Maingear has quietly hand-built custom gaming PCs in New Jersey for the past 20 years, occasionally landing splashy partnerships to generate intriguing new systems. Now, it’s teaming up with one of the world’s biggest streamers: Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek.
Today, the 50-person company is revealing a new desktop born out of the Shroud partnership, a new company logo, and the “first full 3D product configurator.” That way, you can spin around a 3D model before you let them charge your credit card for a prebuilt gaming rig.
Getting “celebrity creative director” vibes here, but we’ll see!
Oh, and one other thing: Maingear says Shroud is now a co-owner of the company, whatever that means. “shroud now owns a significant stake of MAINGEAR and as a co-owner, shroud has worked with us on the MG-1, will work on all future MG products, and as an advisor he will help with strategic and business considerations where his expertise is incredibly valuable,” Maingear managing director Ron Reed tells me.
Maingear declined to answer questions about Shroud’s financial stake in the company, including whether he invested any of his own money at all — rather than, say, receiving shares in exchange for his help. But Reed insists it’s not just a sponsorship contract or a licensing agreement to use Shroud’s name on products. “He’s part of Maingear, chair of our gaming advisory board,” says Reed.
A press release adds, “Shroud’s experience enables him to provide key insight on strategic and business considerations such as component selection, marketing initiatives, community building, as well as retail and ecommerce experiences.”
And, the company claims, he worked with Maingear on its new PC.
Two years ago, Shroud revealed he’d obtained a Maingear Vybe PC, and Reed says he actually ordered several Maingear PCs himself after musician and producer Deadmau5 recommended the brand. Then, this past year, he got involved with the already-in-development Maingear MG-1, the new system that’s being announced today.
There’s nothing obviously revolutionary about the MG-1 in terms of tech. What you’re generally paying for with a boutique builder is competent labor and a decent case, neither of which appear on a spec sheet. (GamersNexus, one of the most demanding PC reviewers on YouTube, recently called the Maingear Vybe one of the rare prebuilts that meets his standards, while also being a little disappointed with its case.)
But the system does look sleek, particularly if you’re paying extra for its one cool trick: magnetic hot-swappable light-up front panels with your own custom imagery. That’s likely to be popular among streamers who see themselves as the next Shroud. They’re attached with four magnets, so there’s no need to unplug anything, and you can buy new ones separately. Maingear won’t sell the entire case separately, though, Reed tells me.
Speaking of sleek, you can also configure these systems with Maingear’s new infinity mirror 280mm AIO liquid cooler, below, for an extra $15. Speaking as someone who’s a little allergic to brands, I don’t actually mind this new logo. Reed says it’s designed to bridge the generations of gamers, modern and retro, and be “versatile and different to everyone that looks at it.”
Looks more like a Space Invader than a company to me, and I kind of like it that way. Still, I’ll probably keep building my own PCs since I’ve always enjoyed that.
Since it’s a fully custom PC, prices will vary depending on the components, but it starts at $1,449 for prebuilt or $1,599 for a choose-your-own-adventure PC. And while it starts with an RTX 3050, I’m afraid, it can be configured with up to an RTX 4090 or a liquid-cooled RX 6900 XT, both Intel and AMD CPUs up to the i9-13900K and Ryzen 9 7950X, 64GB of DDR5 memory, and up to four PCIe Gen 4 SSDs as well as up to 16TB of HDDs. The case measures 19 inches tall, around 17 inches long, and eight inches wide.