Posted in Reviews

PC Gaming Visionaries Maingear Introduce Epic Enhancements

The Maingear Shift with Epic Labs Improvements

Every industry faces a turning point, a revolution if you will. Often, from this revolution new industry leaders emerge from the dust and ashes. One of the leaders of the niche gaming PC market is undeniably New Jersey based Maingear.

Chalking up an impressive run of editor’s choice awards for their PC’s, Maingear has been on a very impressive run, but none of it is pure luck. Maingear takes their business very seriously, the customer being the primary focus immediately after the order is placed. Every PC is speed tested, pressure tested and practically destroyed to be sure that it meets all specifications before being shipped out. There is no slacking on the warehouse floor of Maingear, there is no room for error when building (not cheap) custom gaming PC’s. After visiting the company last year, I could see that dedication first hand.

Last year I reviewed the most popular machine that Maingear puts out, the Shift. A high powered, liquid cooled overclocked box of pure awesomeness, the Shift left little to be desired in a gaming PC. I suppose though, time moves forward and so does technology so I should have been less than surprised when Maingear sent me another gaming PC to take a short gander at. This time, they sent me another Shift with some Epic upgrades.

When it comes to gaming PC innovation the key is creating and cultivating successful partnerships with leading manufacturers of parts and products. While Maingear designed a proprietary liquid cooling system (which I love because it fans vertically rather than horizontally), they have relied on other industry leaders for parts such as graphic accelerators and audio engines. That’s the point of Maingear Epic Research Labs, to innovate and explore and test the latest technologies to enhance their products.

Maingear Epic Research Labs is located in a top secret underground base in the Nevada desert, staffed by a highly trained cadre of top research scientists. Actually, it’s most likely Maingear founder Wallace Santos (who at 18 took his PC building skills to CES) and CTO Chris Morley (master of the liquid cooling engineering) sitting in a conference room with a stack of Red Bulls and an Xbox 360 playing Call of Duty until inspiration strikes. With the new Epic line of enhancements to the Maingear gaming PC, it does look like some partnership ideas were formed.

First up is the Maingear Epic Audio Engine powered by Aphex. While the sound coming out of the PC was nothing to scoff at before (I had it hooked up to five speaker surround sound system) now you are talking about studio-grade processing technology in a custom designed PC solution. The audio is better balanced, more articulated and better sounding. Not only that, but the vocals and spoken audio recording are dramatically crisper, perfect for podcasters and audiophiles alike. When we think of gaming PC’s we tend to think of the graphics first, but the audio technology is just as important.

Next up, let’s talk liquid cooling. I have never heard a quieter PC than the Maingear Shift with the Epic 180 liquid cooling solution in it. No matter what you think you are doing to overclock it, you won’t hear much more than a whisper – plus the system will stay cool. The Epic 180 has been redesigned for quieter operation and lower thermal resistance while using only 1.2 watts. The cold plate by CoolIT utilizes micro-fin technology to increase the transfer of heat from the copper base to the liquid in the system.

Basically, and I know you gamers love this, more efficient cooling mean better overclocking. Period. The Epic 180 cooler offers around a 20% increase in performance with fan speeds of less than 1,000 RPM. Not only that, but the radiator is bolted to the chassis which means less chance for damage during shipping, or from being dislodged.

Last up from Maingear’s Epic line is a piece of hardware designed for the hardcore DIY enthusiasts and system builders. A precision engineered thermal interface comprised of phase change metal alloy, the Maingear T1000 CPU Thermal Cooling solution is pretty badass when it comes to system cooling. We’re talking several degrees cooler when added to any system, once again providing easier and safer overclocking with limited fan noise.

In all, the improvements that Maingear have made show once again that they are constantly at the forefront of PC gaming innovation. With their partnerships with high quality hardware manufacturers, to their personal tough (literally) with every machine that is ordered. Like here at Gunnars, Maingear strives every day to make a high quaity product backed by personal interaction and customer service. Not to mention, amazingly kick-ass computers.

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