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MAINGEAR Vybe Mid-Tower Chassis with APEX ICS Review (Page 4)

Shannon Robb | Jan 2, 2020 at 11:15 am CST - 3 mins, 41 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: MAINGEARModel: VYBEMKVCHASSIS

Inside the Vybe

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The front panel of the Vybe pulls off with a bit of resistance from the plastic pegs which retain it to the front of the steel chassis. When removed, we expose the magnetic fan filter placed in front of the fan mounting locations. The rear of the front panel is plastic, and we find the square cover behind the MAINGEAR logo, which is where the RGB is held to illuminate the logo. Here we also have the front I/O permanently affixed, which can be a real pain when working on the chassis as you have to remove the entire cable array to remove the panel.

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Here we have the front with the magnetic filter moved to the side so we can see the fan mounting on the inside. As you can see, the fan mounting can quite easily fit three 120mm fans here, which means a 360mm radiator is possible. However, due to the inlet top port for the Apex ICS location, a 360mm radiator would be out of the question as it would block the top port of the Apex ICS unit.

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First, look into the chassis; we get a clear look into the main chamber of the Vybe with the Apex ICS in place. When test fitting radiators, I found that the top port toward the front panel, which is for radiator return, would be blocked by a radiator if a 360mm were used, which is why MAINGEAR specific fitment of 240mm. If you opted for liquid cooling without the Apex ICS, however, you could likely fit a 360mm in here, but you lose the aesthetic and performance offered by the Apex ICS unit.

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For the remainder of the review of the chassis alone, we have removed the Apex ICS unit, and now we will look at the rest of the Vybe as the base chassis. Do not fret, though, as we will be performing a dual build here with liquid cooling after our standard testing. The CPU backplate cutout is sizeable and will fit any cooler we have tested to date. The cable management holes with grommets rise upward at the motherboard edge, and as you can see, they are a fair bit past the furthest right standoffs, which is why I believe our EATX board for this project will fit.

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Here we see the two fans who come equipped for intake in the front. They are standard black case fans with 3-pin DC control and are 120mm. This mounting is fine for fans alone, but when installing custom liquid cooling with the Apex ICS, they will have to mount lower to clear the fittings.

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Here we have the top mounting for the cooling as mentioned previously. We removed the magnetic top filter/grill, and we now can see the slotted mounting stamped into the top. This metal is not the strongest here, so don't lift the chassis by this or press very hard on it as it can deform. This is normal for a chassis of this price and works fine when mounting radiators here. One thing to note is the 200mm width of the chassis as my measurements tell me we may have some RAM clearance issues here with our taller Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB DIMMs. 10-20mm more thickness for the chassis would make a world of difference as a mounted radiator in the top will not have issues fitting with any DIMM at that point unless they are insanely tall. This is a similar limitation to what we observed on the Lancool One Digital.

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The PSU shroud has three angles, the vertical portion which runs parallel to the side panel. We also have a flat plane which runs parallel to the top panel. The edge of the PSU shroud rounds off with a 45-degree angle where MAINGEAR placed their name. The top of the PSU shroud shows the ventilated slots in the cover to allow air or heat to escape. There are three openings at the board edge, which will enable passing through of front panel cables along with potentially the GPU power cables. The bracket toward the front of the PSU shroud is for mounting the Apex ICS, so if you get just the case, this will not be present, so don't worry, it will be smooth PSU shroud.

Last updated: Jan 3, 2020 at 06:11 am CST

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Shannon Robb


Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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