HP Omen Obelisk Assessment | Don’t Underestimate This Desktop’s Understated Seems to be

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

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

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

Understated attraction

Although it possible received’t attraction to avid gamers in search of 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 concentrating on dwelling customers who might have this desktop to serve twin functions for work and play.

HP Omen Obelisk Chuong Nguyen/Digital Developments

Until you’re capable of spot the glowing LED-lit Omen brand on the prime of the pyramidal-shaped Obelisk within the entrance or discover the glowing backlight via the glass panel, the Omen Obelisk can simply cross as a normal client desktop. HP doesn’t downplay the Obelisk’s Omen gaming heritage although. It’s only a trendy tower that foregoes the garish prospers which can be historically linked to gaming PCs.

With a reputation like Obelisk, you’d count on HP’s desktop to tower in your desk. Thankfully, that’s not the case, because the Omen Obelisk is a compact desktop though it is available in a well-known tower kind issue. Our evaluate 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 area 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 dimension to the Asus ROG Strix GL12CX gaming desktop, making each towers pretty compact for the RTX graphics energy that’s inside. The ROG advantages, nonetheless, from a bigger ATX-sized motherboard and a more moderen processor however comes with a considerably costlier $three,200 price ticket.

But when dimension is a priority, boutique gaming agency Origin PC’s not too long ago 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.

Below 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 received’t discover a fancy RTX graphics playing cards with glowing brand or a flowery 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 moderen Intel Core i9 processor and extra highly effective RTX 2080 Ti graphics. The attention-catching parts from this mannequin embody the radiator and pipes from the liquid cooling system, which ought to assist present extra visible curiosity while you’re wanting via the glass.

HP is clearly concentrating on individuals who might 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 might 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 might be shortly eliminated, giving entry to all the interior parts. 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 score 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 verify 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 previously. There’s additionally a mud filter, which turns out to be useful to maintain issues wanting clear when you have got a big see-through glass panel.

The tower helps loads of room for growth, ought to you might want to swap in a beefier PSU or determine 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 severe avid gamers will both carry their very own peripherals or improve the inventory equipment.

Reachable ports

The Omen Obelisk contains two arrays of ports that can assist you join your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and different peripherals. Mainstays, like the facility cable, show output, and speaker connection, might 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 Obelisk Chuong 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 facility 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 look ahead to Intel’s newer Ninth-Era processors. Consequently, the Omen Obelisk models that shipped in late-2018 got here with Eighth-Era Intel processors. Our evaluate 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, nonetheless, when operating processor benchmarks. The Omen Obelisk posted decrease single- and multi-core scores than competing programs that use Ninth-Era Intel Core i9-9900Okay 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 greater on the single-core take a look at and greater than three,000 factors decrease on the multi-core take a look at. Once we used Handbrake to encode a pattern 4K film, the take a look at carried out 38 p.c sooner on the ROG than the Omen Obelisk.

And though 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 job, 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, due to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. Nonetheless, regardless of sharing an identical graphics card because the Asus ROG Strix GL12CX, the Omen Obelisk carried out barely worse throughout 3DMark Time Spy, Sky Diver, and Fireplace Strike assessments. Each models’ scores have 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 median of 25.92 FPS (frames per second).

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

In Battlefield I, Civilization VI, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the Obelisk delivered effectively over 60 FPS throughout all recreation 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 comparable graphics playing cards. This reveals that even with an getting older Eighth-gen Intel processor, the Obelisk was nonetheless capable of sustain with opponents operating newer Ninth-gen silicon.

Given the persistently robust efficiency of the Obelisk, avid gamers could not discover a lot of a efficiency hole, even with an older processor. Generally, 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 greater resolutions.

With the real-time ray-tracing enabled on Battlefield V, we seen that the sport appeared extra practical, and we appreciated the added stage of particulars. The function, nonetheless, does tax the system at greater 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 simply 32 FPS.


HP presents a normal one-year off-site guarantee protecting components, labor, and delivery charges to ship the unit to a restore middle. Avid gamers who need longer peace of thoughts can select an upgraded two-year guarantee for $239 or a two-year plan with unintentional injury safety for $279. The latter covers sudden occasions, like water spills and even drops, which might turn out to be useful if you end up incessantly toting the Obelisk to LAN events.

HP’s base one-year guarantee falls in keeping with what mainstream manufacturers, like Dell’s Alienware and Lenovo’s Legion presents, however these rivals provide longer premium packages that may prolong the safety of your system for as much as 5 years. Dearer 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 that the unit doesn’t prime out with the most effective CPU or GPU at the most effective configuration. Nonetheless, at a sub-$2,000 worth level, the Obelisk’s Eighth-Gen Intel – somewhat than the newer Ninth-Gen silicon – processor and RTX 2080 graphics does a commendable job at dealing with framerates in recreation play.

In our benchmarks, we discovered that HP’s determination to go together with Intel’s final era processor didn’t have a lot of an impression on gaming efficiency. And until you’re pushing the gaming envelope with ray-tracing titles on the highest recreation settings at 4K resolutions, going with the Obelisk’s RTX 2080 graphics, as an alternative of the flagship RTX 2080 Ti will possible prevent a bit of money, as efficiency with ray-tracing enabled usually solely dropped at resolutions larger than 1440p.

Is there a greater various?

In the event you’re okay with Intel’s final era processors, HP’s Omen Obelisk may 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 worth, you’re getting a more moderen Ninth-Era Intel Core i7-9700 processor. Dell’s Alienware Space-51 desktop prices the identical worth 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 package deal. When configured with an Intel Core i7-9700Okay 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 if you happen to wish to trick out your rig, however the Chronos doesn’t include HP’s single-pane window design.

In the event you’re a extra severe gamer, you’ll wish to look ahead to the 2019 model of the Omen Obelisk that HP introduced at CES. The 2019 Obelisk maintains the identical aesthetics and design as our evaluate 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 predicted 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 might drop at the moment.

How lengthy will it final?

No matter which configuration you choose, the HP Omen Obelisk will fulfill your gaming wants for years to come back. All the interior parts are upgradeable, and if you happen to 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.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. In the event you don’t have the endurance to supply your personal components to construct your personal PC, HP’s Omen Obelisk is a superb pre-built various that’s competitively priced and effectively 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 acquired sufficient options – ease of improve, RTX energy, and a contemporary design – that makes this desktop interesting to the fanatic.

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