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Corsair One i160: the complete review 2020

Version after version, the Corsair One has made a name for itself in the world of “little PC” for players, thanks to its design on the one hand and its cocktail of components on the other. We are reviewing here one of the lareview versions of the on-board machine, it’s very simple, which is the best at present. Yes, you read that right: here, there is no room for half measures, we are playing in the court of the powerful.
Power that will suit players who want to have fun, as well as frequent streamers or people creating digital content, whether 4K video, photo or even 3D development. This Corsair One i160 really made us dream and know that the height is that it is not the most powerful of the family …

Corsair One i160

Between the Corsair One Pro (reviewed in 2017) and this One i160, the exterior changes are really minimal. The case – all made of steel – is still as rectangular, black and set with two borders that change colors at will.

Corsair One i160

On the upper part, there is the large radiator under which hides the fan responsible for expelling the calories from the components. At the front, surprise, there are now some sockets, supplemented by a more than complete panel at the back of the case.

Connect what you want

Corsair One i160

The only cosmetic and therefore ergonomic changes are now identified. In all, there are two USB 2.0 sockets, five USB 3.1 sockets and another type-C. On the Pro, they were respectively 3, 3 and 1. Another difference, the video outputs. This is normal: the GTX 1080 Ti of the Pro version here gives way to the all-powerful GeForce RTX 2080 Ti from Nvidia, the most powerful of the current consumer graphics cards, which is equipped with an HDMI output (on the front, not top) and 3 DisplayPort at the rear (against 2 and 2 for the 1080 Ti).

Corsair One i160

For the rest, it’s equality! The Wi-Fi module is always AC type, the Gigabit network socket responds, as does the PS / 2 socket for keyboard and / or mouse. Finally, the arsenal of audio connectors on the front and rear offers everything you need to connect a headset or speaker kit in analog or digital (S / PDIF).

Corsair One i160

Come on, let’s open!

Before even plugging in the machine, our taste for precision assemblies pushes us to open the Corsair One. An operation always as simple to carry out. We start by separating the top of the case by pressing a simple button then, stripping is done alone, without the need to play with the screwdriver.

Corsair One i160

Corsair understands its subject very well and has been able to improve, version after version, the cooling devices of the components. As we said above, everything is done here in watercooling and as the galleon brand designs its own dissipation systems itself, it is easy for it to adapt them to the space constraints of the case and the needs of the processors and graphics cards that have taken up residence within it.

Corsair One i160

The size of the radiators is impressive, as is the thickness of the pipes. Whether it is the Core i9-9900K or the RTX graphics card, both are cooled using watercooling systems (hybrid for the graphics card). The pump is integrated to the device covering each of the processors and the whole thing makes no noise. Of course, this is not the case with the fan which varies its rotation speed according to the activity detected by each of the waterblocks. The nuisance caused can reach 40 dB, which is audible but very largely bearable. And although more powerful than the old One Pro, the i160 emits 3 dB less. Impressive.

Corsair One i160

To the left of the case are the motherboard (mini ITX in Z370), the Intel Core i9-9900K processor and the two memory modules (Corsair, yes, no) which total a capacity of 32 GB (DDR4-2666 only). There is also the SSD in M.2 NVMe PCIe 512 GB format as well as the 2 TB hard disk, hidden at the bottom of the case.

Corsair One i160
Corsair One i160

Right, Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti takes up all the space. To integrate the Corsair One case, we had to undress it a little. Exit the Nvidia dual fan dissipation system and welcome to a homemade solution from Corsair. As we see below, there is a good amount of copper and considering the power of the Turing chip of the 2080 Ti, the power developed by the power stages, as well as the number of memory modules, difficult to do deadlock on active ventilation. But it remains discreet and dismantling it to clean it from time to time is really simple.

Corsair One i160

Finally, note that to power everything, Corsair uses one of its house blocks of only 600 watts. A little surprised, we grabbed our reference wattmeter and measured the consumption of the beast by running a game very demanding in 4K loop. At maximum, the platform consumes 446 watts and 41.9 watts at rest. It is very impressive.

Corsair One i160

This will seem obvious to the most seasoned, but note all the same that the only weakness of this machine is at the level of scalability. It will be very complicated to change vital components such as the motherboard, the processor or the graphics card. At best, you can swap the hard drive for an SSD (we strongly recommend it) in 2.5 inch format. There are 1 TB models at reasonable prices now. It is the only possible evolution and accessible to all. However, considering the performance of the i160, believe us, you are quiet for a while.

Nothing can resist him, really nothing

Is it still useful to specify that everything is running smoothly and that we feel that there is even room to ask him for more and more? With a performance score of 9.8 / 10, the Corsair One i160 is a hit every time. It exploded the scores in all of our reviews, so we even had to revise our rating scales up!

Corsair One i160

If you only have a Full HD screen to connect to the Corsair One i160? Go your way and treat yourself to the i140 for example. You will otherwise under-exploit the potential of the machine. For it to be expressed in the best possible way, it must be connected to a monitor with a 1440p or even 4K panel to take full advantage of the computing power developed by the eight processor cores and by the thousands of Nvidia RTX processing units. A proof ?

With our reference games among which Tom Clancy’s The Division in DX11, Rise of the Tomb Raider in DX12 or even the older but demanding Dirt 3, the configuration manages to generate between 75.7 (Division, in 4K in Custom setting) and 285 (Dirt 3 4K full) frames per second. Yes, just that.
In all analytical or application reviews, the Corsair One i160 also gets away with it, from photo editing to editing video sequences, it’s a machine that loves to work as much as to play. We are under the spell, our portfolio … much less.

We can’t wait to see what Corsair will be able to produce as a configuration in the future. The brand has just bought the American brand Origin. A brand very well known across the Atlantic for its completely delirious but oh so well-designed creations which, logically, should leave their mark on the next generation of One.

The verdict of the review

Corsair One i160

With this version of the One, Corsair is not aimed at casual gamers or amateur photographers at all, who occasionally touch up some holiday shots. The i160 is an elite machine, for those who need a lot of power every day, to work, play or even … do both at the same time. It is quite obvious that it is possible to constitute a similar configuration for a lower price in a larger case. Here, we pay for the compactness and know-how of the brand in addition to the mechanics. Spread the word.

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