Paradigm SHIFT: MainGear's Unique Gaming Rig Tested

Introduction and Specifications

When it comes to the business of building PCs, true innovation is hard to find. There are exceptions—HP had the Blackbird 002, Alienware designs its own enclosures, and there's always the Thermaltake Level 10—but most companies aren't willing to take the financial risk that's part and parcel of designing new and different products.

Fortunately, MainGear is. While they've not been around as long as Alienware or Falcon-Northwest, the company has six solid years of experience in building custom PCs. MainGear recently sent us a high-end system built around its unique SHIFT chassis. When it designed the SHIFT, with their chassis partner Silverstone, Maingear took a standard ATX configuration and literally turned it 90º. Add a hybrid aluminum/steel frame, custom detailing, and a cable mount system that turns what might've been a ghettoish kludge into a gorgeous surface, and you've got the SHIFT. It's a unique blend of style and practicality that manages to improve system thermals and look good doing it. Curious? So were we. Case dive after the specifications.

MainGear SHIFT Gaming PC
System Specifications

  • Core i7-980 X 6-Core Processor - 3.33GHz @ 4.2GHz
  • Asetek Liquid Cooling System
  • Asus P6X58D Premium
  • 6GB DDR3-1 System Memory
  • 1 x Crucial C300 128GB SSD
  • 1 x Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB HDD w/ 64MB cache
  • 2 x 1.5GB GeForce GTX 480 in SLI
  • 10X Dual Layer Blu-ray Disc  Burner (BD-RE, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
  • Silverstone 1200 Watt, multi-GPU Power Supply
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Base Price $2,399 - $5740 - as tested

The SHIFT's subdued styling and sleek brushed aluminum finish are similar to Corsair's 700/800D chassis, but the resemblance is only skin-deep. Both the interior and exterior of the SHIFT are uniquely designed to cut system noise and improve thermals in ways that other cases on the market can't.

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