Based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, MAINGEAR has earned quite a reputation for itself among PC gaming enthusiasts since its founding in 2002. The company has also racked up a considerable number of awards from various publications, not only for its high performance systems, but also for the company's much vaunted post-sale support. It's one of the few companies where the customer gets tech support from the person who actually built the machine.
Today, we'll be looking at the company's overclocked, dual GTX 470 equipped F131 gaming desktop.
Update: We have become aware of a discrepancy in our VGA focused synthetic and gaming test results in this review and as such we have temporarily pulled these benchmark results offline to investigate the anomalies of these test results.
We sincerely apologise for this and will endeavour to have new, confirmed results of our synthetic and gaming tests back online ASAP.
Update 2: New benchmark results are back online for the system's synthetic (3DMark Vantage) and Real World Gaming tests. We apologise for the downtime with these results, but wanted to ensure that the system was configured optimally to give the best performance possible. For this we needed to adjust a setting that falls under "Multiple Display/Mixed-GPU Acceleration mode" in the drivers from "Compatibility Performance" to "Single Display".
It is important to note that this is how MAINGEAR configures the system as delivered for the purposes of optimal compatibility between users and differing types of display setups. However, for optimal SLI performance on a single display, one needs to adjust the aforementioned setting which as we have learned from our second run of tests, enhances performance considerably.
Once again, we apologise for the mixup. Head over to pages 6 and 7 for the updated, super impressive results!
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
All MAINGEAR systems are built-to-order and available only through MAINGEAR.com. Some of the more popular configurations are available as "quick-ship" items, meaning they will ship out in 48-72 hours. This timeframe includes not only putting the finishing touches on a system, but also allows for a significant period of testing, burn-in and benchmarking, which helps insure that you'll get a properly functioning system when it arrives at your doorstep.
The F131 model ranges from mid-range to high-end, depending on component choices, though, it comes in just below MAINGEAR's top-of-the-line flagship machine, the SHIFT. A fully custom F131 takes approximately 14 days to ship, according to MAINGEAR's website.
Our review model sports an Intel i7-875K overclocked to 4GHz (up from the stock 2.93GHz) and a pair of eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 cards in SLI for a total of 2.4GB of GDDR5 video memory. We expect some serious gaming performance from this machine.
SilverStone's Fortress FT01 houses the ASUS P7P55D-E motherboard and 1KW Silverstone Strider power supply. An Asetek X120 liquid cooler keeps the processor nice and comfy, and also allows MAINGEAR to goose the CPU's clock speed up to 4GHz.
We also get 8GB of Kingston HyperX 1333GHz DDR3 RAM, a sweet 128GB Crucial RealSSD hard drive with TRIM loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS, and a 1TB Western Digital Caviar spinner for storage.
In terms of removable media, the F131 sports an all-in-one card reader and an 8X LG SuperMulti Blu-ray/DVD burner with CyberLink PowerDVD 10 suite installed.
MAINGEAR includes lifetime "Angelic" service, labor and phone support along with a 1-year hardware warranty. More on MAINGEAR's "Angelic" service promise later in the review.
As configured, the MAINGEAR F131 goes for approximately $3400 USD as of September 2010.