Best CORSAIR ONE Gaming PC Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2021
Corsair’s You have become something of a legend among small-form-factor gaming desktops, packing top-shelf performance into a remarkably compact, column-shaped case that generates little to no noise. The brand new One a100 (starts at $2,999; $3,999 as tested) may be the first AMD-based One and is aimed squarely at gamers, though it might easily pull double duty as a content-creation powerhouse. Actually, my test unit’s 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X processor is overpowered for pure gaming, though its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti does the secret for 4K fragging. The bottom model’s combo of a Ryzen 9 3900X and a GeForce RTX 2080 Super is arguably an improved value combo, but regardless of the configuration, the main one a100 earns our top recommendation for a high-end, small-form-factor gaming PC that gets next to nothing wrong.
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Corsair’s STRONGEST One
The addition of AMD’s monster Ryzen 9 3950X makes the main one a100 the speediest model in Corsair’s One lineup, before even the workstation-focused, Intel X299-based One Pro i200. In conjunction with Nvidia’s flagship 11GB GeForce RTX 2080 Ti plus 32GB of RAM, there is no game (or conceivable task, for example) that the main one a100 can’t handle.
The Ryzen 9 3950X is overkill for gaming if you don’t intend to do some serious multitasking privately. Corsair plans to own One a100 with an also-overkill 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen 9 3900X, everything else exactly like my review unit, for $3,499, and also a $2,999 base model that further drops to an 8GB RTX 2080 Super and halves the solid-state drive space to 500GB. Even that configuration is upper crust in the gaming desktop market; Let me see Corsair offer Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 chips that could offer gamers a straight better value.
My One a100’s other specifications add a 1TB SSD with Windows 10 Home. The drive is a Corsair Force MP600 that, because of the AMD Ryzen chip, uses the brand new PCI Express 4.0 interface for higher throughput. (It’s doubtful most users would notice a notable difference pitched against a leading PCIe 3.0 SSD, but at least Corsair is making usage of the most recent and greatest that AMD’s platform provides.) Gleam 2TB mechanical hard disk drive for extra storage. THE MAIN ONE a100 is backed by a two-year warranty, which is obviously better than simply a year, but 3 years of coverage will be nice as of this price.
Oh, So Compact
I’ve reviewed several Corsair One series PCs but still marvel at their compact dimensions-just 7.9 by 6.9 by 15 inches for a level of only 12 liters-and completely liquid-cooled internals. It’s brilliant engineering; its only shortcoming is that it is not upgrade-friendly, as only the memory and storage can realistically be upgraded. (On the other hand, it’s doubtful the top-shelf elements in any of the main one a100 models would want upgrading any time later on.)
THE MAIN ONE a100’s all-metal, all-black outsides are accented by a set of lightning-bolt-like RGB LED strips down leading with eight individual lighting zones (four each) which can be manipulated by the preinstalled Corsair iCUE software.
The energy button sits between your strips while a convenient selection of ports goes along underneath edge:
The choice down here includes an audio tracks combo jack, some USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port for virtual reality headsets. There is no media card reader.
The rest of the connectivity is on the trunk side. The AMD X570-based motherboard has four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, an individual USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, Gigabit Ethernet, and audio tracks jacks (line in, line out, and microphone). Everything you won’t find here’s Thunderbolt 3, support that is still exceedingly rare on AMD platforms. Having said that, the main one a100’s USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports provide up to 10Gbps of throughput, so it’s not lacking for high-speed data transfer options. (Thunderbolt 3 tops out at 40Gbps in a best-case scenario.)
The wireless antennas you see in the photographs must be linked for the main one a100’s Intel AX200 wireless card to have meaningful range. It supports the most recent Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard and Bluetooth 5.
Just underneath, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti offers three DisplayPort 1.4 video outputs. It lacks the VirtualLink (USB-C) connector which exists on the typical desktop card, though it’s hard to formally complain; even though it’s been around since late 2018, support for this in the virtual reality headset market has been next to nil.
The internal power is a Corsair SF600, a specialized SFX-format model suitable for compact PCs such as this. It gives a respectable 600 watts of power and carries an 80 Plus Gold certification.
All Liquid Cooling
I’d normally show an image of the inside for desktop reviews, but there is no smart way to get inside One a100. Peeking through the slotted metal top reveals the system’s primary cooling fan, a 140mm Corsair ML140.
Its large diameter means it generally does not need to spin at a higher RPM to move a whole lot of air. It had been almost silent under almost any workload I threw as of this PC.
The fan draws air upward through the tower’s perforated sides, which are lined with liquid cooling radiators for the processor and graphics card. The latter comes with an additional 80mm fan and gleam 92mm fan in the energy supply.
It’s possible for the main one a100 to perform completely silent if temperatures are low enough; all of the fans have a zero RPM mode that may automatically engage. But despite having the fans running, as I noted, this PC’s noise level is hardly noticeable. Compact towers frequently have noisy cooling systems, but that couldn’t be further from the reality with this Corsair.
Benchmarking the One
Let’s execute a sanity check up on the Corsair One a100’s value next to competing small-form-factor machines. I configured the Omen Obelisk (Late 2019) on HP’s website for $3,121, though with a significantly less powerful Intel Core i9-9900K processor. I also built a Falcon Northwest Tiki for $4,362 with a Ryzen 9 3950X; it generally does not have a secondary hard disk drive at that price, though it can carry a three-year warranty. Last, I built an Origin PC Chronos for $3,639, though it tops out with a Ryzen 9 3900X. THE MAIN ONE a100, all told, appears to cost right where it will based solely on its hardware.
Now we’ll put that hardware to the test inside our benchmarks, where in fact the One will go face to face with the desktops in the chart below.
All pack serious performance, however the AMD-based desktops, like the One a100 and the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition, contain the edge in CPU grunt. Having said that, the HP and especially the Falcon Northwest could actually keep up in a number of benchmarks where in fact the CPU wasn’t a bottleneck as I’ll describe below.
Our first test is UL’s PCMark 10, a holistic performance suite that simulates different real-world productivity and content-creation workflows. We make usage of it to examine overall system performance for office-centric tasks such as for example word processing, spreadsheeting, Web browsing, and videoconferencing. PCMark 8, meanwhile, includes a storage subtest that people use to examine the speed of the system’s boot drive. Both tests yield a proprietary numeric score; higher numbers are better.
THE MAIN ONE a100’s astronomical 7,541-point showing in PCMark 10 is nearly double our 4,000-point target for high-performance PCs. Its PCI Express 4.0 SSD, alternatively, didn’t distinguish it in PCMark 8 Storage, but that’s a mature test that doesn’t allow it stretch its legs. No harm, no foul.
Next up are two CPU-crunching tests: Cinebench R15 stresses all available processor cores and threads while rendering a complex image, while inside our Handbrake test, we transcode a 12-minute 4K video right down to 1080p.
THE MAIN ONE a100 and the Alienware both scored needlessly to say for his or her Ryzen 9 3950X chips in Cinebench R15, making the Velocity Micro something of an overachiever. The Handbrake results followed the same pattern. It goes unsaid that those three are within an completely different league compared to the Core i9 9900K-powered Falcon Northwest and HP, although Ryzen chips are admittedly a lot more expensive.
The ultimate test in this section is photography editing. We use an early on 2018 release of Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud to use 10 complex filters and effects to a typical JPEG image, timing each procedure and accumulated the totals. This test isn’t as CPU-focused as Cinebench or Handbrake, bringing the performance of the storage subsystem, memory, and GPU into play.
Although Corsair didn’t top this chart, all of the scores are close. None of the PCs would balk at advanced Photoshop tasks.
We use two benchmark suites to measure the gaming performance potential of a PC. In the first, UL’s 3DMark, we run two DirectX 11-driven subtests, the mainstream Sky Diver and Fire Strike, which is more suitable for gaming rigs. Our other graphics benchmark is Unigine Corp.’s Superposition, which runs on the different rendering engine to make a complex 3D scene.
The very best spot in 3DMark Fire Strike visited the main one a100, if by the narrowest of margins over the Alienware and Falcon Northwest towers, all three which use a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. As I mentioned earlier, the Ryzen 9 3950X chip is complete overkill for gaming; the Falcon Northwest tower drives this aspect home by performing equally well (and even slightly better) in both sets of benchmarks using its Core i9-9900K.
Last but perhaps most significant, we’ll test some real games. We utilize the built-in benchmarks in Far Cry 5 (at its Ultra preset) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (at its HIGH preset) at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K/UHD resolutions. Far Cry 5 uses DirectX 11, while we flip Rise of the Tomb Raider to DirectX 12. The email address details are measured in fps (fps); we search for at least 60 for smooth playability.
THE MAIN ONE a100 showed exemplary numbers, but there are several noteworthy takeaways here. As in 3DMark and Superposition, the Falcon Northwest desktop was equally capable using its lesser CPU.
The other important point for value-seeking shoppers is that the Velocity Micro’s RTX 2080 Super performed very closely with the RTX 2080 Ti machines at 1080p and 1440p, only going for a backseat at 4K where in fact the Ti’s extra video memory is effective. This makes the lowest priced One a100 configuration (with the RTX 2080 Super) an extremely attractive “downgrade.”
Can a PC Be Too Powerful?
Really the only complaint I could lodge about the Corsair One a100 is that the Ryzen 9 3950X model I reviewed isn’t the very best value for a pure system. For $1,000 less, the “entry-level” (when you can call it that) One a100 and its own RTX 2080 Super will deliver comparable frame rates at 1080p and 1440p resolutions; 4K gamers should intensify to the $3,499 model that keeps the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
Regardless of configuration, the main one a100 continues to accomplish what the main one series has always done well, blending top-shelf performance right into a wonderfully compact and quiet tower. Its proprietary nature limits its upgrade potential, though it isn’t more likely to need upgrading any time in the future. It earns our top accolades for a high-end, small-form-factor gaming PC. The Corsair is, quite literally, the main one to