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Successful GPU upgrade of Corsair One Elite 1080ti to 7900 xt


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Greetings everyone, I have just successfully upgraded my Corsair one elite's gpu to a 7900 xt and thought I would share what I learned in case it helps anyone. As a background, I do have some tech experience but haven't touched hardware for over 20 years so I do feel like this is something anyone can do with a little preparation.

The first reason I started on this endeavor was that my GPU blower fan had started to run full speed no matter what I did or how hot it was. My version had the 1080ti reference card with the AIO cooler attached to the GPU and a blower style fan over the VRAM. I actually disconnected the blower fan and had been running the system (including gaming) for months without any issues but decided it was time to try and upgrade it. The GPU temperatures never got above 80 degrees celcius but obviously I had no way of knowing how hot the VRAM was. 

The steps I took for the upgrade were as follows:

  1. Upgrade the PSU.
    1. The elite came with a Corsair SF500W PSU that was running fine but didn't include a no fan mode.
    2. I swapped it out for a Cosair SF750W PSU that did include a no fan mode which was a bonus.
    3. The swap was very easy, just unplug all the power cables from the PSU, unscrew 4 screws from the top and pop the new PSU back in.
  2. Remove the radiator and the liquid cooling AIO from the GPU side of the case.
    1. First I opened that side of the case by unscrewing the top two screws holding it on.
    2. Then I unscrewed the screws holding the radiator to the side of the case.
    3. Then I took out the video card and left the AIO block on the GPU as I'm going to store them together. However, removing the GPU AIO block is very easy by simply unscrewing it (I've done this before to repaste it). Removing the card is simply a matter of unscrewing the top right hand screw holding it into the case and then sliding it out of the PCI-E slot. Next take off the PCI-E power cables.
    4. I then unhooked the AIO usb and power from the motherboard/cooling block and stored them as well.
  3. Install the new graphics card.
    1. I didn't want to blow the bank on this upgrade as I wasn't upgrading the motherboard/CPU so I chose the PowerColor 7900xt. This card is a good choice as it only needs a 750W PSU (the 7900 XTX cards all recommend at least 800W), only needs two 8 pin PCIe power connections and in theory fits the case.
    2. Sliding the new card into the space was actually easier than I thought. I didn't even need to take all 4 sides off the case, just the main side although I connected the power to the new card before sliding it in. 
    3. My particularly version of the One already had a PCIe 3.0 cable so I didn't bother upgrading it as the gains from 4.0 are minimal (although with Direct Storage coming out I may revisit this.
  4. Re-connect the top fan.
    1. The top fan is connected to the GPU AIO cooler by default and needs to be reconnected.
    2. There is no place to connect the fan to the AIO on the CPU side (I checked while repasting it today).
    3. I bought a small PWM extension cable and connected the top fan to the SYSFAN spot on the motherboard. The cpu AIO cooler is already connected to the CPU fan spot.
    4. I installed the Fan Control app and made a custom curve that adjusts the top fan based on both the GPU and CPU temperatures. Unfortunately, it's not possible to even read the CPU pump coolant temperatures anymore but I verified that it is still running and it is.

Once that was all done I powered on, removed my NVIDIA drivers and installed the AMD drivers. Everything worked very well. The unit when not under load is super quiet. If the no fan mode of the 7900 xt actually worked (apparently they are working on a fix in the driver) then during normal use the only fan running would be the top fan at a very quiet 400rpm (plus the CPU pump). The unit is actually more quiet than when I first bought it!

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  • Corsair Employee

Thanks for providing this information, mkriese. Glad to see your CORSAIR ONE is receiving the care it deserves.

Considering the 1080 Ti's age, it may have needed a disassembly and re-pasting... potentially new thermal pads as well. HWMonitor typically reports a hot spot temperature, which could give an idea of the VRAM temp.

I'm assuming this is the 7900 XT with a reference design? I see PowerColor has a Red Devil and Hellhound model as well. Just curious to know what GPU length may comfortably fit in there. 🙂

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  • 2 months later...

@mkriese Nice job on the upgrade!!! hope it gives you many more years. I upgraded mine with a 10th gen i7 and a RTX 3070. I have the model that came with the air cooled GTX 1070 back in the day and so the swap was even easier. 

@Corsair Albert My graphics card is 282mm in length and there is still a tiny bit of space under it so I would say that's about at the limit that you can fit comfortably. Thanks to Corsair for making the only C1 with an air cooled graphics card. Made upgrading that much easier. 🤭

Edited by EchoSierra
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@mkriese nice upgrade man! i upgraded mine to an i9-10850k from an i7-7700k. i also upgraded my 1080 to a 3070. since then however i ordered a gigabyte 3080 turbo to upgrade it because i wasn't getting the frames that i wanted with the 3070.

@EchoSierranice cpu upgrade! just wondering, what are your temps like for your 10th gen i7? for my 10850k i'm using the same aio that came with my 2017 corsair one and it's hitting upwards of 95 c under load. it idles around 30-45 c tho. i'm wondering if this is normal or if i should look into this further. i also upgraded the top fan to an ml140 and its still extremely high in temps and loud. thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

@windsorh0104 Thanks! So I have the i7 10700F which already doesn't consume as much power as a K variant. But still, temps can get up to 80C on games like Rainbow Six Siege as it supports multi-thread (though I have a 1500 RPM fan; yours is 2000 RPM hence why it gets loud). I'm not surprised about your temps as any K variant consumes a fair bit of power and they always run hot. I would still recommend to maybe re-paste the CPU and make sure that the cooler is properly seated so it spreads the paste evenly on the CPU. Are you still using the Corsair Link software that came with the system? If not, maybe install it back just so you can monitor coolant temp and make sure it is running normally.

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  • 2 months later...
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  • 6 months later...

That's fantastic news! Upgrading from a 1080ti to a 7900 XT is a significant step forward in performance and capability. The Corsair One Elite's compact design coupled with the powerhouse AMD GPU promises an excellent gaming and productivity experience.

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  • 2 weeks later...

would a 7900 XTX reference card fit? The XT is 276x113x51mm (LxWxH). The XTX is 287x123x51mm. In previous forum posts I have read that 286mm is max length, but that is just 1mm shy of an XTX. Just curious before I make the choice between XT and XTX.

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