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Close to the Metal Ep. 38: The Ryzen Roundup

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Not every brand can play catch up the way AMD has in the last year. Riding a wave of populist appeal that crested with the RX 480, what we’ve seen is a Red Team resurgence, and for good reason. The chip makers GPUs returned to relevance in striking fashion, and now the Ryzen 5 and 7 chips are attempting to push more cores into more systems, and it may just be working.

But we aren’t gathering today to discuss trajectories or marketing strategies, we’re sitting down to discuss performance and value. In that sphere, AMD’s Ryzen chips compete directly with Intel’s most popular SKUs, with the Ryzen 5 1600X across from the Intel Core i5-7500Km, and Intel’s Core i7-7700K posing a serious threat to the Ryzen 7 1700’s value.

Both chips sport surplus cores, unlocked multipliers, a modern feature set, and a brand new platform and chipsets to round off the package. The biggest question remains whether users need those extra cores now, or if they ever will in the future. Modern games rarely stress more than four cores, although the rise of streaming culture could help AMD’s odds.

Whether you’re gaming or editing video, the Ryzen 5 chips offer an interesting performance proposition that’s impossible to ignore. We’ll talk over the whole series thus far and let you know where the best chips lie.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that takes a deep dive into computing and PC gaming topics. Each show, we’ll focus in on one topic, and leave no stone unturned as we show off the latest in hardware and software. Whether it’s the latest GPU, supercomputers, or which 2-in-1 you should buy,  we break down the complicated jargon and talk about how user experience is affected in the real world. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Tuesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.

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