Peripherals

HP OMEN 870-244 Gaming PC Review

HP OMEN 870-244

Complete Gaming Package

  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Built like a tank
  • Amazing raw performance
  • Brushed Aluminum Design
  • Somewhat drab looks

CPU: Core i7 7700 | GPU: GTX 1070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB HDD

VERDICT:The HP OMEN 870-244 might not exactly be the best looker in this price range, but it's one of the best prebuilts out there for raw performance

PC Gaming is one of the biggest and most active communities on the internet. There are a lot of enthusiastic people out there putting together their own rig, modding it and sharing it with the world. There is also a lot of advice out there. Most of the time, a lot of these people will tell you to build your own PC (buying parts and putting it together). This will end up saving you money right now as well as in the wrong.

Sadly, not everyone has the time to sit there for hours and tinker with parts all day. Windows and driver issues are already a headache for everyone these days. So the extra headache of worrying about parts and compatibility is daunting for some people. This is why some people might prefer to go with pre-builts.

There are a lot of options out there to choose from. From full-fledged water-cooled framerate killing machines to modest budget systems. The HP OMEN 870-244 fits slots straight in between the two. On paper, it’s rocking great specs plus tonnes of features. So we’ll be helping you decide if it’s worth your money. Let’s get started.

Design and Build Quality

HP is known for its workstation systems and laptops, so their design has been pretty much simple and clean for a long time. But honestly, that gets a bit boring at sometimes. The OMEN lineup is anything but boring. HP has gone with an overall aggressive look for the OMEN brand. The OMEN 870 follows suit with that.

Still, despite the eye-catching HP logo stamped near the bottom of the front panel, and the addressable RGB lights at the front. Things still look a little bland. It still follows the same look of the rest of the OMEN lineup. The brushed metal finish, the logo, and the red accents all around are pretty familiar. But looking at other pre-builts with side panels, aggressive lines, and other design cues, it doesn’t exactly stand out.

The HP OMEN 870 in all its glory.

The OMEN 870 maintains its modest design inside out. Things aren’t exactly all that exciting inside either. The layout is pretty standard, the motherboard is a basic OEM model and the cable management is questionable. Seriously, it looks like someone just took a couple of zip ties and tucked the cables wherever they fit. It’s going to be a real pain if you need to upgrade something and deal with those cables.

Well, at least we know the build quality is solid all around. The whole chassis is completely made out of aluminum, besides the plastic strip at the front with the lighting. It does feel like you paid for a premium build. We have the power button up top, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a full-sized SD card reader. We also have the usual I/O at the back. There’s even a DVD drive at the front, which is a rarity these days.

The Specs

On paper, the HP OMEN 870-244 has pretty reasonable specs. However, corners are definitely cut in a few places in there. Some of which are pretty bothersome to us. Let’s get through the specs first. For the processor, we have an Intel Core i7 7700 clocked at 3.6GHz, 16GB of RAM running at 2133Mhz, A mechanical 7200RPM 1TB hard drive, a built-in Wi-Fi card and Bluetooth 4.2. As for the star of the show, we have the GTX 1070 as the graphics card.

A midrange PC with outstanding performance

There is even an option for adding in a liquid cooler from HP themselves. We recommend doing so because the case is pretty small and jam-packed. Adding a liquid cooler will keep things frosty and increase the overall lifespan of the processor. Not to mention the stock cooler is pretty horrible as well. But you can’t overclock the i7 7700 so it’s up to you entirely.

At this price, however, the biggest annoyance is the absence of an SSD. If we were to put together a build ourselves for this price, we could easily add in a 256GB or even a 512GB SSD. The memory is also locked at 2133Mhz, which means you can’t add faster RAM later on either because of the motherboard.

The blazing performance makes us forget about the design at times

Performance

The HP OMEN 870-244 packs in a lot of power. Sure, it’s a midrange pre-built system but you get a lot of bang for your buck. The most appealing thing is that most people won’t have to worry about upgrading the graphics card or the processor for a few years. For more than most people, The OMEN 870-244 packs a lot of power.

Let’s quickly get some numbers out of the way. In 3DMark Firestrike, the OMEN 16,812 points. Which is still considered a pretty high score in 2019. On Cinebench R15, it scores 186 on single threaded performances and 901 on the multi-core. The GPU also topped of at 165fps on Cinebench.

But all of us know those synthetic benchmarks aren’t really everything. In real-world usage, the OMEN is snappy with day to day tasks. The 16 gigs of RAM help out when you have a lot of tabs open in the background. Sadly, Bootup times are painfully slow and that’s why we’d prefer an SSD any day.

As for gaming, the OMEN can hold its own against most titles. At 1080p, things are easily playable with well over 100fps on most games. The most graphically intensive games might take it down a bit, but the GTX 1070 inside rarely throttles or dips below 60fps.

1440p is a bit of a different story. For e-sports games such as CS:GO, Rocket league and other competitive games, it’s still pretty impressive. But when we get to the graphically intensive games, framerates start dropping a bit. Mind you, the GTX 1070 is still a powerful card and can handle most games over 60fps. Sure the card has been replaced by the RTX 2070 in newer builds now, but finding one in a pre-built isn’t easy. That too at this price.

Software

The light strip is controlled via built-in software – Image Digit

Well, there’s not a whole lot to talk about here, but HP does give you a few pre-installed apps. These include the usual Microsoft Office applications, an anti-virus tool, and a few other basic windows apps. The OMEN 870-244 comes with a version of Windows 10 Home.

You can play around with the lighting with the built-in software. The HP Phoenix Control panel allows you to change the colors, speed and different modes of the lighting. There aren’t really a lot of effects in this software, but it’s decent enough for the light strip at the front.

There is also a handy feature known as HP OMEN Game stream, which is HP’s version of GeForce Now. But unlike other services, such as Playstation’s Remote play, you can’t stream to games to your phone. However, you can stream games from the OMEN PC to any other Windows 10 PC. Just be sure to keep both systems up to date.

Upgradeability

The HP OMEN 870-244 has a pretty standard layout on the inside, so upgrades should be relatively easy. We have three additional hard drive bays, so adding extra storage shouldn’t be an issue. We also have 2 empty RAM slots (unless you go with 32GB of RAM), so upgrading shouldn’t be an issue. But as we mentioned before, the RAM is limited to 2133Mhz, which might be a bit noticeable down the line. So don’t bother buying faster RAM if you get this system.

Upgradeability shouldn’t be a major issue down the line

You can technically upgrade the processor to an 8th gen i7, but the board itself isn’t really the most powerful thing on the market. We definitely can’t recommend buying an unlocked processor if you want to upgrade, because the board can’t handle overclocking all too well. GPU upgrades should be easy if you just look out for the size.

But there is one major issue we have with the layout in general. That happens to be with the placement of the M.2 slot. The motherboard only sports one M.2 slot to begin. That slot is hidden beneath the PCIe slot of your graphics card. This isn’t really the best placement as you’d have to remove the GPU first to install it. Not to mention the ridiculous thermals you would get with the drive. That would decrease its performance a bit.

Another thing we noticed is that the case isn’t the easiest to work with. The metal edges are kind of sharp and you can scratch up your arm if you’re not careful. Since the case is so compact, it’s a bit hard to get around inside, especially with the cables.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the HP OMEN 870-244 is really an impressive machine. The design might be a bit bland looking but performance-wise, the OMEN is still a great machine. It’s still important to remember that you can probably get better specs right now, especially for the asking price of $1400 with the i7 version. There is also an i5 version with a GTX 1060.

Now sure, you can build a PC on your own and save money with it. But if you absolutely need a pre-built with decent performance and good cooling, the OMEN 870-244 is a solid option to put on your list.

Design
Features
Quality
Performance
Value

User Rating: 2.8 ( 1 votes)

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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.

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