HP is breathing new life into its enthusiast Omen branding that hearkens back to the glory days of Voodoo PC, a former boutique system builder it acquired a decade ago. The newest item to sport the Omen logo—and one of the few in HP's history—is the Omen X, a diamond-shaped desktop that separates the main components into individual chambers for superior cooling.
It's a unique looking desktop, though there's a purpose to its eye-catching layout. Traditional tower desktops consist of five exposed sides with the PC resting on its sixth side. But with the Omen X, the diamond-shaped configuration is hoisted onto a base that allows it to seemingly levitate in mid-air, which in turn exposes all six sides for maximum ventilation.
That's the first benefit. The second one is the tri-chamber configuration that separates components into three areas. One of the chambers houses the motherboard, CPU, and GPU, while the hard drives sit in a second chamber and the power supply in the third.
"By keeping these components separated from each other by walls - and including a set of independent fans and vents in each chamber – the air flows in a more efficient way, allowing for an improved method of self-cooling," HP explains. "At the same time, three 120mm liquid cooling radiators have been placed inside the tower to provide continuous circulation of cool air to critical components. Similarly, strategically installed exhaust ports enables hot air to have a constant flow away from the inside of the unit."
So there's why the Omen X looks the way it does. If it looks decidedly boutique, there's a reason for that too. Boutique vendor Maingear had a hand in helping design the Omen X.
Maingear tells HotHardware that it worked closely with HP's industrial design team to make sure Omen X would fit the mold of what it would need to build its own version of the Omen X. The result is that HP and Maingear are each launching their own version of the Omen X.
As to the hardware that sits inside on HP's side, there are different setups available. The highest end one—Omen X Desktop 900-030—sports an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, 16GB of DDR4-2133 RAM (2x8GB), and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5X memory.
"The OMEN X desktop was built for serious gamers who need fierce performance out-of-the-box in a fully customizable chassis – something not typically available from traditional PC manufacturers," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems at HP.
Indeed, that's a burly foundation and to keep storage from dragging it down HP went with a speedy 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 solid state drive for the OS and a 2TB hard drive (7,200 RPM) for bulk storage duties.
Rounding out the package are 10 USB ports, including eight USB 3.0 and two USB 3.0 Type C; 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity; slim-tray DVD burner; 1,300W power supply; and Windows 10 Home 64-bit.
There's also a slightly toned down configuration—Omen X Desktop 900-010—with half the amount of RAM (8GB) and an AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Both are compelling setups and should draw some interest when they become available in early 2017, though HP has yet to announce any price points.
Over at Maingear, there are two baseline configurations available, each one customizable. The first one starts at $2,999 and includes an Intel Core i7-6800K processor, ASUS X99-M WS micro-ATX motherboard, Epic 240 custom open-loop liquid cooling, 16GB of HyperX Fury DDR4-2666 RAM, GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, 750W EVGA SuperNova power supply, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD burner, and Windows 10 Home 64-bit.
The second on is Maingear's SuperStock version starting at $5,200. It sports the same processor, motherboard, RAM, graphics card, and storage combo but ups the ante with a more premium liquid cooling setup and an 860W Corsair Professional Digital Series AX860 PSU.
Both of Maingear's configurations are available now.