2022 is almost over. Believe it or not, expensive GPUs didn’t dominate the hardware news cycle as much as we thought they would at the start of the year. Since news tends to blur at breakneck speeds, it’s always fun to look back at the biggest hardware stories throughout the year and see how much (or how little) time has passed.
This year saw industry-changing events such as the release of a new generation of graphics cards, the sudden (but predictable) collapse of the GPU mining industry, and the release of the steam deck (opens in a new tab).
You can’t talk about this year in hardware news without talking about crime either! Whether it’s crypto embezzlement, mischief by disgruntled employees, or people creatively smuggling hilarious amounts of PC components into their bodies, we all love reading about people behaving badly.
A lot has happened in 2022, so below are the hottest, weirdest, and most in-your-face hardware stories of the year.
What happened in hardware: January – March
The key bits:
⭐ The important thing: One of the biggest events that happened in early 2022 was the release of Valve’s Steam Deck, and do you know what that means? Some quotes from Gabe Newell! Around the launch of the Steam Deck, our very own Wes Fenlon chatted with the head of Valve, where he shared his thoughts on the metaverse and how most people who talk about the metaverse “don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.” “. In that same discussion, Gabe also gave more context as to why Steam removed Bitcoin as a form of payment and the company’s general attitude towards cryptocurrency and NFT gaming having been banned at the time. It turns out that “50% of the transactions were fraudulent” when Valve accepted Bitcoin payments.
“There’s a lot of really interesting technology in blockchains and figuring out how to do a distributed ledger, [but] I think people haven’t figured out why you really need a distributed ledger,” Newell said.
🖥 The fall of Artesian Builds after giveaways went wrong ended up being one of the most fascinating sagas of 2022. After a streamer was denied a giveaway prize, he took to Twitter to voice his complaint. The event’s sponsor, Intel, and the rest of the internet weren’t too happy about the Twitter drama that followed. However, it did not stop there. The company subsequently filed for bankruptcy with an estimated $1.3 million in unfulfilled orders; While it seemed like this was because it received a wave of refunds from which it couldn’t recover, it was almost cartoonish long-term mismanagement that essentially brought the company down, according to a former employee in an interview with PC Gamer.
🖥 In March, Chinese authorities seized more than $3 million worth of AMD graphics cards when an importer tried to clear them through customs to avoid paying an import duty by covering up the labels. This was not the only time someone tried to trick Chinese customs officials in March. The “walking CPU” tried to smuggle 160 CPUs valued at more than $3 million by taping them all over their bodies. Authorities claimed that his “abnormal” posture was what tipped them off.
What happened in hardware: April – June
The key bits:
⭐ The important thing: This spring was a season of scientific discovery. Fossils unearthed in April may have been from the day the dinosaurs died. Excavators at the Tanis Fossil Site in North Dakota found some well-preserved fossils of a pterosaur embryo inside its egg. Not to be outdone, our hardware lead Dave James also discovered the fact that reversible USB cables are a thing.
🖥 Talking about human ingenuity, a mad scientist managed to make Doom work with a Lego brick, which was pretty much the last thing I expected Doom to work. But honestly, how can we not make Doom work?
🖥 Gear change From wit to dark magic, a Japanese company called its motorized gamer bed “a forbidden design for those gamers who degrade themselves,” and I don’t disagree.
🖥 Also in Japan, researchers found a way to put data from 25 million 1TB SSDs onto a 5cm diamond wafer thanks to advances in quantum storage, taking advantage of a defect in a diamond called the nitrogen vacancy center to store the data. . The folks at Saga University and Adamant Namiki Precisions Jewelry Co. said they found a way to mass-produce these 2-inch-diameter wafers with microscopic diamonds rimmed. These new wafers are expected to be commercialized in 2023.
🖥 In the “listen to your IT guys” News section, a disgruntled IT administrator is facing up to seven years in prison in China for wiping out his company’s servers. The database administrator claims that his reasons for destroying the servers were that his concerns about compromising the security of the company’s financial system were ignored.
What happened in hardware: July – September
The key bits:
⭐ The important thing: The rise of AI-generated art has sparked much debate about the ethics and legality of AI art tools like Midjourney, DALL-E, and Stable Diffusion. The way much of this software works is that the AI is ‘trained’ to cycle through thousands of images online and generate images to mimic a specific style based on user-specified parameters. Adobe currently sells AI-generated stock images, promising refunds for any of its AI-generated stock images affected by any legal challenges.
🖥 marked september the beginning of the end for massive GPU crypto mining operations. Ethereum moved away from a proof-of-work model, which required warehouses full of power-hungry GPUs to verify transactions on the blockchain, to a proof-of-stake consensus of those with a substantial amount of ETH with a “stake” in the network.
In the months leading up to the merger, miners stopped buying GPUs in bulk (much to the delight of many PC gamers), while others flooded the second-hand market with used graphics cards. This helped bring the price of graphics cards back to near pre-pandemic/inflation prices, just in time for the launch of Nvidia’s RTX 40-series GPUs.
What happened in hardware: October – December
The key bits:
⭐ The important thing: The end of the year saw the release of Nvidia’s new RTX 40 series GPUs, with the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 leading the way. These large video cards provide pretty solid performance, but they’re even bigger on power consumption and price. There have also been a handful of cases of cards overheating and melting the 12VHPWR adapter, making Nvidia the subject of a class action lawsuit.
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🖥 More bad news for the cryptocurrency industry as the largest exchange, FTX, went bankrupt following rumors of a “complete failure of corporate controls,” according to the bankruptcy supervisor. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was recently arrested for alleged financial crimes in the Bahamas and the US. FTX was valued at $32 billion at the start of the year.
Bankman-Friend was not the only high-level crypto exec to run into legal trouble. An arrest warrant has been issued for the co-founder of the Terra blockchain network, Do Kwon, following his role in its $40 billion collapse. Therefore, it is safe to say that 2022 has not been a good year to invest in cryptocurrencies.
🖥 In happier news, actress Chloë Grace Moretz needed advice on building a gaming PC. In a rare moment of unity, the internet came together to give the Kick-Ass and The Peripheral star some advice. Of course, nothing excites PC gamers more than a celebrity becoming one of us. I mean, we have Geralt of Rivia and Superman; We have plenty of room for Hit-Girl to join our weird little club.
🖥 And finally, on the topic of “when Gabe Newell talks, the world listens,” reminded us that PC gaming rules during his acceptance speech after Steam Deck won Best Hardware at the Golden Joysticks Awards. He said his is made up of parts from different manufacturers and that the “interoperability,” “compatibility,” and “openness” of PC hardware is what “really enables products like the Steam Deck.”