Maingear, Inc. is an American privately held boutique computer manufacturer headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Maingear specializes in custom gaming computers, desktops, custom laptops, media center computers, and workstations which are designed, built and supported in the United States of America.
Maingear was founded in 2002 when Wallace Santos, founder and CEO, and his partner, Jonathan Magalhaes, decided to change the direction of their technology services business and begin building gaming computers targeted at the consumer market with a focus on customer service, which is handled in-house. Customers may speak directly to the person who built their PC; there is no tiered tech support. Maingear's initial lineup of the Prelude and F131 custom computers were widely advertised in popular technology magazines.
In 2005, Maingear was one of the first system builders to participate in the now defunct, but then very popular HardOCP [H] Consumer Systems Evaluation program. This review site even purchased systems anonymously to better evaluate the customer purchasing experience. Praise from [H] Consumer elevated Maingear's status in the market place and has been attributed to their growth. In 2006 they were awarded Best Technical Support and Best Boutique Builder from [H] Consumer.
Maingear restricts the number of brands used in their PCs. CTO Chris Morley stated that "direct discounters and quick-turn commodity builders" cannot perform prior and proper R&D on every combination of hardware they sell, and Maingear ensures that all the hardware they use is compatible and reliable before launch.
On November 2, 2009, Maingear released their first custom PC utilizing the Silverstone RV01 chassis with a custom outer shell. For the launch, Maingear redesigned their entire site and even their logo, moving away from the "gear" icon, to what the founders describe as depicting "hardware so powerful, it can barely be contained." The Shift employs a 90 degree rotation of the motherboard, utilizing the tendency of hot air to rise. The Shift won its first editor's choice award from Computer Shopper on November 5, 2009 and was fifth out of 100 Top Desktops in Computer Shopper's end of the year round up. The initial lineup included a P55 and X58 chipset variant, and future plans include a dual socket XEON workstation. Maingear has publicly stated they intend to go after Apple's workstation market share.
The Shift was featured at CES by NVIDIA showcasing their next-generation architecture, GF100. Multiple Maingear SHIFT PCs were shown running single and dual GPU configurations.
In February 2010, Maingear announced a special-edition Shift configured with the rare AMD TWKR processor that was to be auctioned off to benefit Save the Children and the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Included in the auction were signed copies of Windows and Left 4 Dead, along with signed hardware from AMD.
On March 11, 2010, Maingear, along with Falcon Northwest, were the first two system builders to have systems reviewed based on Intel's next-generation hexa-core Core i7 980X. With an overclock faster than Falcon Northwest's, and a faster GPU and HDD configuration, Maingear earned the Editors' Choice award over Falcon Northwest in the PC Mag head-to-head shootout.
On March 26, 2010, Maingear announced its introduction of the GeForce GTX 480 in 3-way SLI in the SHIFT. Maingear claims that due to its unique heat-stack configuration, it is able to keep the graphics cards cool.