The Corsair One i300 marks the first time that Intel’s best gaming processor from the Alder Lake range has found its way into the range of prefabricated gaming PCs as well as DDR5 gaming RAM. It’s arguably one of the most powerful, sleek and quiet systems you can buy out of the box today, but does that justify its impressive price?
In addition to packing the latest cutting edge specs, it does Corsair One i300 so attractive and unique is its form factor. Its sleek, black brushed metal exterior is only 7.9 inches deep, which combined with its 15-inch height and 6.8-inch width give it a stunning monolithic look. Looking at it in person, I can only think that Corsair can pack this level of material in such a small space they are absolutely bananas. Its size also allows the system to fit almost anywhere you want to place it.
It also lacks personality, with two built-in RGB light tubes running on the edges of its front panel, which you can customize with iCue software. Even better, the One i300 can be synchronized with any other compatible peripherals you have to create a clean, even look and help enhance the atmosphere of any iCue compatible gaming console. The small triangular notches along the sides of the frame formed in the intake vents are also a nice touch.
Corsair has not neglected connectivity in the design of the One i300 either, with a 3.5 mm headphone / microphone jack, a 10 Gbps USB-C and two 5 Gbps USB-A ports on the front of the case. Looking at the back, you will see six more USB-A ports, with four 5Gbps inputs and two with twice the horsepower. As it is an Intel system, there are also two Thunderbolt 4 ports, along with standard HD audio inputs, a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.12 support.
You can choose either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or the Ti variant. Both come with one HDMI 2.1 output and three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, but strangely there is no way to connect to the CPU’s built-in graphics. While you probably would not want to use the Intel UHD Graphics 770 for gaming when you have the best Nvidia graphics card on your platform, having the ports extra can be helpful when troubleshooting, and this omission is enigmatic. However, this is a small drawback to an otherwise strong I / O.
While the exterior of every Corsair One i300 will be the same, the only difference between the cheaper $ 3,999 USD and the more expensive $ 4,999 USD is the amount of RAM for the games and the graphics card model in them. In all different configurations, you will find a Z690 Mini ITX motherboard with Intel Core i9-12900K at the heart of the system, as well as 2 TB of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe storage, all powered by a Corsair 750W 80 Plus Platinum PSU.
Basic specifications include 32 GB of dual-channel Corsair DDR5 memory clocked at 4,800 MHz and a liquid-cooled GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB graphics card. If you spend another $ 700 you will have the RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB and an additional $ 300 will push the RAM capacity to 64 GB, albeit with a slightly slower clock speed of 4,400 MHz.
Corsair has lent its top standards for testing, but I can say with certainty that most people should opt for the base model. Apart from the fact that you could upgrade the RAM later in the series if you needed more than 32 GB, the potential performance gains offered by the RTX 3080 Ti over its cheaper sibling do not in any way justify its additional cost. In addition, saving money on your new gaming PC potentially frees up your budget to put it on one of the best gaming screens to combine it and make your setting much higher.
It should be noted, however, that you are essentially committed to whatever configuration you choose, as the One i300 would not be easy to upgrade, even for the most experienced manufacturers. The most you can reasonably do is swap out the RAM, SSD, and fan that holds the patented cooling system in sync. While you could put in a new Raptor Lake CPU with a push, the GPU water cooling solution will prove to be very intimidating for most people to occupy. Fortunately, Corsair offers a two-year warranty on all purchases of its compact PC, so you’ll be covered if you need help with your accessories.
I would like to take some time to encourage Corsair to offer a wider variety of accessories in the future. Admittedly, this may already be in the works as older Corsair One systems are available with Core i7 processors, but any way to make this prefabricated computer more affordable by offering less expensive hardware would be worth it.
The following is a summary of Corsair One i300 specifications:
|Corsair One i300|
|OS||Windows 11 Pro 64-bit|
|Processor||Intel Core i9-12900K, liquid-cooled|
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z690 Unify|
|PLUNGER||64 GB Corsair DDR5 4,400 MHz|
|GPU||Palit Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, water cooled|
|VRAM||12 GB GDDR6X|
|Save||SSD 2TB Samsung PM9A1 PCIe Gen4 NVMe|
|PSU||Corsair SF750 750W 80 Plus Platinum|
Given the hardware inside the Corsair One i300, I ran the benchmark suite in 4K using the highest defaults in each game, including any additional ray detection options. I have also included some synthetic workloads that should provide some clues as to how it will perform handling creative workloads, such as 3D modeling or video editing.
The One i300 is undoubtedly a highly capable 4K gaming PC with plenty of horsepower that can also be used to play games with high refresh rates at lower resolutions. However, this level of hardware somewhat loses the meaning of what makes this prefabricated so attractive.
In all my tests, the system barely sounded with the default fan curve to “Default” with no signs of heat strangulation. I was very impressed by this, and it really shows how much thought Corsair has put into designing this small but powerful computer.
You can expect to increase the fps even higher in some video games when using Nvidia DLSS. Cyberpunk 2077, for example, uses the default feature when you set the graphics default to “Ray Tracing: Ultra” and rightly so. Frame rates average 50 fps when the upgrade feature is enabled, which is arguably preferable to 12 fps after the upgrade technology is turned off.
Unfortunately, it’s not entirely flawless, as the synthetic benchmarks I made highlighted a possible congestion. Things started positively, with Blender 3.1.0 averaging 5,341 and putting us in the top 7% of results. Moving on to the Cinebench R23, the Core i9-12900K scored 1.909 in a single-core software test, but it was during the multi-core benchmarking that I noticed that things started to warm up.
Shortly after the start of the tests, the CPU quickly reached 100 ° C, reducing the timing from the 5.2 GHz boost clock to a more stable 4.5 GHz clock. The fan of the Corsair One i300 rightly accelerated to deal with it, listening loud enough as it reached its maximum speed to cool down. Nevertheless, the computer was still able to have an impressive multi-core score of 24,924 after ten minutes of consecutive passes.
This makes me wonder what kind of temperatures I would see from the One i300 if it ran on an AMD Ryzen processor (which can be found in the Corsair One a200 series) or a less demanding 12th generation Intel Core chip. The Core i9-12900K MTP 241W makes cooling difficult even on the most rugged systems, which makes its coupling with the slim and small Corsair fanless cooler even more questionable. We hope that a Core i7-12700K model will appear in the near future.
I should also mention that I wish iCue had been a little more descriptive in monitoring its temperature, omitting the general and confusing “GPU #X” tags for more specific titles like “Memory” and “Hot Spot” found in tools like HWMonitor. Apart from this complaint, however, iCue provided accurate measurements and was a breeze in usage and navigation.
So, should you buy the Corsair One i300? It is really wonderfully designed and is undoubtedly of high quality in terms of the material it has and the materials used in the construction of its case. However, it is difficult to ignore the fact that by purchasing it, you give up the possibility of easily upgrading your computer in the future, which makes the extremely premium starting price of $ 3,999 USD of the system even more. For the environment, you can get exactly the same specifications on the Gaming Corsair Vengeance i7300 for $ 700 less, albeit in a larger case and without a water-cooled GPU, but you regain the ability to exchange components with ease.
That said, if your priorities lean more toward the form than the function, then it might be exactly what you are looking for. There really is nothing like the One i300 on the market and it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to reproduce its undeniably cool design with off-the-shelf components. With all this in mind, the Corsair One i300 is recommended, but it is important to understand exactly what you are paying for and the compensation that comes with buying it over a more standard build.