot be reconciled with Steam’s previous data set. The figures reported for dramatically decreased market share for AMD, as well as the surge in Windows 7, are not inaccurate relative to the number of systems running Steam. But they cannot be compared with the previous survey results and do not represent a falloff of AMD sales, Windows 10 market share, VR headset sales, or a sea change in quad-core CPU shipments.

I'm not buying it, based on this comment:
Quote:At first glance it seems likely but according to Steamspy China only accounts for 10% of the user base of steam. So it's pretty much impossible for this to account for the differences. 10% of a user base can't shift things this dramatically even if there wasn't a single AMD user Win10 user in China it couldn't account for a 21% drop if W10 and 17% increase in Nvidia.
The article has been debunked by appopin:
Quote:Steam designed the survey to query its users’ systems once per year, but the company discovered that Asia-based cyber cafes manage their systems in such a way that the survey could be completed multiple times per year on a single PC. This duplicated the entries multiple times, which skewed the results of the survey. Typically, we would expect an automated system to weed out multiple entries through identifying information from the host computer, but Steam either protects its users by not collecting such data, or the duplicate entries simply went undetected.

The duplicate entries led to inflated statistics for Windows 7 usage, CPU and GPU market share, and an erroneous report of a rise in the number of quad-core systems. Steam has deployed a fix to correct the issue, and the company contends that all its data from April 2018 onward will be correct.

However, it appears that the company isn't correcting the erratic data it gathered in the previous months. That means the April 2018 Steam Hardware and Software Survey is the only accurate measure of hardware usage by Steam members in the last seven months. It also isn't clear if the company made other changes to its survey methodology since it last posted accurate data in July 2017.

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