Boutique system builder Maingear today announced a new look and upgraded components for its X-Cube, a small form factor gaming PC with a micro ATX foundation. The chassis features expanded customizable storage and lighting options while maintaining a low-profile design that's portable for traveling, and on the inside, you'll find the latest CPU options from Intel and AMD, along with support for for up to two top-shelf graphics cards, such as Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 or AMD's Radeon R9 290X.
A large, light gaming laptop marred by several flaws
Like the iBuypower Battalion laptop we reviewed in the March issue, Maingear’s Pulse 17 is aimed at enthusiasts who want a large gaming laptop but don’t want to kill themselves lugging it around.
The 17.3-inch Pulse 17 fits the bill in screen real estate, and at 0.8-inches thick and 6 pounds, it’s in line with the thinnest laptops while maintaining a manageable weight. However, what it saves you in weight, it eats up in footprint, with a 16.5-inch by 11.2-inch spot on your desk. It’s large enough that it won’t fit in most normal-sized laptop backpacks.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
Nvidia has partnered with various system builders to equip their current rigs with at least one GeForce Titan Z graphics card and rebrand them as Battleboxes, Maingear being one of them. Unlike ones we've already seen, however, Maingear's Battlebox Titan Z PCs are a little more cost friendly, with the least expensive model (Vybe) starting at $2,999. Battlebox configurations are also available on Maingear's F131 and Shift starting at $3,199 and $3,499, respectively.
Maingear first introduced its Spark system back in January during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas. At the time, the Spark was supposed to be Maingear's eventual Steam Machine. Valve threw a wrench in those plans by delaying the whole Steam Machine initiative until next year, but it hasn't stopped Maingear from forging ahead in the small form factor gaming department. On the contrary, Maingear just launched its Spark gaming system to the pubilc.
A new gaming laptop from Maingear might have you grunting like Tim Allen during his Home Improvement days. Slipping in between Maingear's Pulse 14 and Pulse 17 is its new Pulse 15 laptop, the thinnest 15-inch gaming laptop the company has ever assembled, though that's not the only thing that makes the Pulse 15 stand out. It's also notable for its 3K In-Plane Switching (IPS) wide-view display.
Liquid cooling-obsessed boutique builder thinks inside the small box
Setting up a liquid cooled rig is challenging enough on its own. But liquid cooling a small factor PC? That's taking things to whole new level. In fact, Maingear says its Epic Torq gaming system is the first small form factor PC in the world to feature liquid cooling for both the CPU and GPU. We'll take Maingear's word for it, but either way, the Torq is an intriguing system that can outfitted with some seriously powerful hardware.
Boutique builder Maingear is now letting users configure desktops with Nvidia's dual-GPU GeForce GTX Titan Z graphics card. The GPU option is available across Maingear's entire line of desktops, including the SHIFT, F131, Vybe, Rush, and Force. Not for the faint of wallet, pricing starts at just under $4,300 for a Vybe H81 equipped with a Titan Z, though if you're going that route, we suggest making a few upgrades.
Maingear, a boutique system builder headquartered in New Jersey, went and revamped its affordable Vbye gaming desktop with a new chassis, additional features, and more cooling options. There are three baseline configurations available: Vybe H81 (dubbed "Good"), Vybe Z97 ("Better"), and Vybe X79 ("Best"). In case you didn't guess it, the model name reflects the Intel chipset each tier is built around.
Fanning the flames of Valve's Steam Machine initiative with a Spark
Valve isn't having any trouble lining up hardware partners to build Steam Machine systems of varying power and shapes at different price points. One of those companies is Maingear, a boutique builder out of New Jersey that decided to go with an AMD foundation inside a small form factor (SFF) chassis for its take on a Steam Machine. The aptly named Spark measures only 4.5 inches wide by 4.23 inches deep by 2.34 inches high and weighs less than a pound.