LAS VEGAS — Few gaming desktop manufacturers would be so bold as to say they've made the perfect system. But when the folks at Maingear say it, I'm apt to believe them — especially when they're in the midst of showing off their latest creation, the Maingear F131.
Starting at $1,599, there isn't a bit of wasted space in this mid-tower. When Maingear considered initial ideas about the system, the company did something novel: it built the cooler as a top priority, instead of as an afterthought. The result is the company's proprietary Apex water-cooling system.
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Made from an unspecified alloy, Apex houses a large reservoir for your coolant. The system keeps the liquid moving toward the dual pumps, which use pressure-regulated parallel cooling to simultaneously cool the processor and graphics card. For even more cooling, the company added a large radiator that fits across the entirety of the top of the desktop. As is Maingear's habit, you can customize the liquid's color. One model had black fluid with tiny gold particles floating throughout.
The F131's starting configuration features an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU, 8 GB RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. However, thanks to Maingear's bevy of options, you can configure the desktop with an Intel processor and two graphics cards, if you prefer, including the insanely powerful Nvidia Titan V. And it's all inside a chassis that can easily fit on top of a desk or a shelf.
Speaking of that chassis, Maingear has redesigned the F131 frame with high-end materials, including a steel core and a Japanese aluminum exterior with tempered glass. The company's doubling down on using automotive aesthetics, adding several tones of Spectrum Chameleon paint. But no matter how you gussy it up, one thing's for sure: The Maingear F131 is lean, mean and ready for whatever you can throw at it.