September 12

Omen by HP Gaming Desktop Computer Review

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Table Of Contents

Overview

Key features

Model Number:880-120
Motherboard:Tampa 2
Processor:3.2 GHz Core i7 8700
RAM:16 GB DDR4
Graphics/Video Card:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
Integrated Graphics:Intel HD Graphics 630
Primary Storage:256 GB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 Solid State Drive
Secondary Storage:1 TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive
Optical Drive:DVD Writer
Memory Card Reader:3-in-1 Memory Card Reader
Bluetooth:Integrated Bluetooth 4.2
Other Wireless Networking:Wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac featuring Dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz) 2 x 2 technology
Power Supply:500 W internal power supply
Case Height:41.7 cm (16.43 in)
Case Width:19.2 cm (7.56 in)
Case Depth:44.2 cm (17.41 in)
Case Weight:17.6 Kg (38.80 lbs)

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful
  • Great design
  • Easy upgradeability
  • Comes with keyboard and mouse
  • Great port layout
  • Comes with a one-year limited warranty and 24/7 tech support
  • VR-Ready
  • Pricey
  • Limited expansion capability
  • LED Light s cannot be customized
View at Amazon

Ask any hardcore gamer or computer enthusiast advice on what pre-built gaming PC you should buy, and you’re bound to hear (or read) that you should not under any circumstances buy a pre-built PC. It’s a rip-off. This is a bit of a privileged way to look at it.

Firstly, your hobby with PCs may just be limited to gaming. That’s what makes consoles so accessible. Console gamers don’t really have to care about how their graphics are rendered or how much memory their machines have.

Basic knowledge of how computers work has never hurt anyone. However, these days pre-built systems are built more like consoles to attract customers who want to dip their toes in PC gaming without them having to take an amateur course in IT.

And either way, consoles are basically just slender pre-built PCs (and vice versa). So in this guide, we’re going to review the HP Omen and see if it actually has a right to call itself a gaming PC (or even a console).

Omens can either be good or bad. And on that note, isn’t it sad that we may not be getting a second season of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens? According to Gaiman, he won’t be returning as showrunner for season 2. Who knows if Amazon will renew it now and if they do, will it suffer without Gaiman’s input and support? Hopefully not. Just look at what happened to Preacher after Seth Rogan left, but I digress.

You’re here to find out if the HP Omen is a good one, despite its very ominous exterior. In this guide, we’ll go over the HP Omen’s design and performance. We’ll also list a few alternatives worth checking out. It should be noted that since manufacturers like to release more than one version of their flagship builds, we chose to review the HP Omen 880-120. Near the end of the review, we’ve also listed and answered a few frequently asked questions.


HP Omen 880 Performance

I know I’m stating the obvious, but a computer’s performance is largely based on its interior components. While the Chassis is there to provide ventilation and protection, it’s also there for cosmetic value.

HP Omen 880 PC next to a monitor keyboard and mouse

Under the hood, the HP Omen runs an 8th generation Intel i7 processor with a powerful GTX 1080 graphics card. The graphics card has 8GB of virtual ram while the processor’s clock speed is 3.2 GHz. This is without overclocking it. Both the CPU and GPU are a little outdated, but they’ll get the job done, especially if you’re looking for mid to high-end gaming.

We would have much preferred a mighty RTX 2080 with a ninth-generation i7. However, this probably would have made the PC a lot less affordable. If you don’t take into account the cost of the motherboard, cooling, and chassis, the HP Omen’s inner components will cost you around $975 in total.

In terms of performance, you really do get some bang for your buck. The HP Omen comes with a 256 GB NVMe PCLe which is perfect for those speedy load times. 256 GB may not be enough, so the Omen comes equipped with a secondary 1TB drive to house all your offline games and saves.

It has 16 GB of RAM which is standard for most mid to high-end gaming PCs. But how well do all these components play together? Let’s look at a game like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey whose Recommended 4K specs are as follows:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 7700 @ 4.2 GHz
  • Video:  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0)
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Video Preset: High
  • Storage: 46GB available hard drive space

HP Omen 880 PC omen logo

Well, looking at these specs and comparing them with the Omen’s specs, you can see that the Omen has enough to run AC Odyssey to its fullest potential. Running AC Odyssey at 1080p (Full HD) will give us 75 frames per second which is excellent. Running it at 1440p will give us a frame rate of 81 frames per second.

Running it at 4K will yield frame rates of about 39 fps. Our targeted frame rates for AC Odyssey were around 30 fps, so as you can see, the Omen exceeded our expectations by far. It’s important to remember that while the Omen has the power to render Odyssey’s gorgeous panoramas, but you need the right monitor to do it any justice truly. So why not check out our guide of the best 4K monitors after reading through the rest of this review.

The HP Omen will perform well as a media center, workstation or multipurpose desktop. However, it would go wasted as anything but a gaming computer. This thing outperforms any current-gen console, and I suspect that it has enough juice to survive the next generation too.


HP Omen 880 Design

The HP Omen’s case resembles a black knight’s helmet. It’s almost furnace-like with its vents, sharp edges and red glow. It’s sure to give small children nightmares. A really great reason for buying a pre-built PC is you get exclusive components that you may not be able to get as aftermarket parts. For instance, HP doesn’t sell this case as a standalone. Which is unfortunate.

HP Omen 880 PC omen command center

It’s extremely well designed but a bit bulky. It’s a mid-tower case. In the daylight, with all of its LED lights off, it resembles a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica.  Not only does it look ominous, but it’s also silent due to its liquid cooling system. There’s a single 120mm fan on the rear which is effectively there to inhale air through the vents and feed the rest of the computer with cool air.

The computer also has a clear side panel for you to show off all your components. One of the biggest selling points of this computer is its tool-free design. You can swap out hard drives on a whim by simply opening two of the front flaps on the case’s head.

On the right side of the flaps, you get 6 I/O ports, conveniently placed for easy access. Removing the side paneling is even easier. All you have to do is press a single button near the top of the rear of the case then the panel pops out. The HP Omen comes with a double-sided screwdriver because there’s always a limitation to how tool-free a rig’s design can be. Speaking of limitations…

While this is a Mid-Tower case, in an effort to save interior space, HP saw fit to use a Tampa 2 motherboard – which utilizes a micro-ATX form factor. This wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t such a lack of expandability.

HP Omen 880 PC next to a monitor

When you get this computer, there’s only one expansion slot open. In reality, you have all you need here with the HP Omen, but it really takes points away from it’s future-proofness. The less expandable or upgradeable a device is, the harder it will be to protect it from obsoletion.


HP Omen 880 Pricing and Alternatives

I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate that in this guide we reviewed the HP Omen 880-120 because, at $1,679.99, it’s currently the most affordable in the range. If you’re looking for something with the same chassis, but with a little more power, then I invite you to check out the:

However, if the HP Omen isn’t your cup of tea and you’re looking for something a little cheaper but won’t compromise on power, try the Alienware Aurora R8 review. Additionally, you can check out our guide on the best gaming PC. There’s a slew of great alternatives on it.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Graphics Card Does the HP Omen Have?

The HP Omen 880-120 uses an NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card. The HP Omen comes in different models and styles. Most models come with different specs and graphics cards.

MSI GTX 970 gpu

What does the HP Omen symbol mean?

According to HP, the Omen symbol is a Voodoo mask that reinforces HP’s place in history. According to HP’s Twitter feed: “Our logo is a tribal mask. The tribal mask reinforces our strong history in gaming as it is also the original Voodoo PC brand logo, and we want to continue making powerful hardware for gamers!”

What Does a Desktop Tower Do?

A desktop tower may refer to a computer cases form factor. People often use these terms erroneously. A desktop and a tower are two separate case/chassis styles or form factors. A desktop computer sits horizontally while a tower stands vertically (upright).

Is HP Desktop Good for Gaming?

HP Desktops are good for gaming. HP has various desktop computers. Not all of them are great for gaming, but HP does have a line or two for the gamers. They also have a range of gaming laptops. Most notably their Omen range of laptops and desktop computers is geared toward the gamers.

Is GTX 1080 Good for VR?

The GTX 1080 is good for VR. It utilizes NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture which allows you to experiences the current generation of Virtual Reality. The HP Omen 880-120 uses a GTX 1080 graphics card, which means you should be able to use your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headsets with it.

Oculus Rift S VR Headset

What’s a PSU on a Computer?

PSU stands for Power Supply Unit. A power supply unit regulates your computer’s power by converting AC current into DC current from the electricity it pulls from your outlet. PSUs usually have a watt of power output rating between 200 watts and 1800 watts.

Does HP Omen Have Bluetooth?

The HP Omen 880-120 has integrated Bluetooth. It uses Bluetooth 4.2, which is ultra-fast.

When Did the HP Omen Come Out?

The HP Omen 880-120 came out in November 2017.

Can You Upgrade an HP Omen?

You can upgrade the HP Omen 880-120. It gives you easy access to its drive bays, and it has one expansion slot open. Furthermore, you can overclock or replace the graphics card if you’re not satisfied with it.


Final Verdict

I guess you could say that the HP Omen 880-120 is Aziraphale even though it’s dressed up as Crowley. I’m sorry if you had to Google any of these references. Even with some of its core components being a little outdated, the HP Omen 880-120 will handle the latest games without breaking a sweat.

Performance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I can say that I’m very happy with the HP Omen’s performance. It’s perfect for both work and play.

Design: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s a very ominous knight like exterior, and tool-free design makes it stand out. However, I do wish it had a little more upgradeability, and the LED lighting cannot be customized.

Price: ⭐⭐⭐

You can get something cheaper with some of the very same specs. However, you won’t get anything that’s exactly quite like it for the same price. You’re not just paying for performance; you’re paying for HP’s design and implementation.

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The HP Omen desktop gaming computer is impressive. I’d like it more if it were a little cheaper and had used a better motherboard. Either way, it’s still great value for money. I would not stop anyone from purchasing this as their first PC.


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