The HP Omen 45L is an extremely powerful gaming PC, packed with all the best components on the market. It's an expensive computer, but easy upgradability means it will last you for years.
Easy to upgrade
Could use more ports
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High-end, prebuilt gaming PCs such as the HP Omen 45L are more important in 2022 than they ever were before: Due to an unprecedented graphics card shortage, building your own gaming PC has become a luxury few can reasonably afford. So enthusiasts are turning to prebuilt 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 has jumped on this trend with the Omen 45L – an absolutely massive tower of a gaming PC.
The configuration we received for review has 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. If that wasn't enough, it also features two 2TB SSDs, making sure you'll never run out of space. It's kind of the dream config for hardcore PC gamers, but that dream also comes with a fantastical price tag.
You're going to pay around $5,000 for this configuration – or at least you would if this configuration were actually available. The closest you. can get has one 2TB SSD and one 2TB HDD, which is admittedly pretty close – and that will run you back $4,278 (about £3,200, AU$5,920). And that configuration is available only in the US.
In the UK it tops out with the same core specs, but with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, which will set you back £2,999. In Australia, you can't even buy the HP Omen 45L.
That does sound like quite a bit of cash, but when you consider that an Alienware Aurora R13 with similar specs would cost you $4,629 (about £3,470, AU$6,410), that high price doesn't really seem that bad. Then again, you get a much less compact chassis design, and one that looks more like a classic gaming PC – but honestly we're kind of into that.
And when we say the HP Omen 45L looks like a classic gaming PC, we by no means mean to demean the thing. 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're familiar with the HP Omen brand, you'll recognize the brand's symbol, but where it's usually depicted as red, we like the white coloration here, too.
And it's also, well, huge. When you see the "HP Omen 45L" name, the 45L is the volume of the chassis. Yeah. It's big. The machine is 21.85 inches tall and 18.5 inches long. That means you're going to need a lot of desk space to fit the machine. We have it in our living room, and it's almost as tall as our TV stand. Luckily the black colorway makes it fit in nicely there.
It's also heavy: The Omen 45L weighs about 50lb. So if you live in a third-floor New York City walk-up as we do, be prepared for some heavy lifting to get it upstairs. And when you do get it nicely set up, you're not going to want to move it.
On the top of the chassis are a selection of basic 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 of these ports is a low-profile power button. Beware of having the button on top, however: If you have a cat, it'll be easy for kitty to jump on it when you're in the middle of a game.
While there's a ton of USB-ports on top, there really aren't many around the back of the HP Omen 45L. Back there, you'll only get four more USB-A ports and a single USB-C. There's also an Ethernet LAN and three audio connections, but it's very lackluster for a gaming PC - especially one this large.
That's likely because HP isn't using an off-the-shelf motherboard as more boutique PC builders like Maingear and Origin PC might. Instead, HP includes its own custom motherboard, and, well, it's fine.
You can access the innards of the gaming PC by pressing one of the convenient access buttons at 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 will separate the rest of the components from the hot air coming off that component.
Once it's open, you have wide access to every part of the system, more than we would typically expect from a mainstream manufacturer. And while the motherboard is proprietary, it does have everything you would need to upgrade it in the future. Plus, if you like the chassis (we definitely do), the motherboard is luckily a standard ATX board, which means you could totally replace it later on down the line with something you buy at the store.
Also luckily, the power supply is a standard Cooler Master model, which means 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. HP targeted folks that like to tinker with their own PCs, and succeeded by launching a PC that you can actually tinker with. Other mainstream PC manufacturers should take a lesson. This is how a high-end gaming PC should be done.
The only thing we would honestly change for the components is to get a motherboard that has more I/O around the back. We can't speak for everyone, but when we're looking to play some VR games, we have to unplug other stuff just to make room. If you're the type that has a dozen things plugged into your PC at a time – we know we're not alone – then you're going to have to invest in a USB hub. And that's just not something you should have to do with a full-sized gaming PC like this.
Luckily with a PC this big – and let's be honest, expensive – you can easily play pretty much any game you throw at it with all the settings cranked up to maximum without even really trying.
We're in the midst of an Elden Ring obsession, like a lot of people, and the Omen 45L runs it at 4K with the Maximum graphics preset like a charm. Now, don't get us wrong, there's the occasional frame drop with Elden Ring, but that's more on the game itself than the monster components on offer.
Likewise, it was able to get us through our playthrough of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy with no problem at all. And even with all the settings maxed, included ray tracing, we didn't see it dip below 60 fps for the duration of 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 of RAM in our review configuration, it'd also be a dream for the gamer that's also a content creator – something that's becoming more common lately. The HP Omen 45L easily hits over 22,000 points in Cinebench R23, which makes this one of the fastest PCs on the market right now.
That performance won't have to go away any time soon, either. The upgradability we discussed means you can keep the HP Omen 45L up-to-date for years to come. You won't have to go out and buy a whole new gaming PC for quite a while.
Should I buy the HP Omen 45L?
Buy it if...
You want a powerful gaming PC
With an Nvidia RTX 3090 and a Core i9-12900K, there's no game that the HP Omen 45L won't be able to handle.
You want a gaming PC that looks good
The gorgeous black colorway and the elegant lines of the HP Omen 45L chassis mean that you won't want to hide it from your guests.
You want a gaming PC that will last
Because the HP Omen 45L is using all standard-sized parts, you can easily replace and upgrade anything in the system.
Don't buy it if...
You're on a budget
The HP Omen 45L is expensive, there's no way around it. The review configuration we were loaned will set you back around $5,000.
You have a lot of accessories
While this is a full-sized gaming PC, there are only four USB-A ports in the back. That means you'll have to add the price of a USB hub to the HP Omen 45L's already high price.
Jackie Thomas is the Hardware and Buying Guides Editor at IGN. Previously, she was TechRadar's US computing editor. She is fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but she just happens to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop her a line on Twitter or through email.