XSR Test Rig: Specs & Components

At XSReviews, our testing is all 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 latest 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!

CPUIntel Core i5 6600KOC’d to 4.7GHz Check prices on Amazon >
CoolerNZXT Kraken X61280mm Check prices on Amazon >
MotherboardMSI Z270 Gaming M3Swapped from ASUS Z170I Check prices on Amazon >
GPUEVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0 Check prices on Amazon >
Memory2x 8GB Crucial Ballistix SportDDR4 2400 Check prices on Amazon >
StorageSamsung 960 Evo 1TBNVMe M.2 SSD Check prices on Amazon >
Storage Western Digital 3TBCaviar Green HDD Check prices on Amazon >
CaseThermaltake View 31 RGB  Check prices on Newegg >
PSUEVGA SuperNova G3 650W80+ Gold Modular  Check prices on Amazon >
Fans2x NZXT Aer RGB 140  Check prices on Amazon >
LightingNZXT Hue+2x RGB strips Check prices on Amazon >



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 The Kraken X61 cooler has also been superceded by the Kraken X62.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!


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.

MonitorAcer XB271HU1440p 144Hz IPS  Check prices on Amazon >
KeyboardInput Club K-Type Halo True Check prices on Input Club >
MouseSteelSeries Sensei 310 Optical, set to 400DPI Check prices on Amazon >
HeadphonesMionix Nash 20  Check prices on Amazon >
MicrophoneBlue Yeti   Check prices on Amazon >
SpeakersAudio Engine A5+ 2.0 speakers Check prices on Amazon >
Mouse padHyperX Large Fury Pro500 mm x 420 mm Check prices on Amazon >
Mouse bungeeSpeedlink Adjix  Check prices on Amazon >
 Number padQisan MechanicalCherry MX Brown  Check prices on Amazon >
Card readerKingston USB 3.0Media Reader  Check prices on Amazon >
FanAukey USB Desk Fan   Check prices on Amazon >
CameraFujifilm X-T218-55 kit lens, 35 F2 Check prices on Amazon >

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XSR Test Rig: Specs & Components

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