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Here's the scenario: You're bored one night surfing the Internet and you decide to do a mock build of your dream PC. Whether through your favorite e-tailer or a boutique system builder, you find yourself piecing together the ultimate powerhouse. Price is not a concern – you want the baddest system your (imaginary) money can buy.
Once complete, you marvel at the resulting monstrosity and then come crashing back to reality when you see the price tag. We've all "been there, done that." Today we will be looking at that dream PC, the Maingear Shift with Super Stock options.
The Shift is Maingear's highest performing consumer desktop system to date, featuring a custom-built chassis from SilverStone. Pricing starts at just over $2,300 and depending on the options selected, you could shell out close to 30 grand for a fully pimped out system.
Although nowhere near the $30k mark, our review sample is certain to make any hardware enthusiast foam at the mouth. Inside is a six-core Intel Core i7-980X Extreme CPU overclocked to 4.33 GHz mounted on top of an Asus Rampage III Extreme X58 motherboard, 6GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3-2000MHz memory, three EVGA GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards, a 1.5KW SilverStone Strider modular power supply, two 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 solid state drives in RAID0, a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black storage drive, 24X Dual Layer DVD RW drive, 10X LG Blu-ray burner and integrated Bluetooth, all running on Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. Our price as tested is $7,046.
The Maingear Shift chassis features a steel skeleton with aluminum external pieces. Steel keeps the system rigid while aluminum keeps the weight at a somewhat respectable level. Even so, the system has a shipping weight of 70 pounds.
The chassis is designed around Maingear's "Advanced Vertical Head Dissipation" philosophy, where cool air is brought in from the bottom of the system and directed over the three video cards and out the top of the chassis. Basic science dictates that hot air rises, you know. Because of this design element, the hardware in the system has been rotated 90-degrees. The I/O shield for the system is on top of the case, not at the rear as we normally see.
The system arrived double boxed in a large Maingear package that makes removing the computer very easy. Once unpacked, we find the Shift PC tower, spare modular PSU cables, extra system cables, three HDMI cables, a Maingear mousepad, and a power cable. There's also a binder that details everything about your new system, including a 55-point inspection checklist, benchmark results and it's even signed by the person who built your computer.