HP OMEN Obelisk Review: Powerful, Easily Upgradeable Gaming PC

HP OMEN Obelisk Review: Taking The DIY Out Of PC Gaming

Purchasing a powerful, good-looking gaming PC used to require a visit to a boutique PC maker or a custom-built system from a local computer shop. There was a time when you couldn’t simply walk into a Future Shop or CompUSA and pick up something roughly equivalent to a DIY gaming system. Nowadays though, PC gaming has gone mainstream, and all of the OEM major players offer ready-built systems that cater to those that may not have the desire to build their own.

What if you don’t have the time or skills to build your own system, but want reputable, name-brand components and a PC that could easily be upgraded or modified down the road? That's where desktops like the HP OMEN Obelisk can make for an attractive option. The OMEN Obelisk is a gaming PC that hopes to bridge the gap between DIY and ready-built gaming PCs targeted at gamers and power users. HP believes this segment of PC gamers seek maximum performance-per-dollar with a touch of refinement.

HP OMEN Obelisk Lit

The Obelisk is engineered using a standard micro ATX chassis that’s easy to upgrade, which we’ll dive further into later. Its not a single PC model, but rather a complete family of gaming PCs with various component options. HP offers Intel 8th Gen Core processors up to a i7-8700 and second-generation AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 processor options with a variety of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 or RTX 20 series graphics options. Intel systems ship with an H370-based motherboard while AMD systems have a B450 chipset. No overclocking is available on the mid-range Obelisk configurations.

OMEN by HP Obelisk
Specifications & Features
Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Processor Intel Core i7-8700 (6-Core/12-Thread, 12MB Cache, 3.2GHz to 4.6GHz)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 w/ 8GB GDDR6
Memory 32GB HyperX FURY DDR4-2666 MHz (2x16GB)
Optical Drive N/A
Storage512 512GB SK Hynix BC501 PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD
1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD (64MB Cache, 7,200 RPM)
Cooling System Stock 65W Cooler
Connectivity Realtek Gaming Gigabit LAN 
Realtek RTL8822BE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.12
Front Panel Ports 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, Headphone/Mic Combo, Mic-in
Rear Panel Ports 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, 1 x GbE LAN, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, 1 Virtual Link (USB-C), 5.1-channel analog audio
Power Supply 500 Watt Bronze Certified
Dimensions 17.05 x 6.5 x 14.06 inches (HxWxD) 
Weight 20.28 lbs
Warranty 1 year limited hardware warranty, 90 day phone support
Pricing $2373 as configured -- Many Models Available

HP Obelisk 06

DDR4-2666MHz RAM is standard in the Obelisk. And HP doesn’t skimp on RAM quality either; the OMEN ships with genuine HyperX Fury memory, complete with heat spreaders. There are only two DIMM slots on the included motherboard, however, which limits maximum capacity to 32GB on H370 and B450-based systems. Up to three storage devices are available for build-to-order configurations, including PCIe NVME M.2 SSDs up to 512GB or up to three mechanical hard drives – Intel Optane Memory is optional, but currently a free BTO upgrade if you forego an SSD.

The last configurable option is the power supply, which is 300-watts standard and requires an upgrade to the 500-watt unit for anything more powerful than a GeForce GTX 1070. HP announced a higher end Obelisk with an Intel Z390 chipset, up to a Core i9-9900K CPU, up to a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, dual M.2 PCIe slots, four DIMM slots, a 750W power supply and overclocking features at CES if you’re looking for more performance and enthusiast features, but that model still isn't listed on the company store. 

HP Obelisk 12

HP sent over an Obelisk with the Intel Core i7-8700, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080, 32GB of HyperX Fury DDR4-2666, 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and 1TB 7200RPM HDD with a tempered glass window option to show off the goods. The configuration rings in at $2,373 at the time of this writing, which is over double the base price of $869 for an entry-level Obelisk. However, the base configuration only gets you a Core i5-8400, GeForce GTX 1050, 8GB of HyperX Fury RAM, a 300-watt power supply and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD.

Let’s take a closer look at the chassis design to see if the OMEN Obelisk has what it takes to persuade PC gamers to forego the DIY route...

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