(Pocket-lint) - For a lot of people, visualising a gaming PC isn't too hard - think RGB lighting all over the place, add in some shiny tubes for over-the-top liquid cooling, and stick it all in a case that's jumped straight out of a military installation.
From the points of view of many of us, though, a more subtle look would be miles better, before you even turn to the internal specs. Luckily enough, HP's paying attention. It's just released two stonking new gaming PCs that look, shockingly enough, classy as you like. The new OMEN 25L and OMEN 30L are right at the top of the game when it comes to gaming design, with sleek cases and understated branding.
Under the hood, though, how do they stack up? We've taken a proper look at the new OMEN pairing to find out some of the reasons they're serious new contenders in the gaming PC landscape.
1. That design
Look, we know that we opened with it, but it's worth spending a bit more time on how nice we think these OMEN desktops look. The 25L is the smaller of the two, and is actually the cleanest, with a brushed metal front lit up by that glowing white OMEN logo, and no other real ornamentation, other than one clear side to let you see into its marvellous internals.
Meanwhile, the 30L brings a few more tricks to the party, including a front fan with that subtle ring of light around it, and some more ventilation on the sides of the front of the tower. Whichever you choose, though, will look at home whether you're a "computers go under the desk" type, or if you prefer to have your PC loud and proud out in the open.
2. Dripping with power
Enough about appearance, though - an empty brushed metal case isn't going to power anything, of course. Just because the OMEN 25L and 30L are prepackaged, though, doesn't mean that you just have to accept what you're given. Both allow you a wide range of customisation options, including when it comes to that key central tool, the processor.
You can choose a processor from a 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 3600 clockable between 3.6 and 4.2 GHz, all the way up to a 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900 , clocked to between 3.1 and 4.3 GHz, regardless of which build you pick. Go for the slightly pricier 30L, though, and you'll get air cooling for that processor to make sure that you get the best possible performance.
3. Expansive memory
Of course, it's well and good having a processor that can power through tough tasks, whether they're gaming or work-related, but you'll want the memory both to store your games and files, and to help sift through them quickly.
On the RAM side of things, you can customise either of the new OMEN PCs with between 8GB and 32GB of RAM, ensuring that whether your needs are modest or ambitious, you should be able to get the hardware you need.
Moving over to your actual hard drives, though, lets you pick between three WD Black SSD drives, in 256GB, 512GB or 1TB varieties - that's one of our favourite hard drive makers, so a perfect choice for HP's systems, but the options don't stop there. If you want a standard hard drive as well, you can add a 1TB or 2TB SATA drive to your build, for all that background storage that doesn't necessarily need the absolute fastest read times. Dual-drive systems are pretty much want you want, so the OMEN builds have a real plus on their hands there.
4. Bleeding-edge graphics
When you get down to it, though, an SSD and a stonking processor won't get you in-game without a graphics card, and a good GPU can feel like the heart of a gaming PC (depending on who you ask). It shouldn't surprise you to learn that the OMENs offer superb options for their price brackets.
For the smaller 25L, you can start with the AMD Radeon RX 5500, with 4GB of on-board memory, or work up to a choice of options from Nvidia and AMD with 8GB of memory. On the 30L, meanwhile, all of your options start at 8GB of on-board memory, but if you want to go all-out you can opt for the stonking NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (with a huge 11GB of GDDR6). That means that you can easily pack in enough power to make mincemeat of the latest releases.
Of course, there are countless other features that come in the package, from your Windows OS to the option of a WiFI 6 card for future-proofing, and you can even throw in Microsoft Office if you know that you'll be doing the odd bit of work on your new machine.