Corsair One: workstation-class PC

Corsair’s flagship PC is silent and fast.

Corsair recently introduced a new gaming PC that will challenge some workstations. Corsair acquired high-performance PC build Origin in July 2019. The company brought out The Corsair One i200. It is striking looking and it is an incredible 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 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.

Corsair builds a special version of the system which they call the Corsair One Pro i200 workstation-grade PC version. It has 4 TB of fast NVMe SSD, and a Core i9-10940X CPU.

It’s holy too. There is an HDMI port, plus two US port, 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.

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.

By comparison, the Apple workstation, the Mac Pro (sadly nick-named the trash can) measures 6.6 inches (16.76 cm) in diameter, is 9.9-inch (25.15 cm) tall, and weighs 11lb. (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.

Exploded view of the Corsair One. (Source: Corsair)

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 synthetics 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 a 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%

The 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 3213% higher score than the Area 51.

What do we think?

If 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, the 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
Viewset Difference Corsair Area 51
3dsmax-06 252% 269.87 76.68
catia-05 175% 100.51 36.52
creo-02 274% 222.33 59.47
energy-02 1% 25.59 25.23
maya-05 10% 231.86 210.61
medical-02 112% 30.52 14.42
showcase-02 181.85
snx-03 16% 19.25 16.58
sw-04 -15% 113.54 134.29
Average 103%
Metro Exodus
Ave 7% 55.51 52
Min 22% 34.74 28.56
Max 1% 80.26 79.59
Wolfenstein River
Ave 10% 131 119
Min 26% 44 35
Max 4% 159 153
Wolfenstein Lab
Ave -1% 131 132
Min -28% 72 100
Max 5% 173 164
Ave 4% 100 96
Min 1% 85 84
Max 6% 133 126
Ave 41% 165 117
Min 30% 122 94
Max 61% 226 140
Average 12%
Time Spy
Score 6% 13882 13070
Gfx 1 0% 88.95 88.73
Gfx 2 3% 83.58 81.54
Time Spy Extreme
Score 3% 6722 6551
Gfx 1 14% 46.66 41.1
Gfx 2 4% 40.6 38.89
Port Royal
Score 3% 8935 8711
Gfx 1 3% 41.37 40.33
GPU 31% 27220 20737
CPU 8% 22537 20837
GPU 45% 1612 1108
CPU 15% 2079 1804
Disc 2313% 26375 1093
RAM 18% 327 276
Average 58%
Noise Time Spy dB
Corsair Area 51
peak -11% 62 70
rest -50% 20 40