HP gleams the gaming cube with powerful Omen X desktop

The company's latest attempt to resurrect the old VoodooPC magic includes a striking high-end PC built in collaboration with Maingear, as well as a 17.3-inch gaming laptop with Nvidia's new mobile graphics.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

HP Omen X Desktop

It's been nearly a decade since HP purchased VoodooPC as a way to bring a boutique touch to its desktop lineup. In the subsequent ten years, Voodoo's signature Omen brand, logo, and aesthetic have grace a number of systems, even going "Pro" in the form of a mobile workstation last year.

The Omen has withstood a waning PC market and its company's rocky road, but HP has never completely abandoned the brand, which gets yet another reinvention with a new lineup of systems and accessories. It's highlighted by an aggressively designed desktop that does its Voodoo forefathers proud.

The Omen X Desktop takes a cube-shaped gaming PC to the next level with a detailed approach to design, both outside and in. The stand that props it up also gives it more surface area for ventilation, for instance, and the tri-chamber design allows components to be separately cooled. Those components will need the cooling, as the top-end chassis houses top-shelf parts.

HP is offering two configurations, and design collaborator Maingear is selling two versions of its own. The Omen X Desktop 900-010 includes an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, 8GB of RAM, both a 2 terabyte hard drive and 256GB PCIe solid-state drive, and AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics, while the more powerful 900-030 features twice the RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Starting price is a "mere" $1,799 via HP's website, though a version for other retailers will be available in October. If you love the new chassis, but like building your own system, HP will be selling the Omen X case as a stand-alone product, though at $599.99, it ranks as one of the costliest cases around.

Maingear ups the ante with a $2,999 starting price for an Omen X with Core i7-6800K CPU, 16GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 1070 graphics, but only a 1TB hard drive (though you customize to your heart's -- and wallet's -- content). It also will offer a version with a whopping $5,200 price tag that includes the same specs as the cheaper sytem, but with hand-crafted liquid cooling inside. These are available to pre-order now, with a shipping date starting in the middle of September.

HP has also rolled out the Omen brand for laptops over the years. The new 17.3-inch Omen can't match the Omen X in terms of innovative design, but it similarly features high-end performance in a stylish package. It comes with a 3,840x,2,160 (or 4K) display, Core i7-6700HQ mobile processor, 16 gigs of memory, 512GB SSD drive, and Nvidia's brand-new GeForce GTX 1070 mobile graphics. HP says the starting price for the 17.3-inch Omen will be $1,599.99, but hasn't given a date when it will go on sale.

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