Maingear has quietly hand-built custom gaming PCs in New Jersey for the past 20 years, sometimes landing splashy partnerships to spawn intriguing new systems. Now he’s teamed up with one of the biggest streamers in the world: Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek.
Today, the 50-person company is unveiling a new office born out of the Shroud partnership, a new corporate logo, and the “first fully 3D product configurator.” That way, you can spin around a 3D model before letting them charge your credit card for a pre-built gaming rig.
Getting some “celebrity creative director” vibes here, but we’ll see!
Oh, and one more thing: Maingear says that Shroud is now a co-owner company, whatever that means. “shroud now owns a significant stake in MAINGEAR and as 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 – rather than, say, receiving stock in exchange for his help. But Reed insists it’s not just a sponsorship deal or a license agreement to use the Shroud name on the products. “He’s part of Maingear, chairman of our gaming advisory board,” Reed explains.
A press release adds, “Shroud’s experience enables it to provide key insights into strategic and business considerations such as component selection, marketing initiatives, community building, as well as retail experiences. and e-commerce.
And, according to the company, he worked with Maingear on his new PC.
Two years ago, Shroud revealed he got a Maingear Vybe PC, and Reed says he ordered several Maingear PCs himself after musician and producer Deadmau5 recommended the brand. Then, last year, he got involved with the already-in-development Maingear MG-1, the new system announced today.
There is obviously nothing revolutionary about the MG-1 in terms of technology. What you typically pay for with a boutique builder is skilled workmanship and a decent case, which don’t show up on a spec sheet. (GamersNexus, one of YouTube’s toughest PC reviewers, recently called the Maingear Vybe one of the few prebuilts that lived up to its standards, while being a bit disappointed with its case.)
But the system looks sleek, especially if you pay extra for its one cool trick: hot-swappable magnetic illuminated front panels with your own custom images. This will likely be popular among streamers who consider themselves 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 whole case separately, though, Reed tells me.
Speaking of sleek, you can also configure these systems with Maingear’s new 280mm Infinity Mirror AIO Liquid Cooler, below, for an extra $15. As someone with a bit of a brand allergy, I don’t really mind this new logo. Reed says it’s designed to bridge generations of gamers, modern and retro, and be “versatile and different for everyone who watches it.”
To me, it feels more like a Space Invader than a business, and I like that. Still, I’ll probably continue to build my own PCs since I’ve always enjoyed it.
As this is a completely custom PC, prices vary depending on the components, but they start at $1,449 for a pre-built PC or $1,599 for a choose-your-own PC. And while it starts with an RTX 3050, I’m afraid it can be configured with up to an RTX 4090 or liquid-cooled RX 6900 XT, Intel and AMD processors up to i9-13900K and Ryzen 9 7950X, 64 GB of DDR5 memory and up to four PCIe Gen 4 SSDs as well as up to 16 TB of hard drives. The case is 19 inches tall, approximately 17 inches long, and eight inches wide.
The MG-1 should go on sale today. Shroud previously in partnership with Logitech on a branded mouse and put his name on other Logitech peripherals as part of a sponsorship.