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Maingear F131 hands-on
“Maingear’s F131 Apex is available in a liquid-cooled tower that can flip heads”
Eye-catching liquid cooling
Glossy, svelte case
Nice customized case
Video card may be annoying to switch
PC avid gamers like to point out off. That’s why multicolored LEDs, tempered glass home windows, and full-loop liquid coolers exist. None of that’s technically required to take pleasure in video games, simply as 21-inch chrome rims and a physique package aren’t technically required to motor down the freeway. That’s lacking the purpose. Amongst followers, kind itself turns into the operate, proving to all of the world how a lot every rig’s proprietor loves PC and gaming.
That’s why the F131 is certain to show heads. I noticed its press launch, studying the lengthy record of predictably unbelievable specs — the newest Intel or AMD processors, as much as twin Nvidia Titan Xp graphics, and so forth. I raised an eyebrow in curiosity. Then I noticed it in individual, and I used to be floored.
Matt Smith/Digital Developments
Matt Smith/Digital Developments
The very first thing I seen was the F131’s Apex liquid cooling resolution. It consists of all the same old pipes, pumps, and radiators, however throws in an enormous, clear reservoir that’s as tall because the PC, and about half a foot broad. Backlit and full of numerous dyed liquids – consumers can customise these – it appeared attractive. Full-loop liquid cooling is at all times good, however Maingear’s reservoir steals the present. It’s the form of factor solely a critical boutique builder can provide.
That’s not the one manner you may trick out your rig. Maingear additionally got here able to tout its customized, automotive-quality paint. Such extravagance isn’t uncommon for a customized gaming rig, however the element Maingear affords is particular. This remedy, known as Marc II, helps you to choose no matter brand, design, or art work you’d like, and have it utilized as paint to your pc.
The corporate had a facet panel performed up with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds artwork on the present, and I used to be giddy. I’ve seen loads of customized paint earlier than, however the high-quality element displayed by the Marc II paint couldn’t be ignored. I wished to sneak the panel residence, nevertheless it sadly wouldn’t slot in my bag.
I must also observe the F131 is a totally customized chassis. Origin additionally debuted a brand new customized chassis at CES 2018 with its revised Millennium, and Digital Storm confirmed off its Spark. Admittedly, I just like the Millennium finest, however the F131 delivers related in a svelte design, and Maingear’s liquid cooling undeniably seems betters.
Whether or not it’s simpler to service is debatable. The F131 has a sensible, clear chassis that, regardless of its skinny measurement, does little to hinder the internals. The total-liquid-cooled setup will complicate issues, however that’s true for any PC. The one actual complication is Maingear’s resolution to show the video card sideways, putting it on the identical aircraft because the motherboard, slightly below the motherboard. That may make eradicating the cardboard harder.
You possibly can customise and purchase the Maingear F131 now, beginning at $1,600 for a Ryzen configuration, or $1,785 for an Intel setup.