Skip to main content

Close to the Metal Ep. 25: The best and worst of computing in 2016

badge_itunes-smallest   stitcher-smallest   rss-smallest

2016 hasn’t been a great year for many people. But on the bright side, it’s been a good year for PC enthusiasts. We’ve seen the introduction of new video cards from Nvidia, the proliferation of both 4K and ultra-wide monitors, tons of awesome games to test our hardware, lower prices on many core components, and great systems from Microsoft, of all companies.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

And that only begins to cover it. While it’s true that big PC manufacturers aren’t shipping as many computers as they once did, it’s hard to feel disappointed with this delicious buffet of advancements. That it remains satisfying is surprising for what it lacks. The most glaring omission is, of course, new desktop processors. While AMD and Intel had a few releases in 2016, neither put out chips based on a new architecture.

Of course, there were a few disappointments in 2016, as well. This year was one that, in the broadest sense, showed technology has deeply impacted our lives in ways we’d never have guessed. Those disappointments leaked over to more practical concerns, too. Fans of certain major brands expressed widespread dismay about new releases, and PC security remains a topic that is on the minds of everyone involved in consumer tech – or, if it isn’t, it should be.

On this week’s episode of Close to the Metal, we’ll discuss all the glorious and not-so-great things that happened this year, swapping best and worst picks, with a bit of argument in between. There’s plenty to choose from, but only the very best – and worst – will make the cut.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Tuesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew S. Smith
Matthew S. Smith is the former Lead Editor, Reviews at Digital Trends. He previously guided the Products Team, which dives…
TWB Podcast: SpaceX triumph, Spotify vs. Apple Music, Apple Watch health
trends with benefits spacex tesla spotify apple watch twb full

SpaceX has reinvigorated space exploration: There can be no doubt that putting a cherry red Tesla Roadster into space, as part of the Falcon Heavy X rocket launch on 2/ 5/18, captured the world's attention. It showcased what vision, ability, talent and a whole lot of money, can accomplish. The question now is what will Elon Musk do next? One would imagine that investors are clamoring to pour more money into future projects. This was also the world's greatest ad campaign for Tesla, for which there are some pretty bold plans in their own right. A letter was sent to shareholders stating that they are planning to send an autonomous Tesla car on a coast-to-coast trip in 2018.

Spotify vs. Apple: When it comes to overall users, there is no question that Spotify is the current leader in streaming music services. They have millions more subscribers (approximately 70 million total) than their closest rivals. However, Apple Music is now claiming to have 36 million of their own and according to the Wall Street Journal, is growing at nearly double the rate of Spotify. So, who do you use for streaming music and why?

Read more
Between the Streams: Venomless trailer, Game of Thrones Star Wars, ‘Solo’ time
between the streams

DT’s weekly entertainment show, Between the Streams, is your guide to all of the hottest, most important, and (of course) dumbest new developments in streaming and entertainment, providing a handy recap of the week that was and a preview for what's ahead. Follow us here at 2 p.m. PT every Friday, or add us via RSS, iTunes, or Stitcher at the links below to take BtS on the road!


Read more
How to photograph ghosts — get an iPhone (Samsung cameras won’t work)
how to photograph ghosts julie rieger crabman color circled

Forget selfies and sunsets, any ordinary iPhone can be used to take pictures of something far more intriguing: the spirit world.

Julie Rieger is the biggest of Hollywood bigwigs; she’s president, chief data strategist, and head of media at 20th Century Fox, where she’s worked on a few little films like Avatar, Deadpool, The Fault in Our Stars, and more. And in addition to being one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, she’s an avid ghost photographer -- in fact, she wrote the book on it.

Read more