The world of PC gaming can be a bit intimidating if you're not the type of person who already loves the idea of endless customization options and tinkering around the innards of a computer. But as PC games are becoming more popular, computer companies are finding new ways to appeal to the consumers that don't want to mess with PC parts or figure out what makes an AMD processor different from and Intel one.
MAINGEAR is a custom computer boutique that has jumped into the all-in-one computer market with both feet to bring elite level PC gaming to people who want to experience the quality of a competition level video game rig without the geekery. The company has recently released its Potenza line of gaming computers that are fine-tuned for the most demanding video games while keeping the price low enough to justify buying it. Let's take a look at the MAINGEAR Potenza and what it does.
Where to buy: Microsoft
The Potenza isn't a huge machine for the amount of power it has. It's slightly larger than an average sneaker box and weighs around 20 pounds. That's great for if you're low on living space, you can just throw it under your desk or sit it on top without it getting in the way of everything else. Aesthetically, the machine looks super cool with its minimalist design. All is has is a glowing red MAINGEAR logo on the front, peeking out of the smooth matte-finished case.
Since all the ports and connections are located on the top of the machine, cable management is an easier task. There are openings beneath the sides of the lid for wires to exit which eliminates the need to get up and turn the computer around just to plug in a keyboard, mouse or game controller.
Under the hood, there is a mass of high quality components with everything being top-of-the-line stuff. The Intel Core i7 processor makes this rig faster than a basketball groupie and it boots up in a matter of seconds. We were able to run Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere and watch a movie at the same time and there wasn't any noticeable slow down the whole time. So in addition to playing games, you also have a machine to create the next great World Star Hip Hop video masterpiece. The one terabyte solid state hard drive provides more than enough storage space for tons of games, music, photos and any adult films you intend on hiding from your significant other.
Even on lower-end monitors video games look great. Thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 graphics card, it's possible to enjoy high-definition games and even 3D games without fault. The best part of all is that the Potenza comes ready for a three-monitor set up given you have the proper adapter to do so. The video and audio ports are easy to access and no matter what you plan to view your games on, the machine can support it. The HDMI port will even hook up to your living room television if that's your flavor.
Overheating is always a concern which is why the Potenza uses an upward exhaust system. The concept is that since heat travels upwards, the best way to keep the machine cool and keep it's small form is to have fans blow air from the bottom up. Even with it running graphic intensive games like Assassin's Creed 3, BioShock Infinite and Crisis 3, there was no problems with heat. To kick it up a few notches, we ran three monitors, a pair of speakers and a chair vibration device to see if it would give in. After four straight hours of game play it kept going. You gotta love science.
For a person just getting into playing video games on a PC, the MAINGEAR Potenza is the perfect rig. It's fast, looks good and has more storage space than you could hope for. It's even possible to upgrade the parts as technology evolves. MAINGEAR has a customer service staff that's available around the clock to handle questions. With every computer, you get a binder that has all the information about the machine's parts so that you don't have to troll through Wikipedia to find out the names of the components when communicating potential problems. While the $1600 price tag may be a bit steep for an entry-level gaming computer, unless you're taking on the task of building your own machine, the wisest decision is to grab one of these. You won't be sorry.
The MAINGEAR Potenza is available now at the Microsoft store.