Corsair Voyager

15 Brilliant Tips for Corsair Voyager A1600 Review Newbies

Corsair Voyager 1600, which retails for $2532; as tested, $3,217), is America’s first high-quality gaming laptop. Its impeccable aluminum build and Cherry MX mechanical keyboard make it an instant hit. And the touch macro bar that focuses on streaming is unlike any other gaming laptop.

Unfortunately, this pioneer suffers from poor performance. The all-AMD hardware cannot compete with the Intel/Nvidia silicon in Acer Predator Triton 500SE or, for a lower price, the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro Gen 7. The Voyager a1600 is an excellent choice if you’re a fan of streaming or Team Red.

Corsair Voyager
Corsair Voyager

The Design: Trademark Corsair Voyager

Corsair’s sleek, modern design language spills over to the Voyager 1600. This laptop is an outstanding visual and has a price that matches its quality.
Origin PC also sells this laptop, but it is branded under its own name. Origin, which was acquired by Corsair in 2019, is a Corsair-owned subsidiary. Origin can order our flashy UV lid printing test loan unit.

The aluminum chassis exhibits excellent craftsmanship and strength. It measures 0.78 x 14 x 11.3 inches (HWD), is 5.3 lbs and matches the Predator Triton SE. However, its macro bar is an inch deeper than the 500SE. (To be discussed shortly).

The Corsair Voyager a1600 has a cinematic 16-inch 16:10 aspect screen that distinguishes it from laptops with smaller 15.6-inch 16:9 screens, such as the Alienware x15 Advanced and Razer Blade 15 Advanced. Its 2,560-by-1.600-pixel resolution allows for fine detail and is suitable for gaming.

This screen has all the gaming tech you could ask for, including a blistering 240Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync Premium frame-rate-smoothing, and an anti-glare surface. The picture is great. Our DataColor SpyderX Express Elite recorded 342 nits of peak brightness and 99% coverage of sRGB.

The bar is a shortcut track aimed directly at streamers. Corsair integrated the buttons into the Elgato Stream Deck App. (We reviewed the standalone Elgato Stream Deck, which is a handy add-on panel for buttons; Elgato, another Corsair property. However, you can drag and drop shortcuts from the App for almost any task, even your own creations.

Corsair iCUE apps allow you to customize the button’s color. The App also controls the touch bar display. It can display time, component temperatures, and CPU usage. Touching the arrows on either end will allow you to switch to different modes.

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The macro bar proved to be very useful. Its shortcuts can also be used for everything, so I created an office profile to launch my usual apps. My one complaint is the absence of physical separators and no audible, tactile or haptic feedback. I could touch the buttons without any problems, but I missed the tactile confirmation of tapping.

This laptop’s streaming focus is enhanced with a sharp 1080p camera and privacy shutter. You can also use the Elgato Stream Deck application to control fine-tuning settings, such as white balance. Although the cam does not support infrared to facial recognition, Voyager’s a1600 has an integrated fingerprint reader into its power key for bypassing password logins. Corsair receives a nod for making the power button a separate key instead of making it an input keyboard key. We always find that this type of design is cost-saving.

Dolby atmos-tuned speakers, meanwhile, can be found straddling the keyboard with an airy sound and minimal bass. If you don’t mind tinkering, Dolby Access has many equalizer settings.

The Cherry MX Cherry MX Keyboard

Corsair Voyager design expertise in keyboards was also incorporated into the Voyager 1600. Cherry MX mechanical keyboards are a tactile treat, emitting subdued versions of the clicks & clacks of a desktop mechanical keyboard.

The iCUE App offers RGB lighting control by key and can be used to reassign keys. You can even disable potentially game-disrupting shortcuts, such as Alt+Tab or Alt+F4, and the menu-popping Windows keys. You can save unlimited profiles to create layered lighting effects.

The touchpad stands out as well. It measures a massive 6.1 by 3.9 inches. I’ve never seen a larger touchpad on a gaming laptop. It is made from sturdy glass with precise clicking action.

Thunderbolt 4 ports add an unexpected benefit to an AMD laptop. The left and right edges also have a USB Type-A port, USB-C 3.2 Generation 2 ports, and an Audio Jack. An SD card reader is also available. The power adapter for 230 watts is located on the left.

The ports are in the back, so your mouse and other peripherals won’t get in the way of the machine’s space. Wi-Fi 6E, as well as Bluetooth, are included in the machine. The unique Corsair Slipstream (Opens a new window ) module is also available. Slipstream functionality allows you, without the need for a dongle or USB ports, to connect supported Corsair peripherals.

Bon Voyage! Testing the Corsair Voyager. a1600

This is the Voyager a1600 that Corsair has tested. This rare all-AMD gaming system features an eight-core AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor at 3.2GHz (4.7GHz boost), 32GB dual-channel DDR5-4800 dual memory, and a 12GB Radeon RX6800M graphics card. It can accommodate up to 2 storage drives. Ours has a Corsair Pro XT 2TB PCI 4.0 solid-state hard drive. The warranty on the laptop is for one year.

All-AMD hardware offers a refreshing alternative to Nvidia and Intel. At the time of review, I couldn’t find any other laptop with Ryzen 6000 series CPU or Radeon RX6800M graphics. Alienware m15 R7 offers a Ryzen 9 6900HX with an 8GB GeForce RTX3070Ti and is $2,699. The Razer Blade15 Advanced is Intel-based at $3,299, with a Core i9-12900H Core, a GeForce RTX3070Ti and an OLED screen. However, it only comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SATA SSD.

Voyager’s Ryzen9 9600HS CPU merits a shoutout. It’s rated at 35W, not 45W like the Ryzen 8 6900HX. So it is unlikely that it will perform as well. Gaming performance shouldn’t be affected because games rarely exceed CPU usage for extended periods.

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The Voyager a1600 handles heat well, as this image shows from the Flir One Pro taken during a 3DMark Time Spy stress testing. The temperature peak of 110 degrees F doesn’t fall in the area where you would place your hand, but it’s still within the acceptable range.

Rear exhaust vents help keep heat away. The fans can be heard across a living space, but they are quieter than the ones on other gaming laptops I have tested. Make sure not to block the fan intakes located on the underside.

You can remove the bottom panel to upgrade the Voyager 1600’s RAM storage and storage. These are held together by a Philips-head screw. Note where the screws came from – they might not be all the same size. You will find two M.2 Type-2280 slots and two SO DIMM RAM Slots. These slots are capable of accepting 64GB RAM or two 32GB modules. Origin customization lets you store up to 8TB of storage in total, using two 4TB M.2 drives.

Let’s move on to the testing. Where the Voyager a1600 takes on the Acer Predator Triton 500SE. The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro Gen 7 faces the MSI Vector GP66. And the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model faces the Razer blade 15 Advanced Model. All these gaming laptops are 15-to-16 inches and feature Intel Core-class processors.

Productivity & Content Creation

The PCMark 10 test, which simulates office workflows and productivity in real life, is our first test. The Voyager 1600 did a great job in the main test. We consider 4,000 points a sign of solid productivity. And its storage score is indicative that the 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD is a top performer.

Our three other benchmarks are focused on the CPU and use all available cores. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes complex scenes with Cinema 4D. Primate Labs Geekbench Pro simulates many apps, including speech recognition, PDF rendering, and machine learning. The open-source video converter HandBrake1.4 is used to convert a 12-minute video clip to 4K or 1080p resolution. (Longer times are better).

Puget Systems’ PugetBench Photoshop opens in a new tab. This productivity test uses Adobe Creative Cloud 22 as Adobe’s image editor to determine a PC’s performance when creating content or using multimedia applications. It’s an automatic extension that automates a number of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks, such as opening, rotating, or resizing images and saving them to disk.

Voyager a1600 has a weakness in CPU performance. As I pointed out, the Ryzen 9-6900HS is 35 watts, and the Core H class chips are 45 watts more powerful. Voyager A1600 could have used a Ryzen 9 6900HS chip of 45 watts, but that would have created more heat.

Graphics and Gaming

Real-world and synthetic gaming are both conducted on Windows PCs. The first includes two DirectX 12 gaming sims from UL’s 3DMark. Night Raid is smaller and more suitable for systems with integrated GPUs, while Time Spy is larger and more demanding for gaming rigs using discrete GPUs. The benchmark GFXBench 5, a cross-platform GPU benchmark, is also part of that group. It’s used to gauge OpenGL performance.

Our real-world gaming testing results are from F1 2021’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (moderate and ultra quality), Siege at Low and Ultra quality, and Rainbow Six Siege, which represent simulation, open action-adventure, as well as competitive/esports shooter video games. Valhalla, Siege, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are run twice on laptops (Valhalla at Medium, Ultra, and Siege, respectively), while F12021 is run once with Ultra quality settings. Nvidia GeForce RTX laptops can run F12021 again with Nvidia’s performance-enhancing DLSS-anti-aliasing enabled.

The Corsair Voyager 1600 failed to perform across the board. Although Razer failed to perform for its hardware (likely underpowered power and/or thermal-induced slowdown), the performance of the others, including Lenovo and MSI, was more in line than what one would expect for this elite tier. The Radeon RX 6800M is slightly more bright than the 8GB RTX 3270 Ti. It has a larger frame buffer of 12GB.

We ran real-world gaming benchmarks at 1,920×1,080 Pixels to compare. You’ll need to play at Voyager’s native 2,560×1,600 pixels for the sharpest images. I got 44fps with F1 2021 Ultra, AMD FSR enabled, and Assassin’s creed Ultra, and 93fps with Rainbow Six Ultra. The sub-60fps of the latter two games suggests that the settings are too difficult. However, the games were still playable.

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