Conclusion: There’s no way to argue with the performance of the Shift. It’s not unusual for a new desktop to outperform the ones we have previously reviewed. Hardware is constantly progressing, so each new system is likely to be quicker than the ones before.
Pros: Attractive enclosure, Surprisingly quiet, Incredible CPU and GPU performance, 3-year hardware warranty with lifetime support
Cons: Enclosure is less intuitive than it looks, Ports are difficult to access, Expensive
Summary: Especially when you consider that the CPU is the bargain burner Core i7-2600K. Much of the price comes from the GPUs—a $1,500 commodity. But the paint job, a $650 option, is also to blame. This is all academic, though. If you’re the kind of person that can even consider buying a custom-built, tuned-to-the-max gaming rig, you’re probably not the kind of person to quibble too much over price.
Pros: Two GeForce GTX 590s, two Vertex 3s, and a 5GHz 2600K!
Cons: Pricey; paint job has a couple of rough spots.
Excerpt: Thanks to the help of an expertly overclocked Intel "Sandy Bridge" CPU and a smart choice of components, the Shift Super Stock brings bleeding-edge performance a fair bit closer to affordability.
Summary: While the HailStorm pushed the $7,800 mark, the Shift eases in below $6,900. That’s quite a savings. Of course, for many folks that’s like getting a $10 million price break on a $60 million Gulfstream G550 jet—you still can’t afford it. But for those folks who can, the Maingear Shift is a pretty sweet deal.
Pros: Tri-SLI Fermi and 4GHz Gulftown equals pure joy.
Cons: Loud in gaming; puts out enough heat to cook bacon.