Maingear Overview

Though they haven't been around as long as some PC suppliers, Maingear has made a name for itself as a quality boutique supplier of PC gaming systems. They routinely come up in conversations and forum topics when discussing PC gaming systems, and have won multiple awards for performance and excellence.


The F131 we're looking at today is one of their staple products - there has been an F131 available since Maingear's inception back in 2003. We like this consistency, and the simplistic naming scheme on a flagship product. Maingear's mission statement claims "unmatched craftsmanship that provides incredible performance, style, and quality" combined with outstanding service. With these goals in mind, let's take a brief look at the company and website, and the F131 system.

Ordering Impressions
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  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link

    No, ludicrously bad programming would be Hellgate: London. CivIV or 3 DO NOT take ridiculously long on even a moderate PC. A couple of minutes towards end of the game with hundreds of cities spread across 8-11 AI players is reasonable. Reply
  • headbox - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link

    Seriously? A $4,000+ computer booting out of the box is practically "unheard of?"

    The packaging looks terrible. It's like they crammed some stuff into the box a bare case came in. Ever unpack an Apple computer?

    PCs haven't changed for years- metal box, cables everywhere, and the best anyone can do is make the cables a little more tidy than the next guy? You'd think engineers (other than Apple) could come up with a better system to mount a board and PSU into a reliable, stylish and sturdy case by now.
    Reply
  • Penti - Monday, November 17, 2008 - link

    This seriously isn't designed by engineers.

    It's just stuff independent system-builders put together with retail parts.

    They aren't engineers designing and ordering their custom stuff from OEMs/ODMs/EMSs. They don't try to be and they couldn't. They are into assembling stuff. Buy a Dell if you'd would want something like that. Otherwise just build it yourself as you can buy the same exact parts in shops. That's why they are all cluttered and stuff.
    Reply
  • D3SI - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link


    Apple employs engineers? haha good one.
    Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    I have to say that Apple probably employs some very damn good engineers. Misguided ones...but damn good ones. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Not sure if misguided is the word, they just don't mind the functional aspects of the design taking a back seat to the aesthetic aspects. Maybe Apple parties like Max Mosley. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link

    At work we buy dozens of generic cheapo Dell desktops and I've never had one of those that did not work out of the box. If I were paying this kind of premium for a system, I would certainly be upset if it couldn't do the same. Another thought is that one could buy the components and build it themselves for a lot less money. So I would assume that the person who would be buying this system would be someone who does not want to (or does not know how to) mess with it - and is willing to pay for that. That sort of person is probably going to RMA the system if it doesn't boot out of the box. Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link

    These systems have large, often dual-slot video cards, extremely heavy copper air coolers or water cooling setups, etc. that make them much trickier to ship than a traditional desktop. Usually it's as simple as reseating the video card or plugging in a S-ATA hard drive. That area does bug me, the S-ATA retention system should really be better. Reply
  • headbox - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link

    Most people don't know how to reseat a video card or plug in a SATA drive.

    What if you bought a car that didn't work? It could be as simple as connecting the starter. Do you know how to do that?
    Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - link

    First of all, this computer isn't $4,000, it was $2130 + Shipping. If it were an Apple, yes it would be $4,000, but fortunately it isn't so we save ~$1,800. Oh wait.. you can't buy a desktop from Apple unless it is the Mac Pro, so you have to get a dual socket Xeon with FB Dimms. To make things worse, you horrible choices for graphics: 4x 2600XT Crossfire (wow that might be as fast as a single 2900XT in optimal conditions), 8800GT (is Apple clearing out old Nvidia/ATI stock or what?) or Quadro FX 5600 ($2,700 upgrade from the 8800GT). To top it off, the case is fugly. What is with the handles?

    As for the unpacking process. The computer tower clearly came in the Styrofoam packaging beneath the tray additional parts (extra PSU cables, display adaptors, ect), instruction manuals, recovery CDs, ect. The only difference between the box used here and the box a Mac comes with is that a team of people at Apple wasted their time designing the box to look good. Only a person who buys a Mac gives a crap about fancy Styrofoam and pretty cardboard. The packing was perfectly functional (as the author mentioned in the article, did you read it?).

    PCs haven't changed for years... that's true as they still use the same parts more or less. I think another interesting observation would be that Macs haven't stopped copying the PC design and branding it as something else for years! I'm really not sure what you are looking for here. How else to you package computer components together? You could use a large case that is optimized for cooling and noise suppression or you can try to cram the components together and optimize for portability. Hmmm maybe you could stick a monitor on that portable computer... ya, that's a great idea... I'd call it a laptop! Get it... because it fits on your lap!

    Finally, do you really think engineers are responsible for the look of Apple's computers or most cosmetic designs for that matter? Usually it is an industrial design artist who's job is to make products look pretty. Unless ergonomics are a factor, an engineer wouldn't even come close to the drawing board. Where the engineer comes into the pictures is to fight with the industrial design artist when they try to hinder the functionality of the original design.

    Anyway, the point was that there is nothing wrong with this computer, it is actually not a horrible deal. If I were 20 years older and had a lot more money than time, this is something I would seriously consider. $600-700 isn't bad for the time you save and the quality of the build.
    Reply

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