Corsair has brought out its latest version of its branded gaming PC since the acquisition of Origin in July 2019—The Corsair one i200. It is fabulous looking and it is a fabulous performer thanks to a liquid-cooled 3.7 GHz Core i9-10900K processor and a liquid-cooled Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU to power it. It is fabulous looking because the designers have crammed those powerhouse processors and more into it a sleek chassis. It also has 32 GB of 2666 DDR4 RAM, and 3TB of storage. The storage consists of a 960GB M.2 NVMe SSD and a 2TB 5400RPM 2.5” HDD.
The custom chassis has a 2-mm thick bead-blasted aluminum shell in a premium small form factor. It weighs around 16 pounds—there’s not a lot of wasted air in it. It is 7-inch wide, 8-inch deep, and 15-inch tall (200 mm × 172.5 mm × 380 mm). The cabinet has distinctive vertical lights in the front and takes advantage of Corsair’s iCUE lighting software that allows customization of the RGB lighting. The system has Windows 10 Pro pre-loaded, sells for $3,300, and comes with a two-year warranty.
|Exploded view of the Corsair One. (Source: Corsair)|
By comparison, the Apple Mac Pro (sadly nicknamed the trash can) measures 6.6-inch (16.76 cm) in diameter, is 9.9-inch (25.15cm) tall and weighs 11 lb. (5 kg). The Alienware Area 51, however, is a behemoth measuring 10.7-inch wide, 25.2-inch deep, 22.4-inch tall, and weighing in at 61 lbs. It also sold for $6,500.
The only time I could hear any fan noise was while benchmarking the system. Even under a max stress situation, calling for all the CPU and GPU have to offer, it was quieter than the Area 51 at rest. Alas dear 51, I knew ye well, but there’s a new kid in town, and he’s faster and much quieter than you.
Alex Herrera, our Senior Workstation Analyst, said, “people undervalue liquid cooling, thinking of it only as a performance-enhancer. The quiet is as much a draw, particularly in professional segments where it’s used at nominal clock rates to reduce noise and (arguably) raise reliability.”
“So, I ran some tests, games, synthetic benchmarks, and workstation benchmarks. Specifically, I ran synthetic benchmarks SPECviewperf 13 (2020), Time Spy, Time Spy Extreme, Port Royal, PassMark (GPU & CPU), and Novabench (GPU, CPU, Disc, & RAM), and for games, I ran Metro Exodus, Wolfenstein (River & Lab), and SOTTR (GPU& CPU).
The Corsair one has an Intel 3.7 GHz Core i9-10900 and an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. The Area 51 has an Intel 3.3 GHz Core i9-7900X, and an Nvidia GTX 2080 Super.
|Category||Difference of Corsair over Area 51|
|Games (internal benchmark)||12%|
|Synthetic PC tests||88%|
|Synthetic workstation tests||103%|
|Performance difference between Corsair one and Alienware Area 51|
During normal operation, the Area 51 put out about 40 dB, and the Corsair about 20 dB making the Area 51 100 times louder in general. A whisper is between 15 dB and 30 dB. At full load (using Time Spy), the Corsair hit 62 dB, while the Area 51 reached 70 dB, making it almost 100 times louder. Normal conversation is about 50 to 60 dB.
One last point of comparison is the storage. The Area 51 has 4 TB of HDD, and a Samsung 960 500 GB NVMe SSD, with Enmotus FuzeDrive software. The Corsair One has 2 TB of HDD and a super-fast Samsung PM981 (OEM version of the Samsung 960) TB of NVMe SSD. Also, Intel’s new i9-10900K has a high clock frequency which helps fast SSDs run at peak performance, especially for Random Queue Depth 1. The result of that shows up in the PassMark DiskMark test. The Corsair One got a 3213% higher score than the Area 51.
It has lots of ports and in convenient places. There is an HDMI port, plus two USB ports, and an audio jack in the front (at the bottom), plus 7.1 channel audio, two 802.11zx WiFi5, and Bluetooth 5.2 coax connectors, one Thunderbolt 3 port, and five USB 3.0 ports, plus a 2.5 GB Ethernet port.
What do we think?
It was with a heavy heart that I recognize the Corsair as a worthy successor to the Area 51. That Alienware monster and I have spent hundreds of happy hours together. The Area 51 was also the testbed for Emotous beta FuzeDrive software. And it saw every new AIB that came out for the past couple of years.
Gamers are going to continue to get hours and hours of deeply satisfying gameplay from the Area 51, but reviewers have to move on.
If it’s time for you to move on too, and you are looking for a universally high-performance system that just happens to be good looking and ridiculously quiet, the Corsair One is for you. Even though it doesn’t have branded workstation processors, workstation apps run on the Corsair just fine. More than fine, damn fine. And, if you are a small operation and work during the day and game at night, this machine will cover both activities for you without a hitch.
|SPECviewperf 13 2020|
|Time Spy Extreme|
|Noise Time Spy dB|