Maingear MG-1 Review: A powerful, beautiful boutique gaming PC

Maingear MG-1 Gaming Desktop: Starting at $1499

The Maingear MG-1 is the fastest prebuilt gaming PC we’ve ever tested. It’s also a solid workstation, and it’s not heavy to look at either.

hot apartment

  • Excellent performance
  • Massive room for expansion
  • Attractive and customizable
  • Impressive build quality
  • High quality components
  • Excellent warranty support

not flat

  • CPU overheats in threaded workloads
  • 1TB storage option is a bit cramped
  • Windows 11 Home is not optimal

Hothardware Editors Choice 103

The latest round of gaming PC hardware is a huge step up from the previous generation, both in terms of CPUs and GPUs. Both AMD and Intel are clocking their processors higher than ever while making significant architectural improvements. Meanwhile, in graphics, we’ve seen the debut of bigger and worse GPUs than ever before. If you’re a PC gamer reading parts and contemplating the idea of ​​a full system upgrade, there are plenty of reasons to check out boutiques like OriginPC, Falcon Northwest and of course Maingear, whose new MG-1 system we’re focusing on be here. You can buy a pre-built PC from one of these stores for a little more than disassembling and assembling one yourself, and you get all the benefits of building your own with professional engineering, after-sales service and, optionally, the peace of mind of a multi-year warranty.
rear quarter full interior

We wrote about Maingear’s new MG-1 system late last year when it was professional Brave And CS:GO Player Michael “shroud” Grzesiek joined the company as a co-owner. Along with the new system, Maingear has undergone a minor re-branding, with a new logo and a new look for its marketing materials. The MG-1 is the company’s latest flagship PC, and to prove it deserves such a title, Maingear sent one over for us to beat.

Before diving into the details, let’s take a look at the full specs of this mighty machine:

Features and specifications of the Maingear MG-1

We’d love to come up with a succinct pun on how this machine is “fast as a raptor,” but this system’s specs really don’t warrant jokes. Every part of this computer is top notch, and the core components – the Raptor Lake Core i9 CPU and the Ada Lovelace GeForce GPU – are already known for delivering stunning performance on all types of tasks.
That’s actually going to be sort of a running theme in this review. After all, we’re pretty familiar with the Core i9-13900K and GeForce RTX 4080, and while we haven’t really tested the combination of the two before, the way they work together isn’t at all surprising. That’s a bit of a spoiler, but hardware enthusiasts will have an inkling of our benchmark results just by looking at the specs above.

Of course, as a finished product, a computer consists of much more than just its components. In fact, one of the main reasons to buy a pre-built PC from a boutique shop like Maingear is the professional build quality. How has Maingear fared in that regard? Let’s look at the outside and inside of the system to find out.

front back ends

This picture shows the front and back of the MG-1. There’s nothing surprising on the back for a PC enthusiast, but there’s plenty of connectivity. Do the math with the nice MSI motherboard Maingear has chosen. The CPU is a fully functional “K” model, so you can use the onboard graphics if you want to hook up a few extra displays. Unfortunately, there are no Thunderbolt ports, but that’s really common on a desktop gaming computer.

front panel off

Much more notable is the front panel of the machine; It attaches magnetically and pops off instantly when you want to drastically improve your cooling. This chic blue custom HotHardware Platte could have gotten us $100 if we bought the machine. You can put any color or design on the front and there is a tool on the Maingear website to customize your own. If you don’t like it, you can just stick with the default, which is a rubberized black panel with an RGB LED Maingear logo on top, like ours HotHardware one.


Peering inside the machine – always visible thanks to the crystal clear tempered glass window on the side – we can see a ridiculously clean build with almost no cables visible. The few existing cables are tied tightly and hidden behind the motherboard. Don’t be too concerned about the GeForce RTX 4080’s power supply, which is bunched against the window as is; This actually helps ensure that the plug is fully seated and cannot come loose.

right side inside

With the right case panel off, we can examine Maingear’s cable routing. For custom builders, there’s usually little point in making this part of the system absolutely bug-free if it’s hidden from the light behind the motherboard most of the time. Still, Maingear carefully routed the cables for maximum efficiency, then bundled the extra wires to keep them from dangling around back here.

If we have one complaint about the build, it’s that the company didn’t pre-route SATA cables for the two 2.5-inch drive bays behind the motherboard. These could offer a lot of extra solid-state storage for very little money, and by the looks of it, they’re going to be a bit of a hassle to connect. However, Maingear doesn’t guarantee third-party components, so we understand why cable routing isn’t done It’s an almost trivial complaint, but a complaint nonetheless.

Three-quarter angle black bezel

The standard black bezel can also be seen here.

Finally, on the top front of the case, you can see the two USB Type-A ports, the USB Type-C port, the audio combo jack, the reset button, and the power button. We would have liked some filtering or even the possibility of a solid cover on the top of the case; That open grille there is fantastic for ventilation, but it does very little to protect the system from dust, spilled drinks, or mischievous pets. Another minor complaint but it could be a consideration.

As pretty as it is, that’s probably enough to get the MG-1 staring. Let’s boot her up and see how she behaves…

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