I’m a gamer. I love gaming PCs and over-the-top cases that look more like works of art than the standard black rectangles most PC makers sell. But HP, oh boy, HP has gone completely mad.
The company, which launched its Omen sub-brand of gaming PCs back in May, has rolled out its newest desktop gaming PC offering. It’s absolutely ridiculous in the best kind of way.
The Omen X is a computer like a Ferrari is a car. Let’s start with its case, which looks like something straight out of “Hellraiser.” A 60-pound behemoth, the Omen X houses its components in a cube that balances on its single edge thanks to two large supports.
HP says it designed the desktop’s case in such a way to help promote airflow — there are three different air champers to keep the system cool — and make it easier for enthusiasts to work on.
Airflow is important for computers because the hotter a system gets, the more it will automatically lower its power output to keep from having a complete meltdown. And in the case of the Omen X, that’s a distinct possibility. That’s because the PC can be crammed with as much horsepower as you can afford.
A starter configuration of the Omen X will cost you a whopping $1,800 and includes an Intel Core-i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive supplemented by a 256GB solid-state drive and an AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card. That’s one hell of a system. The thing even comes with a ridiculous number of USB ports: 10! Do you need 10 USB ports? Probably not, but who cares?
Want to go even higher? HP will outfit the Omen X with twin Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chips (which cost about $700 each) and an incredibly unnecessary 32GB of RAM. And if you want to keep the system running as cool as possible, it comes with a liquid cooling setup that uses radiators to ensure your processor is nice and chilly. Oh, and its front panel is ringed in LEDs that you can program to any color.
So yeah, the Omen is overdone to the extreme. But there’s a reason HP is diving headfirst into this hardcore gaming market. While PC sales have fallen over the past few quarters, high-end and gaming PCs have held up relatively well, explained Lewis Ward, IDC’s research director of gaming.
On top of that, Ward says the number of gamers who play PC games at least once a month will rise from 550 million in 2011 to 700 million this year. That kind of growth is being driven by the ever-increasing popularity of e-sports games such as “League of Legends” and “Counter Strike: Global Offensive,” among others.
If companies like HP weren’t aggressively targeting gamers, who also happen to upgrade their computers more frequently than non-gamers, they’d be missing out on an important opportunity.
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