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Powerful & Splendid Gaming SystemPosted
==== Summary ==== The HP Omen by Obelisk desktop PC is a great-looking, powerful, well-built, and fantastic gaming system~! With its powerful components inside, the Omen can run pretty much all the games at their max visual settings (depending on your monitor resolution, of course). However, future upgrade path is a bit limited and the cooling performance is slightly lacking. All in all, though, it's a great gaming PC and I love it. *Pros: -Cool angular black design with glass sidepanel. -Quality materials & build quality. -Excellent fit-and-finish. -LED color and lighting animation control. -Powerful components (Intel Core i7 8700, nVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080, 16GB DDR4, SSD boot drive). -nvidia RTX 2080 = gaming bliss and full eyecandy mode. -Lots of USB ports - USB Type C & USB Type A 3.1 Gen 2 included~! -Pretty quiet for a gaming PC. -Compact footprint makes it easy to place. -Pretty lightweight. *Neutral: -Supports only 2x SATA-3 hard drives & requires right-angle SATA-3 cables. -Only one small 80mm rear cooling fan. -Top vent is mostly blocked off by a plate. -Bottom vent design is not ideal. -Wish the PSU was at least 750W. *Cons: -No additional PCI Express expansion ports. ==== Design & Build Quality ==== I love the design & build quality of the HP Omen. Although I'm usually a fan of the color white for my PC peripherals, the Omen won me over with its nice black paint job and its chiseled and angular design. The Omen logo on the front that lights up is really cool and adds just enough bling without going overboard. Same for the LED lighting inside the case. I love how I can customize both the color of the LED lighting as well as its animations via the Omen Command Center application. I unexpectedly had lots of fun playing around with the different lighting options. I also love the inclusion of all the modern & up-to-date ports that the Omen offers. On the top of the case are 2x USB 3.1 Type A ports (Gen1, 5 Gb/s), 1x headphone jack, & 1x microphone jack. On the rear of the Omen, there are 4x USB 3.1 Type A ports (Gen1), 1x USB 3.1 Type A (Gen2, 10 Gb/s), 1x USB Type C (Gen2, 10 Gb/s), 1x ethernet, 3x audio, and 5 additional ports from the RTX 2080 GPU (1x USB Type C, 1x HDMI, 3x Display Port). For me, these ports were enough to accommodate all of my PC accessories (e.g., speakers, keyboard, mouse, monitor stand with USB & audio ports, external USB drives, flash drives). Coming from a Full Tower-size case, the Omen looked shockingly small to me at first. On the positive side, it is good because it is relatively so light and its compact dimensions doesn't take up too much space. On the negative side, airflow isn't as good and it is harder to improve it in such a small space. To complicate things even more, HP made some head-scratching design choices. For one, there is only one small 80mm fan on the rear of the case. The other active blowers are the CPU fan, the PSU fan, and the GPU fan. HP should've put in at least a 120mm fan in the rear and added a front intake fan. Second, HP curiously blocked off most of the top vented grille with a plate that impedes the warm airflow inside from escaping out through the top (see my picture). The plate is held in place by some Philips screws so at least it is removable. It would've been nicer if HP placed a fan up there instead of the plate. Third, on the bottom of the case, there is a vent protected by a removable filter. Because the vent is on the bottom of the case and many people will try to put the Omen down on top of the floor (e.g., carpet), cooling performance is again somewhat compromised and not ideal. A workaround would be to put something underneath the front and rear sides of the Omen to lift it up a bit and make clearance for the bottom vent. I did exactly that using two reams of printer paper as a temporary measure until I find a more suitable and aesthetically pleasing solution. Despite these shortcomings, I still love my Omen and it will be replacing my current Full Tower-size custom-built PC as my daily driver desktop. ==== Operating System & Software/Bloatware ==== The Omen came with Windows 10 1803 (2018 April Update) pre-installed with the usual amount of both Microsoft and third-party bloatware apps and games (e.g., McAfee Security, LinkedIn, Spotify, Candy Crush Saga, Fitbit Coach). They are all easily removable from Settings. There were many HP apps as well but most are useful utilities to help you with system maintenance, troubleshooting, and driver & firmware updates. The Omen Command Center is a nifty app I enjoyed using to customize the LED lighting. ==== Performance ==== Hooked up to the nVIDIA RTX 2080 is my 27" Asus MX27AQ monitor with WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440 IPS). Instead of using the crappy mouse and keyboard that came inside the box, I'm reusing my mechanical gaming keyboard and Logitech mouse from my previous gaming rig. Gaming on the HP Omen is PURE pleasure. At maximum eye-candy graphic settings, I'm thoroughly enjoying playing games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry 5, Assassins Creed Odyssey, and Monster Hunter World. They all run fast, smooth, and perfectly. I ran the built-in benchmark in Shadow of the Tomb Raider (at Ultra settings) and I got the following scores: Average FPS: 74 CPU Game: 66 FPS min, 163 FPS max, 104 FPS avg, 73 FPS (95% percentile) CPU Render: 74 FPS min, 294 FPS max, 140 FPS avg, 99 FPS (95%) GPU: 61 min, 121 FPS max, 76 FPS avg, 63 FPS (95%) The 256GB Toshiba NVME SSD performed well as well. On the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, the Omen achieved 1523.4 MB/s Sequential Read and 718.1 MB/s Sequential Write. Random Read was 682.5 MB/s and Random Write was 275.8 MB/s. I didn't benchmark the 2TB 7200 RPM Seagate Baracuda hard drive but it performed well and quietly. Overall, I'm very, very happy with the performance and responsiveness of the Omen. I'm coming from a custom-built PC with a 2nd-generation Core i7 2600K, 16GB DDR3, Samsung SSD (SATA-3), and nVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080. The improvements are very tangible and perceptible. It's awesome. ==== Future Upgradeability ==== Unfortunately, the upgrade potential of the HP Omen is pretty limited due to no extra PCI-E slots and only one extra SATA-3 connector on the small micro-ATX motherboard. Still, I managed to make the best of it. Thankfully, the HP Omen comes with a single stick of 16GB DDR4 RAM with one RAM slot open. So I purchased a matching stick of 16GB Kingston HyperX Fury memory to make it 32GB. As for the hard drives, I added a 6TB Western Digital Black HDD on the SATA3 port and swapped out the 256GB Toshiba NVME SSD for a 1TB Samsung 970 Evo NVME SSD. In order to install the WD Black HDD, I had to purchase a slim, right-angle SATA3 cable. Otherwise, I wasn't able to close the sidepanel cover. In the future, I'll be upgrading the PSU to a higher wattage one when I perform a GPU upgrade. ==== Misc Notes ==== The included USB keyboard and mouse are very so-so and basic. Both are cheap- and flimsy-feeling. I can't type comfortably on the keyboard due to its shallow and unresponsive keys that are worse than most laptop keyboards. ==== Closing Thoughts ==== Despite some head-scratching design decisions made by HP in terms of airflow and expansion slots, the HP Omen is still a fantastic gaming system. It looks great, it has quality build materials with excellent fit-and-finish, it has many useful ports, and its powerful components make it a superb gaming system that allows for maximum visual fidelity and quality. I LOVE it~!!
I would recommend this to a friend