HP Omen 45L review | Tech Radar
High-end pre-built gaming PCs like the HP Omen 45L are more important in 2022 than ever before: Due to an unprecedented shortage of graphics cards, building your own gaming PC has become a luxury that few can reasonably afford. Enthusiasts are therefore once again turning to prebuilt PCs.
With this newfound attention from enthusiasts, manufacturers are introducing more extreme versions of their gaming PC lines in hopes of capturing this audience. HP jumped on that trend with the Omen 45L – an absolutely massive tower of a gaming PC.
The configuration we received for review contains some of the most powerful PC components you will find on the market. It features an Intel Core i9-12900K processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, and a whopping 64GB of RAM. If that wasn’t enough, it also has two 2TB SSDs, ensuring you’ll never run out of space. It’s kind of the dream setup for hardcore PC gamers, but that dream also comes with a fantastic price tag.
You’re going to pay around $5,000 for this setup – or at least you would if this setup was actually available. closest to you. can get a 2TB SSD and a 2TB HDD, which is admittedly pretty close – and it’ll set you back $4,278 (about £3,200, AU$5,920). And this configuration is only available in the United States.
In the UK it finishes with the same base spec, but with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, which will set you back £2,999. In Australia, you can’t even buy the HP Omen 45L.
That sounds like a lot of money, but when you consider that an Alienware Aurora R13 with similar specs would set you back $4,629 (about £3,470, AU$6,410), that hefty price tag doesn’t really seem that bad. Again, you’re getting a much less compact chassis design that looks more like a classic gaming PC – but honestly, we’re kinda into it.
And when we say the HP Omen 45L looks like a classic gaming PC, we don’t mean to put that down in any way. It’s a stunning black obelisk of a gaming PC with three RGB fans illuminating the front panel and a backlit white diamond front and center. If you’re familiar with the HP Omen brand, you’ll recognize the trademark symbol, but where it’s usually depicted in red, we also like the white coloring here.
And it’s also, well, huge. When you see the name “HP Omen 45L”, the 45L is the chassis volume. Yeah. It’s big. The machine measures 21.85 inches in height and 18.5 inches in length. This means that you will need a lot of desk space to install the machine. We have it in our living room and it’s almost as tall as our TV stand. Fortunately, the black color allows it to integrate perfectly.
It’s also heavy: the Omen 45L weighs around 50 pounds. So if you live like us in a walk-up apartment on the third floor in New York City, be prepared to do some heavy lifting to get it upstairs. And when you’ve got it installed, you won’t want to move it.
On the top of the chassis are a selection of basic ports; you’ll find four USB Type-A ports and dedicated 3.5mm audio jacks for headphones and a microphone. And to the right of all those ports is a discreet power button. Beware, however, of the button at the top: if you have a cat, it will be easy for kitty to jump on it when you are in the middle of the game.
While there are a ton of USB ports on the top, there really aren’t that many on the back of the HP Omen 45L. There, you will only have four USB-A ports and a single USB-C. There’s also an Ethernet LAN and three audio connections, but that’s very lackluster for a gaming PC – especially one this large.
This is probably because HP does not use a standard motherboard, unlike other PC manufacturers such as Maingear and Origin PC. Instead, HP is including its own custom motherboard, and, well, that’s fine.
You can access the innards of the gaming PC by pressing one of the convenient access buttons located at the top of the chassis, in the so-called “cryo-chamber”. It’s basically a gap between the top of the chassis and the heatsink at the top, which we can only assume will separate the rest of the components from the hot air coming from that component.
Once it’s open, you have wide access to every part of the system, more than we’d typically expect from a mainstream manufacturer. And although the motherboard is proprietary, it has everything you would need to upgrade it in the future. Plus, if you like the chassis (we sure do), the motherboard is thankfully a standard ATX board, which means you can totally replace it later with something you buy from the store.
Luckily, the power supply is a standard Cooler Master model, which means that even that won’t keep you from using this chassis for years to come. This is one of the best parts of the HP Omen 45L. HP targeted people who like to tinker with their own PCs and succeeded by launching a PC that you can actually tinker with. Other mainstream PC makers should take a lesson. That’s how a high-end gaming PC should be.
The only thing we would honestly change for components is to get a motherboard that has more I/O on the back. We can’t speak for everyone, but when looking to play VR games, we have to unplug other things just to make room. If you’re the type to have a dozen things plugged into your PC at once – we know we’re not alone – then you’re going to need to invest in a USB hub. And that’s just not something you should have to do with a full-sized gaming PC like this.
Luckily, with a PC this big – and let’s be honest, expensive – you can easily play almost any game you throw at it with all the settings maxed out without even really trying.
We’re in the midst of an Elden Ring obsession, like many people, and the Omen 45L runs it at 4K with the Maximum graphics preset like a charm. Now don’t get me wrong, there are occasional frame drops with Elden Ring, but that’s more about the game itself than the monster components on offer.
Likewise, it was able to get us through our Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy game without any issues. And even with all settings maxed out, including ray tracing, we haven’t seen it drop below 60fps for the duration of this game. It really is the dream machine if 4K gaming is on your list.
And because of the Intel Core i9-12900K and 64GB of RAM in our review configuration, it would also be a dream come true for the gamer who’s also a content creator – something that’s becoming increasingly common these days. last time. The HP Omen 45L easily scores over 22,000 points in Cinebench R23, making it one of the fastest PCs on the market today.
That performance won’t have to go away any time soon, either. The upgradability we talked about means you can keep the HP Omen 45L up to date for years to come. You won’t have to go out and buy a brand new gaming PC for quite a while.