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HP Omen 45L Review

Water-cooled, check. Great looking, check. Super easy to use, check. Gigantic, check. Expensive, check. After a little over two months with HP's latest gaming beast, we're ready to hand out the scores.

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For just over 16 months the core of the Gamereactor Racing rig consisted of an HP Omen 30L containing an Intel i7 CPU and an RTX3080 and that computer was largely trouble-free, quiet and responsive throughout our time with it, but as we've written a few times we felt a few months ago that it was time for an upgrade, primarily because we run three 55" LG OLEDs at 4K resolution in our simulator, which naturally means that the computer in question has to work hard. Really, really hard.

HP Omen 45L
The fan rings can, of course, be set to be either off or to shine only in, say, white light.

The HP Omen 45L has a 15 litre larger chassis, which is cooled by a new invention that HP has chosen to call the Cryo Chamber. It also houses three times as many fans as the 30L and is thus clearly cooler even during longer gaming sessions (sometimes we run sim-racing competitions for six hours straight, in 12K resolution with everything inside the games on "Ultra" and with 22 different components plugged into the PC itself). It contains a Ryzen 9 CPU and, in our case, 64GB of DDR4 RAM and an AMD 6950TX Red Devil GPU. After messing around with Nvidia's triple display tool, Nvidia Surround, for over a year, I in particular felt it was really time to test AMD's solution, to see if we could thus get rid of some of the inherent problems that Nvidia's buggy software has been causing. This computer also includes Corsair's HX1000 power supply, 2TB SSD and exactly twice as many USB 3 inputs as our old 30L, which really helped us sort out the problems in our ever-growing racing rig.

The design of the chassis and the way HP designed the Cryo Chamber cooling really appeals to me. The 45L is minimalistic without being boring, stylish without looking ugly and has a presence in terms of size that is unmistakable. It's a big computer. A very big computer. With the Cryo Chamber attachment on top and the 15 litre larger base box it looks almost twice as big physically compared to the 30L and considering it's quieter, cooler and faster too - that's purely a positive thing if you ask me. The front is completely covered by a sheet of tempered glass that can be removed in a second for those who want to clean the three front-mounted HP fans and the left side of the chassis is also all glass, which can be removed just as quickly as the front, for those who want to change components.

HP Omen 45L
Elegant. Stylish. Clean.
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And that's kind of what we did, initially. When the 45L arrived here at the editorial office, it contained an i9 CPU and an RTX 3080Ti (GPU), and since we wanted to switch to AMD components, we took off the glass side and replaced the parts along with the power supply upgrade. This whole process was super easy and it was done in under 20 minutes, which is a huge improvement over pretty much anything we've seen before from HP and all the pre-built gaming cages we've seen from MSI, Lenovo, Corsair and especially Alienware (Dell). The way the 45L has been designed makes upgrades and switching components super easy.

HP's job on how everything is designed and assembled internally is also clearly better than in the 30L and it simply looks much neater, in my opinion. The proprietary motherboard (Micro ATX) is stylishly placed with plenty of space around it and there are hidden extra hard drive slots in a separate part of the chassis plus the cabling has been made neat and tidy, which gives the 45L a very neat impression, as I said. As for the Cryo Chamber, I find the new solution to be clever if simple in its construction. The 45L is water-cooled but instead of pulling the water reservoir to the most critical components, HP has made the top-mounted "chamber" house the water, which is then cooled by Cryo fins and fans and move the water around the computer. From what I can see there is minimal risk of water from the Cryo Chamber ever reaching parts like memory and graphics cards, which makes sense, of course.

As for the 64GB of RAM in our computer, it's a bit of a shame that it's not DDR5 class, not least given the high price, but on the other hand it's nothing that affects the amazing performance we get out of this (especially in the two racing simulators we spend by far the most time in), although that will of course change in the coming year.

HP Omen 45L
Cryo Chamber refrigeration is a brilliant idea executed very well.
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The most graphically demanding and stylish game we run in our racing rig is undoubtedly Automobilista 2, where we're running today at 12K resolution with everything in the game's "Ultra" settings, reaching around 70 frames per second. Despite long sessions in a room drenched in technology and dual-motion systems to simulate the car's movements, the HP 45L is and has always been quiet and very cool, which together with brilliant performance, a sleek design and snazzy options to quickly switch components make this computer a real hit.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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Water-cooled, check. Great looking, check. Super easy to use, check. Gigantic, check. Expensive, check. After a little over two months with HP's latest gaming beast, we're ready to hand out the scores.

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