HP’s Omen PCs are some of the best pre-built gaming PCs available. HP uses reliable, name-brand components you’d want to buy if you were building your own PC, so there’s no guesswork when it comes to what’s inside the box. That reduces a lot of the worry that can come with letting a big company make your gaming PC.
HP Omen 45L specs
CPU: Core i9 12900K
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3090
RAM: HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-3733
Motherboard: HP Micro ATX
Storage: 2x 2TB WD_Black PCIe 4.0 SSD
Front I/O: 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Type-A
Back I/O: 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Type-A, 2x USB 3.2 Type-C, 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
Connectivity: 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1, Ethernet
PSU: Cooler Master 800W 80 Plus Gold ATX
Case: HP Omen Cryo Chamber case
OS: Windows 11 Pro
Dimensions: 21.8 x 8 x 18.5 inches
Warranty: 1 year
The HP Omen 45L is the company’s newest prebuilt gaming PC chassis, revitalizing its previous 40L desktop. It’s the first of its kind to have a chamber attached to the top of the case that houses a 240mm radiator for the CPU’s liquid cooling loop. HP claims the gap between the radiator enclosure and the rest of the case allows for better airflow, a cooler CPU, and a place to hold onto the case if you need to move your PC. Our colleagues at Tom’s Hardware had that section of the case come partially disconnected in their review unit, and while my unit’s chamber had no issues, that potential point of failure is a concern given the price of this PC. In my tests, the cooler didn’t offer any noteworthy impact in CPU temperatures. It’s what you’d expect from a liquid cooler and not much else besides a unique-looking case. Provided it detaching is a rare occurrence, the chamber feels more like a gimmick than something that’s actually important to the design of this PC.
It’s a configurable system that starts at $1,900. The machine I’ve got for review here costs much more than that, rolling in at $4,700 on the official site. You have the option to buy an Omen 45L built around what I have here, a Core i9 12900K and an RTX 3090, or a Ryzen 7 5800X and an RTX 3070. Both systems come with an 800W Cooler Master power supply. The low-end system starts with 16GB of HyperX 3733MHz DDR4 memory and 512GB PCIe 4.0 of SSD storage. You can bump the RAM up to 64GB and kit out the storage with up to two 2TB WD Black drives or add in a WD Black 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive to save some cash. According to HP, it isn’t offering DDR5 systems because of the ridiculously high prices and general scarcity at the moment. I can’t argue with that decision: the Omen 45L’s prices would be unfathomable if HP tried to wrangle DDR5 sticks at the moment.
The Omen 45L’s connective tissue for all its parts is HP’s own micro ATX motherboard, which introduces some potentially annoying limits that you might not get with another brand’s board. The biggest issue is the paucity of USB options. The top edge carries four USB ports (two of which are 2.0 for some reason), and the back panel has two more USB 2.0 ports alongside four USB 3.0 (two Type-A and two Type-C) ports. For simple setups this won’t be much of a bother, but, if you’re someone like me, and add in a headset, microphone, and webcam in addition to a keyboard and mouse, things might start to get crowded.
The Omen 45L’s packaging is disappointing when it comes to protecting all of this valuable hardware. My review unit’s box was made out of fairly thin cardboard and lacked any type of cushioning foam. A few bumps during shipping could have done some serious damage to the case or at least unseated a RAM stick. For a PC that could cost up to $4,700, I expect better assurance that it’s not going to be dinged up or have something come unseated in transit.
Once out of the box, you’ll see the 45L’s unique “cryo chamber” case—which HP says it will sell separately at a later date. Behind the front glass panel, it has three 140mm RGB fans, which you can customize with HP’s Omen software. There’s another glass panel on the left side that sits over an RGB light strip on the top, an RGB-equipped CPU cooler, and RGB RAM. It sounds like a lot of RGB and it is, but with some software tweaking I was able to stop the PC from turning into a disco ball every time I powered it on.
I was delighted to find that it’s a completely toolless operation to remove the front and side case panels via recessed buttons. All of the components and wires are cleanly installed inside, and it has room and spare cable for hard drive and SSD upgrades should you choose to do either in the future.
The Core i9 12900K and RTX 3090 are a powerful combo. Gaming performance on the Omen 45L is the best you can reasonably get right now. At 1080p, it pulled in over 200 fps in my Hitman 3 benchmarks and kept a steady 109 fps in an RTX-enabled Metro Exodus test. At 1440p, the average fps in my tests only dropped 10 to 20 frames. It did all of this while maintaining an average GPU temperature of 64C, although it did cause the PC’s fans to ramp up and get fairly loud. It’s not a dealbreaker, but expect some noise when maxing out new games.
At 4K, which is probably what you’re shooting for if you’re spending this much on a PC, the 45L kept an average 60 fps in all of my tests, which includes Hitman 3, Metro Exodus, Horizon Zero Dawn, and F1 2021.
If you spend the $4,700 on the best version of the Omen 45L, you shouldn’t have an issue playing any new game at 1440p. At 4K, you might need to start lowering settings, but that’s true of any system right now, especially if you want to make full use of a high refresh rate display. The tech just isn’t at a place where 4K is effortless.
The Core i9 12900K in my review unit absolutely kills in processing power; it burned through all of my tests. Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs reignited the competition against AMD for a reason, and my results show it. It blasted through my Cinebench R20 and X264 rendering tests. For a prebuilt buyer, this means the full-priced Omen 45L will handle things like streaming and video editing easily. That’s a boon for people who want to dabble in that stuff or who plan to use the Omen 45L as a workstation.
The CPU only peaked at about 91C during my usage and benchmarks. Generally it sat around 60C to 70C. In my tests, the cryo chamber design didn’t affect temperatures in a noteworthy way, but it also didn’t hurt them, so the gimmick is pretty neutral unless you hate the way the case looks.
The Omen 45L is a strong choice if you want a prebuilt gaming PC that will play anything you throw at it, especially in 4K. While you can stream and edit video on lower specs, the beefiest version will handle those tasks beautifully.
This review unit is the best you can get, but the options on HP’s website are still promising if you don’t need all of that. A rig with 16GB of memory and a RTX 3080 or 3060 is totally fine for most people, and is one way to actually get your hands on a GPU during the chip shortage. Specifically, I’d suggest picking up the GT22-0450t version of the PC and upgrading the memory to 32GB and adding more storage if needed. The way things are right now, you’d probably pay more by buying the components a la carte.
With the Omen 45L, you get a PC that works out of the box, has almost no bloatware (ExpressVPN and McAfee are pretty easy to get rid of), and plays modern games without flinching. The one-year warranty could be better, especially given the packaging situation, but you’re getting something more reliable than the weirdly-named prebuilts with mystery parts that can be found in the depths of Amazon.