Maingear Vybe: Design And Build Quality
Buyers who want to further flaunt their system can pay to have Maingear give the case an automotive finish in a range of glossy color options that run $499. For $599, buyers can choose a custom color with either a matte or glossy finish. We've seen Maingear's work in this regard before and can say the results are professional looking—buyers who go this route are paying for a high-quality paint job, not a quick and dirty coat of color.
A less expensive option, and one that is included on our configuration, is an LED light strip that runs along the front and top panels on the inside. There is no cost to add an amber or green light strip, or buyers can opt for a multi-color strip with remote control for $69. This gives the Vybe a pleasant glow that compliments to the LED lighting coming from the graphics cards and CPU cooler.
The front I/O port sits on top of the case and consists of two USB 3.0 ports, separate headphone and microphone jacks, a power switch that glows red, and a drive activity LED.
There is a gap between the main section of the chassis and the front panel. That is to allow cool air to be sucked into the case. It may seem like the design would actually restrict airflow and hinder cooling, but in our rigorous testing, this was not a problem—cool air had no trouble finding its way inside the chassis.
The downside to this design is that it takes an uncomfortable amount of force to pry the front panel off. This is required on occasion to more easily reach the magnetically attached fan filter that sits in front. For anyone who has hesitation with forcefully pulling the panel off at risk of breaking the plastic clips, the fan filter can also be remove by reaching down in the gap and lifting from the lip. It's not overly difficult to remove or replace the filter in this manner, it's just not as easily accessible.
Maingear's cable management is impeccable
2 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards connected with high bandwidth SLI bridge
Maingear gets kudos for using a custom high bandwidth SLI bridge to pair the two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards. It sits behind a custom faceplate with Maingear's logo prominently displayed. While HB bridges are an added cost to end users, they're able to pass more data through faster, for high resolution gaming.
In addition, as we'll show in our benchmarks, Maingear's higher CPU overclock, in some cases, was able to push the Vybe out ahead of Cybertron's CLX Ra with dual GeForce GTX 1080 cards, in more CPU-bound test scenarios.
Maingear's Epic 240 Supercooler provide ample cooling for the overclocked Core i7-7700K processor
Cooling is further aided by a 140mm fan up top and a 140mm in the rear, both of which blow air out of the case. The overall cooling setup is fairly quiet and effective—even with Prime95 and FurMark running at the same time, the cooling does not get obnoxiously loud.
Ripping off the right-side panel reveals a careful bundling of excess cables. They're neatly organized and routed along the edges, which can make following wires easier if and when the need arises. By that same token, it also means an added investment in time when adding, subtracting, or upgrading a component. It is certainly worth the effort though, even if the result will rarely be seen. There are obvious thermal benefits here too.