HP Omen Obelisk Review – A great starter gaming PC to get you off at the races

HP Omen Obelisk Review - A great starter gaming PC to get you off at the races

GETTING started in PC gaming can seem pretty intimidating.
Until now, to get a decent result you’ve either had to summon up the courage and expertise to build your own, or paid through the nose for a pre-built rig with what you’re assured a top-notch components in a silly case.
The Obelisk is a relatively simple beast, and so is a great way into the often scarily obtuse and elitist world of PC gaming
Thankfully, the Omen Obelisk does a great job of changing that, with entry level models starting from under £1,000.
First revealed at GamesCom last year and refreshed with the latest RTX graphics cards this year, these blocks are a great way to get into PC gaming without the fuss.
It works right out of the box, and has potential for upgrading down the line with minimal fuss.
It looks sharp, but not over-the-top, and it’s engineered with access in mind.
The internal cable management helps keep things uncluttered
The matt black coating is a magnet for dust – and we imagine that after extended use, those little triangles will be very tricky to clean. The recessed front-facing ports are a godsend, though
A side panel made from tempered glass pops off with a button press for easy access to the internal gubbins and a good (internally lit) view of whatever you’ve got going on in there.
With the standard out-of-the-box kit that’s not really very much, but if you splash out on water cooling, or upgrade to a flashier graphics card down the line, you may appreciate it.
While the entry-level Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card and Intel Core i5-8400 processor don’t seem like much, it’s more than enough to get 2160p (that’s double HD) games running as smoothly as you like with settings ramped up, and almost certainly looking better than their console equivalents do on your telly.

Omen by HP 875-0005 Gaming PC, £929.00 – buy it now

You can take that all the way up to an GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card and i7 processor to future-proof it a little bit more. There is going to be an i9 version coming too — but truth be told, you are highly unlikely to see the difference when gaming.
The one odd omission comes from the RAM slots. You’ve only got two, which support up to 16GB each. While that should do you for now in most cases it has the potential to be quite limiting down the line, especially if you’re multitasking.
The three drive slots — two of which will be taken up with a start-up SSD and a hard-drive for storage — also mean you don’t have much wiggle room for internal storage in the long run, but the ever-increasing size of drives means this shouldn’t be a problem for any but the most extravagant of users.
You can get air- or water-cooled variants of the Obelisk
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Essentially, the Obelisk is precisely what were hoping it would be when it was announced.
It’s a solid, no-frills machine that is a great way into serious PC gaming.
It’s not the prettiest, it’s not the flashiest and it’s certainly not the most powerful, but it doesn’t cut corners it shouldn’t and is a great machine to just play games on.
If you’re looking to upgrade an old rig then the Obelisk might not be the one for you — but if this is the first time you’ve dipped your toes in these waters, it’s an excellent place to start.
★★★★☆ – a great entry point into proper PC gaming

Omen by HP 875-0005 Gaming PC, £929.00 – buy it now


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