MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

MAINGEAR hits the nail on the head with their new VYBE PC, a fantastic budget-friendly VR-capable gaming PC. Combining an Intel Core processor with NVIDIA’s new GeForce GTX 1060 and 8GB of HyperX Fury RAM, the VYBE is capable of playing all of the latest graphics intensive games in virtual reality. MAINGEAR’s VYBE Tuned for VR starts at $999.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

Founded in 2002, MAINGEAR is an award-winning boutique PC system integrator located in my home state of New Jersey. When I say boutique, it’s not because they’re a cute, small company. I say “boutique” because this company carefully builds and tunes each machine by hand with the utmost of care and attention to detail.

A builder is assigned to each order and that single person takes care of your PC from receipt of the order until it ships. Not only does the builder ensure that your PC is built right and hits the best benchmark scores, the builders also take extreme care in the cable management within the PC, allowing you to expand or tweak the system very easily in the future. The build quality of MAINGEAR’s systems is beyond unbelievable. In addition to exceptional build quality, you also get 72-hour testing of your PC prior to shipment to ensure any kinks are worked out, as well as lifetime support!

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

Always exciting to open a package with branded packing tape!

Now let’s dive into the VYBE, shall we? Being a budget-friendly PC, it does not come with a terribly fancy case, like some of MAINGEAR’s other offerings. However, you do have a choice between black or orange color for the mid-tower case as well as whether you want a window in the side of the case to get a view of the innards from the outside. The fans have LED lighting built-in, red lights for the black case and orange lights for the orange case.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

For an additional $299, you can choose from a number of gorgeous automotive paints to finish your VYBE with. These paints are the same paint that is used on luxury automobiles, so you know they’d be gorgeous. Also, for $39 for a single color or $69 for a remote-controlled color changing light, you can light up the inside of your PC chassis with LED lighting, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Speaking of the VYBE’s mid-tower chassis, it houses up to five 120mm fans; two fans in the front to take in fresh air, two fans at the top, and one fan in the rear to expel the hot air. That’s a ton of cooling that’s capable of cooling the craziest of GPU configurations. MAINGEAR is really good about making sure that their gaming PCs stay cool and therefore maintain the performance power necessary to play the hottest games out there. And while we’re on the topic of cooling, for a measly $89 extra, you can upgrade the processor cooling to MAINGEAR’s EPIC 120 Supercooler, which is a closed-loop, maintenance-free cooling solution. The EPIC 120 combines a low-power pump and fan to circulate cooled liquid over your processor, keeping the temperature down under the most trying conditions.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

As of October 13th, 2016, MAINGEAR updated the VYBE’s chassis to a much sleeker chassis with MAINGEAR logo, so the case you see pictured in this review is outdated. Check out a photo of the latest VYBE chassis, below.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

There are so many different hardware options when building your own PC at MAINGEAR, that it’ll be impossible to talk about them all individually. If you’d like to check out the infinite hardware combinations, check out the VYBE VR configuration page for yourself. If you’re buying a PC from MAINGEAR, you’re really able to make it a one of a kind PC.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

A look at the innards.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

A look at the cable management.

Now that we’ve exhausted the advantages of MAINGEAR and plethora of personalization options, let’s talk about my experience with the MAINGEAR VYBE. The VYBE VR that MAINGEAR sent me came with the following specs:

  • Chassis: Compact Mid-Tower Case: Black (No window)
  • Motherboard: ASUS H110M-A
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 6500 3.2GHz Quad Core CPU 6MB L3 Cache
  • Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler
  • Memory: 8GB HyperX FURY DDR4-2666 RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB DDR5 with G-Sync
  • Power Supply: 500W EVGA 80 Plus Certified PSU
  • Hard Drive: (1) 1TB Seagate HDD 7200rpm 64MB cache
  • Optical Drive: 24x Dual-Layer DVD-RW
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

A close-up of the EPIC 120 Supercooler.

MAINGEAR is a team of gaming PC enthusiasts, just like their consumers, which is why they go so far to ensure that their PCs perform up to their high expectations. When I received the VYBE, the first thing I unpacked was a personalized owner’s manual, a nice plastic MAINGEAR branded binder, which includes the following valuable information:

  • Windows restoration disk and ASUS motherboard chipset support disk
  • McAfee AntiVirus Plus free 1-year activation code
  • MAINGEAR User Manual, including screenshots and simple “getting started,” “best practices,” “troubleshooting,” and warranty information.
  • MAINGEAR’s builder-signed 55-point Quality Assurance checklist.
GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

My MAINGEAR Personal Binder.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

Here’s the QA Checklist I received with my VYBE.

What’s impressive about the 55-point QA checklist is that not only does it include standard items such as “Inspect chassis for impurities,” and “Ensure all screws are torqued,” but it also includes benchmarking results. Prior to shipping, my VYBE was benchmarked with 3DMark 06 Fire Strike Extreme and it shipped with a score of 5612, which is very impressive for a budget-friendly gaming PC.

Once I received my VYBE, you know I had to benchmark the system myself! I downloaded the basic version of the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, ran the tests, and my MAINGEAR VYBE system clocked in with a score of 3,965. Keep in mind that this benchmark test was a different test than MAINGEAR used before it shipped. Per 3DMark’s website, the score of 3,965 in Time Spy V1.0 is better than 43% of all results, which means that my VYBE performed very good considering it’s a budget-friendly gaming PC.  Check out the screenshot of my benchmark results, below.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

MAINGEAR’s VYBE for VR is built around the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 because it offers outstanding performance with NVIDIA’s new Pascal architecture. It has up to 3x the performance and power savings of previous generation GPUs. The NVIDIA GeForce 1060 provides incredibly smooth gameplay and DirectX12 support.

Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of MAINGEAR, had the following to say about the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 installed in MAINGEAR systems: “NVIDIA’s hit a homerun with the GTX 1060’s balance of performance and efficiency. Paired with MAINGEAR’s Tuned for VR line of systems, the GTX 1060 provides an immersive VR experience that would have cost twice as much less than a year ago.”

During my testing, I played Overwatch and Rocket League on my MAINGEAR VYBE system. I was able to play Overwatch at 1080p at ULTRA graphics quality and at over 60fps for hours without any lags or stutters. There were absolutely no issues with gameplay or graphics quality. The computer NEVER overheated while the system was almost silent. You could hear the fans as a light purr but it never sounded like a jet engine, which is what I would expect from a PC playing such a graphics-intensive game.

GearDiary MAINGEAR Strikes a Perfect Balance Between Budget and Performance with Their VYBE Tuned for VR Gaming PC

A peak at the rear of the chassis.

Another reason to buy MAINGEAR is the fact that there is absolutely no bloatware installed on the machine. The system comes 100% plug-and-play ready. As soon as you get the system, you can plug it in and start playing right away. During my month of testing, I ran into zero issues with my MAINGEAR VYBE.

Without any reservations whatsoever, I would recommend MAINGEAR to anyone who is looking for a system integrator to build a PC for them. I am proud to have such a quality-driven, detail-oriented gaming PC integrator located about 20 minutes from my home in New Jersey. While you may spend a little bit more money buying a system from MAINGEAR as opposed to building one yourself, there are a number of advantages to buying pre-built. First, you save countless hours of hardware and parts research. Second, you save a number of hours of building and configuring. Third, the build quality from MAINGEAR is second to none; their cable-management is outstanding. There’s no way I would have the patience to build a PC like they do. Fourth, their lifetime support is key to long-term PC enjoyment. Fifth, they make it simple to personalize and expand upon your PC in the future.

You can configure your very own MAINGEAR VYBE from MAINGEAR’s website at www.MAINGEAR.com.

Source: The MAINGEAR VYBE was a manufacturer provided review sample

What I Like: High-quality craftsmanship; Great performance for your dollar; VR-ready; Expandable in the future; Plug-and-play with no bloatware; Great customer service with lifetime support

What Needs Improvement: Can’t find any faults in this machine.  It won’t be a top performer, but at the price, it’s damn good



About the Author

Perry Brauner
I'm an architect by trade, but the overarching theme of my life has always been trying to keep up with the newest, coolest technology. Ever since I picked up an NES controller, I've been hooked on the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, and toys. Whether it's gaming, mobile phones, and accessories, or PCs and Apple products, I'm interested. I use many Apple products in my daily life, such as the iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Pro. I've also built a few PCs in my day, so I'd like to say that I'm a pretty well-rounded techie.