Corsair One i300 Compact Gaming PC review

Corsair One i300 review : A Compact Gaming PC

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Epblogs verdict

The Corsair One i300 is a gorgeously-designed compact small form factor gaming PC with some of the very best components money can buy. It is also incredibly expensive, and some of the specs will be overkill for most gamers.

Corsair One i300 Specs

Here is the Corsair One i300 configuration sent to Epblogs for review:

CPUIntel Core i9-12900K (16 Cores, 24 Threads, up to 5.2 GHz)
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
RAM64GB DDR5
Power Supply750W 80 Plus Platinum
Storage2TB M.2 Gen4
Ports front2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x headphone jack, 1 x USB-C
Ports back4 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x USB-C 3.2, 3 x analog audio jacks, 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet
Connectivity2.5G Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Windows 11 Pro
Weight30 pounds (14kg)
Size (W x D x H)7.87 x 6.93 x 14.96 inches (200 x 176 x 380 mm)

Price and availability

The Corsair One i300 comes with some seriously impressive specs, packed into a unique and stylish slim chassis. As previous Corsair One PCs have shown us, you shouldn’t expect the i300 to be cheap – but at $4,999, this is an incredibly expensive PC.

For that price you’re getting some of the best tech out there, such as a liquid-cooled Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU and an Intel Core i9-12900K 16-core processor. There’s also 64GB of DDR5 RAM and a 2TB M.2 SSD. You’re not going to get specs much better than that at the moment, especially considering the scarcity of some components such as the GPU and DDR5 RAM, but that’s a huge asking price for anyone.

It’s also plainly overkill if you’re using this for just gaming. That 64GB of DDR5 RAM isn’t going to make much of an impact. For digital creatives and content makers, however, there may be better justification. Corsair has in the past released One PCs aimed at creatives, though the Corsair One i300 is primarily a gaming desktop.

However this model, which is the one we have in for review, is only available in the US. In the UK you can’t quite get the setup we tested here. There’s an option to have the Corsair One i300 with an Intel Core i9-12900K and 64GB of DDR5, but the GPU is a less impressive RTX 3080 (though still liquid cooled). This will set you back a substantial £4,399.99. You can configure the i300, however with a variety of configurations – including adding an RTX 3080 Ti.

However, it seems at the time of writing, at least, you can only get the RTX 3080 Ti with 32GB of DDR5 memory in the UK, which will cost £4,399.99 (around AU$8,300). Between those two choices for UK buyers, we recommend you go for the model with the RTX 3080 Ti. It comes with less RAM, but for most gamers 32GB of DDR5 will still be more than enough.

Even with the kind of spec on offer here, this is a very pricey desktop PC, and it means Corsair needs to do a lot to justify the asking price. Putting it into a small and stylish chassis is definitely one of the ways the

company is going about that.

Design

The biggest selling point of the Corsair One i300 is its design. It’s certainly one of the main reasons why the price tag is so high. This is an impressively small PC, with dimensions of 200 x 176 x 380 mm, which isn’t much bigger than the Xbox Series X console, which has dimensions of 151 x 151 x 301mm. This is certainly a PC you could easily have in your front room, and the grey metallic body, with RGB lighting handled by Corsair’s iCUE software, looks great.

Even if you want to use it in an office or studio on a desk, the compact form factor offers loads of benefits. For a start, by taking up less space on a desk, you have more room to work comfortably. It also means this is a desktop PC that’s particularly easy to set up and install, and even move about if needs be. Of course, it’s not as portable as a laptop, but it’s much more convenient than a standard desktop PC.

What’s particularly impressive about the size of the Corsair One i300 is its sheer power. We’ll get onto that in a moment, but essentially this is one of the most powerful gaming PCs you can buy right now, and also one of the smallest. That’s a pretty potent combination. So, while the Corsair One i300 is roughly the same size as the Xbox Series X, it’s also a lot more powerful. Of course, it’s also almost ten times the price.

The chassis is small, but solid. The RGB lighting is more subtle than many gaming PCs, and the brushed metal design of the Corsair One i300 means that non-gamers should be perfectly happy to have one of these sitting on their desk in an office or studio.

As we mentioned, the RGB lighting can be configured using Corsair’s iCUE software. If you have other Corsair peripherals, you can then synchronize lighting effects, which is a nice touch.

In keeping with the overall design, things are kept pretty simple when it comes to buttons and ports. There’s a single power button at the top of the front of the chassis. Along the bottom there’s an audio jack, two USB type A ports (USB 3.1) and a USB-C port (USB 3.2).

On the rear, you have two Thunderbolt 4 ports, six USB Type-A ports, 7.1 audio, 2.5G Ethernet port, three DisplayPort inputs and a HDMI, which is a decent selection.

You can also attach two included wireless antennae, giving you access to Wi-Fi 6E. You’ll need a Wi-Fi 6E capable router, which are still relatively rare (and very expensive). If you do have one, you’ll get wireless speeds that could rival Ethernet in some circumstances. Gamers will still be better off using a wired connection, but it adds to the versatility of the Corsair One i300, and it’s good to see the latest Wi-Fi tech included.

As you’d expect from a desktop PC, even a small one like this, you can open up the Corsair One i300 to access components. As with previous Corsair One models, this is done by pressing buttons to remove the top of the case, where a single large fan resides. It’s not the easiest process, and can sometimes be quite frustrating and stiff.

Once opened, you need to carefully disconnect the fan and take off the sides. This gives you a great view of the engineering that went into putting powerful components into such a compact case. However, it should also come as no surprise that this also means that accessing certain components can be incredibly tricky, and it also limits what kind of upgrades you’ll be able to make in the future.

If you’re a keen upgrader and tinkerer who’s looking for a PC that can be upgraded later on, this is not for you. The lack of upgradability is, along with the high price tag, the big compromise you’re going to have to make with the Corsair One i300. The good news, is that thanks to the powerful components inside the PC, you’re unlikely to want – or need – to upgrade it any time soon.

Performance

When we say the Corsair One i300 is packed with cutting-edge hardware, we weren’t kidding. You get the new 12th generation Intel Core i9-12900K CPU, which is a 16-core, 24-thread monster with a max Turbo frequency of 5.2GHz. It’s a powerful chip, and it’s unlocked as well, which means there’s potential to overclock it as well.

It also comes with the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, one of the most powerful GPUs on the planet, and incredibly hard to buy due to a combo of the global chip shortage and high demand. While it’s quite not as powerful as the RTX 3090, there was no way that Corsair was going to be able to fit that bulky GPU into the chassis of the Corsair One i300. The RTX 3080 Ti also comes very close to the RTX 3090 in a lot of games at 4K, which is the resolution most people will be playing at, so while it lacks the future-proofing 8K capabilities of the RTX 3090 (which comes with 24GB of GDDR6X memory, compared to 12GB of the 3080 Ti), it’s still an immensely capable GPU that will handle pretty much any modern game at 4K with ease, and of course also features modern tech like DLSS and ray tracing as well.

These specs alone means the Corsair One i300 was always going to be a seriously impressive gaming PC, and in our time playing games on it, as well as running benchmark tests, this proved to be the case. Graphically intensive games like Metro Exodus and Cyberpunk 2077 ran superbly at 4K with most settings on max. As we mentioned earlier, the design of the Corsair One i300 means this isn’t an easily-upgradable PC, but you’re unlikely to really need to upgrade or replace it for many years.

We also mentioned that non-gamers may be interested in the Corsair One i300. That’s because the specs on offer here make it an excellent workstation for creators. Not only do the high-end CPU and GPU ensure this PC can handle demanding tasks like video editing and 3D modelling, but it’s the 64GB of DDR5 RAM that’s going to interest people looking for a workstation PC for heavy duty work. To be honest, that 64GB of DDR5 RAM is completely overkill for gaming, so if you’re just going to use the Corsair One i300 for playing games on (which many people would understandably be planning on doing), then that RAM isn’t going to be used much. 

For people who stream their gameplay, it’s a bit more useful, but in reality, unless you’re going to be doing some serious multi-tasking, the 64GB of DDR5 just won’t be needed. While this may not usually be much of an issue – after all, we’d rather have a PC with too much power, rather than not enough, DDR5 is currently very expensive, so loading this PC with so much of it will have impacted the overall price quite substantially.

Still, it’s an impressive performer. Cooling is handled by a large fan at the top of the chassis, and it keeps reasonably quiet for most tasks. However, when it’s putting in hard work, the components inside the slim chassis inevitably start getting very hot, and that’s when the fan really kicks in. It’s still not too distracting, and we didn’t notice any throttling due to heat, but this isn’t the quietest or coolest (temperature-wise, at least) gaming PC out there.

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