Corsair One Professional i180 Evaluate: Mac Professional Killer or Apple Wannabe?

"If Apple updated its premium Mac Pro desktop with the 2019 specs, it would look and work like Corsair's One Pro i180 powerhouse."

  • Excellent performance in a compact housing

  • Clean, modern design

  • Excellent heat management

  • 12 core Intel X series CPU standard

  • Wide range of ports

  • Too expensive

  • More difficult to update than other towers

  • No flash 3

The Mac Pro ushered in a new era of computers that were small and powerful. It was one of the most powerful PCs of its time, but Apple hasn't seriously updated its high-quality desktop in five years. The competitors had enough space to close the gap.

The Corsair One Pro i180 is an overdeveloped powerhouse that draws inspiration from its rival and aging predecessor and includes a modern 12-core processor, premium RTX 2080 Ti graphics, a bespoke liquid cooling solution, and a large amount of it contains storage and storage for booting .

Corsair not only mimics the compact silhouette of the Mac Pro, but also offers an Apple-like price of $ 5,000. Although the powerful 9th ​​generation Core i9-9920X processor from Intel with 12 cores and 24 threads and RTX graphics makes the One Pro a powerful gaming rig, its exaggerated performance and price can make this PC attractive for professionals and Restrict creative. With first-class silicon options, can the One Pro i180 achieve the performance of systems that are two to three times as large?

Don't be fooled by its size

Do you think the size of the One Pro i180 is an indication of its performance? Think again With a footprint of 7.9 x 7 inches, the One Pro takes up a little more space on your desk than the 6.6-inch desktop from Apple. At 15 inches in size, Corsair's desktop is about the size of a 2-liter soda bottle and barely larger than a college textbook.

And although One Pro and Mac Pro serve creatives with identical specifications on paper – like a 12-core processor, 32 GB RAM and lots of storage space – the similarities largely end here. The One Pro i180 contains the latest components available today. Corsair also surpasses Apple's design with a desktop that is highly upgradeable, although the small size of the One Pro i180 makes the job difficult.

Aesthetically there are big differences between the two units. While the glossy steel design of the Mac Pro looks more polished with its fingerprint-drawing curves, the One Pro i180 looks more industrial with its sandblasted aluminum surface, the flatter sides and the circular base. The matte gunmetal-aluminum construction also gives the One Pro i180 a more reserved presence on a desk.

PCs that share One Pro's art aesthetics include Samsung's ArtPC Pulse, a semi-modular cylindrical mini-desktop, and Asus' ProArt PA90 desktop. The $ 1,600 Samsung ArtPC has not been updated since its release and is equipped with 6th generation Intel processors and discrete AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics, while the Asus ProArt PA90 is worth $ 3,000 The latest 9th generation Intel Core i7-9700 processor is equipped with Nvidia Quadro P4000 graphics.

Don't be fooled by the small size of the Corsair One Pro i180. It grabs an impressive blow.

Unfortunately, the One Pro's understated aesthetic means that players cannot flaunt some of the more visually interesting components in this rig. Compared to a larger system like HP's Omen Obelisk 2019, which has a tempered glass window to showcase the RTX graphics, liquid cooling tubes, and RGB-lit fans and coolers, Corsair's overdeveloped technology remains intact to Keeping One Pro compact and cool hiding behind the opaque walls of the unit.

Without the hard angles and aggressive grills of most game systems, the One Pro i180 reconciles its game attractiveness with the business aesthetic. The flatter sides of the device give it a more masculine look, while the two RGB light strips that run from top to bottom on the front of the One Pro i180 give it Tron-like vibrations. The build quality is excellent and the Corsair One Pro i180 feels like a tank on a desk thanks to its metal housing. Players who buy Corsair's RGB-lit keyboard and mouse can even sync the lighting effects of the desktop with their peripherals, which is a nice touch.

Hold a lid on it

Given the small 12-liter volume of this desktop, it is very important to keep the One Pro i180 cool. To avoid overheating and maintain performance, a convection-assisted liquid cooling system with strategically placed fans, radiators, and water coolers was developed. The removable panels on both sides of the desktop are perforated to allow internal fans to draw in cool air, while hot air is channeled through a large metal grill at the top.

Corsair One Pro i180 reviewChuong Nguyen / Digital Trends

Although the rust looks aggressive, the overall design works well in a professional setting. The One Pro i180 stayed almost noiseless when the desktop was idle, and even when it was stressed, the fans weren't overly loud. However, due to its metal construction, the grate gets warm on top when the system is operated with heavier loads. Corsair claims that "the CPU block has logic that allows the cooling system to optimize the fan speed based on the coolant temperatures of the CPU cooler and / or the GPU cooler without the need for software."

The main difference between the One Pro i180 and gaming desktops is that there is no glass window through which to look into the system. Although the cables are neatly stowed away and routed inside, the interior of Corsair's uniquely developed cooling system remains out of sight.

Growing pains

Updatability plays an important role when purchasing a workstation. Fortunately, the One Pro i180 can be updated. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Access to the internals requires some maneuvers. Although amateurs are likely to stick to updating RAM and memory, adventurous users could even update the graphics card and even the mini ITX motherboard inside.

To access the internals, users must press and hold a switch on the back while removing the top grate. Once the grate is switched off, two screws have to be loosened to gain access to the left and right side walls. The storage, three M.2 solid-state drive slots and a 2.5-inch 2 TB hard drive are located behind this control panel. Upgrading these components is an easy task.

Few users need this processing power on a desktop.

A full-length, vertically oriented graphics card is located under the opposite side wall. At first glance, the liquid-cooled graphics card, which uses a cooler separate from the liquid-cooled processor, seems to have been slightly modified to fit in the small space on this desktop. The metal rail that is usually found at the end of the card has been removed. There are a number of adapters on the graphics card that allow access to the three DisplayPorts on the back of the desktop and the single HDMI port on the front. While this system uses an RTX 2080 Ti, Corsair has not granted access to the USB-C port via the graphics card. Instead, the USB-C connector is accessed through the motherboard.

Although users will be able to upgrade to a different graphics card in the future, upgrading the GPU should only be attempted by enthusiasts given the water cooling system, the tight space, and the changes required to squeeze a full-length card inside. Occasional users should only stick to basic upgrades, e.g. B. adding more memory or storage.

Pro ports

Even if gamers may be enthusiastic about the functions of the One Pro i180, Corsair positions the One Pro as a workstation rather than a gaming rig by selecting the connections on this PC. There is no HDMI connection on the back. Instead you will find three DisplayPort connectors, a PS / 2 connector, two USB-A 2.0 connectors, two USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 connectors, one USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 connector, a single USB-C 3.1 connector Connection, an Ethernet connection, two 802.11ac 2 × 2 Wi-Fi antennas and audio with optical connections on the back. Unfortunately, despite the name of the workstation, Thunderbolt 3 was noticeably missing, which could limit the attractiveness of the One Pro for business users who rely on a Thunderbolt desktop dock.

Corsair One Pro i180 reviewChuong Nguyen / Digital Trends

Surprisingly, an HDMI 2.0a connector appears on the front of the device. Given the internal space constraints, it makes sense for Corsair to move the HDMI port forward, but this location could strain cable management for gamers. Offices that use DisplayPort to connect monitors are not so disturbed here. There are two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports and a combination of headphone and microphone jacks on the HDMI port. The lower placement of these connectors makes it easier to connect peripherals such as a mouse and keyboard, as this compact desktop is likely to be on a desk rather than on the floor. The power switch is on the top.

Power to do every task

While most high-end gaming systems are equipped with the 9th-generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor with eight cores, the One Pro i180 with the 12-core silicon of the Intel Core i9-9920X X series is for everyone Suitable tasks that you perform its way. Users who don't need this level of performance can save money by contacting other members of Corsair's One Pro family, including the i140 and i160 models.

With the i180, Corsair has made no compromises in creating one of the most powerful compact desktops we've tested. Our i180 model comes standard with 32 GB of memory, so this PC can also handle demanding rendering and design work with ease.

Oddly enough, the i180's single-core score of 5,011 points is not the best in our Geekbench processor test. Even the 2018 Omen Obelisk from HP, which is based on an older generation of Intel Core i7-8700 silicon, received a higher score of 5,606 points, while the Intel Core i9-9900K scored 6,300 points on the Origin PC Millennium . Where the One Pro i180 shines in its multi-core performance, it achieves one of the highest scores of all systems tested so far with 36,609 points and is thus ahead of the multi-core result of the Origin Millennium of 34,309 points. The strong multi-core results of the One Pro i180 make sense given the 12 processor cores of the device compared to the 8-core CPU of the millennium.

Although the multi-core score of the One Pro i180 is certainly impressive, it is doubtful that most consumers need this level of performance. If you're not looking for Corsair's insane technology to pack a high level of performance into a compact design, the price and over-the-top processor of the One Pro i180 may be more suitable for creatives moving between large media files juggling for audio, video, video and video. or other creative tasks.

Corsair's goal for creative people is clearer in our handbrake test. Coding a 4K video sample took only 73 seconds, compared to 77 seconds for the Origin Millennium and up to 124 seconds for the Intel Core i7-8700 processor of the HP Omen Obelisk 2018. The Digital Storm with its Intel Core i7-9700K CPU required 89 seconds to complete the task. Although the One Pro i180 did the job of a system we tested the fastest, it would be interesting to see if the device's Core i9-9920X processor could work even faster in a larger case to achieve even more thermal headroom performance.

The lack of extended warranty options can limit the attractiveness of the corporate market.

Our One Pro i180 comes with a 960 GB Samsung PM981 solid-state drive for fast performance and a 2 TB Seagate BarraCuda hard drive for users who want to store larger media files without breaking the bank. With read and write speeds of 1,756 and 1,522 Mbit / s, the SSD of the One Pro i180 is not the fastest SSD on the market – the SSD on the Origin PC Millennium is 73 percent faster in reading and 53 percent faster in writing – but we are No delays or delays were found when handling larger CAD, Photoshop or Premiere Pro files. Applications and games loaded quickly, and overall the One Pro i180 impressed us with its speed.

If space is an issue, you can add two additional SSD modules for a total of three solid-state drives to the One Pro i180 motherboard before you need to use external drives.

A graphic stunner

With the first-class RTX graphics card for end users from Nvidia, the i180 offers numerous graphics services. Players will appreciate the RTX 2080 Ti graphics, but creatives can also take advantage of the card's real-time ray tracing capabilities, giving designers a preview of how lighting and shadows can affect various architecture and design projects. Given Nvidia's recent industrial push behind RTX, Nvidia's consumer graphics card is likely to be more popular outside of the gaming market, of which only a limited number of titles currently support ray tracing.

When benchmarking with Underwriter Laboratories' 3DMark test, the Corsair One Pro i180's 12,842 score isn't the highest we've seen in a system with an RTX 2080 Ti card. Given the high-end processor and the large RAM of our test device, the One Pro i180 is almost 1,000 points behind the Origin Chronos with its score, which suggests that something may be throttled – a plausibility given the size of the device. Both units followed systems with double graphics, such as the Origin Millennium, which is loaded with two RTX 2080 Ti cards and scored 18,981 points.

However, synthetic benchmarks do not paint a complete picture of the performance of the One Pro i180. The One Pro i180 is able to handle most modern games smoothly, even when set to 4K resolutions with high game details. Players who play at lower resolutions such as 1080p and 1440p can easily push to higher levels of detail without sacrificing frame rates or image quality.

Games with simpler graphics like Civilization VI and Fortnite work very well on the One Pro i180. Even at 4K with maximum settings for higher visual details, this workstation delivered significantly more than 60 FPS. Civilization frame rates ranged from 98 FPS in 4K with ultra settings to 172 FPS in 1080p with medium game settings. Given that the Origin Millennium with its dual RTX 2080 Ti graphics did not get much better results, this suggests that gamers will not see any significant benefits if they spend money on an additional graphics card and the NVLink bridge, until developers develop a multi-GPU support in titles.

The situation is similar with graphically demanding games like Battlefield V and Assassins Creed Odyssey. With the former title, the One Pro i180 never fell below 60 FPS, while the performance of the latter title only fell below our 60 FPS baseline in 4K resolution. Compared to the much more powerful Origin Millennium, the One Pro i180 could keep up in both titles, similar to our Civilization VI benchmarks. In Assassin's Creed, however, the Millennium's dual graphics capabilities have helped this device achieve slightly better performance when the system is fully pushed at 4K resolution.

Even if Nvidia has extended the ray tracing functions to older GTX cards, the RTX 2080 Ti graphics of the One Pro i180 offer designers a performance boost when it comes to graphics. At this year's GTC conference, Nvidia showed how architects can use lighting effects in real time using architects to show how buildings and interiors look at different times of the day. The automaker BMW builds tools that customers can use to visualize what different materials and surfaces will look like on their cars.


Corsair offers a simpler two-year warranty on its PC products. In comparison, gaming competitors like Digital Storm and Origin PC offer more generous lifetime phone support. Defective hardware components are usually covered by a limited term of one year, unless an optional warranty extension is purchased.

Although Corsair's two-year hardware warranty appears generous on the gaming market, the lack of extended warranty options can limit its appeal on the corporate market. Competitors like HP, Dell and Lenovo offer optional extended warranties with coverage that ranges from on-site support to free replacement to accidental damage coverage. Without the coverage options that some companies may require or seek, the One Pro i180's long-term potential may be severely limited.

Our opinion

Creators who want more powerful silicon than Apple offers in the Mac Pro find comfort in the compact One Pro i180 from Corsair. With an Intel Core i9-9920X with 12 cores, GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 32 GB RAM and a solid-state drive with 960 GB, the One Pro i180 appeals equally to consumers and creative people who are looking for a system that delivers the highest performance offers as little space as possible if they can bear the entrance fee of $ 4,999.

Is there a better alternative?

There are few systems that offer the same level of performance that Corsair promises, and certainly not on a similarly compact footprint. Origin PC's Neuron costs more than $ 4,500 when configured with specifications similar to our Corsair device. However, the Neuron is a larger desktop and doesn't offer the same space-saving advantage on a desk.

In the workstation area, the ProArt PA90 from Asus promises a similarly elegant design with liquid-cooled internals, but is equipped with the Intel Core i9-9900K and is based on Quadro P4000 graphics. This GPU is based on the older Pascal architecture from Nvidia rather than on the new Turing design of the RTX series. Due to the professional audience, it is not to be expected that the prices for the ProArt PA90 are cheap.

The ArtPC Pulse from Samsung is a much cheaper alternative to Corsair's modern marvel. This affordable, art-inspired desktop hasn't seen major updates since its inception, so the PC has outdated internals like the 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700 processor and AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics. If you're only interested in a minimalist and compact desktop design, Samsung can save you $ 3,400 compared to the OnePro. Without high-end graphics, the ArtPC at $ 1,600 isn't even a competitor for serious gamers or designers who demand raw graphics.

How long it will take?

With a modern 12-core processor from the Intel X series and the first-class RTX 2080 Ti graphics card from Nvidia, your investment of $ 5,000 in the One Pro i180 will last for years. Corsair has deliberately equipped this PC with lots of RAM and solid-state memory to satisfy even the most demanding users, and there is a wide range of connectors to connect your preferred peripherals and accessories. And despite its small size, adventurous hobbyists can upgrade the graphics card in this compact PC to ensure that this PC will remain powerful for years to come.

Should you buy it

Yes, the One Pro i180 offers exceptional performance in a small space, and even home users will appreciate this elegantly designed all-metal workstation desktop. The only thing stopping the One Pro i180 from its widespread appeal is its high price of $ 5,000.

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