Conclusion: We just wish that Maingear had found a way to feed the power supply cable out of the top of the case. Something seems aesthetically off about a high-end gaming machine with cables snaking out of both the top and the bottom, especially if you opt for a flashy, colorful paint job.
Pros: Stunning performance for a compact gaming PC, Small footprint won't take up much desk or floor space
Cons: Larger than many compact gaming towers, Bottom-mounted power supply complicates cable management, Kicks out a lot of heat and noticeable fan noise
Conclusion: Maingear’s F131 is an impressive machine from several perspectives. It looks great, its performance is excellent, and the interior layout is good for a system of this size. The only question remaining is value. Our review unit rings up at $3,277 on Maingear’s website. This includes a $249 charge for the Fusion Blue paint. Remove that and you’re down to $3,028. To our surprise, a Maingear Shift configured with similar components rings up at $3,732.
Summary: Ignore the side panel. Maingear has an outstanding deal in this high-end F131 gaming desktop, which is one of the fastest PCs we've seen all year. We recommend this system without hesitation to serious PC gamers and those interested in a high-performance, high-value computer.
Pros: Better application performance than PCs that cost twice as much; strong gaming performance should play almost any game on the market smoothly and with high image quality; room to expand memory and hard-drive storage; USB 3.0 jacks prepare you for future external devices.
Cons: Garish (but fortunately optional) side panel art.