CNET First Look
Maingear EphexMaingear's Ephex is the fastest PC we've reviewed, and also the most expensive.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for cnet.com. Today we're going to take a look at the Maingear Ephex. So this system is an Editor's Choice winning gaming desktop. It's one of the most expensive PC's we've ever reviewed, but it also has the latest and greatest of everything inside. We think you would be crazy to spend this much money on a PC, but if you did, you would be rewarded with pretty much the fastest gaming computer you could find. So in addition to its size, one of the first things you might notice is the custom, white and kind of smoky gray paint job. It looks great and it also adds about $5-600 to the price. So if you go without the paint and the custom side panel, you can get the price down from about $8,700 to $7,600. So the case is relatively simple looking on the outside; you open up the door here and you see that Maingear has a Blu-ray HD DVD drive, a standard Blu-ray burner here and a media card reader down here. So up top is actually an easy access port for USB and standard audio jacks. So there's quite a lot going on in the back of the system. You can see the three graphics cards again here; there's a sound card that comes standard with this system and it has analog and both kinds of digital output, coaxial and optical. Up here you can get the usual collection of USB, Firewire and eSATA outputs, as well as wired networking, twice over, in fact. There is no wireless or HDMI built into this system, and while you can get wireless as an option, HDMI comes by way of an adaptor which you connect here. Now there's quite a lot going on here with the expansion slots, and the reason is because there are 1, 2, 3 graphics cards in place here, each of which is liquid cooled. Now this actually makes this the first system with Tri-SLI in place that we've ever reviewed. We've kind of resisted it since the prices have gone so high. But the reason we decided to review this system is because solid state drives have come out in solid MPC's. Now if you're familiar with those drives, you know their prices are through the roof, and as they're now standard in high-end gaming systems, the price consideration has gone completely out the window. Over here you have the solid state drive, and here you have an over clogged Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition chip. Finally, with all the high-power parts in here, you can imagine the system draws a ton of power. Between the 3 graphics cards and the over clogged CPU; this 1200 watt power supply powers the whole thing. Now those parts all work together to make this one of the fastest desktops we've ever tested, in applications as well as games. So with the latest and greatest of everything, the Maingear Ephex turned in some of the fastest benchmark scores we've ever seen, and right now it's the current "King of the Desktop Hill" in our lab. So I'm Rich Brown and this is the Maingear Ephex. ^M00:02:29 [ Music ]