Steam’s latest hardware survey on GPUs shows there is a new leader. The GTX 1650 took the top spot in the November 2022 survey. Previously, this spot was held by the GTX 1060. This may signal a major shift in the GPU market, which has been riddled with problems.
The pandemic and ensuing chip shortage created some bad supply chain issues for GPU manufacturers. So, many consumers decided to hang onto their older graphics cards longer than they would otherwise. However, with demand and prices for GPUs finally cooling off, it looks like consumers may be finally upgrading their aging cards.
The GTX 1650
Launched in 2019, the GeForce 16 series is approaching its fourth anniversary. A lot has changed since then time. That may be an eternity in the world of graphics cards. Although chatter about the latest and greatest graphics cards never ceases, you may be surprised just how long older cards receive support.
Despite several new cards released by Nvidia, many computer manufacturers still use the 16 series cards. Because of this, and the fact that the GTX 1650 was released before the pandemic and chip shortage, it remains one of the most popular cards.
Although the GTX 1650 wasn’t the fastest card then, its price point and mid-range performance were enough to make computer owners choose it. Plus, there was a laptop version of the 1650’s chip. Overall, the GTX 1650 was a great card that delivered enough power for most gamers, and it is still a very competitive option today.
With all that in mind, you probably shouldn’t buy a GTX 1650 for your computer unless you need a basic card and find a terrific deal. Although the cards still work fine for video editing and some basic gaming, they are quickly getting outpaced by better ones like the 30 and 40 series.
Steam’s Hardware Survey
The computer gaming platform Steam sees what type of GPU is in millions of computers. This gives some great insight into the current state of PC gaming. For instance, Steam users overwhelmingly have Nvidia graphics cards which is no surprise. However, you can also see the number of other GPUs, like AMD’s cards and discrete graphics.
While this is excellent insight, some flaws and issues can muddy the results. Firstly, Steam lumps some cards with variations together while others stay separate. This may be partly why the GTX1650 is in the first place. Secondly, laptop cards are combined with desktop variations of the same name, which offer wildly different performance metrics.
Another popular card is the RTX 3060, split between its PC and laptop variants. A quick check of the numbers shows that it would quickly surpass the GTX 1650 if the desktop and laptop variants were combined. Consumer trends are shifting, and more gamers are upgrading their aging cards.
Pointing these details out is not to disparage the numbers but rather to understand their limitations. Most notable is that the GTX 1650 jumped a few spots between the prior months. At the same time, the RTX 2060 declined. You can make several inferences from this data, but the most obvious is that people are simply upgrading their computers, especially with the declining prices of graphics cards.
The GPU market has been on a rollercoaster ride for the last couple of years. Some good cards came out, only to be beyond reach for many. Not to mention the insane demand from crypto miners that finally seems to be tapering off. Plus, there was a pandemic and chip shortage, with a possible recession in the near future.
All of these factors have played a major part in gamers keeping older graphics cards longer. New cards were notoriously difficult to get, and resellers quickly grabbed any stock. However, all the craziness from the past three years appears to be approaching an end, with some new challenges ahead.
A drop in cryptocurrency values and the rising cost of goods seem to be pushing a dramatic shift in the GPU market. Over the last few months, GPUs have gone from unavailable everywhere to readily available with deep discounts. The fact that cards like the GTX 1650 and 2060 are declining indicates that people are finally upgrading their aging GPUs.
The last few years have been a wild ride for PC gamers. But it looks like things may be finally going in a positive direction. However, many good things can be said about the GTX 1060 and its lasting popularity. The fact that it held the number one spot for so long means it was and is extremely popular.
But even more remarkable, the GTX 1650 is not much newer. GTX 1060 is now over six years old, and the GTX 1650 is over four years old. It is fantastic how long these cards work and still perform pretty well. Going forward, it will be fascinating to see how long the GTX 1650 holds its spot before being overtaken.
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