The most popular RTX 40-series GPU on Steam is in a gaming laptop, not a graphics card

 HP Omen Transcend 14 gaming laptop from various angles.
Credit: Future

The latest Steam hardware survey is here and there are some changes of note. Chief among them is the increase in RTX 4060 laptops being used on the gaming platform, comparing stats from May to June 2024.

The survey’s video card data shows a 0.74% increase in RTX 4060 gaming laptop GPUs used by survey responders, rising from 2.84% in May to 3.58% in June. That might not appear like much of a leap, but the next-biggest increase is a 0.2% uptick for the desktop RTX 4060—go figure. It also makes the laptop version of the RTX 4060 the most popular 40-series GPU on Steam.

The Steam hardware survey collects (you guessed it) hardware data, but only from a fraction of Steam’s user base and only those who volunteer to take part. Still, the survey usually gives a pretty decent idea of PC gaming market trends.

The June survey also shows a decrease in the usual GPU suspects: RTX 3060, GTX 1060, GTX 1650, RTX 2060, and so on. These older cards are likely dropping off as people upgrade. In fact, a general trend for this month seems to be more current-gen GPU adoption across the board.

Just as we noted back in April, most people upgrading from older GPUs to newer ones seem to be choosing Nvidia rather than AMD. This is despite AMD’s dominance in the handheld market, which is no small thing, given that AMD processors feature in Valve’s own Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED.

It’s not bewildering that people might choose to upgrade now. We’re pushing towards the end of the Ada Lovelace GPU generation, with Nvidia's next-generation architecture, presumably Blackwell, just around the corner. Super variants pushed down prices not too long ago, too.

MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 resting on a desk showing display outputs
MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 resting on a desk showing display outputs

Most importantly, there’s been a slew of cheap gaming laptop deals bombarding us over the past couple of months. And you may notice that most of the sub-$1,000 gaming laptops feature an RTX 4060. So, perhaps now’s just a great time to pick up one of these budget gaming laptops.

The mobile RTX 4060 doesn’t quite feature the fully-fledged AD107 chip that you’ll find in the desktop version. However, with a TDP of 115W—which you might hit, if you’re lucky and the manufacturer’s sufficiently benevolent—it’s powerful enough to churn out playable frame rates in modern games. Dave found that even the somewhat power-nerfed RTX 4060 in the HP Omen Transcend 14 offers great 1080p frame rates and even has a decent bash at 1440p.

Your next upgrade

Nvidia RTX 4070 and RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics cards
Nvidia RTX 4070 and RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics cards

Best CPU for gaming: The top chips from Intel and AMD.
Best gaming motherboard: The right boards.
Best graphics card: Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits.
Best SSD for gaming: Get into the game ahead of the rest.

So, it makes sense that mobile RTX 4060 GPUs are on the climb.

Another notable note from the hardware survey is the continued increase in the number of Steam users on Windows 11, and a corresponding decrease in Windows 10 users. We noted this trend back in February.

While Windows 11 still accounts for less than half of Steam users on Windows, at 46.63%, the number’s climbing. Again, not really a surprise, given that Windows 12 is supposedly set to release this year. Moreover, given that Microsoft’s support for Windows 10 will end next year and AMD’s upcoming mobile chips (which will undoubtedly be used in some handheld gaming PCs) won’t support it, either.

In other words, June’s Steam hardware survey confirms that the steam-engine of progress rolls on, as always, bit by bit (or, user by user).