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Maingear Vybe Gaming PC Review: A Ryzen and Radeon Hot Rod

Pre-built gaming PCs have grown in popularity dramatically as crypto demand and chip shortages have pushed up the prices of graphics cards and other components. Regardless of the current price points for PC components (which are now drifting back down to MSRP, thank goodness), we’ve always seen the value of pre-built quality for a variety of reasons, especially when it comes to some of the best names in the business, like Falcon Northwest, Origin-Corsair and the local Northeast crew from Maingear Computers.

You will know Maingear even if you only read our pages here occasionally. The company is a well-known and respected OG boutique PC manufacturer based in New Jersey. Over the years, Maingear has assembled eye-catching, cutting-edge gaming PCs that typically boast impeccable build quality with impeccable cable routing, fit, and finish. A few years ago we looked at the Vybe, Maingear’s more affordable mid-tower platform, in both an all-AMD Ryzen and Radeon configuration and an 11th Gen Intel configuration with a GeForce GPU. However, Maingear has reworked and refined the Vybe since our 2019 reviews, and now we have significantly more powerful silicon engines on board to handle gaming workloads and push the pixels.

Here is the new Maingear Vybe for 2022, equipped with the currently fastest gaming CPU in the world, AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and one of the fastest graphics cards in the beefy and powerful Radeon RX 6950 XT. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is a killer gaming rig ready to go.

Let’s break down the rest of the specs, build design, and other pertinent details, then let’s just press play and see how it goes…

All-AMD Maingear Vybe (2022) specs and features

Find AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D on Amazon – under $450

What can we say that has not already been said about such a system? This is AMD’s mature X570 platform at its finest, with a multi-gigabit Ethernet port and a fast and fat 2TB PCIe 4 SSD from Samsung. What’s missing here, however, are perhaps some of the newer conveniences of Intel’s latest platforms, like Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and Wi-Fi 6E. None of these features are likely to be showstoppers for most gamers, but they do speak to how the market is preparing for AMD’s upcoming Zen 4 platform and all the next-gen IO benefits it brings.

However, if we’re looking for the fastest gaming CPU AMD currently has to offer and the fastest on the market, this machine’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D processor ticks all the right boxes. Add in a Radeon RX 6950 XT, which is also the fastest graphics card AMD currently has to offer trading blows with a GeForce RTX 3090, along with 64GB of DDR4-3600 memory and you’re looking at a monster configuration that’s bound is to achieve great gaming performance. But let’s look at the rest of this Vybe’s design and flow – or more specifically, its layout, cooling and airflow.

Two captive thumbscrews allow removal of the Vybe’s glass side panel

Maingear’s Vybe chassis is a fairly understated, almost utilitarian design, but with a few key features that serve both function and form. For starters, the chassis is thick rolled aluminum with a plastic front faceplate and bottom feet that raise it about an inch off the surface the machine sits on. You also get three USB-A ports and a single USB-C port on the left front edge below the power button, as well as discrete 3.5mm jacks for headphones and microphone. Placement is excellent here on this side where the glass side panel is as you want all those nice powerful PC components and that immaculate build on your desk for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

One could argue that all of those ports and the power button should be on top, but that would result in longer cable runs for virtually all motherboard designs, for the front panel button, lighting, and IO lines. As a side note, you can also connect this RGB backlit button to a memory activity line, which wasn’t set up that way for our build, although we’ve previously built our own Vybe using Maingear’s DIY kit and really like this little feature. It’s satisfying to know when your data is being accessed, and it’s obviously a good diagnostic tool.

2022 Maingear Vybe design and build quality – still delightfully flawless

Although our previous custom Vybe build featured Maingear’s excellent Apex liquid cooling manifold and a hardline liquid cooling system, this 2022 Maingear Vybe comes with a more traditional AiO cooler that appears to be a semi-custom version of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 ARGB with 360 mm radiators, RGB lighting and dual-chamber pump.

This 360mm radiator and flat dual chamber pump provides a lot of heat dissipation for an AiO cooler, and its wheel is mounted on the front of the case, sucking in cool air through the front of the case. At first glance one might think that with the front of the chassis closed the airflow (as it did in a major publication we saw did) would not be sufficient, but that would be a wrong assumption. If you scroll down the page here you will see the back of the case’s front faceplate and it is nicely perforated with a grille and vent on the right side.

PowerColor’s Red Devil 6950 XT is a beast with 3 PCIe 8-pin power supplies.

And of course, our rig was laced with red braided cable sheaths to match our All Red Team AMD build. Other observations here are the flat thermal plate and pump assembly, which gives you plenty of room to work around the DRAM DIMM slots in this build. As such, our Kingston Fury Renegade RGB 64GB DDR4-3600 kit offers plenty of room to breathe, as only two out of four slots on the motherboard are occupied. The other thing that will strike you is how absolutely beastly the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6950 XT is, with its 3-slot design and yes, three 8-pin power connectors. Good thing the braided wiring is here to keep things clean and tight and to look great in coordination with the red lighting we dialed in.

Behind the Vybe’s rear panel, cable management is just as immaculate.

This braided cabling also goes a long way in cleaning the back of the motherboard tray. Here’s our EVGA SuperNova 850 P6 850-watt power supply and dual 2.5″ drive trays for rear SATA SSD storage if you want additional bulk expansion for backup and gaming library use. Look again at the rear side vent on the front chassis panel. We’d like to see a decent filter grille here, but regardless, we think that’s enough airflow for the 360mm triple-fan radiators to breathe.

Conversely, we appreciated the Vybe’s thoughtful inclusion of the Vybe’s magnetically attached, removable top grill opening. Just take the bad boy off and you can rinse with water and let dry, blow out or vacuum.

Maingear Vybe software setup – all the tools you need

The software side of Maingears Vybe is a simple, clean affair with just Windows 11 Home in our case and utilities from the major component manufacturers you need to set things up your way. That’s it – no bloat like we’ve come to expect from Maingear.

Here we have ASUS’ Aura app for dialing in motherboard lighting, PowerColor’s DevilZone, and AMD’s Ryzen Master utility, which is really all you need to get the lighting and system optimization work done. By the way, since AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D generally does not support overclocking, we didn’t play around much. However, you could squeeze a few MHz more out of this RedDevil Radeon RX 6950 XT if you feel the need for more speed.

Speaking of which, we see you peeping on this Cinebench run, so let’s get to the benchmarks…