HP Omen 30L gaming desktop review: a gorgeous glass house
MSRP $ 1,100.00
âThe HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is the best looking gaming desktop you can buy. ”
Smooth 4K gaming
Ready to upgrade
Good value for money
Can get very loud and hot
Everyone wants to build their own PC these days. The problem? Finding affordable components these days is almost impossible. More than that, if this is your first rodeo, riding one from scratch can be intimidating.
HP designed its new Omen 30L gaming desktop with exactly this audience in mind. Using all industry standard upgrades and a DIY-friendly setup, it’s unlike anything you’ll get in an Alienware or ROG desktop.
Did I mention this thing is absolutely gorgeous? He is. And it’s pretty affordable too, starting at $ 1,100. Of course, this is not the setup that everyone should buy. You’ll pay over $ 2,000 to get a model with the new RTX-30 series graphics, which is the one you want.
If you are able to catch one, you are going to be in for a treat.
The aesthetics of the HP Omen 30L suit my tastes perfectly. The case is simple and sleek, much like something from NZXT or Lian-Li. The edges are straight, the vents are small, and even the lighting is tasteful. Don’t even bother comparing this to a desktop computer from ROG or Predator.
Even the branding image is minimalist. A simple diamond shape adorns the front, shining bright white like some sort of alien obelisk. Call it the mid-century modern gaming desktop design.
Call it the mid-century modern gaming desktop design.
Nonetheless, HP has included a few keys that set it apart from the standard PC case that you can buy off the shelf. The front is made of tempered glass, giving you a view of the RGB-lit fan inside, punctuated by the triangle-shaped air vent pattern on the side. You have the impression of being in a museum and looking at an ancient relic. HP charges extra for this, but I like the ultra-reflective look.
The vent design is also found along the top panel, which is made entirely from machined aluminum. Like all other tower surfaces, it is extremely rigid. On the top you’ll also find a number of ports, including a headphone / microphone combo jack and two SuperSpeed ââUSB-A ports. I like to see a USB-C port offered here, which includes options like the Asus ROG Strix GT35 and the Falcon NW Talon.
Despite all the metal and glass, HP managed to keep the system fairly light. It weighs 28 pounds, which is lighter than the 30-pound Lenovo Legion Tower 5i and the 35-pound Falcon NW Talon. The Omen 30L is however a bit larger, thanks to the large rubber feet located underneath. HP says that this empty space dramatically increased the airflow from below.
Tempered glass is also used for the side panel, giving you a clear view of your hardware. A string of RGB lights hang near the top, casting the internals in a beautiful bath of color. Again, this is a touch that looks like what many custom PC builders go for.
The Omen 30L Gaming Desktop uses a custom micro-ATX motherboard, which is typical for this tower size. The circuit board is even matte black which is a nice touch. The Falcon NW Talon uses a full size ATX card, which gives it additional functionality but can make the internal layout a bit cramped. The Omen 30L is pleasant and spacious.
The card allows for an additional M.2 SSD, as well as two SATA drives in the available storage bays.
Cable management is a bit sloppy.
I wouldn’t say it’s clean, however. Cable management is a bit sloppy, especially if you’re from a boutique PC maker like Origin or Falcon NW. They crisscross in all directions and would be quite complicated to disentangle and redirect. This is one part of the DIY aesthetic that is best avoided in a pre-built system.
Fortunately, access to internal components is completely tool-free. The textured button on the back brings up the side panel. It is an extremely simple and user-friendly design. I even prefer it to the door hinges that open like on the Falcon NW Talon, which can be inconvenient if you keep your tower on your desk.
The other side panel, on the other hand, can be removed with a single screw. This is also true of the graphics card, which is held in place by a plastic bracket to prevent sagging and ensure safe delivery. The Omen 30L offers plenty of space for cards even as large as the enormous Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090.
My review unit was a water-cooled system, although the base model uses a standard air cooler. Either way, HP has partnered with Cooler Master for all thermals, including the front intake and rear exhaust fan. There isn’t much room for additional fans, although HP did mention that there might be room to fit a larger radiator at the top. The 750 watt power supply is also provided by Cooler Master. Unfortunately, it does not include a manual shutoff switch.
Finally, the RGB USB drives in my review unit are from HyperX, a company that HP now fully owns. My system had 32GB of Fury DDR4 which is the maximum amount you can get.
With options ranging from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, the performance you get will vary. Turns out your pick of those CPUs and GPUs is crapshoot too. Third-party manufacturers also have a stock problem. HP says that eventually, an RTX 3060 configuration will also be available.
If you can get hold of a setup similar to mine, you won’t be disappointed with its performance. It came with an Intel Core i9-10900K processor, an Nvidia RTX 3080, and a 1TB M.2 SSD.
In 3DMark Time Spy, the Omen 30L fell right between a few of its closest rivals. With a score of 16,108, it ranks 11% ahead of the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i and 5% behind the Falcon NW Talon. Both systems were also equipped with the RTX 3080. The lead over the Legion Tower 5i was reduced to just 3% in the older DirectX 11 benchmark, Fire Strike.
The RTX 3080 is supposed to be a 4K capable card, so I plug it into my 4K 144Hz monitor to see what it can handle. It could play any game I tested in 4K at over 60 fps (frames per second) at max settings except Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The in-game benchmark of this title spits out an average of 52 fps.
This is the only game where I preferred the 1440p experience, averaging 70 fps faster. It was between 5% (1080p, High) and 15% (4K, Ultra High) behind the Falcon NW Talon at different graphics settings and resolutions, which was a performance disparity compared to other games I tested as well. .
At the highest fidelity, the Omen 30L often traded blows with the Talon. But in 1080p, it fell behind the Talon. The clearest example was Civilization VI, which is already a more CPU dependent game than the rest. The Omen 30L averaged 158 fps in 4K at Ultra, but that’s 11% slower than the Falcon NW Talon. That lead was extended to 22% at 1080p Medium, showing just how bottleneck the Omen processor is in comparison.
There were times when the fan noise was very loud. As scary noisy.
It was also true in Fortnite, where the Omen was faster than the Talon and Legion at 4K (95 fps) but was 10% behind the Talon at 1080p. I guess most gamers won’t be too offended by the disparity, but it’s worth noting if you’re trying to get the fastest frame rates out of your system.
It’s hard to blame the Omen 30L too much, especially since there were games like Battlefield V where it was a much more even fight between the three systems, with no gaps of more than 5 fps. Either way, playing the game in 4K at 100fps is fantastic, showing just how much of a game-changer the RTX 3080 really is.
The most serious problem with the Omen 30L was fan noise. For most of the games it wasn’t too bad, but there were times when it was really strong. As scary noisy. During my 3DMark Time Spy, I also noticed occasional spikes in CPU temperatures of up to 97 degrees Celsius, which is not what you want to see. The system stabilized at around 73 degrees for most of the load, but between the temperature spikes and fan noise, the thermals could have required a bit more tinkering.
Gaming is the priority of the HP Omen 30L, but there’s no reason you can’t take it for a spin in creative apps, like Adobe Premiere or Blender. CPU performance is good, although you’ll obviously get more multicore juice if you go with AMD’s Ryzen platform.
The Ryzen 5950X I tested in the Falcon NW Talon, for example, circled around the Core i7-10900K in the PugetBench Premiere Pro and Blender benchmarks. PugetBench tests important tasks like 4K playback and video encoding, and that’s why the multi-core prowess of the Ryzen-powered Talon beat the Omen by 18%.
Still, the HP Omen 30L is a capable creative workstation, especially when you can use that monster GPU.
The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop PC is the most beautiful gaming desktop you can buy – hands down. Shop options like the Falcon NW perform a bit better and come with much tidier cable management. But for the price, the HP Omen 30L is my favorite pre-built gaming desktop in its class.
Are there any alternatives?
The two obvious choices are the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i and the Alienware Aurora R11. The Legion Tower 5i is a good option, although you can’t yet configure it with the 30-series RTX cards, so forget about it.
The Alienware Aurora R11 and Asus ROG Strix GT35 are both bigger and more capable than the Omen 30L, but they are also more expensive. And far from being as beautiful.
Finally, the Falcon NW Talon or the Origin Neuron are both great choices, but they are much more expensive.
How long will it last?
The HP Omen 30L will last as long as you get it. That’s the beauty of desktop computers that are easily upgradeable. Everything can be exchanged, even if you have technical problems.
HP’s protection plan isn’t great though. It only comes with a standard one year warranty.
Should we buy it?
Yes. If you can manage to find one of the top-of-the-line setups, you won’t find a better preset gaming desktop.