Corsair One i300 review – a unique but expensive gaming PC

Corsair One i300 review – a unique but expensive gaming PC

The Corsair One i300 marks the first time Intel’s best gaming CPU from the Alder Lake series finds its way into the line of pre-built compact gaming PCs, as well as DDR5 gaming RAM. It is without a doubt one of the most powerful, stylish and silent systems you can buy out of the box today, but does that justify the eye-catching price tag?

Aside from packing the latest groundbreaking specifications, it does Corsair One i300 so attractive and unique is the form factor. The sleek exterior of black brushed metal is only 7.9 inches deep, which combined with 15 inches of height and 6.8 inches of width gives it a stunning monolithic look. When I look at it personally, I can not help but think that it is completely bananas that Corsair is able to pack this level of hardware in such a small space. The size also gives the system the ability to fit just about anywhere you want to place it.

It also lacks personality, with two built-in RGB fluorescent tubes running down the edges of the front panel that you can customize with the iCue software. Even better, the One i300 can be synced with any other compatible peripherals you have to create a clean, unified aesthetic and help enhance the atmosphere of any iCue-compatible game. The small triangular cutouts along the sides of the chassis that form in the intake valves are also a nice detail.

Corsair has also not spared connectivity in the design of the One i300, with a 3.5 mm headphone / microphone combo input, a 10 Gbps USB-C and two 5 Gbps USB-A ports located on the front of the cover. If you look at the back, you will see another six USB-A ports, with four 5 Gbps inputs and two with dual horsepower. Since this is an Intel system, there are also two Thunderbolt 4 ports, along with your standard HD audio inputs, a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.12 support.

You can choose either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or its Ti variant. Both come with an HDMI 2.1 and three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, but oddly enough there is no way to connect the CPU’s built-in graphics. Although you probably do not want to use Intel UHD Graphics 770 for gaming when you have Nvidia’s best graphics card in the rig, having extra ports can be useful for troubleshooting, and this omission is confusing. However, this is a small flaw in an otherwise robust I / O.

While the exterior of each Corsair One i300 will be the same, the only differences between the cheapest $ 3999 USD and the most expensive $ 4999 USD versions are the amount of game RAM and the graphics card model inside them. Across all the different configurations you will find a Z690 Mini ITX motherboard with an Intel Core i9-12900K in the heart of the system, as well as 2 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe storage, all powered by a Corsair 750W 80 Plus Platinum PSU.

The basic specifications include 32 GB dual-channel Corsair DDR5 memory clocked at 4800 MHz and a liquid-cooled GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB graphics card. Spending an additional $ 700 will give you the RTX 3080 Ti 12GB, and an additional $ 300 on top of that will push the RAM capacity up to 64GB, albeit with a slightly lower 4400MHz clock speed.

A Corsair One i300 gaming PC sits to the right of a gaming monitor and other Corsair peripherals

Corsair lent its top-of-the-line specification for testing, but I can safely say that most people should choose the base model. Aside from the fact that you can upgrade your RAM later if you needed more than 32 GB, the potential performance gains offered by the RTX 3080 Ti versus the cheaper sibling in no way justify the extra cost. In addition, saving some money on the new gaming PC can free up your budget for one of the best gaming monitors you can pair it with and make your setup so much more advanced.

However, you should note that you mainly lock in to whichever configuration you choose, as the One i300 would not be easy to upgrade, even for the most experienced builders. The most you can reasonably do is replace the RAM, SSD and fan that hold together the system’s patented convection-assisted cooling. While you can insert a new Raptor Lake CPU at a glance, the GPU’s water cooling solution is likely to be too intimidating for most people to fiddle with. Fortunately, Corsair offers a two-year warranty on all purchases of the compact PC, so you’ll be covered if you need help with your components.

I would like to take a moment to encourage Corsair to offer a wider range of components in the future. Admittedly, this may already be in the works as older Corsair One systems are available with Core i7 CPUs, but any way to make this pre-built PC more accessible by offering less expensive hardware will be worth it.

Corsair One i300 stands on a pearly white desk, in a creative studio, surrounded by a plant, laptop, coffee cup and monitor

Here is an overview of the specifications of the Corsair One i300:

Corsair One i300
OS Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
processor Intel Core i9 12900K, water cooled
Motherboard MSI MEG Z690 Unify
RAM 64GB Corsair DDR5 4400MHz
GPU Palit Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, water cooled
VRAM 12 GB GDDR6X
Storage 2TB Samsung PM9A1 PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD
PSU Corsair SF750 750W 80 Plus Platinum

Given the hardware inside the Corsair One i300, I ran our package of 4K benchmarks using the highest presets in each game, including any additional ray tracing options. I have also included some synthetic workloads that should provide an indication of how it will handle creative workloads such as 3D modeling or video editing.

The One i300 is undoubtedly an extremely capable 4K gaming PC with a lot of horsepower that can also be used to play games with sky-high refresh rates at lower resolutions. Throughout all my tests, the system was barely audible with the fan curve preset to ‘Standard’ with no signs of thermal choking. I was thoroughly impressed with this, and it really shows how much care Corsair has put into designing this small but powerful PC.

You can expect to increase the fps even higher in some video games when using Nvidia DLSS. Cyberpunk 2077, for example, uses the feature by default when you set the graphics preset to ‘Ray Tracing: Ultra’ and with good reason. Frame rates average 50 frames per second when you turn on the upscaling feature, which is undoubtedly preferable to 12 frames per second after the upscaling technology is turned off.

The Corsair One i300 gaming PC sits in a dark room, lit by RGB lights emitted from nearby games, including a monitor, light racks, as well as a keyboard and mouse

Unfortunately, it is not entirely flawless, as the synthetic benchmarks I conducted highlighted a potential bottleneck. Things started positively, with Blender 3.1.0 with an average of 5,341 and placed us among the top 7% of results. By moving on to the Cinebench R23, the Core i9-12900K got 1909 in the software’s single-core test, but it was during the multi-core benchmark that I noticed that things were starting to get hotter.

Shortly after testing began, the CPU quickly reached 100 ° C, resulting in it clocking down from its 5.2 GHz boost clock to a more consistent 4.5 GHz. The Corsair One i300’s fan set the right speed to solve this, and became quite high when it reached the maximum speed to cool down. Despite all this, the PC still managed to give an impressive multi-core score of 24,924 after ten minutes of continuous passes.

This makes me wonder what kind of temperatures I would see from the One i300 if it ran an AMD Ryzen processor (found in the Corsair One a200 series), or a less power-hungry 12th generation Intel Core chip. Core i9-12900K’s 241W MTP makes it difficult to cool even in the most robust systems, which makes the connection with Corsair’s fanless thin and small radiator all the more questionable. Here we hope that a Core i7-12700K model will appear in the near future.

I should also mention that I wish iCue was a little more descriptive in its temperature monitoring, dropping the generic and confusing ‘GPU # X’ labels for more specific titles like “Memory” and “Hot Spot” found in tools like HWMonitor. Aside from this critique, the iCue provided accurate measurements and was a breeze to use and navigate.

Corsair One i300 gaming PC sits on top of a white desk, surrounded by an Elgato Stream Deck and other Corsair peripheral necks

So, should you buy Corsair One i300? It is truly wonderfully designed and is of an undoubtedly high quality in terms of the hardware it can boast of and the materials used in the construction of the suitcase. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that buying it gives you the opportunity to easily upgrade your PC in the future, making the system’s ultra-premium starting price of $ 3,999 USD all the more stinging. For context, you can get exactly the same specifications in the Corsair Vengeance i7300 Gaming PC for $ 700 less, albeit in a larger case and without a water-cooled GPU, but you get back the ability to replace components with ease.

That said, if your priorities are more towards form than function, this may be exactly what you’re looking for. There really is nothing like the One i300 on the market, and it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to recreate the undeniably cool design with shelf parts. With all this in mind, the Corsair One i300 is recommended, but it’s important to understand exactly what you’re paying for and the considerations involved in buying it versus a more standard prebuild.

Corsair One i300

There are few prebuilds that match the quality or uniqueness that the Corsair One i300 can boast, but its technical excellence comes with an expensive price tag and a unfortunately limited upgrade potential.

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