A Deep Dive Into The HP Omen 880

HP Omen 880 is a desktop PC originally released in September 2017. The established, reliable, and trusted computer manufacturer was trying to fill a gap in the gaming PC market. HP believed that something was lacking, between budget-friendly models that barely do the job at one end, and high-spec expensive ones that do but burn a huge hole in your pocket, at the other. The Omen 880 definitely falls halfway between these two categories.

It is this original remit that is still its greatest strength. On its release, a number of configurations were available to suit a range of budgets and performance and power needs. And having undergone several upgrades in different iterations since, its upgradability is definitely at the core of its appeal.

HP Omen 880 remains a very powerful, future-proof gaming machine with a price tag that makes a lot of sense for what you’re getting. You wouldn’t exactly call it cheap, but for the power and upgradability, you’re getting it remains good value; running Windows 10 Home 64 with an 8th Generation 6-Core 3.20GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, 8 GB memory, 1 TB HDD storage, with 256 GB SSD storage.

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Its design has divided opinion since its launch, and it’s probably time for an overhaul seeing as it’s still the same three years on, but in our view, it still looks great. How we want our gaming PC to look. Everything you can see and touch on the HP Omen 880 looks or feels stylish. From the sculpted casing that covers the top and most of the front, with its cut-out red LED lit fierce-looking logo and lines looking case. To the side window that lets you look into the chassis and its inner workings as if letting light in on the magic. It’s obvious that this isn’t any old boring tower desktop that HP has just stuffed graphics card, lights, and logos.

We tested this HP Omen 880 for its performance, productivity, functionality, and upgradability, over a week of hard gaming. Yes, we know. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. Read our full detailed review on this gaming PC, to find out if this HP Omen 880 is the one for you or not.

Who’s It For?

As any gamer will tell you, gaming is an expensive hobby because it requires decent technology in the form of pricy kits and accessories. What is more, many hardcore gamers or computer enthusiasts will, of course, say that to truly unlock the potential full performance of your machine, and so your gaming skills, for good value for money, then you’ve got to build your own.

Ask them about pre-built gaming PCs, and which one that you should buy, and you’re more than likely to hear, or read, that you should not under any circumstances. That pre-built PCs are a rip-off, and not for the serious gamer. You could say that there’s a stigma attached to them in what can be the world of gaming.

We believe that this is an elitist way to look at it. Firstly, your hobby with PCs may not just be limited to gaming. You may need it for other tasks and productivity. Even for work; although at times it seems that all gamers do is game!

Secondly, basic knowledge of how computers work has never hurt anyone, you may feel that you don’t have enough, along with the associated confidence, to build your own.

And this brings us to the last reason; convenience. As well as the confidence that this sufficient knowledge brings, maybe you just don’t have the time, or the will, to research, select, and then buy the best and correct components. This will usually be from a number of different suppliers, adding to the time-consuming hassle. And that’s even before you’ve got to take an amateur course in IT before putting all those fiddly components together yourself!

If that’s you, then a pure gaming console doesn’t suit either. It’s too limited in its functions for your other needs. However, choose the right pre-built gaming PC, and it will. These days, many pre-builds are designed and built more like consoles, to attract consumers whose primary is use is gaming, but who still need for other things. What you need above all else is a future-proof gaming PC, that offers powerful enough specs out of the box, but is easily upgradeable down the line.

This is where HP Omen 880 comes in. It has a very fast processor, with the 880 taking very little boot time and likewise to launch applications. It doesn’t disappoint in its graphics or RAM either. And even when some games need more processing frequency than this device’s ability, as it has an over-clocking feature it can run those games smoothly without hanging.

It’s configurable to suit a range of budgets and power needs and has been updated to satisfy enough high-end users. Certainly, for users searching for the best performing PC at an affordable budget, HP Omen 880 is well-worth looking at and seriously considering.

Below we examine more closely the reasons why…

What We Like About HP Omen 880

When it comes to the design, we appreciate the textured casing that comes with a rigid facia, with the word OMEN etched on its top left-hand side, and the LED lit up logo found front and center. This red lighting on the black chassis shouts ‘gaming’. At the top front of the case, there’s a convenient built-in carrying handle. We found OMEN 880’s design super-friendly to gamers.

While there’s no scope for cosmetic customization, at least, internally it’s eminently customizable, with a wide range of processor, storage, and memory combinations. HP has designed this device for quick access so that you can easily get to what you need. Once you open the cover, you’ll find plenty of space between the components for easy accessibility.

Thanks to its tool-less design, you can quickly and simply access the interior to add more hard drives with very minimal effort. There are two large switches on its back in case you want to open the side panel or whole system for two of the four hard drive bays. Additionally, the top front has a hidden compartment that pops open to reveal the other two HD bays. These bays are easily removable. Just unlock the drive sleds beneath, and pull them out using the included fabric tabs, which are embossed with the Omen logo – a nice touch. You can then remove, and replace, or add extra hard drives, then also just lock in place with a switch. For sure, it’s an impressive bit of engineering.

The most important bits are front and center on the motherboard, to the right of which are the two 3.5-inch externally accessible drive slots, and there are two more at the bottom of the case, one of which is occupied by a 1 TB, 7200RPM SATA hard drive. This ideal storage arrangement is great for a gaming PC when it allows you to store most of your collection on the larger spinning drive as well as move a few titles that are currently set up to the SSD. It has three additional bays for extra hard drives, two of which can be easily accessed by those hot-swap bays, and four slots for RAM.

Finally, the HP Omen Desktop PC also has a diverse number of available ports, both in the front on the top and in the back, giving you several options to connect your different devices. It even has an SD card slot up front, which is handy for photographers and videographers.

But of course, it’s the gaming performance that matters most, and while that depends on how you configure it, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a flaw. HP Omen 880 is a very powerful machine, giving you one of the most optimal and immersive gaming experiences available.

We tested the device with AAA titles on ultra and did not encounter any issues. We didn’t detect any texture drops, glitches, or lags. Loading times at startup and during fast travel are equally as impressive, thanks to its Intel Core i7-8700k Hexa-core processor is built to handle heavy loads, stream 4K UHD vids, and lots of multitasking.

Paired with 16GB RAM and the NVidia GeForce GTX 1050, a graphics card capable of handling next-gen gaming demands, multiple monitors, and ultra-high resolutions. This high-end GPU guarantees zero frame drops and zero stutters even with a monitor that caps at 60Hz. On a higher spec monitor…wow!

Of course, you’ll want to use a wired network connection for gaming, but its Omen 880 also includes 802.11ac and Bluetooth wireless radios in addition to the Ethernet ports. Connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and Ethernet simultaneously, and you can use HP’s Omen Command Center software utility.

Here, you can send gaming traffic over the faster-wired connection, and everything else to the slower Wi-Fi one. The resulting decrease in latency can make online gameplay much more stable and so enjoyable; especially if you have a temperamental router or an unreliable internet service provider.

You can manage the clock speed for over-clocking, using the Omen Command Center. And due to its all-around edge vents, two 120 mm fans, and the overlocking abilities of GPU and CPU, the 880 will keep running for as long as you want without heating up

HP Omen 880 also works fine as a general-purpose PC. Away from gaming, except SSD, this device has all the features which are required for making animation video or creating designs. And as it runs Windows 10 Home 64, it’s very much suitable for your everyday household or study tasks.

So, as we’ve seen, it’s very powerful, easily upgradable, and very accessible, with a reasonable value performance-to-cost ratio price tag. Although its strength is in it seeking to be all things to all gamers; with its future-proofing not only coming from its power but also its accessibility and upgradability as well, it succeeds.

See Related Topic: A Deep Dive Review Into Asus RT-ACRH13

What We Don’t Like About HP Omen 880

Because of that, we didn’t find too much wrong with it that we didn’t like.

Ok, its design might not appeal to all, and as we already wrote, it’s probably time for a revamp. It’s a bit bulky for sure, taking up a fair bit of desk space. The cover is made of a transparent window and the interior of the 880 is lit with red LEDs when powered on. With the window tint, which means you don’t get as good a glimpse of the components as you could. Also, these LEDs can’t be customized, so you’d better like red!

Otherwise, we’d have expected it to come with a sound card. And the standard peripherals that it’s supplied with, the keyboard and mouse, let it down in looking and feeling cheap. But in terms of performance, you know what you’re getting; with its beauty in its easy upgradability.

PROS

  • Top-tier specs along with great case design
  • Excellent performance, value, reliability, and easily upgradeable
  • Quiet and powerful
  • A well-made PC
  • Very good value for a high-end PC

CONS

  • A critical BIOS update from HP support assistant rendered the PC unbootable
  • Require to purchase and install a sound card
  • The keyboard ships with are the size of a 14″ notebook keyboard and way more flimsy

What’s Included?

As well as the PC tower itself, with Windows 10 Home, you get a wired keyboard and mouse, user guide, and warranty card for limited warranty with 24-hour, 7 days/week Web support.

Overview Of Features

HP Omen 880 has an 8th Generation 6-Core 3.20GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Processor. With amazing graphics provided by its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (with 8 GB GDDR5 dedicated memory) GPU.

As for its hard drive and memory: 1 TB 7200RPM SATA HHD and 256 GB SSD; 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (upgradable to 32 GB).

Intel Optane memory 16GB accelerates new processor-based systems to deliver a responsive computer experience with short boot times, fast application launches, extraordinary gaming, and responsive browsing.

There are three additional bays dedicated for extra hard drives, two can be easily accessed by those hot-swap bays, plus four slots for RAM. You’ll also find configurations that add liquid cooling.

On the top, you’ve got 2 USB 3.0, and 2 USB 3.0 Type-C(TM). Around the back, you’ll find further accessibility, including for multiple monitor setups: 4 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 DVI, HDMI, 3 DisplayPort, 10/100/1000 Base-T Network, an HP 3-in-1 Media Card Reader, audio line out and in jacks, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and a gigabit Ethernet port.

The HP Omen Command Center software allows you to overclock, boost your network speeds, and even stream your games to a laptop. The software has four sections. The first section is System Vitals, which allows you to monitor the CPU, GPU, and memory utilization, as well as the temperature.

The next two sections – Overclocking and Network Booster – allow you to customize your processor and network’s performance. The Overclocking section provides you the ability to run a benchmark to determine how the machine is performing. And the last section one lets you stream your games from the Omen to any other Windows PC.

Review Summary

The upshot of all this is that if you’re looking for a future-proofed gaming desktop PC, that runs beautifully, then they’re a very good reason to at least consider HP Omen 880; so long as its case design appeals of course!

As well as its exhaustive array of configurable options, pretty much everything else is customizable, It’s very powerful, easily upgradable, and very accessible, not to mention, decently priced.

It may not be the cheapest, but its components are worth every penny, and right now, no gaming computer offers such specs and features at this price range. As we’ve written, it has excellent upgradability, and most importantly, it is one of the best when it comes to performance.

This powerhouse processor and GPU combo will run any graphics-heavy game with ease; even AAA titles on ultra, for a gaming experience so seamless, you’ll feel like you’re part of the game. This is especially true when it’s connected to the right monitor and running with a high refresh rate. But because it’s so powerful and easily upgradable, that’s not a problem.

HP Omen 880 is a future-proof gaming PC, that’s basically a long-term investment. But one with near-faultless out-of-the-box per today. That’s a real killer combination. And one that makes us recommend HP Omen 880 without any hesitation. We promise you that you won’t regret it!

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