HP’s Omen 30L is its largest and most powerful gaming tower desktop. Esports configurations start as low as $949.99 at Best Buy, while our $3,109 review model from HP’s site packs a rampaging Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 video card for 4K adventures in Cyberpunk 2077. It also has overclocking features thanks to its unlocked Intel Core i9-10900K CPU. Modern looks, customizable RGB lighting, and name-brand components from Cooler Master, Western Digital, and HyperX make the Omen 30L a compelling alternative to the Alienware Aurora R11. The Corsair Vengeance i7200 remains our top pick among high-end mainstream gaming towers for its even cleaner looks and quieter operation, but the Omen 30L is a fine alternative. In fact, given the late-2020 difficulties of finding high-end towers in stock (not to mention, the video cards that power them), the better of the two might just be the one that you can get your hands on first.
Widely Configurable, From Esports to 4K
The Omen 30L replaces the Omen Obelisk in HP’s lineup with a redesigned case and newer technology. Its impressive configuration options start with a six-core AMD Ryzen 5 or an Intel Core i5 CPU and a GeForce GTX 1660 Super, plenty of oomph for Fortnite and 1080p gaming in AAA titles. (Yes, that includes Cyberpunk 2077.)
The customized model I’m reviewing from HP’s online store is many rungs up the ladder from the base model, though it was unavailable as I typed this due to supply shortages in late 2020. HP told us it lists products as it gets stock, and that it was unable guarantee the pricing due to market demand, so take the prices in this review with a grain of salt.
I found it equally impossible to find stock of higher-end prebuilt Omen 30L configurations from popular e-tailers, but those willing to wait can get one. For instance, the GT13-0092 model on Amazon (about a month away from shipping as I wrote this) shares nearly all its specifications with my tester, including 32GB of memory, a 1TB SSD for its Windows 10 Home operating system, a 2TB hard drive for storage, and a one-year warranty, only dropping down to an insignificantly slower Core i9-10850K in lieu of a Core i9-10900K for $1,975. That’s a decent deal.
All that I can complain about in my review unit’s configuration is some preinstalled software trials (bloatware). They were simple enough to uninstall, but towers this expensive should have none of that.
A Bolder, Glassier Look
The Omen 30L gets its name from its approximately 30-liter interior volume, measuring 17.7 by 6.5 by 16.6 inches (HWD). Its tempered glass front sets it apart from the smaller and less powerful Omen 25L. Combined with a tempered glass left panel and bright interior RGB lighting, the Omen 30L puts off a quality modern vibe.
Tiny triangle cutouts around the front panel provide airflow to the 120mm Cooler Master RGB fan showcased within. The top-mounted Omen logo is also RGB backlit. These lighting sources and the interior lighting are individually customizable for color, brightness, and patterns within the Omen Command Center app. I like that the app supports profiles, an especially useful feature for multi-user and family scenarios so that everyone can have their own settings.
A large tempered-glass panel shows off the Omen 30L’s innards. Though I’m a fan of seeing inside, I think the Omen 30L exposes a tad too much. The CPU’s liquid cooling radiator and fan sticks out and looks unfinished, and I see little reason to show off the SATA and power cables for the 3.5-inch bays along the front edge.
I would also like to see the power supply in its own compartment to conceal some of the cabling, including the fan/lighting control board in front of it.
Push-Button Interior Access
The Omen 30L says goodbye to thumb screws with a simple button release for its tempered glass panel, located on the back panel.
The tower has ample working room despite being skinny for a mid-size tower. Everything is blacked out for a custom look, though the wiring could be neater. Cables seem to be going in every direction. Among mainstream towers, Lenovo’s Legion Tower 5i does a cleaner job of cable management.
The rest of the interior looks the part of a gaming machine. The Intel Z490-based ATX motherboard is dotted with passive heatsinks for cooling. Each of its four memory slots is filled with an 8GB DIMM of colorful Kingston HyperX DDR4-3200 RGB memory for a total of 32GB running in dual-channel mode. The DIMM lighting is configurable in the Omen Command Center app.
For cooling, a 92mm fan at the rear of the tower is all that fits given the Omen 30L’s skinny width. It moved plenty of warm air in my testing.
The CPU fan’s exhaust air goes through a triangle-dotted grate on top of the tower. This tower’s fans generally behaved themselves when it came to noise; I could tell the tower was running, but the sound was easy to ignore since the fans maintained a consistent RPM. Only when I ran a CPU-specific benchmark did the CPU fan get noisy, though this is unlikely to happen while gaming since games rarely engage the CPU to its fullest extent.
Western Digital’s Black SN750, the M.2 SSD in my review unit, sits just below the CPU waterblock. (The latter isn’t RGB backlit in my unit, but HP offers that as an option.) HP specifically uses Western Digital-brand SSDs in this tower in a page out of the aftermarket; most volume desktop builders don’t indicate what brand or model storage drives they use. One more M.2 Type-2280 slot is just under the graphics card. Though unpopulated in my review unit, HP graciously includes its heatsink for future upgrades. On that note, HP shows further attention to detail by pre-running power and SATA cables to the empty 3.5-inch drive bay for easy upgrades. My model has a 2TB drive in the other bay. Slide-out caddies allow for no-tools drive swaps.
The massive GeForce RTX 3080 is secured to the front of the tower to prevent it from putting excessive pressure on its motherboard PCI Express slot. Like most third-party GeForce RTX 3080 cards, it’s powered by two eight-pin connectors. Its copper heatsinks are plainly visible, and the shroud’s GeForce RTX logo is backlit in white. Just below, the Omen 30L’s aftermarket inspiration continues with its Cooler Master 750-watt power supply. As mentioned, it’s a tad more visible than I’d like.
Conveniently Angled Top Ports
Moving outside, the Omen 30L’s minimal top port selection includes two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an audio combo (headphone/microphone) jack, and a separate microphone jack. The latter is a nod-worthy concession for older headsets that have separate connectors.
I like that the ports are both angled and recessed. The downward slope acts as a guide for inserting connectors, while the recessed location means the connectors don’t stick out so much. Meanwhile, the average port selection on the back of the tower includes six USB Type-A ports (two version 3.2 Gen 1, two 3.2 Gen 2, and two legacy 2.0); a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port; and microphone, line-in, and line-out jacks. The GeForce RTX 3080 includes one HDMI and three DisplayPort video outputs.
My review unit also has built-in Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. The antennas for its Intel AX201 wireless card are seamlessly integrated into the case instead of being external.
4K-Ready Gaming: Testing the Omen 30L
Though late-2020 component-supply shortages and pricing swings have made pricing comparisons difficult, I was still able to determine that my $3,109 Omen 30L is priced competitively. A similarly equipped Alienware Aurora R11 went for $3,069 on Dell’s site, and for an aftermarket comparison, I priced a Maingear Vybe for $2,775. Differences of a few hundred dollars in this league are expected and can disappear with a sale.
That said, I also noted that the most economical way to get an Omen 30L is in one of its preconfigured models from a major e-tailer; Amazon had several that were priced far below a custom unit like mine for a nearly identical component loadout.
Now let’s compare the Omen 30L to the following gaming desktops for our performance benchmarks. (See more about how we test desktops.)
I already introduced the Alienware and Corsair units as neck-and-neck competitors. The other two are the Falcon Northwest Talon (2020), an ultra-boutique desktop (just shy of $5,000 as tested) with a monster 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 processor, and the MSI MEG Trident X (2020), a compact tower with a previous-generation but still powerful GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
Storage, Media, and CPU Tests
We would normally start with UL’s PCMark 10, our general system performance and productivity assessment, and the storage benchmark in PCMark 8, but I was unable to get either to run on the Omen 30L. This can occasionally happen on higher-end hardware. There’s little doubt it would have aced both tests.
On that note, we’ll start with a pair of CPU-crunching tests. Cinebench R15 stresses all available processor cores and threads while rendering a complex image, while in our Handbrake test, we transcode a 12-minute 4K video down to 1080p.
Ignoring the Falcon Northwest, the Omen 30L placed right where it should have. The Corsair scored almost identically with its Core i9-10850K, backing up what I said earlier about going for the preconfigured Omen 30L with that chip versus the Core i9-10900K in my review unit.
The final test in this section is photo editing. We use an early 2018 release of Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud to apply 10 complex filters and effects to a standard JPEG image, timing each operation and adding up the totals. This test is not as CPU-focused as Cinebench or Handbrake, bringing the performance of the storage subsystem, memory, and GPU into play.
The Omen 30L performed well with one of the lowest times we’ve seen from an Intel-based PC.
Our first two benchmarks in this section measure the gaming performance potential of a PC. In UL’s 3DMark, we run the Sky Diver (lightweight, capable of running on integrated graphics) and Fire Strike (more demanding, for high-end gaming PCs) tests, both DirectX 11-based. Unigine Corp.’s Superposition is the other; it uses a different rendering engine to produce a complex 3D scene.
Though the Omen 30L was a little behind the Corsair in most instances, it scored close enough to what we expect from a GeForce RTX 3080-based system. (Driver and software differences can often cause such differences.)
Let’s try some real-world gaming. We use the built-in 1080p benchmarks in Far Cry 5 (at its Normal and Ultra presets) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (at its Medium and Very High presets). Far Cry 5 uses DirectX 11, while we flip Rise of the Tomb Raider to DirectX 12.
Now the Omen 30L’s numbers look more competitive, with just a few frame rates separating it and the Corsair. The Falcon Northwest’s Ryzen 9 chip gave it little advantage at a UHD/4K resolution since the GPU, not the CPU, is the bottleneck in that situation.
I should also emphasize that the only reason to fork over the cash for an Omen 30L with a GeForce RTX 3080 is to game at a UHD/4K resolution. Even its entry-level GeForce GTX 1660 Super is plenty for 1080p and mild 1440p enjoyment (provided you’re not trying to hit 200fps-plus frame rates in every game with a high-refresh-rate gaming monitor).
Overclocking the Omen 30L
The Omen 30L supports CPU overclocking when equipped with an Intel K-series multiplier-unlocked chip, such as the Core i9-10900K in my review unit. The Omen Command Center app offers an intelligent overclocking mode that automatically determines the highest stable overclock. The 30-minute process netted me a 50x multiplier, up from 49x, for a 5.0GHz clock speed without increasing the core voltage.
Though minimal, the overclock made a difference in gaming performance. My 3DMark Fire Strike score increased from 28,533 to 29,567 points, about a 4% gain. I saw similar boosts in Rise of the Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark, going from 203fps to 210fps at 1080p and 175fps to 178fps at 1440p.
I predictably saw no difference at UHD/4K where the GPU was the bottleneck. It’s unlikely that these differences would be noticed in real-world gaming, but it’s a free performance increase at no cost. Those wanting to push things further can switch to the Omen Command Center’s manual mode to adjust the CPU multipliers and core voltage themselves.
A Buy-Worthy Tower (If You Can Find It)
Though the Omen 30L doesn’t stand above the Alienware Aurora R11 or the Corsair Vengeance i7200, it’s a respectable alternative that deserves consideration. Consistently good quality inside and out, a smart look with customizable RGB lighting, name-brand parts, overclocking features (with an Intel K-series chip), and future upgrade potential make it a safe choice.
Its biggest problem is the same one that faces other high-end gaming towers and PC parts in late 2020: availability. The customized model I reviewed direct from HP was out of stock as I wrote this, but a preconfigured model from a popular e-tailer is a far more economical option anyway. Even if it won’t ship right away, the Omen 30L, if you choose the right configuration, is worth the wait.