When you throw down a fat roll of Benjamin's for a top-end gaming PC, you're going to want to feel like you got what you paid for it.
While the cheap--err, frugal crowd will never agree on the cost, it's hard to believe anyone could disagree that Maingear's Epic Force X99 isn't one hell of an impressive rig.
One glance at the specs will have any hardware aficionado swooning: First there's the Intel top shelf Core i7-5960X chip overclocked to 4.5GHz, then there's the 16GB of DDR4 running at 2800MHz, and finally there's four GeForce Titan X cards.
The liquid cooling really ties the room together
That's usually enough hardware to get anyone to agree that yes, this is bad-assery at its best. The real magic of Maingear's Epic Force X99, though, is the way it's all put together. There's no off-the-shelf cooling or air-cooled GPUs here. Instead you get incredibly beautiful liquid cooling.
After all, anyone can slap four $1,000 video cards into a case and thumb the power switch. But liquid-cooling them and not having it all look like Mario did the job while jumping over barrels? That takes skill. The plumbing in the Epic Force X99 is so beautiful you almost want to kiss your fingers and waving your hands in the air while saying in a faux accent, magnifique!
Even the motherboard is cooled
The liquid cooling isn't done with low-end parts: Maingear sources its water blocks from EK. The cooling also doesn't just stop with the GPUs--the company actually cools the motherboard's voltage regulators and chipsets, too.
The GPUs still get plenty of love, though. The water blocks are also sourced from EK and feature backplates that are custom-painted to match the exterior. The enlarged reservoir is used to minimize maintenance by customers, Maingear tells us, which the water loop is designed to be serviceable. Maingear said a customer could disconnect the GPUs and bypass them if they wanted to run different video cards without liquid cooling down the road. This class of customer, though, will probably just ship it back to Maingear to have the cards replaced.
Performance matters, too
All this would mean nothing if the Maingear Epic Force X99 it didn't perform. You needn't worry: In gaming, it's simply the fastest system we've seen to date. Like all facts though, that's meaningless without context.
For example, in the synthetic graphics test 3DMark FireStrike Extreme, it destroys our zero-point system with its single GeForce GTX 980, but you'll see the Epic Force's score isn't exactly a death blow to the Falcon Northwest Mach V reviewed here with its three Titan X cards. That's because the Maingear (and the Falcon too) begin to run into multi-card GPU scaling issues that make the return on investment pretty lean.
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