HP Omen Obelisk assessment

HP Omen Obelisk review

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Prebuilt PCs had been as soon as the topic of ridicule amongst fanatic avid gamers. HP hopes to alter fashionable opinion and the dialog in gaming circles with its latest Omen Obelisk.

This gaming PC targets extra critical avid gamers with options like Intel’s Core i7 or AMD Ryzen processors, quick HyperX RAM, elective Intel Optane reminiscence, and Nvidia’s newest GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. And one of the best half is that this compact gaming desktop tower nonetheless comes with sufficient inner house to help future upgrades.

The Omen Obelisk has a modest sub-$900 beginning value, however you gained’t be impressed with these specs. Our upgraded $1,999 assessment unit comes is the one you need with its glossy case,  massive tempered glass window, and high-end elements. You is perhaps stunned how a lot gaming goodness HP managed to pack into this bundle.

Understated enchantment

Although it seemingly gained’t enchantment to avid gamers looking for a flashier system, the Obelisk’s extra demure aesthetics make it match extra simply into a house workplace setup. With its all-black metallic development, glossy tempered glass aspect window, and refined LED lighting, HP is clearly focusing on residence customers who may have this desktop to serve twin functions for work and play.

Chuong Nguyen/Digital Developments

Except you’re in a position to spot the glowing LED-lit Omen brand on the prime of the pyramidal-shaped Obelisk within the entrance or discover the glowing backlight by way of the glass panel, the Omen Obelisk can simply move as a regular shopper desktop. HP doesn’t downplay the Obelisk’s Omen gaming heritage although. It’s only a fashionable tower that foregoes the garish thrives which are historically linked to gaming PCs.

With a reputation like Obelisk, you’d anticipate HP’s desktop to tower in your desk. Thankfully, that’s not the case, because the Omen Obelisk is a compact desktop despite the fact that it is available in a well-known tower kind issue. Our assessment unit helps a microATX Edoras motherboard and full-size graphics card, serving to to maintain the general footprint to a minimal in your desk. You continue to have entry to an array of ports and loads of house contained in the case for future upgrades.

Regardless of a showy, un-tinted tempered glass window, there isn’t a lot visible curiosity inside.

The Obelisk’s 6.5 x 14.1 x 17-inch (width x size x peak) dimensions is comparable in measurement to the Asus ROG Strix GL12CX gaming desktop, making each towers pretty compact for the RTX graphics energy that’s inside. The ROG advantages, nevertheless, from a bigger ATX-sized motherboard and a more recent processor however comes with a considerably costlier $three,200 price ticket.

But when measurement is a priority, boutique gaming agency Origin PC’s just lately refreshed custom-built Neuron ships with a microATX motherboard with a Ninth-Gen Intel Core i9 and beefier RTX 2080 Ti graphics. The Lenovo Legion C730 is smaller nonetheless, however that cooler-inspired PC comes underpowered with final era’s GTX graphics.

Underneath the wanting glass

Regardless of its un-tinted see-through aspect tempered glass window, there actually isn’t a lot visible curiosity inside. Like competing gaming programs, there’s configurable RGB lighting, and the helpful cable administration system retains issues organized and tidy. However you gained’t discover a fancy RTX graphics playing cards with glowing brand or a elaborate radiator.

HP Omen Obelisk

HP Omen Obelisk

The place the glass panel design actually comes into play is on the upgraded Omen Obelisk configuration that was introduced at CES 2019. This newer mannequin tops out with a more recent Intel Core i9 processor and extra highly effective RTX 2080 Ti graphics. The attention-catching components from this mannequin embrace the radiator and pipes from the liquid cooling system, which ought to assist present extra visible curiosity once you’re wanting by way of the glass.

HP is clearly focusing on individuals who may have this desktop to serve twin functions for work and play.

For DIYers who need extra management of their desktops, the EMI-coated glass panel may be accessed with out instruments. HP claims that the clear EMI coating helps to forestall any radio or magnetic interference. By pulling a latch on the rear of the tower, the aspect panel may be shortly eliminated, giving entry to all the interior elements. Inside, you’ll discover entry to 2 RAM sockets, two M.2 sockets, full-height graphics card, fan, exhausting drive, and a 500-watt energy provide unit (PSU). Although the low watt ranking on the PSU could seem underwhelming given the RTX graphics card, we encountered zero points with this configuration.

Though our construct doesn’t include a lot by way of energetic cooling, the Obelisk did handle to maintain temperatures in examine with strategically positioned vents alongside the rear, sides, and prime. The underside-mounted PSU additionally helps with warmth dissipation, and two non-LED-lit followers assist with air circulation. In use, the followers sounded a bit louder than some competing premium gaming PCs that we’ve examined up to now. There’s additionally a mud filter, which is useful to maintain issues wanting clear when you’ve gotten a big see-through glass panel.

The tower helps loads of room for enlargement, ought to it’s essential to swap in a beefier PSU or resolve to improve to a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card sooner or later. RAM and storage are each fast upgrades. The Omen Obelisk additionally ships with HP’s USB keyboard and mouse, however critical avid gamers will both carry their very own peripherals or improve the inventory equipment.

Reachable ports

The Omen Obelisk consists of two arrays of ports that can assist you join your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and different peripherals. Mainstays, like the ability cable, show output, and speaker connection, may be plugged into the rear. 5 USB three.1 ports, a single USB-C port, HDMI, and three DisplayPort connections, Ethernet jack, and audio ports line the again of the unit.

HP Omen ObeliskChuong Nguyen/Digital Developments

On this era of the Omen Obelisk, HP redesigned the highest ports with a front-facing design for simpler entry. On the prior era, the Obelisk was designed with rear-facing ports, making for a sleeker and cleaner design on the expense of port accessibility. Up prime, you’ll discover two USB three.1 ports, headphone jack, microphone jack, and the ability button.

Priced to carry out

In a transfer to maintain prices down, and sure in a rush to launch the Obelisk sooner to avid gamers, HP opted to not watch for Intel’s newer Ninth-Technology processors. Consequently, the Omen Obelisk models that shipped in late-2018 got here with Eighth-Technology Intel processors. Our assessment system got here configured with an Intel Espresso Lake Core i7-8700 CPU with six cores and 12 threads.

The slower efficiency of Intel’s earlier era processor is clear, nevertheless, when working processor benchmarks. The Omen Obelisk posted decrease single- and multi-core scores than competing programs that use Ninth-Technology Intel Core i9-9900Ok processors, just like the Origin Chronos, Digital Storm Aventum X, and Asus ROG Strix GL12CX. In comparison with the Alienware Space-51 R5’s Intel Core i9-7980XE processor, the Obelisk posted combined outcomes, scoring 700 factors increased on the single-core check and greater than three,000 factors decrease on the multi-core check. Once we used Handbrake to encode a pattern 4K film, the check carried out 38 p.c sooner on the ROG than the Omen Obelisk.

And despite the fact that our unit comes with a 512GB M.2-format solid-state drive made by SK Hynix, the drive was on the slower aspect, with 664 Mb/s learn and 448 Mb/s write speeds. These speeds are slower than competing Samsung, Toshiba, and Western Digital Drives on different models we’ve reviewed, just like the Aventum X, Microsoft Floor Studio 2, and Huawei MateBook 13. It’s even slower than the Lenovo Legion C730, which comes with a smaller 256GB SK Hynix SSD.

There’s additionally a 1TB exhausting drive on this method, and customers who want extra storage capability can add a 3rd drive. Each exhausting drives are simply accessible within the exhausting drive bays, and swapping out the M.2 SSD is a straightforward activity, solely requiring unscrewing a single Phillips-head screw.

Ray tracing prepared gaming

Fortunately, regardless of considerably slower processing speeds relative to modern rivals, the Obelisk stays aggressive within the graphics division, because of its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. Nonetheless, regardless of sharing the same graphics card because the Asus ROG Strix GL12CX, the Omen Obelisk carried out barely worse throughout 3DMark Time Spy, Sky Diver, and Hearth Strike assessments. Each models’ scores had been equally decrease than the Origin Chronos, which is to be anticipated provided that the Chronos ships with an RTX 2080 Ti card. With 3DMark’s new Port Royale benchmark, which measures ray tracing, the Obelisk scored 5,598 factors with a mean of 25.92 FPS (frames per second).

In our gaming assessments, the Omen Obelisk once more delivered related efficiency ranges as different programs with Nvidia’s RTX 2080 graphics. On the whole, marks throughout the board in titles like Civilization VI, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Battlefield I, and Rocket League had been barely decrease on the Obelisk than the Origin Chronos.

In Battlefield I, Civilization VI, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the Obelisk delivered nicely over 60 FPS throughout all sport settings, even in 4K decision. In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at 4K in Extremely mode, there was a noticeable dip in efficiency, however the Obelisk carried out 10 FPS higher than the Asus ROG Strix GL12CX’s 39 FPS mark regardless of each programs sharing related graphics playing cards. This reveals that even with an getting older Eighth-gen Intel processor, the Obelisk was nonetheless in a position to sustain with opponents working newer Ninth-gen silicon.

Given the persistently sturdy efficiency of the Obelisk, avid gamers could not discover a lot of a efficiency hole, even with an older processor. On the whole, we discovered that the RTX collection graphics delivered extra constant outcomes throughout 1080, 1440p, and 4K resolutions than the older GTX collection, which confirmed a slowdown in framerates at increased resolutions.

With the real-time ray-tracing enabled on Battlefield V, we seen that the sport appeared extra reasonable, and we appreciated the added stage of particulars. The function, nevertheless, does tax the system at increased resolutions, and there’s a noticeable dip in efficiency when ray-tracing is cranked to “extremely” in 4K decision. With ray-tracing off and HDR enabled, the sport performed on common between 56 to 59 FPS in 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions at roughly 60Hz. When ray-tracing is enabled, framerates remained constant at decrease 1080p and 2K resolutions, however in 4K, efficiency within the “Nordlys” mission dropped to only 32 FPS.


HP presents a regular one-year off-site guarantee masking elements, labor, and transport charges to ship the unit to a restore middle. Players who need longer peace of thoughts can select an upgraded two-year guarantee for $239 or a two-year plan with unintended harm safety for $279. The latter covers sudden occasions, like water spills and even drops, which may turn out to be useful if you end up often toting the Obelisk to LAN events.

HP’s base one-year guarantee falls according to what mainstream manufacturers, like Dell’s Alienware and Lenovo’s Legion presents, however these rivals supply longer premium packages that may prolong the safety of your system for as much as 5 years. Costlier build-to-order programs from boutique manufacturers like Origin PC and Digital Storm include a base three-year restricted guarantee.

Our Take

HP made some sacrifices to hurry the Omen Obelisk out on the finish of 2018, and which means the unit doesn’t prime out with one of the best CPU or GPU at one of the best configuration. Nonetheless, at a sub-$2,000 value level, the Obelisk’s Eighth-Gen Intel – moderately than the newer Ninth-Gen silicon – processor and RTX 2080 graphics does a commendable job at dealing with framerates in sport play.

In our benchmarks, we discovered that HP’s choice to go along with Intel’s final era processor didn’t have a lot of an affect on gaming efficiency. And except you’re pushing the gaming envelope with ray-tracing titles on the highest sport settings at 4K resolutions, going with the Obelisk’s RTX 2080 graphics, as a substitute of the flagship RTX 2080 Ti will seemingly prevent a bit of money, as efficiency with ray-tracing enabled usually solely dropped at resolutions better than 1440p.

Is there a greater various?

Should you’re okay with Intel’s final era processors, HP’s Omen Obelisk could be very competitively priced for its specs. Asus’ competing ROG Strix, for instance, prices roughly $1,200 greater than the Obelisk at $three,299. At that value, you’re getting a more recent Ninth-Technology Intel Core i7-9700 processor. Dell’s Alienware Space-51 desktop prices the identical value because the ROG Strix, however you’re getting an eight-core Intel Core i7-7820X processor, 16GB RAM, and 128GB M.2 solid-state drive coupled with a 1TB exhausting drive.

Boutique PC producer Origin PC’s Chronos desktop additionally is available in a equally compact bundle. When configured with an Intel Core i7-9700Ok processor and an RTX 2080 graphics card, the Origin begins at $2,432, which is a $400 premium over the Obelisk. Origin presents way more customization choices when you prefer to trick out your rig, however the Chronos doesn’t include HP’s single-pane window design.

Should you’re a extra critical gamer, you’ll need to watch for the 2019 model of the Omen Obelisk that HP introduced at CES. The 2019 Obelisk maintains the identical aesthetics and design as our assessment unit, however the improved configuration maxes out with newer Intel Core i9 processor, higher RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and a radiator for liquid cooling. This up to date mannequin is anticipated to ship extra energy for computational duties and improved gaming efficiency. It’s slated to reach in March beginning at $2,249, so pricing on the Eighth-gen Intel configuration may drop at the moment.

How lengthy will it final?

No matter which configuration you decide on, the HP Omen Obelisk will fulfill your gaming wants for years to come back. All the interior elements are upgradeable, and when you go for an RTX collection graphics card, you’re shopping for a future-proof PC. The problem for many avid gamers who buy this and different RTX-equipped system is ready for builders so as to add help for ray tracing into their titles, and that course of can take some time.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. Should you don’t have the endurance to supply your personal elements to construct your personal PC, HP’s Omen Obelisk is a superb pre-built various that’s competitively priced and nicely geared up to ship the efficiency most avid gamers want. Although it’s a gaming tower that’s focused at mainstream avid gamers, it’s bought sufficient options – ease of improve, RTX energy, and a contemporary design – that makes this desktop interesting to the fanatic.




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