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XSR Test Rig: Specs & Components

At XSReviews, all our testing and benchmarks are hand-made by skilled artisans. Here’s a peak behind the curtain, as we take a look at the specs, components and peripherals of the lastest XSR Test Rig, codenamed MANTAMACHINE.

For each component, you’ll find its name, any relevant extra information, and links to check the price on Amazon. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch!

Type Name Details Link
CPU Intel Core i5 6600K OC’d to 3.7GHz  Check prices on Amazon >
Cooler NZXT Kraken X61 280mm  Check prices on Amazon >
Motherboard Asus Z170I Pro Gaming Mini ITX  Check prices on Amazon >
GPU EVGA GTX 1080 FTW  ACX 3.0  Check prices on Amazon >
Memory 2x 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400  Check prices on Amazon >
Storage Samsung 960 Evo 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD  Check prices on Amazon >
Storage  Western Digital 3TB Caviar Green HDD  Check prices on Amazon >
Case Thermaltake View 31 RGB    Check prices on Newegg >
PSU EVGA SuperNova G3 650W 80+ Gold Modular   Check prices on Amazon >
Fans 2x NZXT Aer RGB 140    Check prices on Amazon >
Lighting NZXT Hue+ 2x RGB strips  Check prices on Amazon >

Photo

Notes

This build was originally based around the NZXT Manta Mini ITX case, which necessitated the Z170I motherboard over its full-fat equivalent. However, the roomy case ensures that very few other sacrifices were made. There’s a chunky GTX 1080 FTW graphics card, a roof-mounted 280mm radiator for liquid cooling and five 140mm case fans (two Aer RGB up front, two on top of the radiator and one at the back).

In October 2017, the MANTAMACHINE was swapped into the Thermaltake View 31 RGB case in order to do a review. This mid-tower will allow full-size ATX motherboards, so the Micro ITX motherboard we’re using looks comically small tucked into the upper left corner of the case. The case came with three Riing RGB fans, which accompany the existing pair of Aer RGB fans which have now been moved to the top of the case, cooling the Kraken radiator.

Were I to construct a similar PC now (autumn 2017), I’d swap out the Core i5 6600K for an eight-generation (“Coffee Lake”) hexa-core processor, probably the i5-8600K or i7-8700K. I’d choose a corresponding motherboard from ASUS, and higher-clocked RAM (probably from Corsair). The Kraken X61 cooler has also been superceded by the Kraken X62. The rest of the build would remain unchanged. However, I’d also be tempted to wait until 2018 for a 10nm Cannon Lake processor, assuming it isn’t delayed until the end of time.

If you have any questions about the build, let me know and I’ll answer if I can!

Thanks to NZXT for providing the Kraken X61 cooler, Aer RGB fans and Hue+ case lighting. Thanks to Crucial and StormForce for providing the Ballistix Sport RAM. Thanks to Thermaltake for providing the View 31 case. If you’d like to contribute components to the rig, get in touch!

Peripherals

Of course, you might also want to know what’s plugged into our test rig. This changes a little more frequently, but here are the important bits as of September ’17.

Type Name Details Link
Monitor Acer XB271HU 1440p 144Hz IPS   Check prices on Amazon >
Keyboard Input Club K-Type  Halo True  Check prices on Input Club >
Mouse SteelSeries Sensei 310  Optical, set to 400DPI  Check prices on Amazon >
Headphones Mionix Nash 20    Check prices on Amazon >
Microphone Blue Yeti     Check prices on Amazon >
Speakers Audio Engine A5+  2.0 speakers  Check prices on Amazon >
Mouse pad HyperX Large Fury Pro 500 mm x 420 mm  Check prices on Amazon >
Mouse bungee Speedlink Adjix    Check prices on Amazon >
 Number pad Qisan Mechanical Cherry MX Brown   Check prices on Amazon >
Card reader Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader   Check prices on Amazon >
Fan Aukey USB Desk Fan     Check prices on Amazon >
Camera Fujifilm X-T2 18-55 kit lens, 35 F2  Check prices on Amazon >

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