High-end, pre-built gaming PCs like the HP Omen 45L are more important in 2022 than ever before: Due to an unprecedented shortage of graphics cards, building your own gaming PC has become a luxury that few can reasonably afford. So enthusiasts are turning to pre-built PCs again.
With that newfound attention from enthusiasts, manufacturers are introducing more extreme versions of their gaming PC lines in hopes of capturing that audience. HP jumped on this trend with the Omen 45L – an absolutely massive tower of a gaming PC.
The configuration we’ve received for review includes some of the most powerful PC components you’ll find on the market. It features an Intel Core i9-12900K, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, and a whopping 64GB of RAM. As if that weren’t enough, it also features two 2TB SSDs, so you’ll never run out of space. It’s kind of a dream setup for hardcore PC gamers, but that dream also comes with a fantastic price tag.
You’re going to pay about $5,000 for this configuration – or at least you would if this configuration were actually available. The closest you. can get has a 2TB SSD and a 2TB HDD, which is admittedly pretty close – and will set you back $4,278 (about £3,200, AU$5,920). And that configuration is only available in the US.
In the UK it beats the same core specs but with 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, setting you back £2,999. In Australia, you can’t even buy the HP Omen 45L.
That sounds like quite a bit of money, but when you consider that an Alienware Aurora R13 with similar specs would set you back $4,629 (around £3,470, AU$6,410), that high price doesn’t seem too bad. On the other hand, you get a much less compact chassis design and one that looks more like a classic gaming PC, but honestly we like that.
And when we say the HP Omen 45L looks like a classic gaming PC, we don’t mean to demean it. It’s a stunning black obelisk of a gaming PC with three RGB fans illuminating the front panel and a white backlit diamond front and center. If you are familiar with the HP Omen brand, you will recognize the symbol of the brand, but where it is usually depicted as red, we also like the white color here.
And it’s also, well, huge. When you see the name “HP Omen 45L”, the 45L is the volume of the chassis. Yes. It is large. The machine is 21.85 centimeters long and 18.5 centimeters long. That means you need a lot of desk space to fit the machine. We have it in our living room and it is almost the size of our TV stand. Fortunately, the black colorway fits nicely with that.
It’s heavy, too: The Omen 45L weighs about 50 pounds. So if you live in a New York City third floor walkup like we do, be prepared for some heavy lifting to get it up. And if you’ve got it set up right, you won’t want to move it.
On top of the chassis are a selection of base ports; you’ll find four USB Type-A ports and dedicated 3.5mm audio jacks for both headphones and a microphone. And to the right of all these ports is an unobtrusive power button. Beware of the button at the top though: if you have a cat, a cat can easily jump on it when you’re in the middle of a game.
While there are a ton of USB ports on top, there really aren’t many on the back of the HP Omen 45L. Behind that, you only get four USB-A ports and a single USB-C. There’s also an Ethernet LAN and three audio jacks, but it’s very bland for a gaming PC, especially one of these large.
That’s probably because HP doesn’t use a ready-made motherboard like more boutique PC builders like Mainingear and Origin PC. Instead, HP has its own custom motherboard, and, well, it is fine.
You can access the interior of the gaming PC by pressing one of the convenient access buttons on the top of the chassis, in the so-called “cryo chamber”. This is basically a gap between the top of the chassis and the radiator at the top, which we can only assume separates the rest of the components from the hot air coming from that part.
Once it’s open, you’ll have broad access to every part of the system, more than we’d normally expect from a mainstream manufacturer. And while the motherboard is proprietary, it has everything you need to upgrade it in the future. And if you like the chassis (we certainly do), luckily the motherboard is a standard ATX board, meaning you can completely replace it later with something you can buy from the store.
Fortunately, the power supply is also a standard Cooler Master model, meaning that even that won’t stop you from using this chassis for years to come. This is one of the best parts of the HP Omen 45L. Targeting people who like to tinker with their own PCs, HP succeeded in launching a PC you can really mess with. Other mainstream PC manufacturers should take a lesson. This is how a high-end gaming PC should be.
The only thing we would honestly change for the components is to get a motherboard with more I/O on the back. We can’t speak for everyone, but if we want to play VR games, we have to disconnect other things to make room. If you’re the type to have a dozen things plugged into your PC at once – we know we’re not alone – then you’ll need to invest in a USB hub. And that’s just not something you should do with a full-size gaming PC like this.
Fortunately, with such a large PC – and let’s face it, expensive – you can play pretty much any game you throw at it with all the settings on max without even really trying.
We’re in the midst of an Elden Ring obsession, like many people are, and the Omen 45L runs it at 4K with the maximum graphics preset like a charm. Now don’t get us wrong, there is the occasional frame drop with Elden Ring, but that’s more due to the game itself than the monster components on offer.
Likewise, it was able to walk us through our playthrough of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy without any problem. And even with all settings maxed out, including ray tracing, we didn’t see it drop below 60fps during that game. This really is the dream machine if 4K gaming is on your list.
And because of the Intel Core i9-12900K and 64GB RAM in our test setup, it would also be a dream come true for the gamer who is also a content creator – something that has become more and more common lately. The HP Omen 45L easily exceeds 22,000 points in Cinebench R23, making this one of the fastest PCs on the market.
That performance doesn’t have to disappear any time soon either. Thanks to the upgrade options we’ve discussed, you can keep the HP Omen 45L up to date for years to come. You don’t have to go out long to buy a brand new gaming PC.