Maingear Vybe Review: Dual GTX 1070s And Kaby Lake Cranked To 5GHz

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Maingear Vybe - A Reasonably Priced Performance Machine

There has always been a parallel between building and modding performance PCs and tuning muscle cars, both of which revolve around squeezing every ounce of power and speed available out of a careful selection of parts, a practice that Maingear helped spread to a wider audience. Maingear took an obsession enjoyed by a niche crowd of overclockers and modders and turned it into a full-fledged business that's now going on 15 years strong.

That is not to say Maingear was the first boutique builder on the block. Far from it. However, it might be the only vendor whose founder, Wallace Santos, actually struggled with the decision to start a business around building high performance PCs or around cars. He ended up choosing the former with a philosophy and workshop environment adopted from the latter industry.

Maingear Vybe Style2

Now a decade and a half later, the New Jersey outfit offers a range of gaming desktops, laptops, and professional workstations. The Maingear Vybe reviewed here is perhaps the most subtle example of the company's interest in bringing a muscle car tuning mentality to the world of PCs, but it's still there, starting with its overclocked Kaby Lake processor that Maingear pushed to 5GHz.

As configured, the refreshed Vybe also features a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards in SLI, 16GB of DDR4-2666 memory, and a 512GB Samsung 960 Pro solid state drive paired with a 1TB Seagate Desktop hard drive. Taken all together, the part selection is a sensible but strong approach to performance computing, with overclocking thrown in for good measure.
Mainger Vybe Front
Needless to say, on paper we like the vibe the Vybe is putting out. How does it perform in practice? We'll get to that in a moment, but first let's take a look at the rest of the vitals.

Maingear Vybe (Z270)
Specifications & Features
Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Processor Intel Core i7-7700K (4-Core, 8MB Cache, 4.2GHz to 4.5GHz) overclocked to 5GHz
Graphics 2 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 in SLI
Memory 16GB DDR4-2666 MHz (8GBx2) Kingston HyperX Fury
Optical Drive ASUS 8X DVD Burner - External (USB 2.0)
Storage 512GB Samsung 960 Pro NVMe PCIe SSD
1TB Seagate Desktop HDD (64MB Cache, 7,200 RPM)
Cooling System Maingear Epic 240 Supercooler
Connectivity Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 4.0
Front Panel Ports 2 x USB 3.0, Headphone and Mic
Rear Panel Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port, 3 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x Clear CMOS button, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x LAN (RJ45), 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector, 5 x OFC audio jacks
Power Supply 860W Corsair Professional Digital Series AX860
Dimensions 17.51 x 17 x 7.78 inches (HxDxW)
Weight 45 Pounds
Warranty 1-Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Labor and Phone Support
Pricing $3,406 As Tested, Starting At $999 Direct From Maingear - Also on Amazon

maingear vybe side angled

We'd be remiss not to mention VR gaming. Maingear is keenly aware that playing games on VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are emerging trends, and the motherboard selection in the configuration the company sent us plays right into that. It's an MSI Z270 Gaming M7, a well-equipped board that not only plays nice with Kaby Lake (hence the overclock to 5GHz), but also boasts a smart chip that is supposed to help deliver a cleaner and stronger signal to a VR-optimized USB port. Sure, that's a bit of marketing fluff on MSI's part, but it shows where some of the focus is at.

Based on current (as of this writing) pricing and promotions, the Vybe as configured comes to $3,406. That's not cheap, though it's not as exorbitant as some other high-end configurations we've seen from Maingear and others, which can top $5,000. Pricing for a Vybe starts at $999 and goes up, depending on the level of performance desired and overall features.

Let's take a closer look at what a Vybe in this price range offers...

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