Why the Corsair One i160 is the refined, compact and powerful gaming PC we've been waiting for

Compact, quiet, and insanely powerful, the beautifully innovative Corsair One i160 is a game changer. Here's why…

Corsair ONE i160 Compact Gaming PC
(Image credit: Corsair)
Corsair One i160 - key specs

(Image credit: Corsair)

Dimensions: 291 x 489 x 335 (mm WxHxD)

CPU: Intel Core i9 9900K

GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB

Storage: 480GB SSD, 2TB HDD

PSU: 600 W

OS: Windows 10 Home (64 bit)

As soon as we saw the Corsair One i160 here at T3 we knew it was something special, with the stunning system immediately claiming absolute top-spot in our prestigious best gaming PC buying guide.

It did this through a luxe combination of incredible hardware, cutting-edge features and, arguably the most important factor for us, its innovative, compact and stylish design. 

Finally there was a powerful gaming PC that not only could fit almost anywhere, but that you didn't have to hide away — it was a system that looked so good it could be left on display, be that on the desktop, by the TV, or simply on the sideboard.

For years now the needs of mature gamers have been evolving in terms of PC gaming and power station computing, with the strict old confines of massive beige boxes that bat out incredible amounts of heat and noise just not meshing with many of today's professional lifestyles.

The need for do-it-all systems that can fluidly transition between work and play, while also being highly portable, stylish and powerful has been great and, simply put, the Corsair One i160 is addressing this need like nothing else we've seen to date.

What follows is a breakdown of why we think the Corsair One i160 is so special and why we feel it is a system worth considering if you're currently in the market for a sophisticated, performance PC upgrade.

Corsair One i160 design: innovation and style

You only have to take one look at the Corsair One i160 to realise just how stunning this compact gaming PC is. With its 2mm thick bead-blasted aluminium shell, sharp angular lines, and incredibly small and streamlined shaping, it looks more like a work of art than a computer, with it radiating a sense of power and quality at every angle.

Pick it up and that sense of quality continues with how dense and well-made it feels. Indeed, the Corsair One i160 is based on a Mini-ITX form factor, so when you start racking up just how much top hardware Corsair has squeezed into it, it only feels natural that something with a volume of only 12 liters would feel this way. 

Amazingly, though, with the entire system only measuring 200mm x 172.5mm x 380mm, picking it up and carrying it round is incredibly easy. It feels like you're carrying around a brace of gaming consoles, and just as easy and fast to plug in and get running.

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Corsair ONE i160

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Corsair ONE i160

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The Corsair One i160's design has been made possible by an innovative vertical-mounting internal layout, which is simply accessed by releasing each side of the machine's ventilated side panels. The internal components are housed within a steel frame and, amazingly for such a tightly packed system, are easily reachable.

Far from being a one-configuration machine, or one where upgrading is technically possible but only by total disassembly over an elongated period of time, the Corsair One i160 in fact grants fast and easy access to its internal components like its hard drives, processor, and RAM, making future upgrades easy.

Speaking of upgrades, though, that is something that an owner of the Corsair One i160 will not have to do for a very long time. This is because, as we will now see, the hardware configuration it delivers is god-tier good.

Corsair ONE i160 Compact Gaming PC

The combination of raw power and serious style means the Corsair One i160 is the ideal PC for professionals who enjoy gaming.

(Image credit: Corsair)

Corsair One i160 hardware: power and performance  

The spec-list of the Corsair One i160 is a PC gamer's dream. It starts with the absolutely rapid Intel Core i9-9900K eight-core processor, which has core clock speed of 3.6 GHz but can deliver a bust frequency of an insane 5GHz — this sits in a premium Intel Z370 socketed mainboard.

Unsurprisingly, this Coffee Lake 14nm CPU literally has the power to chew through any gaming or power station task you can think of, and when partnered with the machine's other super high-end components, acts as a fantastic heart for the i160.

That processor is paired with 32GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM, which is split over two 16GB sticks runs in dual channel mode. Memory speed is a super fast 2666 Mhz. Storage meanwhile is handled by a blisteringly quick 480GB M.2 SSD as well as a capacious 2TB hard drive, which combined delivers going on 2.5 TB of storage for modern AAA games, 4K or 8K movies, as well as endless files, images and documents.

The real star of this compact gaming PC's hardware, though, is the state-of-the-art, top of T3's best graphics card buying guide, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU. This is the world's most powerful graphics cards, delivering 11GB of GDDR6 memory, a 12 nm Turing architecture, a smoking memory clock of 14,000 Mhz and a maximum resolution output of 7,680 x 4,320 (that's 8K UHD).

That is the power to go well beyond 4K resolutions in terms of gaming, to game across up to three 4K HDR displays with Nvidia G-Sync enabled, and also power today's most impressive VR headsets and experiences. In short, it is a monstrous amount of gaming power and it guarantees that the Corsair One i160 is lacking for nothing in terms of pixel-pushing prowess.

Naturally, as an RTX card, the 2080 Ti is also capable of delivering the new hotness in PC gaming graphics, ray tracing. This incredible tech, which has been described as the "holy grail" of computer rendering, allows for incredibly realistic, dynamically changing, real-time lighting and reflections in games. And, trust us, from our experience reviewing some of the best PC games going today, with ray tracing enabled games not only look far more natural, but they are so much more immersive, too.

These futuristic components combine in the Corsair One i160 to deliver beyond 4K gaming at high frame rates and with all graphical settings cranked right up to maximum, which makes for a zero-compromise gaming experience, both in front of the monitor and the TV, as well as with a VR headset on.

Corsair ONE i160 Compact Gaming PC

The beauty and compact size of the Corsair One i160 means that it can be placed anywhere.

(Image credit: Corsair)

Corsair One i160 features: cutting-edge quality

Raw power and innovative style are then complimented in the Corsair One i160 with a selection of advanced features that really help tie it all together as a properly complete system.

The system's incendiary Intel i9-9900K processor and RTX 2080 Ti graphics card, for example, are cooled with Corsair's patented, all-in-one liquid cooling system. This system uses convection liquid cooling to unlock higher clock speeds (hello overclocking!), lower temperatures and, crucially for a system you'll want to show off on display, minimal noise.

Talking of noise, one of the Corsair One i160's most impressive features is its Zero RPM Mode. This mode allows the system to enter a completely fanless operation while idle, making the machine run in near silence, and allowing for it to remain active even in the quietest of spaces.

The aluminium casing of the Corsair One i160 is also equipped with Corsair's excellent RGB lighting system, with built-in RGB light pipes working in partnership with Corsair's iCUE software to grant serious customisation in terms of how the machine is presented. 

And it is super easy to create multiple lighting profiles, too, so if you want to quickly transition from game-on maximum RGB to zero-light movie watching, it takes mere seconds to achieve. The fact that you can sync any lighting profile you create across all compatible Corsair iCUE devices means you make an entire setup go dark or light up all at once.

So, when you consider all of this, and then also factor in that the Corsair One i160 comes with a comprehensive two-year warranty and, neatly, lifetime world-class customer support, available 24-7 by phone or online, it really does help show why we rate this system so highly at T3.

The Corsair One i160 is a true game changer, delivering a hyper-premium gaming PC and workstation that leaves nothing, even style, out of the equation.

More information about the Corsair One i160 Compact Gaming PC can be found on Corsair's official website.