Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
RAM: 64GB DDR4
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Storage: 2TB Force MP600 NVMe, 2TB HDD
Ports: USB 3.0 x 5, USB-C x 1 on the rear, USB 3.0 x 2 and USB-C x1 on the front
Size: 15 x 7 x 7.9 inches
Weight: approximately 17 pounds
The Corsair One Pro a200 ($3,749 as reviewed) packs a lot of power into a compact PC. I’m generally wary of compact gaming PCs. You’ll save some space on or under your desk, but the compromises in performance or upgradeability (or both) will usually come back to haunt you later on. But I’m as much of a fan of slick design as the next tech enthusiast, and the Corsair One Pro a200 makes a bold statement. It isn’t cheap, and there isn’t much upgrade potential, but if you’re looking for a lot of power in a small form factor, this PC is worth a second look.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Price and availability
The Corsair One Pro a200 I reviewed will set you back $3,749.99 (at time of writing); that gets you a 16-Core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, a 2TB M.2 NVMe and 2TB HDD for storage, and 64GB of DDR4 RAM. You can upgrade to an RTX 3080TI in Corsair’s configurator, but that’s about it. This makes sense, as the chassis’ singular design is going to limit your options. If you’ve got a little more to spend, we recently checked out the Corsair One i300. It’s a near identical but higher tier offering that swaps out the AMD CPU for an Intel Core i9-12900K, upgrades the GPU to a 3080 Ti, and moves up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Design
This PC is small, at 15 x 7 x 7.9 inches, and weighs just over 17 pounds. The small size means that it’ll fit just fine on a desk, and all of the ports are easy to reach — there are few up front for good measure, too. Power it up, and you’re greeted by a pair of RGB LED columns; the lighting is customizable, but I kind of like the default rainbow effect. The side panels are bedecked with triangular patterns that serve as ventilation holes, highlighting a clear design challenge Corsair has had to tackle here: how do you manage heat in such a compact space?
Relatively well, it turns out. We’ll dive into the performance later, but this PC manages to stay cool and pretty quiet while gaming, and under fairly beefy workloads. This machine feels like the perfect LAN-party companion (assuming those are still a thing). It’s not as awe-inspiring as the Maingear Turbo, but it’s eminently more portable, as there’s no risk of shattered glass or spilled coolant. It’s also almost half the price, without sacrificing all that much performance.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Ports and upgradeability
The Corsair One Pro a200 is upgradeable, and the machine is actually pretty simple to take apart: press a button up near the top to release the fan, which you’ll need to disconnect and remove.
From there, it’s a matter of taking off the screws attached to the side you want to pop open; the coolant tubes for the closed-loop cooling forms a sort of defacto hinge that keeps the sides in place. There isn’t all that much to do while you’re there, though. The RAM is easy to replace — note that this machine uses SODIMM modules, like those found in laptops — and there’s a removable slot for the 2.5-inch drive that you’ll need a screwdriver to access. That’s about it: the GPU also relies on closed-loop cooling, so you’ll need to put some thought into upgrades if you plan on extending the life of this pre-built machine.
There are 5 USB type A ports and one USB-C port on the rear, and another pair of USB type A ports coupled with a USB-C port on the front. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 offers three DisplayPorts and an HDMI port, but that’s about it; that’s slightly fewer ports than the Maingear Turbo, but that’s expected with machines this compact.
I remain averse to leaning on Wi-Fi for a desktop, but Wi-Fi 6 connectivity is available if you prefer it, or want Bluetooth connectivity for gamepads and the like.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Gaming performance
The a200’s gaming performance is, as expected, pretty strong. While that vaunted 60 frames per second is a little hard to come by on our 4K gaming tests, performance is right in line with the heaviest hitters in the gaming PC space — unsurprising, given the similarity in hardware. Metro: Exodus remains the toughest contender, at 31 frames per second at a 4K resolution on Extreme settings (the Maingear Turbo and Origin PC 5000X both earned 35 frames per second), but the rest of our testing suite hovers at or near an average of 60 frames per second.
I do all of my gaming at 1440p. The a200 earned an average of 77 frames in Total War Warhammer 3’s battle benchmark, with all settings cranked to their maximum. In Cyberpunk 2077’s graphical benchmark, I saw an average of 92 frames per second at the Ultra benchmark with Ray Tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS enabled. The standard Ultra benchmark disables DLSS brings the result down to 61 frames per second, but with a 3080 in tow there’s no reason not to let the hardware shine.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Overall performance
While pushing frames is likely going to be this machine’s primary purpose, the hardware is equally adept at more mundane tasks. The a200 scored 14,339 on GeekBench 5.4’s multicore benchmark, and completed our Handbrake video encoding test in 4 minutes and 19 seconds. It also saw a transfer rate of 1,433 MB/s on our 25GB file copy test. These are strong results, as expected, though you’ll get more if you pay more. The Origin PC Millenium (2022) I checked out earlier this year scored 18,096; it’s powered by Intel’s Core-i9 12900K and 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and priced at $5,184 (at time of review). Anecdotally, the hardware is well suited for my real world workflows, which revolve around culling and editing 50-megapixel RAW photos. The CPU churned through general tasks like generating 1:1 previews of hundred of photos without fuss and in a timely manner.
More importantly, the machine stayed relatively quiet throughout my time with it. It’s not silent: I could hear the fan kicking into gear and humming steadily during extended time with Total War Warhammer 3, but it’s a far cry from the jet engines of yesteryear. I do worry about how well the a200’s cooling would handle more intense workflows. The clever design features a lot of venting and pushes heat up out the top of the chassis, but it still packs a lot of heat into a small package; that’s a lot for the radiator to manage. Users with more intense workflows (say, video editors) will likely run into temperature issues, and could see performance dip as the machine throttles performance to keep things in check. And you can likely rule out much overclocking, which, when combined with the challenge you’ll face sourcing upgrades, ultimately limits how much life you can squeeze out of this unique chassis.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Software
There really isn’t all that much to speak of on the software front, which is great. Corsair has included their iCUE app, which helps you customize the lighting schema, and check on temperatures and the like. If you’re a fan of customization, or own a few other Corsair peripherals, there’ll be a lot to like in there. You’ll also find Corsair Diagnostics, which is a branded version of a tooll called PC-Doctor; it gives you a rundown of the hardware on the machine and miscellaneous “diagnostics.” There’s not much here that you can find natively in Windows, and while it collects a lot of information in a convenient location, this is exactly the sort of bloatware I’d set about excising from any personal machines right after the first boot.
Corsair One Pro a200 review: Verdict
As hardware prices start returning to something akin to normal, pre-built PCs become a tougher sell for those willing to build their own machines. To that end, PCs like the Corsair One Pro a200 are interesting, if only for presenting a design that would be difficult to replicate. But the inherent limitations of this unique form factor means it’ll take far more effort to upgrade than your run of the mill PC. But that’s subjective: if you want plenty of performance in a unique footprint, the a200 will not disappoint. And while still expensive, it actually feels a bit more sensibly priced when compared to the pre-built machines I’ve come across over the last few months. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide if a machine that looks cool and takes up a fraction of the space of its competitors is worth the tradeoffs.