Price Analysis & Conclusion
The Maingear Vybe offers top-tier 4K gaming performance with an Intel Core i7-7700K on a Z270 motherboard overclocked to 5.0 GHz with a 240mm liquid CPU cooler and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI. It also sports moderate productivity chops with its 512GB Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD and a speedy 16GB (2 x 8GB) kit of Kingston HyperX DDR4-2666. Coupled with a flashy remote-controlled RGB LED light strip, red individually braided power cables, and Maingear’s aesthetic case modifications, the Vybe houses a component set any gaming or PC enthusiast would be lucky to own.
Its primary competitor among the units we've tested is the Digital Storm Velox, which comes in at a significantly higher price than this configuration of the Maingear Vybe. Although the Velox narrowly bests the Vybe in the majority of our benchmark suite with its higher GPU core clockrate, the performance difference is nearly negligible, and the price-to-performance ratio winner in this showdown is easily Maingear.
When it comes to custom shop PCs, raw performance only tells half of the story. The Vybe offers plenty of aesthetic bonuses, many of which are also offered in the Velox (RGB LED lights, colored cables, modified cases). However, it lacks RGB LED fans and a custom paint job (which the Velox has), and Maingear’s automotive paint service starts at an additional $499. However, adding the paint would still put the Vybe’s price tag slightly lower than the Velox, which currently sits around $4,737 as it was configured for our review. Maingear stakes its reputation on its custom paint process (we know, we’ve seen it in action), but the premium cost can be a turn-off for performance and price-oriented shoppers, and this configuration of the Vybe (sans paint) would likely appeal to those consumers—although the price tag is still in the premium range.
The Vybe also lacks an internal optical drive (which we’re totally okay with, and it comes with an external DVD-RW drive) and has less memory and storage capacity compared to the Velox, which sports a slim DVD-RW drive, double the RAM (32GB DDR4-3000), and 1TB more HDD space. This also makes it harder to determine a true value winner between the two competing systems, as increased storage and memory capacities will only appeal to those who need it for specific workloads, and it certainly impacts final pricing. Without an identical sample from each shop, it's premature to declare a winner; we've got a few more systems on the test bench before we begin making some definitive recommendations.
Still, the Vybe provides a level of performance and quality that PC enthusiasts aim for in their own DIY systems, and Maingear sent us a beastly system any gamer would be proud to own. If you take away all the pricey hardware and extras, you’re still left with a custom-built and overclocked gaming PC with a sleek look, a lifetime warranty (with a free three-year comprehensive warranty as part of the back to school sale), and expert craftsmanship starting at $699, and for that, the Maingear Vybe is Tom’s Hardware Approved.
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