In the end it comes down to whether or not I feel that Maingear is doing right by themselves and their customers with the addition of the EPIC 180 to cool CPUs in their builds. I really have to say, yes, in every way. Not only is the head unit attractive to look at with the large red Maingear logo, aside from the two thin tubes running down the right side of the chassis, the rest of the EPIC 180 is hidden from sight. On their end, doing right by them, I feel they chose the right OEM in CoolIT to develop these units specifically for the Shift and Quantum Shift builds. For both their benefit and your piece of mind, the use of an AIO water cooling system takes away most issues associated with water cooling without the leaks and issues that come with it. On the customers end, they not only get a cooling system custom made for these cases, but one that can take everything an air cooler can without hogging up all the interior space or causing the stresses to the motherboard that most 1000 gram coolers deliver. Not only does it look good, put our mind at ease and offer terrific efficiency with the massive amount of surface area in the 180mm radiator, I definitely think this is the best choice with all considerations taken into account.
Keeping with the tradition Maingear has set, they want to deliver you the best of the best. The EPIC 180 not only is a hassle free solution for everyone involved, it delivers some really impressive results. I have tested a bunch of the AIO solutions, and with the EPIC 180 I am trying to find a way to incorporate it into my next case, as I don't want to let this go. That in itself is saying quite a bit. I get a lot of coolers, I mean a lot, and it has to be something special for me to want to keep it on hand or to even incorporate it into my daily grind PCs. The only thing I can say that might detract from the efficiency and performance of this solution is that in my open air testing, the fan was loud at full load. Keep in mind that these are not stand alone units as I was testing it; once in the chassis there will be much less noise audible to users of the Shift or Quantum Shift.
I hate to end the review of such a terrific product on a sour note, but reality is reality and I can't do much about that. The reality is that the only way you will get your hands on the EPIC 180 CPU cooler is to go through Maingear and purchase either the Shift or Quantum Shift with pricing from $2,048 and $2,620, respectively. While I will urge you to shoot as many emails over to Maingear and CoolIT support to get them to deliver this somewhere in the retail world so we can all enjoy the benefits of this for yourself. As it sits for the terms of the review, it's almost free, as long as you are in the market for a pre-built chassis. It really comes down to the fact that I do feel that Maingear took the right direction in offering their buyers a much better solution to cooling the CPUs on their custom built creations that deliver in every way possible!