Today, we take a crack at an enthusiast gaming system from Maingear
one of the premier boutique builders out there today.
Many people these days when looking for a gaming computer usually look to big box retailers and well known brand names. The problem with that is that most of the big box retailers and top tier OEMs have mostly abandoned high-end PC gaming. As such, many gamers are either left with having to build their own system and hope they do it right, or find one of the many custom system builders available online.
Many of these online builders show a plethora of options that enable users to build basically any rig they want, many of which seem to copy each other in what they offer. Most system builders nowadays simply take whatever components are available on the market and effectively offer to put them together for you and then send it to you. That’s the extent that many of them effectively operate at. Maingear has decidedly taken an extremely different approach. Rather than build the computer and send you on your way, they want to make sure that you, the consumer are always a few seconds away from reaching Maingear if need be. They go the extra customer service mile that most system builders are generally criticized for not even bothering with.
The Maingear Experience
(we wrote this not realizing they had a part of their site dedicated to just this). Maingear does everything with the latest and greatest possible hardware available. Many times when we get a PR from a hardware manufacturer, it is commonly followed by a PR from Maingear already offering that part as an option in their systems. This proves that Maingear is not only keeping up to date, they are as up to date as it is physically (and legally) possible. This is in addition to their unparalleled customer service and technical support which we will detail later in the article since customer service and technical support will always be a part of our system reviews. Their customer service and technical support are only supplements to their impeccable build quality and innovative testing and build techniques.
In this review we will detail every facet of the system including our experiences with the computer, the company, and what we thought of the overall experience.Key Technologies
So, as is with any decent system, there are a few key technologies that differentiate the Maingear Shift from all of its competitors. Furthermore, some of these technologies and innovations also allow for a unique way of building a computer and could in theory improve performance as well.
One of the great things about the Maingear Shift is the case, Maingear uses a case that has a motherboard tray that has been rotated 90 degrees in order to aim all of the components exhausts upward instead of out the back. This also means that all of the connectivity is at the top of the computer rather than in the back. For some this may be a good idea and for others, not as much. So when purchasing a computer from Maingear take this into account. This case is actually very similar to the original Silverstone Raven case, except for the fact that the raven has almost an entirely plastic outside, while the Shift is all aluminum. Furthermore, the shift is visually cleaner and less obnoxious since it has very clean lines, etc. Because this case has components exhausting out the top, that means that the graphics cards actually don’t get as hot as they normally would since they’re exhausting nearly every ounce of heat right out of the top because, after all, heat rises.
Another key technology that Maingear has implemented on this build of the Shift is their implementation of their EPIC 180
watercooling solution. This watercooling solution is a solution that they developed in conjunction with CoolIT systems out performs any air cooling solution on the market and many similarly designed closed loop water cooling solutions. The EPIC also doesn’t add much weight, like some of the high-end air solutions as it only weighs 450g and the majority of the weight doesn’t even bear on the motherboard as it is screwed to the case. Furthermore, it has a microfin coldplate used in conjunction with a silent pump (in one housing). The main purpose of implementing this solution is to have the best cooling without taking up much space and not creating much noise. We will see how effective it is in allowing higher clocks and quieter sound.
For a detailed explanation, we actually wrote about it
when Maingear launched it back in late April.
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