The demand for ready to use computers from major hardware manufacturers hasn't diminished, and that won't change with the advent of RTX graphics cards and new processors. The new ready-made PC from HP, the Omen Obelisk, is compact, extremely so, and is made on a micro-ATX platform to minimise its size. It comes in a myriad of different variations, although they look the same and our test copy is the largest version available.
The chassis is black with its intake at the front, a recess for two USB ports, a headphone input with DTS: Headphone X, restart and power buttons, a glass side panel and an IO shield in the same black hue as the rest of the chassis in the back. The logo, located on the front, supports RGB, or rather the 18-20 colours that the software supports. The back has a USB 3.0 Type C and 3.1 Type C on the graphics card (both without Thunderbolt) and five USB 2.0 connections and an ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 and no less than three Display ports. However, as with all other RTX 2080 cards, there's only one DVI connection.
The side panel is detached with an easy button solution, everything is neat and tidy but a single cabinet fan may be a little sparse. We'd say the same for the ports on the back, with there being ports for what the consumer probably needs, but no more than that. Things inside the chassis are neatly wired, but not exactly hidden and the PC has Bluetooth 4.2 and Wifi integrated.
There's quite a lot of room for upgrades, though the machine with its 500-watt power supply has its limits. The Omen Obelisk has internal lighting that can be controlled, however, the logo on the graphics card always displays a red glow. The graphics card is one of HP's own and so is the motherboard, however, we assume that it runs with standard configuration and the specifications support that assumption. It is fun to see that HP has gone all the way and even the graphics card shield is adorned with their own logo.
The tested version is the 875-0098no version, which as the name suggests is marketed towards the Nordics. Inside the chassis, you'll find an H370-based machine with an i7 8700, 32GB DDR4 RAM from Hyper X, a 512GB NVMe hard drive and a 2TB SATA to store your games on. The Omen Obelisk also comes in a 16GB RAM, 256GB hard drive version as well as a version with a Ryzen 7 2700.
We have to say that i7 8700 is rather underwhelming for the price of the machine, it would have been great to see an i7 9700K or even an i9 9900K for a PC with such a high price tag. It's a strange choice to not put a K processor in such a high-end ready-made machine and the processor in the Omen Obelisk seems to be its primary limitation. The explanation, however, seems to be the cooling system HP has chosen, which is a functional but fairly standard one that wouldn't have worked well with a K-series processor. The explanation is probably found in the cooling as they have chosen a functional but fairly standard cooling solution, and they probably wouldn't have been able to with a K-series processor.
When on the topic of cooling solutions, the CPU reaches up to 91 degrees when 4K games are pushed (quite a few of these run at 60+ fps due to the RTX 2080 card) and the GPU hits 83 degrees, both temperatures being too much, even for a stationary computer. When we were just surfing the net, we found the temperatures were somewhat better, 35 degrees for the CPU and 24 degrees for the GPU. The best solution, therefore, is to turn up the fans, but that makes the Obelisk a noisy piece of tech, from 36 dB to 44 dB. One of the main reasons for the noise appears to be the HP RTX 2080 card, which is apparently only equipped with a single fan.
The upgrades are easy to access. There are two M.2 drives and two common SATA connections, one of which is occupied. On the model we used for this review, however, the second M.2 connection was used for WiFi which we didn't think was the smartest decision. The two SATA devices are up front and easy to access. Meanwhile, the Omen Command Center is simple and functional, but in terms of design HP could refine it further - it is, however, useful in every way and gives the user all the information that is needed. Quite some time was spent updating, but both the graphics driver and Windows were updated in a good half hour.
The build quality is high, the upgradeability is decent (there are limitations with micro-ATX) and the cooling works fine when it's cranked up and is completely quiet at ordinary use - all in all, it's what you might expect from a super-compact stationary hardware unit. The CPU choice in relation to the price we still find a little strange, but overall it is definitely one of the best finished PCs we have had on our desk for some time.
Moving on to the fun part, the benchmarks. All of the benchmarks below were tested in 1080p and 144Hz on a 4K monitor.
Time Spy: 9886
Time Spy Extreme: 4433
Port Royal: 5744
Fire Strike Ultra: 6002
Fire Strike Extreme: 11416
Fire Strike: 20749
Total War: Warhammer II
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
The Division 2
Med RTX og DLSS på maksimal styrke:
Assassin's Creed Odessey
The HP Omen Obelisk are excellent ready-made computers, although we'd say that the cheaper version is the better buy than the more expensive model. The difference between 16GB and 32GB RAM when playing games is, in our experience, minimal.
A slightly better cooling solution to lessen the struggle of the graphics card and a better, more powerful CPU (or a lower price tag) would have been nice to see within the Obelisk chassis. The cooling can, however, be changed without much hassle and for a ready-made system, and overall the HP Omen Obelisk is as good and convenient as we expected it to be.
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