Well-known manufacturer of game products Corsair is not the first time expanding its range, winning new markets. Back in February came the first teaser Corsair One, but without technical details. The computer itself was announced in March. Corsair One is available in Europe in three basic configurations. All three configurations are based on modern processors Kaby Lake class Core i7, high-speed Pascal video cards and fast SSDs are working inside. Despite the compact ITX format, the processor and video card are always cooled to sufficiently low temperatures. All components are packed in a narrow case with an attractive design. One of the configurations came to the Hardwareluxx test lab, the tests are below.
The company Corsair has long been known in the gaming industry. The American company made a name on powerful power units, well-designed cases and, of course, on fast RAM, solid-state disks and USB-flash drives. Recently, it produces very worthy input devices and water cooling systems. But Corsair is not going to stop there. For example, a few months ago, in cooperation with MSI, the Corsair Hydro GFX GTX 1080 graphics card (test and review) was introduced. The video card is equipped with a water cooling system with a closed loop. But our current review is devoted to the first fully assembled computer called Corsair One, which is available in Europe since the end of March in three basic configurations.
Corsair’s ambitions are very high, Corsair One has a difficult goal: consumers should get one of the quietest, fastest and smallest computers on the market, which will provide uncompromising performance in games. The basic concept is quite simple: the processor and video card are cooled by the CBO, which allows maintaining low temperatures simultaneously with a low noise level. The rest of the components are selected in a compact ITX format. Finally, we note the high-speed SSD. And all this in a case with the minimum dimensions. It sounds like it’s easy, but in practice everything usually turns out to be more complicated. In the past, many manufacturers tried to release such systems, but usually they had to make compromises. For example, inside used mobile components, or the body had to do larger. But Corsair One promises to become more successful.
The basis of the system is a compact motherboard ITX, which is equipped with a Kaby Lake processor with a water cooling system. The motherboard is located vertically in the lower right half of the case with dimensions of 176 x 200 x 380 mm, just below the SFX power supply. In the side panel a thin 240 mm heat exchanger is built in, just above the motherboard and the power supply. In the left part of the case there is a video card PCI Express of the generation Pascal, it is also located vertically, the second 240-mm heat exchanger answers for the cooling of the video card. The video card is connected to the motherboard via a riser card. Between these components is installed SSD and, depending on the configuration, an additional hard drive. In order to avoid air stagnation in the case, a 140 mm fan is installed under the cover, it emits hot air outside, and air enters the housing through the two heat exchangers along the sides. Also there are additional fans at the power supply and the video card – for cooling the components of the power subsystem.
The Corsair One system is initially available in three different configurations. The usual Corsair One has an Intel Core i7-7700 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, a more expensive version of the Pro is a K version with an unlocked multiplier and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Also note the Z270 motherboard in ITX format and 2.400- MHz DDR4 memory with a capacity of 16 GB for all models. The Pro version of the SSD drive has twice the capacity of 480 GB, it is supplemented by a 2 TB HDD. Corsair also sells an exclusive version of Pro through its website. It largely corresponds to the usual version of Pro, but the hard drive is not already 2TB, but the capacity of the flash drive is increased to 960 GB. All three models rely on water cooling GPU and CPU, are enclosed in an aluminum case with dimensions of 176 x 200 x 380 mm and a stylish LED-backlight. The case, cooling system, SSD, memory and power supply are manufactured by Corsair. The processor, video card and hard disk are obtained from partners, including MSI and Intel.
To buy any of the three versions, you have to fork out. Corsair asks for the first computer of its own production from 1.799 to 2.499 euros. Also, a variant is planned with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video card, which NVIDIA recently introduced.
Our test lab received the version of Corsair One Pro, which is available exclusively through the company’s online store. Below we will consider the performance, noise level and power consumption of the novelty.
Before we proceed to the tests of Corsair One, let me consider the hardware of the system.
Inside Corsair One there is a Mini-ITX motherboard and a full-fledged desktop processor Kaby Lake. The ITX motherboard is made by MSI specifically for the Corsair One, it is something middle between the MSI Z270I Gaming Pro and the MSI Z270M Mortar. In our test system Corsair One Pro was installed the processor Intel Core i7-7700K generation Kaby Lake, which Intel introduced at the beginning of the year. Like Skylake, the processor is manufactured using a 14-nm process technology, albeit with some optimizations.
The Core i7-7700K processor in the Corsair One Pro system has four physical cores at a base frequency of 4.2 GHz, in Turbo mode it increases to 4.5 GHz. Hyper-Threading support allows each kernel to perform two threads simultaneously. Thanks to powerful cooling, high Boost clock speeds are activated for all four cores simultaneously, which also gives a performance boost. Theoretically, thanks to the unlocked multiplier, the full-fledged Z270 chipset and the water-cooling system, the processor can be overclocked, but Corsair leaves the overclocking to the user. In other respects, the Intel Core i7-7700K has standard 8 MB L3 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core. The instruction and data cache L1 is 32 kByte per core. The thermal package compared with the predecessor Skylake has not changed, we get 91 watts.
The Intel Core i7-7700K has integrated graphics, which was accelerated compared to the generation of Skylake. But the 24 executive units in the Intel HD Graphics 630 are still too slow to cope with the graphics of modern games, so Corsair added a more powerful solution based on a discrete graphics card. Memory slots on MSI motherboard belong to the home series Vengeance, they use low heat spreaders, cooling chips DDR4. Two memory slots have a capacity of 8.192 MB, which gives a total of 16 GB. The slats are declared at a frequency of 2.400 MHz and operate in a two-channel mode.
As for the video card, Corsair chose the former GeForce flagship, which gave way to Ti in early March. But the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 in the Corsair One Pro system still belongs to the fastest models on the market. The video card is built on a GP104 chip, which is based on the architecture of Pascal, announced in May last year. The chip contains about 7.2 billion transistors, is manufactured by 16-nm technical process FinFET at the TSMC plants. The chip is powered by 2.560 stream processors, combined into four GPC clusters and 20 streaming multiprocessors. To each multiprocessor eight texture blocks are connected, as a result, in the GeForce GTX 1080 we get 160 TMUs.
As for memory, a 256-bit bus is used, the volume of GDDR5X chips is 8 GB. As usual, the memory controller is allocated to eight blocks of 32 bits each. To each 32-bit block eight pipelines of raster operations are summed up, as a result, in the GeForce GTX 1080 we get 64 ROPs.
NVIDIA clocked at the usual high level, the base frequency is 1.607 MHz, in Boost mode the minimum bar is 1.734 MHz, the memory runs at the standard 1.251 MHz. The Corsair One Pro system includes an Aero video card from MSI that uses the Founders Edition reference layout. Factory overclocking compared to the original model NVIDIA no. But thanks to water cooling, the video card can run at substantially higher clock speeds of Boost, and it can support them for a longer time. In our tests, we were able to overclock the video card to 1.883 MHz. After a long game load, the frequency decreased slightly – to 1.835 MHz. As in the case of the Hydro GFX video card, Corsair cools the GPU with a water-block of the SVO, and an additional fan has been installed for the memory chips and components of the power subsystem.
We have already noted the modified MSI motherboard, which was specially developed for Corsair One. The board contains two DDR4 memory slots, a WLAN module and Bluetooth, offers numerous USB 3.1 interfaces, including one Type C – but without the support of Thunderbolt 3. You can connect the monitor to the video card through the video outputs DisplayPort or HDMI. There is no DVI option, as in the case of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition. Power provides the Corsair SF400, a compact power supply with a power of 400 watts. The operating system (in our case Windows 10 Home 64-bit) was preinstalled on 960 GB Corsair Force LE. 2.5 “SSD is connected via the SATA 6 Gb / s interface.In our configuration, an additional magnetic hard disk was not provided.The motherboard is equipped with a high-quality audio codec and a stylish but simple backlight system.The whole farm is installed in an aluminum case with dimensions of 176 x 200 X 380 mm and weighing 7.4 kg.
Many manufacturers like to pre-install various demos or advertising applications, but Corsair has not become littered with Corsair One. The system features a proprietary Corsair Link utility that allows you to configure basic settings from one location, and update drivers. Also in the utility you can see the current operating parameters: processor temperature, fan speed under the housing cover, SSD temperature, MSI video card temperature and fan speed. Two sensors for CPUs and GPUs are integrated in two. Corsair did not add the RGB LED to the case. Two backlit bars in front can only burn white, but in the utility you can change the effect and intensity of the backlight. You can, for example, turn on flashing or pulsing. Corsair Link allows you to set the curves for two fans, so that their speed varies flexibly depending on the temperature.
“Corsair One Diagnostics” allows you to view the status of the computer software. The utility will tell you when the last backup was made, when the latest updates were installed, at what speed the network is running. There is a separate utility for SSD. It allows one-click garbage collection, ensures reliable erasure of data if necessary and informs the user about the SMART parameters. However, the system drive, as in the case of our Corsair One Pro, many functions are not available.
Through the utility “MSI LiveUpdate” you can check for the availability of driver updates, as well as software utilities Corsair One. New versions can be downloaded and installed with one click. The utility can automatically check for new drivers, download and install them.
Also on the desktop are added shortcuts, through which you can run popular game platforms Steam, Origin and uPlay. Also, the “Corsair Gaming” utility is preinstalled. But it will be useful only if you have the appropriate game devices Corsair.
The case of the Corsair One seems pretty simple. It is made of black textured aluminum. On the front panel are added two LED strips of white color, you can control the brightness and effects. Corsair refused to RGB LED. In general, the design is minimalist, but it fits perfectly into any environment, whether it is a living room or a study.
Both side panels are perforated with a large number of ventilation openings. Without them, not to do, because behind both panels are hidden 240-mm heat exchangers for the video card and processor. But there are no additional fans here, the air flow is created by a single fan under the housing cover.
At the rear, Corsair One offers all the popular interfaces. Namely two USB 2.0 ports for mouse and keyboard, three high-speed USB 3.1 Type A ports, a modern Type C interface for data transfer at speeds up to 10 Gb / s. The display can be connected via two DisplayPort outputs or one HDMI. There is a Gigabit Ethernet port, two WiFi antenna jacks, the usual audio connectors. Not without the hereditary port PS / 2.
Only one USB port and one HDMI output are installed in the front of the case. The latter is intended for connecting a VR headset, similar to HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Above the two ports there is an on / off button, below them is the “Corsair One” logo.
On both sides of the front panel are added two LED strips that light up during operation. You can adjust the backlight via the “Corsair Link” utility. Corsair decided not to complicate the design and refused to RGB-backlight. Only white color is available.
Although the power supply is installed inside at the top, the power cord connects to the Corsair One at the bottom of the rear panel. Inside the case, Corsair continued the power extension, the same applies to the power cables of the PCI Express graphics card, which connects to the motherboard via a riser card.
Under the housing cover is a home fan ML140, which takes on the main role in cooling the Corsair One. It emits hot air outside the enclosure, and inwardly fresh air enters through the multiple ventilation openings of the two sidewalls. Additional fans are only available in the power supply and the power supply system of the video card – all other components are cooled passively or with the help of CBO. Thus, the heat exchangers of the SVO work semi-passively.
The Corsair One has the usual desktop components, which makes it easier to upgrade in the future. Although picking up components will not be so easy. To open the system, you need to press the button on the rear panel, and then remove the cover with a 140-mm fan. Then unscrew several screws, then both side panels recline.
The processor and video card are cooled by their own OWS with a closed loop. The reservoir and pump are integrated into a water block connected to a processor or GPU. For cooling, two 240-mm heat exchangers are connected, connected to the water block by two tubes in each case.
All this not only simplifies the assembly of the Corsair One, but also improves the cooling, because the two hottest components are cooled independently of each other, with their own contours.
Since the two heat exchangers are not equipped with fans, in the Corsair One they are semi-passively cooled.
For the components of the power supply system of the video card, its own radial fan is provided, it also enhances the air flow passing through the heat exchanger.
On the ITX motherboard from MSI, only the processor is actively cooled, all other components are based on passive cooling.
Over the motherboard Corsair installed SFX power supply. It is equipped with its own cooling fan, the power is 400 W, and thanks to 80Plus Gold certification we get an excellent level of efficiency.
Corsair paid attention to the details and on the packaging of the case. On the box, Corsair One is imprinted in all angles on the respective sides.
For our test, Corsair introduced an exclusive version of the Corsair One Pro, available only in the online store. The hardware configuration of the system is printed on the box.
With a similar configuration, Corsair One Pro provides more than enough performance for office applications. Below we estimate the performance based on the tests performed.
Thanks to the processor Intel Core i7-7700K and video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, the Corsair One Pro system copes with all modern games without problems. Depending on the test, a comfortable game in high resolution 4K is possible. In GTA V, we get a decent frame rate of 75 fps, in the game DiRt Rally – 93.2 frames per second. Unless in The Witcher 3 and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the frame rate is slightly lower – less than 45 fps. With a resolution of 1440p, the system copes without problems, not to mention Full-HD. Processor Intel Core i7-7700K in two tests Cinebench showed a performance of 10.67 and 967 points, slightly above the average. The reason lies in the water cooling system, which always ensures a low temperature.
16 GB of DDR4 memory at 2.400 MHz in dual-channel mode gives a bandwidth of more than 25 GB / s, 2.5 “SSD with a SATA connection showed a reading level of 561.5 MB / s. For SATA, the result is good, but still drives with a PCI interface Express and NVMe protocol provide significantly higher performance, SSD 960 GB capacity is enough to store the game library.We will remind that SSD with such a capacity is available only in an exclusive configuration available through the Corsair website.In the usual version, a combination of SSD of smaller capacity and HDD is installed.
In the compression test, the 7-Zip system showed the result of 27.415 MIPS. Many other computers give a lower level of performance.
Corsair was able to fulfill promises not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of noise. In idle mode, the Corsair One Pro system is barely audible, with a noise level of 35.3 dB (A). Under full load on the CPU, the noise level hardly increases, under the game load it reaches 42.1 dB (A). Many gaming systems work with a higher noise level, including gaming laptops. In the worst case scenario, we loaded the Prime95 processor and the Furmark video card, and then got a noise level of 43.8 dB (A), which can be called a good result. However, the low-frequency rumble of the PWO pump is somewhat disturbing. It can be reduced if you put the Corsair One not directly on the table, but on a rubber mat.
Corsair One Pro and here performed well. Under normal office load, the system consumed less than 35 watts, under the game load, the power consumption increased to 275 watts. If you only load the processor, the power consumption will increase to 135W, under full stress load we have almost 330W. We expect such a level, considering the powerful processor Core i7 and the video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080.
Thanks to the integrated temperature control, there are no temperature problems. Although the Core i7-7700K in the worst case scenario, the temperature rose to 85 ° C. This level is more typical for air cooling, in this case it is associated with the semi-passive operation of a 240-mm heat exchanger. However, the temperature is still not critical, especially under the game load it is 10 ° C lower. The video card under full load does not heat above 61 ° C, the same applies to the motherboard and SSD. In the mode of inactivity, the temperatures are noticeably lower.
The compact ZOTAC gaming systems usually use mobile components, in the case of MSI solutions, we get a fairly large chassis. The new system Corsair One differs in that it uses desktop components, packed in a very compact package of only 12 liters. Instead of mobile components, there is a full-fledged NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with PCI Express interface, and also Corsair One Pro is equipped with Kaby Lake’s flagship, namely Intel Core i7-7700K. As a result, the system received a high enough level of performance to cope with all modern games. And not only in resolutions of 1080p or 1440p, but also in high resolution 4K. DDR4 memory operates in dual-channel mode at 2.400 MHz, SSD also provides a high level of performance for connecting SATA 6 Gb / s. Although the drives with PCI Express interface and NVMe protocol will be even faster.
The goal of Corsair was not only to create one of the fastest gaming systems in a compact format, but also one of the quietest. And Corsair was able to keep promises. Thanks to water cooling, which works in a semi-passive mode, the Corsair One’s operation is barely audible under office work. Under the game load, the noise level increases to 43 dB (A), which is much quieter than most gaming systems, not to mention gaming laptops. Is that the rumble of two pumps can be annoying. It is better to put the system on a rubber mat, which will prevent the transfer of vibration to the table. It is impressive that Corsair managed to install two circuits with two 240 mm heat exchangers in the housing with dimensions of only 176 x 200 x 380 mm, as well as powerful components. The system can actually be called a masterpiece. The interior of the case is well thought out, it is not difficult to disassemble. Most likely, in the future it will be possible to replace the processor and video card, if it turns out to remount the water block. At the moment there is no need to upgrade, the system provides more than sufficient level of performance.
Corsair did not add aggressive design or RGB-backlighting. Therefore, the design of the case can be called strict and simple, but it will fit into the environment of both the living room and the office. Of course, on the table of the gamer Corsair One will also look great. It’s nice that Corsair did not clutter the system with adware and demos. Together with Corsair One you will receive utilities that allow you to change system settings or update drivers.
To disadvantages, in addition to the buzz of the pump, CBO can also include the high temperature of the CPU. The video card paired with an additional fan and SVO showed a low temperature of 61 ° C, but the Kaby Lake processor was warming up to the temperatures that we were accustomed to seeing in a pair with air coolers. The reason lies in the semi-passive cooling of the heat exchangers: Corsair decided to sacrifice temperatures in order to reduce the noise level. In any case, the temperatures we have obtained can not be called critical. Corsair has installed a USB Type C port, but unfortunately it does not support Thunderbolt 3, so it will be necessary to limit the bandwidth to 10 Gb / s.
Corsair One Pro in our configuration will not be cheap. Corsair asks for $ 2,299 in its online store. Add to this the shipping price and taxes. However, the price of a high-end video card, the flagship of Kaby Lake, 960-GB SSD and two systems of water cooling themselves are rather big. It is unlikely that such a system can be collected independently, so Corsair One Pro remains an exclusive product. And for the exclusive you can pay. Somewhat cheaper is the usual version of the Corsair One with an Intel Core i7-7700 processor and a GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card – 1.800 euros.
Corsair One Pro – a ready-made computer with a very high level of performance, quiet work and stylish design. He is worthy of our award “Excellent Iron”. Congratulations!