A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to talk with some of the team at Maingear, and tour their offices. I am normally a console gamer, but recently I started dipping my hand into the PC world. There is a lot to learn, a lot to understand, and a lot to process. The team at Maingear taught me a lot of things, showed me how the company works, and also got to demo a few of their systems for us.
Maingear was founded in 2002 by Wallace Santos. For years Wallace was an enthusiast of cars. He decided he wanted to change his direction in life, and decided on custom PCs. His passion of cars carried over to PCs. Every PC is customizable from the color of the chassis, to the color of the liquid running throughout the system. Each computer is built by one single person at Maingear. If you have any issues with your computer, the person who build your PC will help you with your system. Customer service is a hassle in itself, and due to this fear many people dread reaching out for it. Maingear wants to avoid this stress. Maingear wants to stick out and be not only a unique online botique, but a noticeable one.
“We do not have tiered support. If your PC is not working, we will have the person who built your computer assist you in any way possible. We will help you, walk you through any issues, and even explain how to fix your issue. We found that getting support from the individual who built your computer is faster, more efficient, and a little more personal. Many companies cannot provide that to their customers.” Ron Reed, Technical/Marketing Director.
For anybody who knows even a little bit about the PC world knows that every system is different. No matter if you have the same laptop as your friend, or the same identical build as your neighbor down the street, every system works differently. Maingear thrives on this. Their website sports dozens of different build options, and even more options when you get down to the specs. Not many people feel confident in building their own PC, or they simply don’t have the knowledge. This is where Maingear steps in.
“We treat no system the same as another. No matter if you just ordered it that day, or if you have had it for a year. We know computers all act, perform, and react differently.” Ron Reed, Technical/Marketing Director.
Walking into the office was very deceiving at first. I looked around a saw a TV set up with a custom media system, a desk sprinkled with award plaques, and a wall covered in magazine covers. I knew previously that Maingear build their PCs in house, but it looked rather small to do that. We then were guided down a small, clean hallway to a garage bay absolutely filled with PCs, parts, stock, benches, and PCs in the process of being built. I felt like I was in a dream. My eyes instantly landed on a line of benches that had staff working on PCs. I got to sit, watch, and talk to the team currently working. They were all excited about Fallout 4 that just got released, but were focused on the task at hand.
Saying that Maingear takes everything into account is extremely accurate. They pack, shrink wrap, and box the PCs so tightly and efficiently that they actually drop the boxes 10 feet in the ground to assure the customer that nothing will happen during the shipping process. I asked where they test this and Ron pointed straight up and said “there”. Of course, there were stairs, and a ledge. In the back room there was a packing machine that can cling and pack to any size, shape, or space. I have never seen anything like this in the industry before, and of course, nobody does. Maingear is the only PC boutique in the market that custom packs systems. Also in the back was a 3D printer. Wire management is often a huge qualm with PC enthusiasts, and the team understands that. They print their own custom “wire combs” to make each build slick, sleek, and extremely clean. These combs hold the wires in place to keep systems organized, but also to help diagnose any problems if they arise.
If you look at Maingear’s product line you see that the systems are definitely clean, but also colorful. This is due to the fact that they have an automotive expert on staff who worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years. Maingear has a garage that is designed to perform just like an automotive paint garage. I got to talk to their expert. He explained that he worked on cars so long that he decided that he needed a change. Wallace Santos offered him a job, and he gladly accepted. Each computer is painted with actual car paint. If you see a paintjob on a car that you like, they will actually call the factory and get the color code. Maingear has a “paint rack” that can mix virtually any color. For instance, if you ask them to paint your chassis the color of a 2013 Regula Porsche Panamera Turbo you saw online, it can and will be done. They will directly call the manufacturer, buy the paint, and keep the color code on file.
After that we got to look at some of the “pride and joys” of Maingear. We landed on a bright yellow that looked cleaner than a car right out of the factory. It was sitting on top of a spinning tool chest. Ron spun it around and told us that it was a $14,000 build. I almost fainted because I have never seen a build that cost that much that close. It was full of chrome, liquid cooling radiators, and 4 MSI GTX 980 TI’s. It was absolutely beautiful. It was explained to me that they have done builds upwards of $20,000 for customers. Each build gets the same amount of attention and detail, no matter the cost.
We then moved on to the newly announced RUSH system. The RUSH system is the best thing available by Maingear, in my opinion. The RUSH is a custom-painted InWin 909 chassis, Maingear’s origami wiring, and a 5mm tempered glass side panel. The RUSH can be customized with the new Intel Z170 chipset along with their 6th generation Skylake core series, or the x99 extreme edition platform.
Maingear’s Epic 120 closed-loop CPU liquid cooling solution comes stock in the RUSH, but it can be upgraded to a customer loop solution. The chassis can be illuminated with optional LED lighting. All of the beauty inside is shown by having a tempered glass side panel. The pictures alone look gorgeous, but in person literally took my breath away. We got to sit with the system for a bit, hear it boot up, and gear up close and personal. With all the looks and nice aesthetics, Maingear still takes all the little things into consideration. The tubing inside the system is shatter proof, the fans adjust automatically with the temperature of the system, and even the chrome fittings are specially made in Australia. I barely heard the system boot up, as it was so quiet.
Before my afternoon at Maingear, I knew that they were a unique company, but when I got home I knew I talked with some special people. Everybody has something to contribute, and they all do. Every person has a story, and so do computers. As somebody who has built their own computer, I know that there is an intense amount of pride when you complete a build. However, I would be more than happy to sport a Maingear build. These builds aren’t just technology, they are pure art.
Below are a few pictures of the RUSH. Some are professional pictures, and some are from our visit.