HP Omen Obelisk review

HP Omen Obelisk review

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

I was surprised at how attractive the HP Omen Obelisk is for something so simple. Despite its otherwise straightforward chassis, it has a lot of styles, thanks to its glass side window and obelisk-inspired facade trimmed with the renegade Omen logo. With this gaming PC, you don’t need to go overboard in your gaming aesthetic to make it look gaudy.

What about its big brother, the HP Omen Desktop PC? Certainly, the Obelisk looks nice and fits perfectly on the desktop of a gamer who appreciates elegant design, but a gaming PC can’t be judged solely on looks. When you play the best PC games, can it match the Omen Desktop’s brute strength?

Yes, in a nutshell. Once you consider pricing, specs, and its available configurations, it becomes more complicated. If you spend enough money on its innards, the Omen Obelisk will play games like butter. In the case where you only have enough budget for one of the cheaper configurations, it might not be powerful enough.

SPEC SHEET

Here is the HP Omen Obelisk configuration sent to us for review:

CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8700 (hexa-core, 12MB cache, up to 4.6GHz)

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB GDDR6 dedicated)

RAM: HyperX 32GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (2 x 16 GB)

Motherboard: Edoras micro-ATX

Power Supply:  Shadow Black tower with 500W Bronze efficiency power supply and side window

Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD / 1TB 7200 rpm SATA

Ports (front): USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A with fast charge, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, audio combo jack, mic jack

Ports (rear): USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C, 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, RJ-45, 3 x audio outputs, 3 x Displayport, HDMI 2.08, DVI8

Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 M.2 combo

Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Weight: 20.28 lb (9.20 kg)

Size: 6.5 x 14.06 x 17.05 in (16.51 x 35.71 x 43.31 cm)

Design

hp omen

Some gamers might find the HP Omen Obelisk’s aesthetic a bit underwhelming if they’re used to over-the-top gaming looks. You can upgrade to a glass side panel to showcase the innards, highlighted by the RGB lighting on the chassis ceiling. With the RGB-lit Omen logo etched on the upper section, the facade has its upper and lower sections tapering, like the type of monument it is named after. Additionally, the RGB lighting in both spots can be customized via the Omen Command Center software, which we will discuss in detail later.

Besides that, however, the Omen Obelisk doesn’t have any design frills, which we really appreciate. We also prefer it to the Omen Desktop’s aggressive Decepticon look. Unlike the old rectangular towers we used to have in the ’90s, this one is painted black, looks classier, and has the aforementioned trims for a modern aesthetic. In addition, unlike the Omen Desktop, it’s slim rather than bulky.

Even though it’s not as extensive as the Omen Desktop, it has a tool-less design. Simply press the large, textured button on the back to pop open the side panel. The interior is easily accessible, especially if you want to upgrade or customize it. Behind the front panel, two hard drive bays are equipped with tabs for locking the drives in place and pulling them out quickly if necessary. The micro-ATX standard makes it easy to upgrade with many aftermarket parts.

Similar to the HP Omen Desktop, the HP Omen Obelisk has a variety of ports available, some in the front and some in the back, so that you can connect multiple peripherals and devices at once.

Our only complaint about the Omen Obelisk’s design is that it lacks a top handle, perhaps to maintain its minimalist aesthetic. As a result, picking up and carrying the PC is a lot more difficult. In order to do so, you would have to start from the bottom.

There is a keyboard and mouse included in our review unit. However, since most, if not all, gamers invest in gaming peripherals, getting into details about these is not necessary.

BENCHMARKS

Here’s how the HP Omen Obelisk performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 43,317; Fire Strike: 19,600; Time Spy: 9,443

Cinebench CPU: 1,319 points; Graphics: 144.75 fps

GeekBench: 4,728 (single-core); 26,017 (multi-core)

PCMark 8 (Home Test): 4,758 points

Total War: Warhammer II (1080p, Ultra): 64.5 fps; (1080p, Low): 159.6 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (1080p, Ultra): 117 fps; (1080p, Low): 146 fps

Performance

hp omen

It is hard to generalize the performance of the HP Omen Obelisk gaming PC since there are three different configurations. Therefore, we will focus on our review unit, which isn’t the most expensive option in the US, despite being souped-up.

The Omen Obelisk configuration boasts the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. We would like to reiterate that this is a GPU far superior to the 1080 and that it boasts certain advantages over the 1080 Ti that the Omen Desktop has. In addition to its speed, the Turing architecture also allows for real-time ray tracing and deep learning supersampling (DLSS), which is an improvement over traditional Temporal Anti-Aliasing.

In spite of the fact that ray tracing is not currently used in many games, this capability does make the RTX 2080 future-proof as well as a powerhouse when handling demanding AAA games on Ultra settings.

Combined with HP’s 8th Generation Intel Core i7 and 32GB RAM, these components are designed to handle very demanding games and applications.

The frame rate drops slightly in Total War: Warhammer II, but it also averages close to 65 frames per second (fps) on Ultra, which is good. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, there are also a couple of frame drops, but it also averages 117 frames per second on Ultra.

In other AAA games, however, everything runs smoothly. We haven’t encountered any issues when playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XV, The Witcher 3, Sekiro, Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Total War: Warhammer 2, or Hitman 2. There is no tearing or latency, just smooth movements, and rock-solid performance. We only experienced one crash in Hitman 2.

Our only regret is that we cannot test it with the HP Omen 27 Gaming Monitor, which can be overclocked to 165Hz and has G-Sync technology.

Upgradability and the Command Center

Some of the HP Omen Obelisk’s configurations aren’t future-proof, but our review configuration is, as are some higher-end configurations that don’t cost as much. In spite of this, it is highly upgradeable, not only because of its tool-less design but also because of its micro-ATX compatibility. You can use aftermarket parts, or at least micro-ATX compatible ones, to configure and upgrade your computer.

In addition, there is a liquid-cooled radiator to help keep CPU temperatures down, making it ideal for overclocking. In case you want to upgrade with parts that require more power, the HP Omen Obelisk supports a 1300W power supply as well.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in terms of customizing the Omen Command Center. Omen Obelisk comes with only Lighting Control and Network Booster, the former allowing you to set animation and color for the RGB lighting in front and within the chassis, and the latter allowing you to set network priorities and boost bandwidth usage when running programs.

It doesn’t allow overclocking, however, and only displays CPU, GPU, and memory utilization. The Overclocking section is missing, which is available on the Omen Desktop.

Pros Cons
Highly upgradable Base model hardly future-proof
Appealing, tool-less design The software offers minimal personalization
Lots of power

Conclusions

HP Omen Obelisk configuration reviewed here is a future-proofed gaming machine that looks good and feels good in-game. With it, you will be able to play any graphics-intensive, processor-hungry AAA game smoothly, so you can fully immerse yourself in your gaming experience. The same goes for video editing software.

Although you will have to shell out more money than you would if you were looking for a budget gaming PC, if your goal is to have the smoothest and easiest gaming experience possible on Ultra settings, you are really not spending gratuitously, especially since you are essentially investing for your future.

If you cannot spare more than $1,500, that is also fine. Several configurations will set you back less than $1,000 and will handle medium settings beautifully. You can upgrade later when you can afford it since it is designed to be very upgradeable.