Price: Up to $3,280Processor: Up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900KRAM: Up to 64 GBGraphics Card: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090Storage: Up to 2 TB SSD + 2 TB HDDAccessories: HP USB Wired Keyboard, HP USB Wired MousePorts: USB-A, USB-C, SD card, 3.5 mm audio, Ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMISize: 17.1 x 16.6 x 6.7 inchesWeight: 28.4 pounds
EDITOR'S NOTE: The HP Omen 30L won a "highly recommended" honor for best gaming desktop at the Tom's Guide Awards 2021 for gaming.
The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop has one significant advantage over many of its competitors: It's quiet. It turns on with a gentle whirr, and provides ambient white noise when you're running demanding games. Compare and contrast to the jet engine sounds of other modern gaming rigs, and the Omen 30L has a lot going for it, even just as an everyday productivity machine.
The HP Omen 30L — like a lot of machines with Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs — isn't easy to get ahold of right now. And if you can find one, it's not cheap.
The least expensive Omen 30L model on HP's website is the GT13-0295xt model. This costs $2,000 and comes with an Intel Core i7-10700K CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD storage, and an air cooling system. This is out of stock at the time of writing.
Compare and contrast to the most expensive model: the Omen 30L GT13-0380t, which starts at $3,280. That will get you an Intel Core i7-10700K CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 GPU, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD storage and a liquid cooling system. This model is in-stock — possibly because of its high asking price.
Our review model was the GT13-0093, which is somewhere in the middle. It's not currently available anywhere at MSRP, although an Amazon listing pegs it at $3,699. This model comes equipped with an Intel Core i9-10900K CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, 32 GB RAM, 2 TB SSD + 2 TB HDD storage and a liquid cooling system. It's an incredibly powerful machine, and given the high demand for 3080 GPUs, we're not surprised it's sold out at the moment.
The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is a gorgeous machine. It might actually be the best-looking gaming desktop I've ever reviewed, combining a sturdy black chassis, a striking front design and a handsome glass side panel. The front of the machine has a glass face with a colored LED diamond, and colored LED fan lighting; the side of the machine lets you see the gorgeous RGB components within. There are plenty of holes for ventilation on the sides, and they look like artistic choices rather than mechanical necessities.Image 1 of 3Image 2 of 3Image 3 of 3
The device isn't obnoxiously large or heavy, either: 17.1 x 16.6 x 6.7 inches, and 28.4 pounds. This machine could probably live on top of a sturdy desk, although I kept our review unit on the floor with no ill effect (as is the case with many of the best gaming desks). Neither boring nor overdesigned, the Omen 30L illustrates that gaming desktops can look downright elegant with the right aesthetics.
There are plenty of ports on the HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop. Whether they're the ports you need, where you need them, is another matter. On the front of the machine, you get two USB-A ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a 3.5 mm mic jack and an SD card reader. You might notice that there's no USB-C port in the front; I certainly did. It's a strange, inconvenient oversight in what is otherwise such a powerful device.
Granted, you do get a single USB-C port on the back, along with five more USB-A ports, an Ethernet port and a handful of 3.5 mm audio ports. You'll also get DisplayPort and HDMI options, depending on your GPU. There's no optical audio port, which may come as a disappointment to audiophiles. Check out our picks for the best gaming headsets that will work with the Omen.
The inclusion of only a single USB-C port — on the back of the machine, no less — feels at-odds with the Omen 30L's state-of-the-art components. Many gaming peripherals (not to mention phones) have embraced USB-C connectivity, and that's not likely to change within the next few years. I can't imagine that the majority of gamers would rather have a front-facing SD card reader.
On the other hand, it's not too difficult to upgrade the Omen 30L. You can remove the side panel without using tools, and the layout inside is both spacious and clean.
The HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop delivers the kind of performance you'd expect from a PC with an Intel Core i9 processor and a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. In the following chart, we've compared the Omen 30L to both theDell XPS 8940and theCorsair Vengeance i7200. They're both powerful gaming desktops that can — but don't have to — cross the affordability threshold. The chart measures frame rates in frames per second, at both 1080p and 4K resolutions, with game settings turned up to Ultra.
|HP Omen 30L||Dell XPS 8940||Corsair Vengeance i7200|
|Assassin's Creed Valhalla||81 / 51||83 / 46||98 / 55|
|Grand Theft Auto V||150 / 54||135 / 42||161 / 56|
|Metro Exodus||118 / 64||99 / 49||126 / 68|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||143 / 56||118 / 41||151 / 59|
The results are pretty clear across the board. The HP Omen 30L performed better than the XPS 8940, but not as well as the Corsair Vengeance i7200. In the case of the Dell, this makes sense, as that machine has an RTX 3070 GPU rather than an RTX 3080. It's interesting that the Vengeance i7200 performs better, however. While both systems have RTX 3080 GPUs, the Vengeance i7200 actually has a less powerful processor.
There are some significant differences in 1080p performance between the Omen 30L and the Vengeance i7200; almost 20 fps in Assassin's Creed, and more than 10 in GTAV. The 4K performance between the two is comparable, however, so bear that in mind if you plan to play in UHD.
Qualitatively speaking, the Omen 30L runs games beautifully. I tested the machine with Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Doom Eternal, Baldur's Gate III and Final Fantasy XIV. Even with the graphics cranked up to Ultra on a QHD monitor, frame rates usually exceeded 60 fps, and the games themselves looked phenomenal. The Omen 30L can handle any PC game on the market with ease, and the outlook for the next few years looks good as well.
It's worth noting that if you want to expand your storage options, HP will offer you HDD space by default. You may want to simply install your own SSD instead; the difference in load times is considerable.
When it comes to everyday productivity, the HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is no slouch, either. Running all of my everyday programs at full tilt (word processor, music player, chat programs, e-mail client, etc.), I used about one-third of the system's memory and less than 10% of the CPU. As with most gaming desktops, office work can do very little to faze the Omen 30L.
Likewise, the Omen 30L actually performs better than the XPS 8940 and the Vengeance i7200 in certain productivity metrics. It can copy over 25 GB of media from a thumb drive at a rate of 1,166 MBps. Compare and contrast to the XPS 8940 at 439 MBps or the Vengeance i7200 at 824 MBps.
In terms of raw artificial metrics, the Omen 30L scored an 11,258 on the Geekbench 5.4 benchmarking test. We have not yet used Geekbench 5.4 to benchmark other gaming PCs, so it's difficult to say how the Omen 30L stacks up against competitors. In a vacuum, it's a high score, however. Everyday productivity machines can score around 1,500, as a point of comparison.
As mentioned above, the Omen 30L's liquid cooling system is a thing of beauty, keeping the GPU cool (up to 35 degrees Celsius for productivity; up to 80 degrees Celsius for gaming) and the system very quiet.
However, there are two components of the Omen 30L that will hamper your workflow, and those are the included mouse and keyboard. The HP USB Wired Keyboard and the HP USB Wired Mouse are, without a doubt, the worst pack-in peripherals I have ever tested, and I cannot recommend them, even just as a stopgap while you pick out better accessories.Image 1 of 2Image 2 of 2
The keyboard has an extremely low profile and shallow key travel, with little space between the keys and a design that puts the vital F and J keys slightly off-center. The mouse is likewise extremely low to the ground, and has a tiny, inefficient scroll wheel. These are not good gaming gadgets; they're not even good productivity gadgets. HP actually makes a handful of decent gaming accessories, and I cannot fathom why it didn't include some of those.
Another area where the HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop falls short is in its included software package. There's a fair amount of preinstalled software, and none of it is really useful. There's an audio manager, which is no better than the regular Windows sound system. There's the HP JumpStarts program, which seems like a whole lot of ads on top of a serial number, and not much else. The Omen Gaming Hub controls the PC's lighting, which is useful — but it also delivers ads, and offers to manage your games in ways that the Nvidia GeForce Experience software already does better.
The real bugbear, however, is the preinstalled McAfee Antivirus. I've written before about how McAfee eats up system resources, while false-flagging game files and forcing you to run the program at all times. Uninstall it and use Windows Defender instead; you and your PC will both be happier. Better yet: As soon as you get the Omen 30L, just wipe it clean and install a fresh copy of Windows 10. You can download the Omen software to manage lighting separately.
In spite of some questionable accessories and software, the HP Omen 30L Gaming Desktop is a thing of beauty. It's elegant, quiet and powerful. It's also extremely expensive, and it can be pretty confusing to buy the right one, so be prepared to do a little research if it sounds like the gaming rig for you.
The Corsair Vengeance i7200 is arguably a more powerful machine in the same general price range, and that's also quite a pretty machine. But the Vengeance is also slightly larger and bulkier, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to save a little space on top of your desk — or underneath it.