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Maingear Vybe Desktop Review

Gaming Benchmarks

Alien: Isolation

The Maingear Vybe manages to upend the Velox in Alien: Isolation at 1920 x 1080, where the average framerate is limited by CPU performance. The same slight (nearly negligible) performance lead we saw in the 3DMark Fire Strike Physics tests carries the Vybe to the narrow 1080p win, but once the graphics start to play a larger role at higher resolutions, we see the Digital Storm system outperform the Vybe by a small fraction, thanks to its higher GPU overclock.

Ashes of the Singularity

The Vybe scores a surprise win in the DX12 version of the Ashes of the Singularity tests, besting its similarly equipped competition by a few FPS at all tested resolutions. The CPU-intensive benchmark puts a spotlight on the same performance advantage we saw in the 3DMark Fire Strike and Alien: Isolation tests, where the Vybe comes out on top with its ever-so-slightly higher CPU clock rate.

Bioshock Infinite

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All of the SLI configurations in the field experienced high frame time variances in the Bioshock Infinite benchmarks, evidenced by the similarly low minimum framerate shared by the Vybe, Velox, and Z270 test rig at all tested resolutions. The Avatar trails behind the pack in average framerate with its single GTX 1080 Ti, but it nets much better minimum framerates than the dual-GPU setups. The Vybe can’t keep up with the Velox’s higher-clocked GPU, but by the time you turn the resolution up to 4K, the performance difference is negligible, and none of the tested SLI systems have issues keeping average framerate in the triple digits at 3840 x 2160.

DiRT Rally

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The Maingear Vybe falls in where you’d expect it to amongst the other dual-GPU PCs in the field, besting our Z270 test rig (at stock clock speeds) and falling slightly behind the Velox and its higher-clocked GPU. However, SLI scaling is not as advantageous in DiRT Rally as it has been in other games, and the Avatar pulls out the win in this particular title when you turn up the resolution. A single GTX 1080 Ti Founder’s edition narrowly bests our GTX 1080 SLI test rig and comes within a .02 FPS average of the Vybe at 2560 x 1440. At 4K, the Avatar steals the win from the Velox by a few FPS.

Grand Theft Auto V

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GTAV gives us more predictable results, with the Maingear Vybe regaining its second-place position and the Avatar sinking back down the stack. The Vybe crushes the most demanding settings the game has to offer at 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440, but at 4K, all of the systems in the field dip below 60 FPS. However, the GTX 1080 SLI systems still see a sizable lead in average framerates over the Avatar’s GTX 1080 Ti at 3840 x 2160, with all three dual-GPU PCs floating around a comfortable 45 FPS.

GRID Autosport

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The Maingear Vybe clings to its second-place finish in the GRID Autosport benchmarks, lagging behind the Digital Storm Velox by a small, negligible margin. None of the PCs in the field have any issue averaging above 115 FPS at 3840 x 2160, and GRID doesn’t push the graphics workload as heavily as other games in our suite. The Avatar’s win over our stock-clocked Z270 test system also suggests that performance is most correlated with CPU clock rates than GPU performance in this particular game.

Hitman

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When we first benchmarked Hitman using DX12 and multiple GPUs (when we reviewed the Velox), we encountered some stability issues, so we resorted to testing the rig with multi-graphics support disabled. Although subsequent driver updates and game patches have alleviated much of these issues, we wanted to keep our data sets for this round of desktop reviews comparable, so we tested the Maingear Vybe in the same manner.

As such, the AVADirect Avatar handily beats the GTX 1080-equipped systems with its GTX 1080 Ti. The SLI rigs line up in the usual arrangement, with the Vybe netting better average framerates than our Z270 test bench and sitting hot on the heels of the Velox.

Metro: Last Light Redux

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The GPU-intensive and SLI-accommodating Metro: Last Light Redux benchmark returns us to the natural order of things, with the Maingear Vybe trailing the first-place Velox in average framerates by a narrow margin at all tested resolutions. The Avatar also returns the bottom of the chart by a considerable margin. SMAA plays a role in the Vybe’s (and the other systems’) less-than-savory average framerate at 3840 x 2160, but you can dial back a few details or turn off the AA to push it well above 60 FPS.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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We recently went back to using DX11 in the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmarks, a change we made after our review of the Digital Storm Velox. To keep data sets comparable, we included a DX11 and DX12 chart, comparing the applicable systems in each version of the test.

The Maingear Vybe predictably outperforms our Z270 GTX 1080 SLI test bench and the Avatar using DX11, taking a first-place win in the absence of the Digital Storm Velox. Putting the two custom-shop SLI rigs head to head in the DX12 version of the test puts things in perspective, with the Velox edging out the Vybe by less than 1.5 FPS at all tested resolutions.

The Division

Similar to Hitman, multi-GPU DX12 support in The Division was shoddy when we first tested the Velox, so we resorted to testing the game with a single GPU enabled. This puts the Avatar and its GTX 1080 Ti in the lead against the GTX 1080 SLI-equipped systems, which fall into line in their usual formation (with the Velox leading the Vybe by a small margin).

Thief

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As an older game, Thief sees significant performance gains with higher clock rates, with the Maingear Vybe and Velox pushing far past our Z270 test rig and the Avatar. Although the Vybe again trails the Velox in average framerates by 5-6 FPS at all tested resolutions, it has no issues averaging above 90 FPS at 3840 x 2160.


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Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.