Maingear Shift Super Stock X99

Customizable High Performance Desktop Using Haswell-E and DDR4

Maingear Shift Super Stock Gaming PC
Maingear Shift. ©Maingear

Manufacturer's Site

The Bottom Line

Dec 15 2014 - The Maingear Shift Super Stock X99 is a deceptively priced system. It seems very affordable but at its base configuration, the performance leaves much to be desired. Of course, most buyers probably already know this and want to customize it for maximum performance and are willing to accept the extra cost. The company offers a very large range of options for customization too.

Just be warned that the cost is certainly much higher than building one yourself.

Pros

  • Strong Performance if Configured Above Stock
  • Wide Range of Customization Options

Cons

  • Upgrade Quickly Raise the Price
  • More Affordable Options with Equal Performance

Description

  • Intel Core i7-5820K Hexa Core Desktop Processor
  • 16GB PC3-21300 DDR4 Memory
  • 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti Graphics Card With 2GB Memory
  • Intel HD Audio 7.1
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Six USB 3.0, Four USB 2.0, HDMI, DisplayLink, DVI
  • Windows 8.1

Preview - Maingear Shift Super Stock X99

Dec 15 2014 - Maingear is one of those companies that specializes in making prestige class performance desktop systems for PC gaming. The Shift is one of their best selling tower class systems. The case design has remained unchanged for the past couple of years and it is actually available with a number of different internal configurations with AMD or Intel processors.

The Super Stock version generally offers higher performance than other models and includes things like liquid cooling but paint finishes and lighting are still extra customizations rather than standard.

The heart of the new Maingear Shift Super Stock is the new Haswell-E and the X99 chipset. This is Intel's latest platform that introduces DDR4 memory to the desktop for improved memory bandwidth.

The base system comes with the i7-5820K six core processor. Now, this runs at a lower clock speed than the i7-4790K Ivy Bridge with four cores. This means that in some cases, including some games, the performance may actually be less. Having said that, there are other applications that can take advantage of the extra cores to offer improved performance such as desktop video. The system is clock unlocked to allow for overclocking but Maingear does not provide this by default like some others but there is no cost for the Redline overclocking service.

Data storage for the Shift Super Stock X99 is actually what you would expect out of a generic desktop PC. It features a standard one terabyte hard drive that doesn't offer any real advantages in terms of performance or capacity. Sure, it if probably enough for someone just using it for games but the performance certainly lacks compared to a solid state drive. Of course there are a huge number of options for upgrading this with either higher capacity hard drives, solid state drives or even solid state hybrid drives. There are a total of six drives bays and there are options for several different RAID arrays to improve performance, redundancy or both.

As always, these upgrades will drive the price up. There are six USB 3.0 ports for expanding the storage outside of the case as well. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included with the system but these are far less critical for PCs these days.

Now the Maingear Shift systems are about performance particularly in PC games. This make it kind of surprising that the base system features a modest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti graphics card. This is really a budget oriented card that provides smooth frame rates for most games just fine in 1920x1080 resolutions of the average monitor but it isn't likely to have a whole lot of filtering enabled. Of course they offer a lot of options when it comes to upgrade to a higher performance card for those looking to use multiple monitors or a 4K display. It is just disappointing that it does not come with a higher card standard. Those looking to use multiple graphics cards will also probably want to upgrade the processor as it has just 28 PCI-Express lanes compared to 40 which is important for three high performance cards.

The starting price for the base Maingear Shift Super Stock X99 is just over $2400. This is pretty high when it is compared against a system like the Alienware Area-51 or iBUYPOWER Chimera 4SE-V1 but still much more affordable than the Digital Storm Velox. The Area-51 offers just as much if slightly better performance from a better graphics card. The Digital Storm on the other hands comes with a number of higher performance features and if the Maingear were configured similarly, it would have roughly the same overall price. So while the price many be very attractive, it is still one of the more expensive systems on the market.

Manufacturer's Site

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