Corsair One is an understated gaming monster

A little over a month ago, Corsair started teasing its One compact gaming PC. The company sent out a couple of photos and promised a "category-defying new PC." Corsair has just now let the cat out of the bag with respect to the One's complete specs, and we're here to share them with you. All Corsair One configurations come with liquid-cooled Kaby Lake Core i7 CPUs, Nvidia Pascal graphics cards, and 16GB of Corsair's DDR4 RAM on a custom Z270 motherboard. An SFX 80 Plus Gold power supply powers the hardware, all packed in a compact enclosure measuring only 15" x 6.9" x 7.9" (38 cm x 18 cm x 20 cm).

The base model has a Core i7-7700 CPU, an air-cooled Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, and a storage combo with a 240GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. The next two models up the escalator bring overclockable Core i7-7700K chips and liquid-cooled GeForce GTX 1080 cards to the party. Corsair pairs two different storage configurations with those base specs. The more affordable 7700-plus-GTX-1080 model comes with a 480GB SSD paired with a 2TB hard drive, while a pricier version comes with a single 960GB SSD. The top-of-the-line model trades away the GTX 1080 in favor of a whole-hog GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and uses a 960GB SSD for storage. Whatever the configuration, the machines all offer a front-panel HDMI port for easy connection to VR headsets.

Corsair promises that the One will be quiet under operation despite its heavy hardware and compact dimensions. Some reviewers praise the machine's speed, low noise level, and the fact that it's user-serviceable, though PCWorld points out that messing with the One's innards will void its warranty.

The base configuration with a Core i7-7700 and a GeForce GTX 1070 rings in at $1800. The top-of-the-line model with the Core i7-7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and 960 GB SSD lands at a wallet-flattening $2600. Corsair has the computers listed in its online shop, but all models are currently listed as out of stock.

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    • Bobs_Your_Uncle
    • 3 years ago

    FWIW, Ars Technica posted a review this morning: [url<]https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/03/corsair-one-review/[/url<] A few take-aways: - cooling is excellent (on their all- liquid cooled review unit) - surprisingly quiet, even under full load - case is really pretty easy to open & most components can be very easily upgraded (& cleaned?) - a graphics card upgrade looks to be possibly quite problematic due to exacting size constraints - lack of M.2 is a bit of a head-scratcher given there is an open slot on the back of the board - loved everything, save the price & lack of M.2 (which is possibly due to cooling challenges)

    • Thresher
    • 3 years ago

    I like it.

    First new design in a really long time from Corsair that wasn’t eye-seeringly ugly.

    Price doesn’t seem bad, but lack of upgradeability makes it a no-go for me. I am sure they did their market research, but at these price points, I would think the market segment that buys these things is the same as the one that likes to tweak their machines as well. Lack of an upgrade path makes these kind of puzzling.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    This Corsair (200mm x 176mm x 380mm) is a very similar size to the Silverstone FT03 (235.1mm x 188.9mm x 397mm)

    Or, you know, you can fit a 1080Ti FE and a liquid cooler into an SG13 which is much smaller.
    222mm x 181mm x 285mm

    So as far as I can tell, using the prices from the February TR system guide and $700 for the 1080Ti, the Corsair One is generic parts in a $1000 case.

    Is that case worth $1000?

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      I get $2010 for a similar build I did recently (no M.2 SSD or GPU CLC, either).

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        I wasn’t paying any special attention to the prices in US$ (I think in €) but here’s a build including a liquid cooled 1080Ti
        $350 – i7-7700K
        $150 – any mITX Z270 board (not in the system guide)
        $100 – Liquid cooler from “The No Holds Barred”
        $125 – 16GB DDR4 3200 from “The Sweeter Spot”
        $850 – MSI 1080Ti Sea Hawk X
        $250 – Mushkin Reactor 1TB
        $75 – Corsair SF450
        ——
        $1900

        So, Corsair are still effectively charging $700 for the case, because everything else is an “off the shelf” part.

    • NTMBK
    • 3 years ago

    That thing looks like a prop from Stargate SG1.

    • kvndoom
    • 3 years ago

    Are boutique desktops still a thing anymore? That price is stomach churning.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Yes
      Source: See above 😛

        • kvndoom
        • 3 years ago

        Toooo-shay! 😀

        Well Alienware is still around, so I guess a market does exist. Not everyone who wants to game feels like wrenching and tweaking, right?

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          It’s funny, I did a spot check recently when I got to wondering, Alienware used to be the “that overpriced stuff? Why would you ever buy that” company, but I guess ever since the Dell buyout among boutiques they’ve been pretty good. One of their more pedestrian desktops was only ~200 over what I could find for a home build, and that may well be worth it to some.

            • DPete27
            • 3 years ago

            My very first PC was from iBuyPower. They’re still going strong and still price-competitive to scratch builds. If it weren’t for the fact that I get so much enjoyment from catching sales and building myself, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from them. I’d certainly point anyone looking for a gaming PC that doesn’t want to build their own toward iBuyPower. Like you said, they’re usually around +$200 from a scratch build, but that gets you an assembled system and customer service support. Not a bad trade-off.

          • DPete27
          • 3 years ago

          I think there will be a market for boutique gaming desktops for as long as PC gaming is a thing. In fact, I think it’s a market that isn’t being fully exploited. And surely the likes of Dell/HP/Lenovo sticking a GTX730/R9-360 inside a box with an i7 and calling it a gaming PC isn’t doing the market any favors.

          IMO, the conception that you have to build a gaming PC from scratch is a big limiter to PC gaming adoption. How many people would game on consoles if they had to put it together from scratch!?

          Granted there are other attractive features for console gaming: split-screen multiplayer, size, “good enough” performance, price. But if you took away the convenience of being able to grab a console off a shelf, plug it in, and play, the other benefits wouldn’t keep that ship afloat.

          I think the “Steam Machine” push was great. Compact and affordable gaming PCs with decently balanced performance. Too bad it fizzled before it really even took off.

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Heyyy!! It’s a Mac Pro…..

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      No it isn’t, I can tell because it has a GPU made this side of a decade ಠ_ಠ

    • christos_thski
    • 3 years ago

    I love the design, but the markup is crazy.

    Moreover I’ve read on another review that “Corsair says the act of opening up the One to, say, add RAM or a larger SSD voids the warranty. Period. Want it upgraded? An authorized service center can do it for you.”

    Along with the insane markup, this is a complete deal breaker.

      • cynan
      • 3 years ago

      The markup isn’t actually that exorbitant. Even for the flagship model:

      CPU: $350
      ram: $100
      SSD: $350
      HDD: $100
      GPU: $700
      PSU: $100
      MB: $200?

      Then if you throw in another $100 for a decent small form factor case and another $300 minimum for custom liquid GPU/CPU cooling, your up to $2400

      I doubt you could build a similar system for much less than $2300. Making $2600 not that crazy. I’d say it comes down to the cooling performance of the meager-looking liquid cooling system – which could end up being adequate if you don’t push overclocking too much.

        • christos_thski
        • 3 years ago

        I may have overstated my case, but taking into account the usual 1 dollar-to-1 euro rate, I contrast for example with ibuypower’s i7700k with 16gigs of speedier, 2800mhz RAM, a gtx 1080 and an only slightly lower end samsung 500 evo 512gbs for 1557 euros.

        Sure, it is a different beast with air cooling and without Corsair’s great design (though it is aesthetically pleasing, too). But that’s 1557 euros practically for the same performance Corsair will give for 2400? Possibly speedier, considering the 2800 ram.

          • ikjadoon
          • 3 years ago

          What? iBuyPower has no system this size + performance. That is how you should be comparing systems.

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            It’s not like there’s a “wrong” way to compare systems. He’s comparing one machine to another based on similar performance level. You’re comparing based on similar performance level AND similar size. Neither of you is wrong. In other words he’s saying the trade off for the snazzy small package is larger than he’s comfortable with. That’s not a “wrong” opinion.

      • kuraegomon
      • 3 years ago

      Okayyy,

      Put yourself in their position for a minute: Corsair isn’t a local whitebox store, so servicing a warranty request has RMA/shipping/etc overhead. No responsible company can just say: “I have no idea your skill level, or equipment handling techniques, but suuure I can cover whatever you may have done to your PC while installing stuff under my gold-plated tier-1 supplier warranty”. Not gonna happen, nor should it.

      As for the markup, that’s a different story. They’re basically saying: “You want a high-performance, liquid-cooled rig in this form-factor with full warranty support? Here’s what that’ll cost you”. That value equation doesn’t work for anyone frequenting this site who isn’t too busy – or too too flush with cash, or both – to have given up on building their own or having a whitebox store do it with much lower markup. It doesn’t mean there’s no market for this, just that most of us reading aren’t it.

      I haven’t crunched the actual markup numbers, but I’m sure you have. Give us your best guess of what that markup is, and we can debate it further.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Same warranty clause holds for a lot of laptops…and so what? I upgrade some or all of the RAM, drives, OS and wireless cards on all my laptops right after I pull off the warranty warning sticker covering one of the back cover screws.

      Warranty?! Warranty?! We don’t need no stinkin’ warranty; we’re enthusiasts!

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      I just built almost the same thing last week in a node 304:

      CPU 350
      Mobo 160
      GPU 700
      RAM 130
      Case 70
      PSU 120
      SSD 200
      Windows 110
      CLC Cooler 100
      Fans/Brackets 70
      Total $2010

      Now I didn’t liquid cool the GPU and used a SATA SSD, so add on a few hundred more for parity.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      Disagree on the design, I think this looks pretty bad IMO. I don’t care for the fake heatsink fins look, reminds me of cars with gigantic fake radiator grills that don’t actually let air through/cool anything.

      That said to me the real concern here would be Corsair’s statement on opening the case. This thing looks like it’ll choke on dust relatively quickly given how restrictive the side panel/radiators setup looks to be and the single fan at top.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 3 years ago

    Finally, a liquid cooled, upgradable mini chassis. Now, if I only had the time or money to justify this.

    • hasseb64
    • 3 years ago

    I like design of airflow, same as in my Silverstone, down–>up, and BIG fan(s)

      • cynan
      • 3 years ago

      You mean fan.

      It will be interesting to see how the dual (and very thin looking) radiator config and airflow created by a single fan can dissipate the heat generated by a mildly overclocked 7700k and 1080Ti.

      Otherwise, a very compelling looking concept and more appealing than the Zotac Magnus line for a bit less money.

        • Redocbew
        • 3 years ago

        My guess is the cooling will be adequate, but not great. A radiator needs surface area first and foremost. Using dual radiators is really just a concession to the form factor while trying to increase the amount of surface area available. A radiator of that combined size in a push/pull configuration would probably be fine, but using only a single fan where noise is a concern is going to put it at a disadvantage.

          • cynan
          • 3 years ago

          It’s too bad that it isn’t a single loop either. (as it would be in a custom liquid solution). This is practically 2x Corsair off-the-shelf closed loop cooling products.

          • Voldenuit
          • 3 years ago

          [quote<]My guess is the cooling will be adequate, but not great. [/quote<] Why guess when you can [url=https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/03/corsair-one-review/<]read the ars review[/url<]? [quote<]After running the Unigine Heaven benchmark for over an hour with everything maxed out, the GPU temperature peaked at a mere 58 degrees Celsius. [/quote<] Sounds fairly better than 'adequate' to me.

            • Redocbew
            • 3 years ago

            I did read the Ars review, and I thought it strange that they reported the GPU reaching 58C while the CPU reached 80C. If both were in the same loop I’d say that’s clearly a measurement error. Being that the system uses two separate loops it’s possible, but still an odd result. The GTX 1080 has a TDP of 180 watts while the i7 7700K has a TDP of 91 watts. If there’s going to be a large variance, then that’s kind the opposite of what we’d expect, no?

            If those figures are accurate, then that extra fan on the GPU is helping to exchange heat from the radiator in the GPU loop, and the top fan does very little for either radiator.

            • cynan
            • 3 years ago

            It’s hard to say for sure, but I’d speculate that the lower temps for the higher TDP GPU could be due to the passive nature of the heat exchange at the radiators. From the PCWord review, it looks as if the PSU might be blocking most of the air path on top of the CPU side. Whereas the air path on the GPU side looks less obstructed – thus more air and heat exchange for the GPU rad.

            • Redocbew
            • 3 years ago

            Yeah that’s what I thought also. The airflow has got to come from somewhere, so the top fan probably helps pull air through the case like any case fan would, but with so much stuff in the way it can’t be contributing as much as it would be if the fan were placed in direct contact with the radiator. The CPU radiator has no other source of airflow while it looks like the blower fan on the GPU would actually be pretty close to the GPU radiator when everything is fully assembled.

        • Takeshi7
        • 3 years ago

        Linus Tech Tips showed that their review unit actually had better thermals than their open air bench with equivalent hardware. Although their open air bench was air cooled, not liquid cooled.

        [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdtZEcppLQY[/url<]

        • cynan
        • 3 years ago

        Correction: It actually has 2 fans. The GPU cooler is hybrid liquid. There is a blower-style fan on the GPU.

          • Takeshi7
          • 3 years ago

          And a 3rd fan inside the power supply

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