Saturday, February 4, 2023

TechSpot’s top 10 hardware stories of 2022: Pushing Moore’s law to the limit

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Graphics cards remained a hot button issue in 2022, but consumers started gaining some leverage as the year progressed. We also bore witness to some puzzling decisions by hardware makers and watched as Moore’s law clung to life support.

Samsung asks customer to destroy 980 Pro SSD with a drill before returning it for RMA

When data security is non-negotiable

Samsung Germany has taken data protection to a new extreme. They requested a customer to destroy his Samsung 980 Pro by drilling or smashing it with a hammer before returning it for RMA. But why?

The last man selling floppy disks says he still receives orders from airlines

Your next flight may still be aided by a floppy disk

Do you remember floppy disks? The archaic storage device used to ruled computers of the 1980s and 1990s, but a good number of you reading this may have never seen or used one before. Surprisingly though, they still hold a place in one specific and unlikely setting: airlines.

Scalpers are struggling to sell the RTX 4080 above MSRP, but retailers won’t let them return the cards

Our collective hearts are breaking for the poor scalpers

It’s no secret that the RTX 4080 has not been selling particularly well, primarily due to its $1,200 price tag, which most people feel is far too expensive. The situation has even impacted scalpers, with many now having to resell their cards at MSRP or even less in some cases. A few second-hand sellers have tried returning them, which seems to have prompted certain retailers to stop offering refunds for the RTX 4080.

The end of Moore’s law forced YouTube to make its own video chip

YouTube now controls its hardware roadmap

Partha Ranganathan came to realize about seven years ago that Moore’s law was dead. No longer could the Google engineering VP expect chip performance to double roughly every 18 months without major cost increases, and that was a problem considering he helped Google construct its infrastructure spending budget each year. Faced with the prospect of getting a chip twice as fast every four years, Ranganathan knew they needed to mix things up.

SSD price slump shows no end in sight

This fall looks like a good time to invest in PCIe 4.0 storage

Solid-state drive prices have been dropping due to NAND oversupply for months. The trend looks particularly severe moving towards the end of 2022, and the latest reports indicate it won’t let up. This year’s holiday season may be an excellent time to upgrade if you’re looking for a PCIe 4.0 SSD.

A new graphics card tops the Steam survey for the first time since 2018

And it’s not the RTX 2060

The latest Steam survey has arrived with a big change: a graphics card has knocked the GTX 1060 off the top spot for the first time since January 2018. November was also an excellent period for AMD CPUs, which reversed a months-long trend of declines to grab an almost 4% user share back from Intel.

Reddit user acquires decommissioned Netflix cache server, finds 36 hard drives inside

An old Netflix server from 2013 packing 262TB of storage

With more than 223 million subscribers, it should come as no surprise that Netflix is responsible for a large chunk of daily Internet traffic. To help keep the service operating smoothly, Netflix utilizes a content delivery network known as Open Connect that consists of an array of local servers containing copies of video content.

Chinese researchers create the world’s smallest transistor gate

Behold the side-wall transistor, possibly the last node for Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law has been on life support for a while now, but it’s not dead yet. Chipmakers are burning the midnight oil to miniaturize transistor designs, and a team of researchers in China have created what is believed to be the smallest one yet.

Asrock will send you a replacement motherboard if you can’t get the stickers out of your DIMM sockets

A ridiculous problem on a $300 motherboard

It all started with a Reddit post, as these things often do. Redditors shared some gory photos of an Asrock X670E Steel Legend with bits of a sticker stuck to the insides of the memory slots, and commenters quickly came to the horrifying realization that Asrock was adorning their motherboards with a sticker that cripples them.

New optical disc tech could make $5 per TB possible

A new era for data hoarders and archivers?

Despite consumer PCs and game consoles transitioning to faster SSDs, traditional disk drives (HDDs) continue to offer ever more space for cold storage at lower prices. One company says it can take a significant leap forward for optical disc technology.

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