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HP’s Omen Obelisk is a likeable, powerful and compact gaming desktop for pro-gamers and professional artists. The Obelisk 875-1023 configuration we’re reviewing is a top-tier model, equipped with an intel Core i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics, HyperX 32 GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage.
The Omen plays games like butter, and you don’t even have to splurge the innards. If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer and need to go the absolute best, HP offers the Omen Obelisk 875-1022 with the same CPU, storage, but maxes out with Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and HyperX 16GB RAM.
In designing the Obelisk, HP made sure that it’s fully upgradable by the user, but it still maintains the Omen aesthetic. With that we mean angular black lines with red accents, but that is still minimal enough to be attractive. On the front panel, there’s an Omen logo and can be lit up to any color via the Omen Command Center software. You also have easy-access front port on the very top of the machine on a slight indentation. This section isn’t big enough to hold a hard drive, but it does protect smaller flash drives.
Our review unit comes with a glass side panel with the logo printed on top, through which you can see majority of the interior parts. The machine is lit in red, and you can’t change it in the Center software or turn it off, which is a mild flaw for a high-end gaming PC. It measures 17.1 x 14.1 x 6.5 inches, which is about the right size for a mid-tower chassis design, but slightly smaller than the iBUYPOWER Trace 9240V2 we reviewed recently.
Ports and Upgradability
Port selection is a bit sparse, with the front holding a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports and audio jacks, while the rear panel has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. We’d wish to see a few more Type-C ports for peripherals, something you have on budget systems and motherboards. Also, on the back, there is an ethernet jack and audio ports. All of the graphics ports are on the GPU, and they include an HDMI output and three Displayports. You’ll also find a VirtualLink on our RTX 2080 Super for VR.
If you need to do some upgrades, all you do is press a button labeled “internal access” on the back of the system. The glass panel releases for easy removal, providing access to most of the parts. However, if you’re looking to do some cable management through the back of the system, things can get a bit complicated. Removing the rear panel requires that you find a single screw towards the bottom of the inside of the case. Once removed, you can now slide the rear panel off, but it’s a tight array of cables you might want back there.
Nevertheless, you can focus on RAM of which you have two DIMM slots, meaning if you want to upgrade later, you might need a whole new set of RAM to replace the existing pair. Future models of the Omen Obelisk are said to have four DIMM slots.
Gaming, Graphics and VR
With an RTX 2080 Super, our review configuration of the HP Obelisk can play about any game at its highest settings. You can play Rise of the Tomb Raider on ultra settings (including ray tracing on ultra) and the game will run between 67 and 72 frames per second. On this game, the RTX 2080 Super shows considerable gains over the 4K results of the GeForce RTX 2080 Founder Edition, a substantial boost that helps average out the total frame gains across all games.
On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider (highest settings), the Obelisk runs the game at 137 fps in 1080p, beating the gaming average (99fps), and 69 fps in 4K which is till way above the standard 60fps. The Obelisk shows the same strong performance on most modern titles including Hitman, but its performance is still behind systems equipped with Nvidia’s flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti outfitted in systems like the MSI Infinite X Plus 9SF-270US and the iBUYPOWER Elite Trace PRO9300.
Our review unit of the HP Omen Obelisk packs an Intel Core i9-9900K, 32GB HyperX RAM, and 1TB SSD storage. This is enough performance that can double as a video-editing workstation. It takes the Obelisk just 3 seconds to transfer 4.97GB of files. That’s an excellent rate of 1,696.4MBps, at way ahead than either the 588.5MBps category average or any of its competitors.
In Handbrake video editing test, the Obelisk transcodes a 4K video to 1080p in 5 minutes 31 seconds, which is ahead of the 6:20 average of competing Aurora, MSI Trident and Corsair One. HP sells Omen-branded gear, like its Photon mouse and Sequencer keyboard to go with the Obelisk, and you can still pair it with a 144Hz gaming monitor like our Editors’ Choice Sceptre C275B-144RN.
The HP Omen Obelisk 875-1023 configuration in this review is an excellent, future-proofed gaming machine that looks good in design and feels good in-game. Simply put, it’s a powerhouse, capable of running any processor-hungry, graphics-heavy AAA game smoothly, so that your gaming experience is absolutely immersive. And, that applies to similarly-demanding applications like video editing programs.
Yes, it costs more that your typical budget gaming PC, but if all you need is a smooth and easy gaming experience on Ultra settings, you’re not really doing any gratuitous spending, considering you’re essentially investing for the future as well as the present. If you can spend that much, it OK as well, there are alternatives like the CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme SLC8260A2 that can get you through medium settings beautifully.
All said and done, if you can afford it, the HP Omen Obelisk 875-1023 is a very capable system that you can just upgrade later on when you need to.
HP Omen Obelisk 875-1023
The HP Omen Obelisk 875-1023 is a powerhouse, capable of running any processor-hungry, graphics-heavy AAA game smoothly, so that your gaming experience is absolutely immersive
- Lots of power
- Appealing, tool-less design
- Highly upgradable
- Needs better airflow