Maingear Vybe 2019 Review: Fast, Quiet, Clean, And Ready To Ship
Maingear Vybe 2019: Software And BIOS
The Vybe comes standard with Windows 10 Home 64-bit. It is the only OS option on the ready-to-build configurations -- the Pro version is not offered unless going the custom route. However, Maingear does offer three versions of Office as optional upgrades, including Office Home and Business 2019 ($199), Office Home and Student 2019 ($149), and Office 365 Home ($99).
Upon first booting the Vybe, there is not much to the desktop that greets you, other than the custom wallpaper and a few icons. This is a good thing, and one of the benefits from buying a PC from a boutique vendor. Maingear does not clutter the system with a bunch of trialware or other cruft. To be fair, bulk OEMs have gotten somewhat better about this, particular on higher-end configurations. However, Maingear's clean desktop is about as good as it gets for purists.
The one drawback, if we are picking nits, is that Maingear does not not have a utility of its own to control system lighting or anything else.
For overclocking on the GPU, Maingear preloads MSI's Afterburner software.
What you see above are sort of random clockspeeds as we loaded a program in the background—rest assured, the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra Gaming card that's tucked inside idles at lower clocks.
At first glance, it may seem like Maingear underclocked the GPU, but that is not the case. Maingear has the power target cranked up to 130 percent, with the peak frequency configured to 50MHz below whatever it would boost to at that setting, with the extra power target headroom.
The only time we ran into a problem was with the PCMark 10 benchmark, which is sensitive to overclocked GPUs in our experience. When we fired it up, It gagged on the OC almost immediately, spitting out an error message and a score of 0. Exiting Afterburner allowed it to run unfettered.
Outside of that one benchmark, however, the system ran stable and relatively quiet throughout both our remaining tests and in real-world usage.
Shown above is a shot of the BIOS settings, as the system arrived to us. Maingear did some light tweaking, changing the CPU ratio from Auto to 50, and bumping up the voltage. The result is that the Core i9-9900K is running at an all-core overclock of 5.0GHz.
We did not attempt to further tweak the settings to squeeze out another 100-200MHz, though users can certainly try. If all else fails, you can simply re-load Maingear's 5.0GHz profile to revert the settings back to how the system shipped. For anyone who does decide to embark down that path, MSI has a pretty decent overclocking guide for its Z390 motherboard that explains some of the BIOS settings.
Our tour of the system out of the way, let's jump into the benchmarks...