HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop Review: A great glass house
“The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is the most beautiful gaming desktop you can buy.”
Smooth 4K gaming
Accessible internal parts
Ready to upgrade
It can become very loud and hot
Everyone wants to build their own PC these days. the problem? Finding affordable ingredients these days is almost impossible. More so, if this is your first rodeo, putting one together from scratch can be daunting.
HP designed the new Omen 30L gaming desktop with this specific audience in mind. With all the industry-standard upgrades and an easy-to-use setup, it’s unlike anything you’d get on an Alienware or ROG desktop.
Did I mention that this thing is super cool? that it. It’s also fairly affordable, with a starting price of $1,100. Of course, this is not a configuration that anyone should buy. You’ll pay over $2000 to get a model with the new RTX-30 series graphics, which is the model you want.
If you’re able to get one, you’re ready to get a treat.
The aesthetic of the HP Omen 30L perfectly matches my taste. The case is simple and polished, not unlike something out of the NZXT or Lian-Li. The edges are straight, the vents are small, and even the lighting is tasteful. Don’t bother comparing this to a ROG or Predator desktop.
Even the brand is simple. A simple diamond shape adorns the front, glowing in brilliant white like some kind of exotic obelisk. Call it mid-century modern gaming desktop design.
However, HP has included a few touches that make this stand out from the standard computer case you can buy off the shelf. The front is made of tempered glass, giving you a view of the RGB-lit fan from the inside, punctuated by a triangle-shaped slit pattern along the side. It feels like you are in a museum and looking at ancient remains. HP charges extra for it, but I like the highly reflective look.
The air vent design is also found along the top panel, and it’s made entirely of machined aluminum. Like any other surface of the tower, it feels very solid. At the top, you’ll also find a number of ports, including a headphone/microphone combo jack and two SuperSpeed USB-A ports. I’d love to see the USB-C port featured here, which includes options like the Asus ROG Strix GT35 and Falcon NW Talon.
Despite all the metal and glass, HP managed to keep the system fairly light. Weighing in at 28 pounds, it’s lighter than the 30-pound Lenovo Legion Tower 5i and 35-pound Falcon NW Talon. However, the Omen 30L stands a little taller, thanks to the large rubber feet underneath. HP says that this empty space significantly increased the flow of air coming from below.
Tempered glass is also used for the side panel, giving you a clear look at your devices. A series of RGB lights are suspended near the top, bringing the interiors into a gorgeous bath of color. Again, it’s a touch similar to what many PC builders choose.
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 board, which gives it some extra features but can make the interior feel a bit cramped. Omen 30L is beautiful and roomy.
The board allows for an additional M.2 SSD, as well as two SATA drives in the available storage slots.
However, I wouldn’t call it clean. Cable management is a bit sloppy, especially if you’re coming from a PC maker like Origin or Falcon NW. They intersect in every direction and you’ll be a mess to untangle and reorient. This is part of the DIY aesthetic that is best avoided in a pre-built system.
Fortunately, accessing the internals does not require a lot of tools. The textured button on the back pops out the side panel. It is very simple and easy to use design. I even prefer it over swing-out door hinges like the Falcon NW Talon, which can be inconvenient if you keep your turret on your desk.
In the meantime, the other side panel can be removed with just one screw. This also applies to the graphics card, which is held in place by a plastic bracket to prevent sagging and ensure safe delivery. The Omen 30L has plenty of room for cards even if they are as big as the massive Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090.
My review unit was a water-cooled system, although the base model uses a standard air cooler. Either way, HP partnered with Cooler Master for all kinds of heat, including the front intake manifold and the rear exhaust fan. There isn’t a lot of room for additional fans, although HP mentioned that there might be room to mount a larger cooler on top. A 750W power supply is also provided by Cooler Master. Unfortunately, it does not include a manual shutdown switch.
Finally, the RGB memory cards in my review unit are from HyperX, a company that HP now owns directly. My system had 32GB of Fury DDR4, which is the most you can get.
With options ranging from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, the performance you get will vary. As it turns out, your choice of these processors and GPUs is also a mistake. Third-party manufacturers are having an inventory issue, too. HP says eventually an RTX 3060 configuration will also be available.
If you can get a configuration similar to mine, you won’t be disappointed in its performance. It comes 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 between two of its closest competitors. With a score of 16108, it is 11% ahead of the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i and 5% behind the Falcon NW Talon. Both systems are also equipped with the RTX 3080. The progression on the Legion Tower 5i has been 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 hook it up to my 4K 144Hz monitor to see what it can handle. Every game I tested can play in 4K at over 60 frames per second (frames per second) with max settings, except Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. This title’s benchmark in the game averaged 52 frames per second.
It’s the only game where I preferred the 1440p experience, with an average speed of 70fps. It was between 5% (1080p, High) and 15% (4K, Ultra High) behind the Falcon NW Talon at different graphics settings and resolutions, a performance discrepancy from other games I tested as well.
With the highest accuracy, the Omen 30L often traded blows with the Talon. But at 1080p, it fell behind the Talon. The clearest example was Civilization VIIt is indeed a game that depends on the CPU the most. The Omen 30L averaged 158 fps in 4K in Ultra, but that’s 11% behind the Falcon NW Talon. That lead was extended to 22% at 1080p average, which shows how much Omen’s CPU is throttled by comparison.
This was also true in It is an electronic gameThe Omen was faster than the Talon and Legion at 4K (95fps) but was 10% behind the Talon at 1080p. I think most gamers won’t be offended by this disparity, but it’s worth noting if you’re trying to get the fastest frame rates ever out of your system.
It’s hard to blame the Omen 30L too much, especially since there are games like Battlefield V Where combat was more even between the three systems, with no deviations of more than 5 fps. Regardless, playing the game in 4K at 100fps is great, showing how the game really changes the RTX 3080.
The most serious problem with the Omen 30L was fan noise. During most games, it wasn’t too bad – but there were occasions when it was just too loud. Like scary Aloud. During 3DMark Time Spy, I also noticed an occasional rise in CPU temperatures of 97°C, which is not what you want to see. The system settled at about 73 degrees for most of the load, but between temperature rises and fan noise, the temperatures could have used a bit more tinkering.
Gaming is a priority for the HP Omen 30L, but there’s no reason why you can’t use it in creative applications, like Adobe Premiere or Blender. CPU performance is good, although you’ll obviously get more multi-core juice if you choose AMD’s Ryzen platform.
The Ryzen 5950X I tested in the Falcon NW Talon, for example, ran circles around the Core i7-10900K in both PugetBench Premiere Pro and Blender benchmarks. PugetBench tests critical tasks like 4K playback and video encoding, which is why the multi-core ingenuity of the Ryzen-powered Talon beat Omen by 18%.
However, the HP Omen 30L is a capable creative workstation, especially when you can use such a brutal GPU.
The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is the most beautiful gaming desktop you can buy. Boutique options like the Falcon NW offer slightly better performance and come with tidy cable management. But for the price, the HP Omen 30L is by far my favorite gaming desktop in its class.
Are there 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 currently configure it with RTX 30-series cards yet, so forget about it.
The Alienware Aurora R11 and Asus ROG Strix GT35 are both larger and more high-performance than the Omen 30L, but they’re also more expensive. And nowhere near as good looking.
Finally, the Falcon NW Talon or Origin Neuron are great options, but they are much more expensive.
How long will it last?
The HP Omen 30L will last as long as you have it. This is the beauty of desktop computers that can be easily upgraded. Everything can be swapped, even if you run into technical issues.
However, HP’s protection plan isn’t great. It comes with a standard one-year warranty only.
Should you buy it?
Yeah. If you can find one of the higher quality configurations, you won’t find a better pre-built gaming desktop.