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Corsair One Pro i180 Review: A Compact Package for Content Creators

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Corsair’s high-end One Pro i180 costs $4,999 ($4,749.99) and is compact and desktop-grade. It is equipped with Intel Core i9-9920X and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 24-thread graphics in a surprisingly quiet aluminum tower that (for the most part) takes up little space on your desktop, at least horizontally.

 

The main loss of the system, in addition to the high cost, is the significant coil noise that comes from the graphics card. I’ll go into that in the Performance section, but how annoying it depends on the user and where the system is on your desktop.

PROS:

  • Extremely powerful components
  • Quiet cooling
  • Very compact for performance level

CONS:

  • Noticeable coil whine
  • Limited (and complicated) upgradeability

SPECIFICATIONS

Processor Intel Core i9-9920X
Motherboard Custom ASRock X299 mini-ITX
Memory 32GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR4-2666
Graphics Liquid-cooled NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (11GB GDDR6)
Storage 960GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 2TB 2.5” SATA HDD
Optical Drive
Networking 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, Dual Gigabit Ethernet
Ports Front: (2) USB 3.1 Gen 1, (1) HDMI 2.0, Combination Mic/Headphone Jack Rear: (1) USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, (1) USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, (4) USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 7.1 Surround Audio
Video Output (3) DisplayPort 1.4; (1) HDMI 2.0
Power Supply 750W Corsair SF600 SFX 80 Plus Gold
Case Corsair One Aluminum/Steel
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Extras
Dimensions  7.9 x 7 x 15 inches (200 x 176 x 380 mm)
Price As Configured $4,999 / £4,749.99

DESIGN

Except for the lighter gray color, the Corsair One Pro i180 looks the same from the outside as the black One i160 (and the original one that came out in 2017). It is compact for high-end computers with a size of 200x176x380 mm (7.9x7x15 inches) and an aluminum case with beads (inner steel) looks and feels great.

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By default, the light pipes on the front of the system are blue. However, when you start the company’s pre-installed iCue software, you can adjust or change the color of the eight LEDs (four on each tape) or can change them according to temperature or the game you’re running.

I found the temperature function at one point when I ran the system briefly with the cover off (where the primary fan is located) and investigated the problem with the coil thread (see below). A few minutes after the gaming benchmark began, the light controls on the right began to flash red, made me shut down the system and reinstall the upper exhaust fan. About a minute after the restart and when the upper fan rotates a little faster than normal, the light guide stopped alerting me and returns to the nice blue.

UPGRADABILITY AND PORTS

The One Pro i180’s external connectivity covers the basics. However, if you need a lot of USB ports, you may be disappointed.

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You get a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a headphone jack, and an HDMI 2.0 port to connect a VR headset in advance.

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On the back, there are four more USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, some USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (one type A and one type C port) as well as two Ethernet ports and a standard audio port.

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The graphics card contains three DisplayPorts ports. Most RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards have a virtual link connection for future VR headsets, which was developed for future VR headsets. It can be a disadvantage if you buy this system for virtual reality, but then there are certainly adapters that allow you to connect VirtualLink headphones to standard HDMI and USB ports.

Here too, the selection of ports should be sufficient for most. However, professional users with multiple external storage devices or other peripheral devices will find eight full USB ports here. Remember that you will lose two keyboards and a mouse unless you use a wireless device with a receiver that connects.

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As with the One i160, you need to press a button on the back of the system to access the system (note that this button needs to be pressed hard) and a removable top with a built-in fan. Once this is done and you leave the top aside, you can open the side panels by removing the four screws from the steel frame. However, you should be careful as both panels are attached to the radiators via relatively short pipes.

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An additional M.2 slot is located behind the system board for internal upgrade options. However, you need to remove the entire card (which is more complicated due to a couple of boards).

Corsair One Pro i180 Review: A Compact Package for Content Creators 1

According to Corsair, the AIO CPU cooler can process up to 165 watts. Theoretically, I could upgrade to an i9-9980XE with 18 cores in the future. But the 12-core i9-9920X is very independent, as we will see in our review soon.

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According to Corsair, the graphics card is also technically interchangeable with an air-cooled card (which uses axial cooling instead of a fan). According to the company, the graphics cooling configuration of the processor cooler can be dismantled and another card can be installed (if this corresponds to the physical limitations of the housing). However, the conclusion is that this system is already equipped with the best GPU that focuses on the games that you can buy today. The One Pro i180 isn’t a good option if you’re looking for something more powerful, like the Titan RTX or a real workstation card like the Quadro.

PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE

Despite its small size, the Corsair One Pro i180 is a very powerful computer with its 24-thread i9 processor, RTX 2080 Ti graphics, 32GB of RAM and NVMe SSD. In fact, in many of our productivity tests, no other desktop tested during the past year has been able to come near.

Corsair One Pro i180 Review: A Compact Package for Content Creators 2

On Geeketch 4, the i180 with 38,894 points was 17 percent above the average gaming PC and 18 percent above its closest competitor, the Corsair One i160, the i9-9900K package.

Corsair One Pro i180 Review: A Compact Package for Content Creators 3

The One i180 achieved an average of 727 MB per second in our 4.97 GB file test. This is significantly more than the class average of 471 MB per second.

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The I180 passed our Excel macro test and coincided with 65,000 names and addresses in just 18 seconds. It is 28 percent faster than the best competitors here, and 36 percent faster than the class average.

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In our Handbrake test, where we transcoded a 4K video to 1080p, the Corsair i180 completed at 4:52 was almost two minutes ahead of its class average that completed at 6:44 and 46 seconds and ahead of its closest competitor, the most excellent MSI Trident X.

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The high-end desktop processor (HEDT) of this system is expected to make it much more efficient for the productivity and media of the high-end machine than a system with more conventional processors. Even more impressive is the fact that the One Pro i180 never became very loud despite its small form factor and first-class performance. We have seen many larger and less efficient machines that produce much more fan noise under heavy load.

GAMING, GRAPHICS, AND VR

Given what we already know about the state-of-the-art Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti, which comes with both the previously tested One i160 and the Pro i180 presented here, we expect astronomical gaming efficiency.

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I went through some sequences of the boss Kadingir Sanctum in 4K and Ultra settings in Dome and the frame rate was between 110 fps and 143 fps. The One Pro i180’s cooling system was activated during these tests, but given the state-of-the-art hardware the company housed in such a small space, it never became as noisy as expected.

This is no doubt partly due to the fact that most of the heat in the device is dissipated through the side radiators. The 140mm fan above will definitely exhaust heat, but since it doesn’t add much to the cooling, it doesn’t have to spin as fast as you might think.

The main loss of the system, in addition to the high cost, is the significant coil noise that comes from the graphics card. The scratch on the coil, if not known, is the variable noise generated by the high-performance electronics when the current flows through the power control components. Nowadays, high-end graphics cards are usually affected, as in this case: the whine changes dramatically depending on the frame rate when playing games.

At least in our review unit, the problem of coil whining can be solved by placing the i180 on your right so that the annoying graphics card is removed from you. If the main fan of the system starts to spin, especially when playing audio or game music, it is much easier to ignore it.

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The I180 led the pack in just one of our game tests, Hitman, where it added 4 more frames per second over the Corsair One i160 at 4K. In the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the i180 lagged behind the i160 the closest competitor again in 4K.

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And in the GTA V, Corsair machines were 1 fps at 4K, and the i160 was 5 fps ahead of the more expensive i180, probably due to the higher top clock speed of the i9-9900K.

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In summary, this underlines our claim that those who mainly play games should opt for the cheaper i160. However, if you want the system to do hard work most of the time but still be able to process games in high and 4K configurations, the i180 provides the front end and in turn, produces less fan noise than most high-end two or three times its size desktops.

In our stress test, in which we ran the Metro: last light 10 times in a row, the Core i9-9920K of the One i180 had an average clock rate of 3.8 GHz and a temperature of 52.51 degrees Celsius. The average GPU temperature was 57.2 degrees Celsius. Both temperatures are within the tolerances of the respective silicon, so there should be no throttling problems during the games.

SOFTWARE AND WARRANTY

The Corsair One i180 comes with a two-year warranty and telephone or online support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is hardly any software preinstalled. In addition to the Windows 10 Home application and each bloatware software that comes with your Windows PC, you also get the iCue software mentioned above, which can be used to control both the lighting and system fans. The company also includes PC Doctor for the remote diagnosis of performance and/or hardware problems.

CONFIGURATION AND PRICING

Let’s face it in advance: The price of the One Pro i180 of $4,999 is undoubtedly high. As with most built-in systems, you can save money by creating your own. Components are comparable to this system, which include 32 GB of RAM, a 12-core i9-9920X processor, liquid-cooled 2080-Ti, 960 GB SSD and 2 TB of hard drive storage, each cost around $4,000. And you’re having trouble building a system that’s as small and quiet as the One Pro i180.

High-end gamers and hobbyists who like the design of One (and don’t need as many CPU cores) should probably buy one of the company’s smaller models like the One i160, which costs $3,599 (though still expensive) with a smaller Core i9-9900K CPU. The entry-level model, the i140, costs $2,999 (GBP 2,849.99) but is reduced to the RTX 2080, which is not a Ti model. The One Pro i180 also has a gray aluminum case with Windows 10 Pro, while the i160 and i140 models have a black case and come with Windows 10 Home.

The only potential component problem we see for some professional users is the 32 GB of RAM that comes with this system. The Asrock X299 Mini-ITX motherboard used by Corsair on the i180 has laptop SODIMM slots instead of standard desktop RAM. There are four of them, so you can upgrade to 64 GB of RAM alone. Currently, a 64 GB SODIMM package costs at least $350. However, if you manage with 32 GB for a while, the storage price seems to go down.

FINAL VERDICT

Of course, the $4,999 desktop is not for everyone. And even if you like the design of the One Pro i180, it is primarily a gamer and/or does not need 12 processor cores, you should choose one of the smaller One models that start at $2,999. But for those who really need high-end GPU and CPU performance in a compact package with little fan noise, the Corsair One Pro i180 is the best option we’ve seen.

The only limitation is the noise of the coil that we hear from the graphics card of our review unit. It is likely to annoy some more than others and may be more or less different from one unit to another. Then, if you choose this system, you should verify your return policy for security reasons. But for me: place the system a few meters from our sitting location and make sure that the side of the graphics card is facing away the monitor screen (which, of course, happens if you place the tower on the right side of the desk), that made the whining inaudible, especially when listening to music or playing games.

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