What just happened? The latest Steam survey has landed with so many changes that one would be forgiven for thinking it was an April Fools' joke: a new graphics card heads the GPU section, Windows 11 crashes almost 10%, and English is no longer the most popular language.
It was only last November when the GTX 1060 lost its spot as the number one most popular card after five years, being replaced by the GTX 1650. But that Turing product is no longer at the top. The RTX 3060, a card that has been making massive gains over the last few months, now reigns supreme. It's followed by the RTX 2060, GTX 1060, and RTX 3070.
Looking at March's top performers, the RTX 3060 tops this section, too. With a couple of exceptions, Turing and Ampere dominate here, while AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX cards remain absent from the main GPU list.
The operating system section also looks different from usual. Windows 10 64-bit has seen its share fall consistently for months while Windows 11 gained users, but March reversed this trend in a big way: Windows 10 was up 11.62% while Windows 11 crashed -9.65%.
Windows 11 received an update that caused slow SSDs and WiFi connections, Blue Screens of Death, and more unwanted issues last month, but that happens all the time and wouldn't have resulted in so many people switching to its predecessor. We'll get to the more likely reason later.
Another significant change is in the most popular languages section. According to the latest survey, more than half the participants now speak simplified Chinese after it jumped a massive 25.3% - it rose just 2.47% the previous month - while English fell into second place with a -12.44% decline. The last time the Asian language was number one was back in 2020.
There are more notable increases in other categories: people with six physical CPUs went up 12.36%, those with CPU speeds between 2.7GHz and 2.99GHz leaped almost 12%, and users with more than 1TB of storage were up 18.9%.
So, what is behind the big changes? As we always point out, the Steam survey is an optional feature for the platform's millions of users, who must click the prompt to opt-in. The most likely explanation is that more people took part in March, perhaps due to Valve pushing out more prompts to new users. Either way, we now have a new top graphics card in the RTX 3060, which might result in developers upping the minimum/recommended specs for their games.