Maingear Shift Extreme Gaming PC Review

Posted: July 15, 2010
Maingear Shift Extreme Gaming PC Review

PC gaming means taking video games to the extreme, which means Maingear's Shift Extreme may be the perfect fit. Kevin Pereira and Alison Haislip review this gaming PC with its redesigned case, Intel Hexa-core processor, NVIDIA GTX 480 video cards and up to 24 GB of RAM, which starts at $2,400.

What You Need To Know

  • Maingear decided to go with the traditional big black monolith case, which measures about 2' tall and almost 2' deep, but only 9" wide.
  • It's not the biggest gaming PC we've seen, but it's still big.
  • In order to cool the computer off more efficiently, they've rotated all the components 90 degrees, which allows the fans to blow hot air out the top and pull in cool air from the bottom.
  • It's still easy to get in and make modifications.
  • Even though it's not a configuration we're used to, there's still a lot of room to work.
  • The six hard drive bays make it easy to swap or add hard drives, since they just slide right out.
  • One thing that's a little strange is that all the connections are on the top rather than the back, and they're covered by a grate, so they may not be readily accessible.
  • Like the Falcon Northwest Talon, this computer has dual video cards but also has one of the fastest processors on the market: the Intel Hexa-core.
  • This was the fastest computer we've tested.
  • The 3DMark Vantage score was the highest ever in our normal gaming tests, but it just barely beat our second fastest computer.
  • Of course, it will take on any game with no problem and will be hard to challenge even for the next few years.
  • It's also very quiet.


  • Chassis:  MAINGEAR SHIFT Chassis with Advanced Vertical Heat Dissipation
  • Exterior Finish:  Brushed Black Aluminum with Acrylic and Matte Black Accents
  • Power Supply:  1KW Silverstone Strider Modular Industrial Power Supply
  • Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator:  2x NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 480 3.0GB GDDR5 Total w/ PhysX [ENTHUSIAST]
  • Motherboard:  Asus® P6X58D Premium Supporting SLI/CrossFire, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s
  • Processor:  Intel® Core™ i7-980X Extreme Edition 3.33GHz (32nm) 6-core with Hyperthreading
  • Processor Cooling:  MAINGEAR / Asetek Maintenance-Free X120 Liquid Cooling
  • Memory:  6GB Kingston HyperX Triple-Channel DDR3-1600MHz Low Latency
  • MAINGEAR Redline Overclocking Service:  Intel® Turbo Boost Advanced Automatic Overclocking
  • Hard Drive Bay One:  750GB Western Digital Caviar Black SATA 7200rpm 32MB Cache
  • Hard Drive Bay Two:  Pre-Wired SATA Backplane Expansion Bracket For Easy Upgrades
  • Hard Drive Bay Three:  Pre-Wired SATA Backplane Expansion Bracket For Easy Upgrades
  • Hard Drive Bay Four:  Pre-Wired SATA Backplane Expansion Bracket For Easy Upgrades
  • Hard Drive Bay Five:  Pre-Wired SATA Backplane Expansion Bracket For Easy Upgrades
  • Hard Drive Bay Six:  Pre-Wired SATA Backplane Expansion Bracket For Easy Upgrades
  • Memory Card Reader:  All-in-One Integrated USB 2.0 Flash Card Reader & Writer
  • Optical Drive One:  24X Dual Layer DVD RW Drive w/ LightScribe Technology
  • Audio:  8-channel High Definition Surround Sound Support Coax and Optical S/DIF Out
  • Network Adapter:  Dual On-board Gigabit Ethernet
  • Operating System:  Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • The Final Finesse:  Designed, Manufactured, and Supported in the United States - Flawless Craftsmanship and Wire Management
  • Angelic Service Warranty:  Lifetime Labor and Phone Support with 2 Year Angelic Service


  • $4,500.00 (Based on the above configuration)
  • Even though it's extremely expensive, the performance and build quality are second to none.


Want something reviewed on Gadget Pr0n? Email us your suggestions to gadgetpron@g4tv.com.


Comments are Closed

  • clubf00t

    Alison Haislip i would do dirty and unforgivable things to u. ya, sry ur just that hot

    Posted: July 20, 2010 12:17 PM
  • ChrisMorley

    Atavax - people tend to max it out - Extreme Edition processors, SSDs, multiple graphics cards. Some people are content spending 80% of their money getting the last 20% of performance.

    Posted: July 19, 2010 7:49 AM
  • ChrisMorley

    Atavax - people tend to max it out - Extreme Edition processors, SSDs, multiple graphics cards. Some people are content spending 80% of their money getting the last 20% of performance.

    Posted: July 19, 2010 7:47 AM
  • Atavax

    if you don't mind me asking, you said the asp of the shift was $6k... when i look at the customization options, that seems kinda high to me... what are they spending it on? ssd raids? or do they often buy 30" monitors with their shifts?

    Posted: July 18, 2010 9:49 AM
  • ChrisMorley

    Atavax - when they reviewed our ePhex Elite last year, we saw a measurable bump in sales. High profile reviews like these absolutely make a difference to us.

    And this is definitely a halo product. We've already had people check us out and buy a much cheaper F131 or Vybe configuration just because they were impressed with the build quality of the SHIFT. ;)

    We would be more than happy to send a much cheaper system to G4TV is we are so asked.

    Posted: July 18, 2010 9:13 AM
  • Atavax

    chrismorley, i think he isn't complaining about Maingear; i think he is complaining that a TV show about gaming, is only showing the super expensive side of pc gaming which, while attractive to a good amount of people which is obvious from your company's effect; is very negative to others, such as teenagers, college students, or simply people without a large disposable income.

    Posted: July 18, 2010 9:01 AM
  • ChrisMorley

    Griffith, the ASP on our SHIFT is $6000. Since we launched it in November of last year, we have tripled sales.

    The age of the average gamer is 35 years old and has been gaming for 12 years. The age of the average game buyer is 39 years old.

    Our target market has a high level of disposable income. We also sell perfectly fine gaming systems for under $1500. There are plenty of places that sell commodity gaming PCs for cheap. That's not our customer base.

    And if you think that our multi-million dollar business has some sort of ill affect on the multi-billion dollar gaming business, you are sadly mistaken.

    Posted: July 18, 2010 8:09 AM
  • Griffith4100

    Thank god G4 knows that young adults just have $4500 laying around.... Seriously G4, this only pushes people farther from becoming interested in PC gaming, how about you actually take the time to TEACH people how to create gaming computers on their own for cheap? THIS is why PC gaming is dying.....

    Posted: July 17, 2010 8:46 PM
  • VxFreakOutxV

    ya sure sounds great if i just hade $4500 dollares laying around the house.

    Posted: July 17, 2010 8:15 PM
  • JustTheBeginning

    I bought my 2000 Ford Mustang for $4500 lol

    Posted: July 17, 2010 4:36 PM
  • Atavax

    also, gotta say i love that case.... love the look, too many performance pc's look way too flashy and tacky.... this case actually looks somewhat professional, something i wouldn't be embarrassed if my friends saw.

    Posted: July 17, 2010 11:24 AM
  • Atavax

    if people know enough alot about computers and care about price, they would typically build it themselves and save alot of money. if people don't care about price and want someone else to do all the work, gotta say that maingear looks like a very good option...

    still annoyed that they use 3dmarkvantage as the only benchmarking tool... slap on additional videocards and see the score skyrocket even though 95% of the time its going to add very little if any performance increase while playing games.

    Posted: July 17, 2010 11:17 AM
  • ChrisMorley

    ^ LOL - we certainly did NOT launch a line of fashion items!

    Anyway, keep in mind this system had a $1000 processor. The team wanted to see a hexa-core, and we obliged. If I were to balance this system out for a lower price, I would have put in a 930 and cranked it up.

    But hey, I'll take "pricey" as the only criticism. ;)

    BTW, to an above poster - AMD's 6-core is a great value, and we do sell them (which would have made the system much cheaper) - but it wouldn't have posted the numbers we did with the Core i7 980X!

    Thanks guys for the review!

    Posted: July 17, 2010 9:32 AM
  • littleb242

    why are you guys reviewing these pcs in the 3gs rangs latley,i dont know about everyone else but thats way out of my range.

    Posted: July 16, 2010 7:25 PM
  • Illuminate88

    Too bad I can make that same pc for $1000 dollars less.

    Posted: July 16, 2010 6:03 PM
  • Illuminate88

    I was thinking you guy should review a maingear earlier today. what a coincidence.

    Posted: July 16, 2010 5:59 PM
  • zpjack

    best of the bunch so far, but the cost is still way too high,

    you can sub that processor with an AMD 6 core 3.2 gig and save a thousand but i guess you loose some overclocking capability.

    though i still get close to max out most of my games with just a quad and a good video card for less than a thousand total, so i don't care much for that

    Posted: July 16, 2010 5:42 PM
  • monufrak1

    Show me a game that uses more than 1 GB of memory. It doesn't exist. If it does, than that is terrible programming. Unless you are going to edit video, browse 1000 different web sites, and play 10 games at once, YOU DONT NEED 24 GB OF RAM!!!

    Posted: July 16, 2010 5:34 PM
  • firefist

    Thanks for the reviews. Been shopping around for a new pc.

    Posted: July 16, 2010 5:31 PM
  • makekakapui

    cprulez89 be realistic dude AMD sucks and ddr2 is very old technology and that it supports up to 32gb of ram does not mean a thing since you don't have it. ps your $1000 dollar rig doesn't even cover the price of a xeon processor, so don't compare =)

    Posted: July 16, 2010 4:14 PM