It’s April now, so you know that means? It means that just over a week ago it was March… Great, thanks? But what does that mean? Well it also means that we get some new figures based on what happened in March both financially and statistically. Steam has a handy feature that allows you to see how many users on the platform own certain hardware, and that includes graphics cards.
So, according to Steam’s Hardware & Software Survey page, March 2020 saw significant growth in Nvidia’s RTX cards. More specifically, the ¬¬gc_id:4051[RTX 2060]¬¬ saw an increase of 0.53% users in the month of March bringing it up to a total of 2.71% at the number 5 spot, the biggest increase the card has seen in the last 5 months. Now 0.53% may not seem like a lot, but considering there are hundreds of cards out there and that the ¬¬gc_id:3540[GTX 1060]¬¬ dominates with 12.67% of all Steam users playing games with it, that’s a pretty big step.
What’s even more interesting is when you start doing all the big numbers. Counting all the RTX cards together gets a total of 8.95% shares, meaning nearly 10% of all users across steam play with an RTX card. With ray tracing becoming more and more utilized within major game titles, the idea of purchasing an RTX card is becoming more and more applicable. Considering that the RTX 2060 is the most affordable of the RTX cards currently out there, it’s no surprise that it’s the most popular card across Steam users.
Across the entire RTX series, the ¬¬gc_id:4552[RTX 2080 SUPER]¬¬ is the least popular, most likely due to its high price point. The second most popular card following from the RTX 2060 is the ¬¬gc_id:4023[RTX 2070]¬¬ at 10th place with 2.01% shares, followed by the ¬¬gc_id:4551[RTX 2070 SUPER]¬¬ and the ¬¬gc_id:4022[RTX 2080]¬¬ at 1.21% and 1.05% respectively.
Now let’s do some more math. Currently, one of the closest non-RTX GPUs that’s comparable to the RTX 2060 is a ¬¬gc_id:4093[GTX 1660 Ti]¬¬, so let’s just pretend they’re the same card for argument’s sake, but one has ray tracing capability. You can find a GTX 1660 Ti right now for around $250-$280, for the RTX 2060 you can get it at around $330-$360. That means that, as of right now, in order to play games with ray tracing enabled, it will cost you around $80. That’s a pretty hefty sum for prettier graphics, and since there’s no competition from AMD (yet!) that price point is not going down anytime soon.
But it does mean that ray tracing will start to become more accessible. As more developers utilize it, and Nvidia starts making newer and better cards (as well as AMD eventually), soon RTX will become the standard GPU and the price to get those benefits won’t be much higher. But for now, you’re looking at nearly $100 just to play a handful of games with ray tracing enabled. Is ray tracing the future of gaming? Probably, but that’s just what it is, the future, not right now.
What do you think? How do you feel about the state of RTX cards at the moment? What about ray tracing? Is it still far off from being affordable? Or is it worth it? Let us know your thoughts!