Close to the Metal Ep. 3: Is Falcon’s $8,700 Mach V desktop a justifiable expense?

Falcon Northwest, based in Medford, Oregon, is a relatively small operation that builds super-premium systems – and it’s been around for over two decades. Its flagship, the Mach V, was first sold back in 1993. As far as we know, that makes it the most enduring name in the PC business.

Today we’re looking at a particularly stunning example of the breed. It has a ten-core Intel Core i7-6950X processor, twin GTX 1080s in SLI, 128GB of RAM, and a 1.2TB solid state drive – not to mention a sweet Digital Trends paint job. These extreme features, including the paint, pump the price up to $8,700, though you can buy entry-level versions for well less than half that.

Overclocked to the hilt, the Falcon Northwest Mach V represents the cutting edge of what modern computers might be used for. But what might it be used for? Is it for high-end gaming? Video encoding? Or some other arcane art? The answer is, in most cases, a little bit of all three.

The Mach V is also representative of the growing gap between super high-end systems and the average, everyday computers. Anyone can walk into Best Buy and purchase a system for a few hundred dollars, and while it might not be outstanding, it’ll handle all the basics most people ask from their PC.

Can the huge gap between such an entry-level system, and the nearly $10,000 Mach V, be justified? What’s the difference, in reality? And what’s the point at which buying more powerful hardware results in diminishing returns? We’ll tackle all of that today, and more.

This podcast features Matt Smith, Brad Bourque and Greg Nibler.

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 podcast@digitaltrends.com. We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Wednesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.

Computing

Like to be brand loyal? These tech titans make some of our favorite laptops

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Mobile

Check out our favorite Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus accessories

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two of the most talked about smartphones of 2018. If you've managed to get your hands on one, you're no doubt looking to score some new accessories. Here are a few of our favorites.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Gaming

Tips and tricks for surviving the ruined streets of D.C. in The Division 2

Whether you're a seasoned agent or a newcomer, there's a lot going on in the early stages of The Division 2. Our Division 2 beginner's guide covers skills, perks, crafting, and how to make the most of post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: iPhone price cut rumor; smart home hack; delivery robot

Apple lawsuits and iPhone price drops; Smart Home Devices hacked remotely; Autonomous Delivery Robots may be closer to reality.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: CES preview; LG 8K television; Home assistant takeover

CES Preview and Digital Trends coverage; LG 88" 8K television; Home assistants will be taking over everything; the strange tech of CES.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: A brutal ‘Sicario 2’ trailer, 10 more years of Star Wars

It's lightsabers, polka kings, and sequels galore this week on Between the Streams, as we look at a wide variety of new content hitting screens, including everything from a Bright sequel to Star Wars Episode IX news.
Podcasts

Trends With Benefits podcast: Our favorite tech from CES 2018

It's our annual episode from CES! We've seen a lot of great tech this year, and have been surprised by a few announcements as well, so we discuss our favorite products and announcements this year.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: Best TVs of CES; emerging tech; Amazon/Apple 2nd HQ; Falcon X

We'll cover the Best TVs of CES, some of more fringe emerging tech, Amazon and Apple's 2nd Headquarter statuses and the Falcon X Heavy rocket may finally be launching.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: Apple and Kristen Wiig, ‘Solo’ synopsis, Black Widow movie?

This week on Between the Streams: A comedy series with Kristin Wiig and Reese Witherspoon from Apple, a Catch 22 miniseries from George Clooney, rumors of a Spider-Man and Venom meet-up, a Black Widow stand-alone film, and much more.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: iPhone X discontinued?, Galaxy S9 first look, 50 Cent’s bitcoins

Apple iPhone X discontinued: After a week of rumors, it seems that Apple may indeed be discontinuing the current version of the iPhone X. KGI Securities predicts that this will occur later this year, when potential replacements for the X…
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Apple HomePod, Galaxy X

With the three big names in Home Assistants all taking aim at each other, we break down the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. Samsung may be debuting a foldable phone this year and we'll recap some highlights from Outdoor…
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: CBS’ desperate ‘Murphy Brown’ revival, Super Bowl trailers

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be discussing all the weird new sitcom reboots (and how desperate they are), Netflix's new series Altered Carbon, all the new trailers we expect to see during the Super Bowl, and so much more.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: SpaceX triumph, Spotify vs. Apple Music, Apple Watch health

After the success of the Falcon launch, what's next for SpaceX and Tesla? Spotify is the kind of streaming music, but Apple Music is hot on the trail. The Apple Watch may soon provide your doctor with valuable information.