Custom boutique PC builder Maingear has sent us a couple of high-end desktop systems in the last year. The Maingear F131 was pitted against the Puget Deluge Mini and the Acer Predator in our sub-$2,000 gaming desktop roundup of 2010. Then late last year we had a look at their Shift Gaming PC, a beautiful no holds barred $7,000+ triple SLI overclocked monster that any hardware enthusiast would love to own.

Today we will be looking at the notebook equivalent of the above mentioned Shift desktop system, known as the Titan 17. Considered a desktop replacement by Maingear, the Titan 17 is their most powerful notebook to date. With measurements of 16.5" (w) x 11.3" (d) x 2.2-2.4" (h) and a weight of 12.1 pounds, the Titan 17 isn't a system you want to haul around on a regular basis like you would an ultraportable or netbook.

Our evaluation system consists of several upgrades, starting with an Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor, a hexa-core desktop CPU operating at 3.46 GHz. Other notable hardware includes a 17.3" LED-backlit display running at 1920 x 1080, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M graphics cards, 6GB of Kingston DDR3-1333 memory, a 120GB Intel 510 solid state drive, a 750GB Western Digital 7200 RPM hard drive, a Blu-ray optical drive, Bigfoot Killer Wireless-N Ultimate network adapter and integrated Bluetooth technology, all running under Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Maingear also supplied us with a MadCatz Cyborg R.A.T. 5 adjustable gaming mouse, bringing the grand total as configured to $5,400.

As you can see, the Titan 17 is not your average oversized laptop. The machine is based on the Clevo x7200 platform that a handful of other boutique PC manufacturers like Sager and Origin also distribute. That means you will be hard pressed to find many systems that compare to the Titan if they are not based on the same Clevo platform.

As is customary for Maingear, our Titan 17 was accompanied by a system binder complete with a Maingear mouse pad and t-shirt along with all of the system discs and documentation provided with each component. The binder also contains detailed user manuals for many Maingear systems as well as a full quality control checklist, double-checked and signed by the individuals responsible for overseeing your system.