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Tom's Hardware's GDC 2017 Highlights

Ryzen Arisin’

Although the release of AMD’s new Ryzen processors wasn't tied to GDC per se, it was certainly a specter that hung over the whole event. Last week, editors were briefed on the new chips, and the NDA on reviews lifted on Thursday, in the middle of GDC, which left editors aplenty scrambling to balance show coverage with finishing off their Ryzen reviews. (Our full review is here.)

The AMD folks certainly seemed a bit giddy early in the week at the “Capsaicin And Cream” event (where we learned about this and this and this); whether or not they felt the same after reviews like ours, not to mention issues like this one, is a matter for debate.

In any case, this was a major CPU launch for AMD, and it's one that the PC market has sorely needed. Anything resembling competition will be a boon for consumers, in the end. And you can be certain that AMD reps spent a great deal of time this week talking to game developers about ways to optimize for the new Ryzen family of CPUs.


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The Wrestler

There was that time that a professional wrestler bombed a VR demo we were doing. While I (Seth Colaner, Tom’s Hardware News Editor) was under the hood zipping around in Sprint Vector, WWE Superstar Xavier Woods showed up. The Survios folks put him in a headset and put us in a race together.

This was all unbeknownst to me; I knew only that I was going to race someone. The in-game characters are just avatars, so I had no clue that I was about to race a professional athlete. I did think it was curious that the crowd was suddenly so pumped up about the race. (Literally no one in the crowd around the booth was cheering for me except for one Survios staff member who I think was just trying to be polite.)

Because Sprint Vector is a game wherein the faster you pump your arms the faster you move, and Mr. Woods has a pair of arm pythons the size of my thighs, it goes without saying that he beat me. (However, he beat me by only 10 seconds in a race that lasted over two minutes. Further, my time was 2:19, which was good enough to be on the leaderboard at the time. So.)

Mr. Woods was very nice, and he was not breathing hard at all after our race. My arms are still sore.

(Pictured: Tom’s Hardware’s Derek Forrest, who did not cheer for me, with WWE Superstar Xavier Woods.)


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  • envy14tpe
    Who is tomshardware? I have yet to see a real person. You guys should go youtube...even though tech youtubers are plentiful.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Tom was the founder of Tom's Hardware years ago, though I don't think he works directly with Tom's Hardware anymore.

    It might be a good idea to go youtube, but the competition would be fierce...
    Reply
  • RavenDeth
    VR is currently way overblown. It's VR this and VR that and the huge bricks on your face. But how about all the issues? People getting dizzy, headaches and sick using these devices. You can't use them for long periods of time or the above happens. These are not designed for the mass market and are way overpriced for what they do.

    And yet, all these companies are pushing this tech on us and the media eats it up. I'll get into VR when they remove the huge headset requirement and don't make people get headaches or sick after using the devices.
    Reply
  • scolaner
    19379405 said:
    Who is tomshardware? I have yet to see a real person. You guys should go youtube...even though tech youtubers are plentiful.

    Heh. Our faces are pictured below the articles we write. (Except for on a piece like this one, where multiple editors/writers contributed.)

    The "Tom" of Tom's Hardware is a real guy, yes. Dr. Tom Pabst. He stepped away a decade or so ago. As we're fond of saying now, "we're all Tom."
    Reply
  • scolaner
    19379693 said:
    VR is currently way overblown. It's VR this and VR that and the huge bricks on your face. But how about all the issues? People getting dizzy, headaches and sick using these devices. You can't use them for long periods of time or the above happens. These are not designed for the mass market and are way overpriced for what they do.

    And yet, all these companies are pushing this tech on us and the media eats it up. I'll get into VR when they remove the huge headset requirement and don't make people get headaches or sick after using the devices.

    Have you tried a Rift or Vive or PSVR?
    Reply
  • WhyAreYou
    Very nice highlights, nice pics!
    Reply
  • elho_cid
    19379693 said:
    VR is currently way overblown. It's VR this and VR that and the huge bricks on your face.
    It's just another attempt to create a new market for devices no-one really needs. Just like the smartwatches few years ago, and it will probably fail as well. And VR already failed to gain mass market interest twice since 80's. Despite all the attention it got from tech magazines.


    Reply
  • ubercake
    They should create a VR program for people to see what it's like to wear a VR headset for more than a couple of minutes. This way there wouldn't be so much talk about VR.
    Reply
  • scolaner
    19387348 said:
    They should create a VR program for people to see what it's like to wear a VR headset for more than a couple of minutes. This way there wouldn't be so much talk about VR.

    Therein lies the rub. Lots of talk about this all over the industry. It's REALLY hard to get people excited about your thing when all they can see is a (literal!) black box, and someone going "Whoa!".

    There's really no substitute for seeing a good demo in a high-end VR HMD. Cardboard is super cheap and far more ubiquitous, but Cardboard and Rift/Vive/PSVR have as much in common as a go kart and an F1 racer. They both have four wheels and are fun to drive but...

    I think XR adoption will come, in time. It's just going to be a little slow because it's taking so long for enough people to see the really good stuff that they get excited.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    I'm am a VR skeptic but ...

    - $200 dollar price drop on the Oculus bundle and the 1080 to $500.

    The price for entry is really improving and many of the issues with the technology are getting fixed.

    In a 3-4 years I suspect VR will be fully mainstream among gamers, computer geeks and tech nerds. That level of broad adoption is needed before we find out if it will have real uses beyond entertainment. I see it as big as console gaming (or at least all consoles will be VR machines) at minimum. But will it be bigger than that ?
    Reply