The concept of the all-in-one desktop personal computer was created to save space and simplify design of PCs. While there have been a number of traditional AIO desktops available over the years, leading PC makers only began to address performance-demanding market segments with specially-designed models several years ago. At the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, boutique PC maker Maingear introduced the world’s first AIO desktop featuring top-of-the-range gaming or even server components.

The Maingear Alpha 34 is a giant all-in-one desktop with 34” curved display with 3440×1440 resolution. Unlike the vast majority of semi-custom AIO PCs, the Alpha 34 is built around standard mini-ITX motherboards — in this case the ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Impact or the ASRock X99E-ITX for high-end configurations (Intel H110-based mainboard is available as an option for lower-cost configurations). Due to the flexibility in motherboard selection, the system can use either socket 1151 or socket 2011-3 CPUs depending on the board, including Intel's Core i3/i5/i7, or Intel Xeon E5 v3 processors with up to 18 cores and up to 45MB of cache. The AIO desktop uses the Maingear’s own closed-loop liquid cooler in order to ensure stability of desktop and server CPUs.

The Alpha 34 can be equipped with up to 32GB of unbuffered DDR4 memory, one M.2 NVMe solid-state drive and up to two 2.5” storage devices. The AIO can also accommodate full-sized desktop graphics cards, including the AMD Radeon R9 Nano, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X, or professional cards. The system naturally supports all the connectivity options provided by the aforementioned motherboards, including Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, 5.1-channel audio, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 connectors and so on.

As is usually the case for botique system builders, Maingear is offering a suite of customization options to let the AIO hit different price ranges and performance levels. That said, the Alpha 34 is always equipped with a 450W power supply unit, and therefore not all setups will be feasible. Multi-core Intel Xeon processors as well as top-of-the-range graphics cards consume a lot of power and 450W may not be enough to feed all the possible configurations.

Performance of the Alpha 34 featuring the latest Core i7 processors should be on par with that of high-end tower desktops. Upgradeability of all-in-one systems is not as flexible as that of tower machines, which is one of the reasons why AIOs are not for everyone. To make the Intel Z170-based systems a little more future-proof, the PC maker offers factory overclocking for Skylake-S CPUs inside the Alpha 34.

All Maingear systems — including the Alpha 34 — can be custom painted and equipped with various peripherals like external optical drives, keyboards, mice, headsets and so on.

Pricing of the Alpha 34 starts at $1,999. A fully-fledged gaming setup with premium components, but without custom-finish and peripherals, will cost $6,150.99. A workstation machine inside the Alpha 34 chassis will be priced at around $15,000. Finally, Maingear will start to ship its Alpha 34 systems starting February 1, 2016.

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  • Sunrise089 - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    Ryan, the number of typos, odd technical phrasings, and unsupported claims in this entry reflects pretty poorly on the author, even considering this is Pipeline. Maybe see if Jarred wants to return in a part-time capacity? :)
  • Azethoth - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    Waah? This is not an English lit site guy.
  • aznchum - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    3840x1440 is not the correct resolution for a 21:9 34" monitor. The correct resolution should be 3440x1440.
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    Well shit, I just learned something...

    I think I've made that mistake a couple times in the past. /shame
  • Lord of the Bored - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    More than once I've listed resolutions in the form WTF x Lines, because I just wasn't sure or the actual resolution sounded too darn crazy to be real. Most commonly when referring to WTFx768 panels, as I STILL can't remember the horizontal resolution on those.
    Obviously, I am not writing professionally, though.
  • xthetenth - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    It's 1366x768, although kill me now x 768, come on it's 2016 x 768 and a decent vertical resolution for a widescreen x 768 are all acceptable.
  • eSyr - Friday, January 8, 2016 - link

    Do you mean 1024×768 (standard XGA resolution), 1280×768 (as it was on fujitsu p1610 and some other laptops by fujitsu, sony and some others), 1366×768 (this "HD" abomination), 1360×768 (somewhat better but less frequently encountered "HD" abomination) or 1600×768 (sony vaio p series and some others)?
  • Azethoth - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    Man I drooled at the Apple 5k screen and now this is making me drool even more. But $2k all the way to 1/2 a car for price tag, daaaamn.
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    and it will throttle like a stock amd 290..

    no way in hell this can handle 500w of heat generated by a 18 core intel cpu and titan x
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    You're right.. because of the 450 W PSU. Apart from that: look at the water cooler of the R9 295X2: it handles ~500 W OK with just a 120 mm and a 90 mm fan.

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