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Back when I began building computers, companies like Maingear didn’t even exist! The first time I built my own computer, I went all out! I was in college and met a group of LAN gamers and they all had custom computers. Compared to my Dell at the time, I felt very unprepared for this new world(of porn.. that you stored on harddrives… get off my lawn!). So I jumped in with both feet like usual, even designing my own case and building it out of plexiglass. I spent days in the specialty districts in NYC buying pieces of my computer case that I designed in Photoshop.
I will never forget the smell of burning plexiglass burned into my nostrils from the Dremel work I did. Then I ordered all the pieces of my computer and began assembling. Somehow, it all worked right out of the gate! So opened the flood gates of building my own computers and the savings that came with it, as well as the bragging rights with my friends.
And of course the NEON!
Eventually, many builds later, I started an awesome tradition with my father, every-time we both wanted to upgrade our machines we would get together build with one another. Researching the best parts and compatibility. Then making an awesome father son day of it.
Fast forward to Today and I now have all my PC’s built by a company called Maingear.
But why? You would think after numerous builds and knowing the ins and outs of components and how to assemble them you would have no reason to go to an outside company. Well… as you get better, you start to want to push things further: overclocking, water-cooling, sound dampening, Cable management, you name it. With each build there was always SOMETHING that would go wrong, a power supply would come dead, so we would have to run to a Frys to grab a new power-supply so the day wasn’t ruined by dealing with returns and RMA’s which we would have to do later anyway(this was before the amazon prime days). Then we would get into overclock setting tweaking, blue screens on bad installs, a loose cooling unit causing overheating, you name it we did it wrong. Not because we didn’t know what we were doing, but because sometimes that is just how it goes. We continued to make these computers together and we would get a hyper fast machines that would last us a year or two. But before long we would need to replace a component and it would start all over again.
Being a professional that needs a beast of a computer to make money, it is extremely important that my gear works with very little downtime at the fastest speeds available. If I am stuck rendering out a video for too long, I can miss a deadline. If I miss a deadline I lose contracts.
This alone was the deciding factor to begin looking into an outside company. A company that not only offered a building service with a top of the line machine that can utilize cutting edge technology to make my work go smoothly, efficiently, and quickly, but a company that would also offer top notch customer support and warranties. If you have ever dealt with a manufacturer warranty for a computer component, it can be an absolute nightmare. I wanted a one stop shop for all my workstation and occasional gaming needs.
At the time the PC I had built had taken a back seat(due to outdated parts) to my Macbook Pro(before the touchbar) for all my work at home and traveling. It’s software and hardware worked without a hitch and had excellent speeds within MacOS. It may have been more expensive than a PC laptop counterpart, but it had an amazing warranty, 24/7 support walk in or online, achieved incredible synergy with my workflow, and it maintained it’s value for resale when I needed to upgrade. The experience was awesome in every regard.
It was the Apple customer experience I was looking for but in a PC so I could also get back into gaming(photoshop doesn’t count). That is where Maingear really excels, their customer service experience and treating you as a person not an order number.
When I heard of Maingear I was weary at first considering I am not rich and back then, when I first bought from Maingear, they were not the size they were today, now offering many more affordable options. They were a specialty shop, with a very specific audience. The high end gaming/workstation PC; showcasing their seamless designs, cutting edge cooling, and amazing sports car like finishes and attention to detail.
And they aren’t kidding when they talk about their attention to detail. My computer truly feels like a high end sports car.
I could go on for days about all of the above; from the in house custom paint:
Unparalleled wire management for increased airflow:
To the super techie charts and graphs of pure speed and performance of their tried and true overclocking services.
But boring graphs aside, it is all about user experience and actual use case everyday performance that matters!
And Maingear truly delivers in this regard. These machines scream, but they scream in silence. My first machine I didn’t even know I turned on at first because it was so quiet. No longer was my office the same decibel as a 747 and I didn’t have any issues with the system staying super cool, while being overclocked at extreme levels.(usually overclocked systems are loud if you don’t have an full water-cooled system)
Whether I am rendering a project in 4k or playing the latest and greatest video game on my ultra wide monitor, this computer never fails to impress. With quick render times allowing my workflow to.. well.. flow and amazing performance in games, I never feel like I had to cut corners on any aspect of my machine to get it to do what I need it to or want it to do.
But at the end of the day, I didn’t choose Maingear for the last 6 years because of their ability to build a computer to perfection, I picked them because I am never worried when things go wrong. When you are pushing a machine like this to the max the likely hood of that happening goes up exponentially even if Maingear puts so much effort into making it stable.
This is the main selling point to me: If I built one of these machines and overclocked it, watercooled it, and pushed it to the bloody edge of performance I know in the back of my mind, eventually something will go wrong. It isn’t that it isn’t stable or unreliable, it is just the nature of the beast. But with Maingear’s extended warranty and truly personalized customer support experience I always know I am just a phone call or a quick drive away from averting a disaster if something goes wrong in the middle of a deadline.
This is from their website and I find it very accurate.#4 The same people who build your machine, support your machine.
This rings true to me. Like apple support, where you always feel like their customer support is talking to you as a person Maingear goes the extra mile to keep you in touch with the person who built your machine so if an issue does arise they are always there to help you. It isn’t an assembly line production. It is a one on one personal computer for you.
#9 We have comprehensive, long term warranties that include remote desktop support, on-site service, lifetime labor and phone support.
This is the most important: They truly hold to their warranties and support. If you have an issue, they will RMA an item to you before you send back the defective part, they will allow you to bring the machine into the shop, I have even had them hand pickup and deliver my machines when things did go wrong(which is not often). Recently I had an issue with the case power button being wonky, and they replaced the entire chasis(case), motherboard, and power-supply just in case. Not only that but they added a few extra fans because they wanted to make sure with the work I do I had the right amount of airflow going to the entire machine, at no extra cost. On top of which they then hand delivered it to my office. They go the extra mile to bring you customer satisfaction and I value that the highest into the cost of choosing them as my main PC builder.
Which brings me to the next topic, which is always the most controversial amongst the PC community and people who build their own machines: PRICE.
I’m not going to sugar coat this, the high end machines are expensive. But the cost is offset quickly by the customer service, warranty, performance, and beautiful design.
I have done the math a million times on a Maingear machine versus building a machine myself with the same parts. It can be the difference of 500-1500$+ depending on upgrades and aesthetic’s you choose. But I swear to you all, since my first machine the SHIFT and my current machine the RUSH, I would pay that difference any day of the week for the peace of mind. Am I crazy? Peace of mind? Like I said earlier, in my line of work if my main workhorse PC breaks down I am out of work and anytime I have ever had an issue with my machine, I am lucky enough to live about 20-30 minutes drive away from the Maingear headquarters, and they have NEVER turned me away and have always been EXTREMELY understanding of my work schedule, even when they too are under their own deadlines. They are quick to honor the warranty and replace parts that just fail(at no fault of theirs), help me with technical support over the phone for any issues I may encounter, and just be there when I need them. This means more uptime and less unhappy clients on my end. Not to mention no headaches of having to deal with manufacturer warranties and long turn arounds for parts and replacements. Now multiply that support by 3 years with the extended warranty and you have a machine that will last you the length of that and more. I used my SHIFT for 4-5 years. Any of my own built computers had a lifespan of about 2 years max.
So is it more expensive then building it yourself? Yes and No.
If you factor in the price of a failure, the extended warranty, and the truly honorable customer service, you will save money if anything goes wrong. With the example above of my motherboard, chassis, and power supply replacement, some of that may have been out of manufacturer warranty and turn around time would have been horrid. Costing me upwards of 1500$ alone to replace and more if you factor in lost time that I could have been working.
For me, paying for the Apple type customer support and care for my PC is worth every penny and with the instability of computer parts when pushed to the max, understanding a failure will most likely happen at some point, the peace of mind of their warranty not only saves me stress but it truly does save you money in the long run, making that extra cost upfront less daunting in the grand scheme of things.
I have always been one of those people who when I make a purchase I look to make the purchase ONCE.
I don’t want to buy the TV I kinda want over the TV I absolutely want, just to replace it a year later. I want to be on the cutting edge and know I am future proof for awhile. This saves me time and money. It eases my mind of not having to worry about upgrades every year, which can be a very dangerous rabbit hole when it comes to custom building PCs. I love knowing my computer will last me 3-4 years before I need to upgrade to keep up with my work load. I love knowing the computer itself will last even longer and has a decent resell value, even if I personally need more speed and better parts sooner than that.
But to put to rest the “build it yourself stigma” often encountered when talking to other PC builders:
I absolutely love having no doubts in my mind that the current hardware is being pushed to its fullest potential through Maingear’s amazing understanding of overclocking, hardware specs, and all the techie jargon I just don’t have time or interest to invest my time into anymore. Not because I am lazy but because I truly trust these guys. They have delivered on performance, speeds, and quality, not only for every computer I have ordered from them, but my father and friends who have also bought machines from them.
The thing about Maingear computers is that when they arrive, THEY JUST WORK and they work at MAXIMUM CAPACITY, that your hardware ordered can handle, while remaining STABLE.
The amount of times I have heard my friends who still build their own machines go through nightmare scenarios where they essentially have to rebuild their entire PC and pay for it within months because of some failures or issues is numbing. Or the build itself fails and they cannot figure out why… I used to have those issues and I used to accept it. Not anymore and it feels great. I don’t feel less technically savvy, or like I have been ripped off. I feel relief. I feel comfort. I feel secure in my investment.
Whether you are a gamer, need a dedicated workstation, or just want a unique custom built machine to match your Porsche…
Maingear has you covered. And they don’t stop having your back when your machine leaves their shop. They are always there, like the creepy ex girlfriend or boyfriend who texts you every Christmas years after a breakup, minus the creepy part, to make sure you know they are still thinking of you!
They truly earned those awards!
Ok now back to
gamingwork on my RUSH.