The HP Victus 16 (2021) is a budget gaming laptop available with Intel 11th Gen CPUs and dedicated NVIDIA GPUs. It's a sturdy-feeling laptop, even though it's entirely plastic, with a simple design that doesn't stick out in a professional working environment. However, it's bulky and heavy, and the battery lasts less than 2 hours when gaming, or just a little over 5 hours of light productivity. The keyboard feels great to type on, the touchpad is large and responsive, and there are plenty of ports, including an HDMI 2.1 and an Ethernet port. Its 144Hz panel displays a clear image in fast-moving scenes with minimal ghosting, but it doesn't support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing and doesn't get bright enough to combat glare. Its Intel Core i5-11400H CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU provide a smooth gaming experience at 1080p and can handle demanding tasks like video editing or 3D animation. It has outstanding performance over time as there's only a small amount of thermal throttling on the CPU, and it doesn't get overly hot or loud under load.
Our HP Victus 16 has an Intel Core i5-11400H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 dedicated GPU, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage. The Intel Core i5-11400H and the lower-end i5-11260H perform fairly similarly and can handle most games at 1080p. However, if you often play open-world or strategy games that are typically more CPU-intensive, it's best to upgrade to the Core i7-11800H. As for the GPU, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 is the lowest-end option and can push around 60 fps at 1080p, though you'll have to play at low settings in most games. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050Ti are a decent step up from the GTX 1650 and very close in performance, with the RTX 3050Ti being only marginally better. Both GPUs can get around or slightly over 60 fps at high settings. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 is the top-end configuration and will provide the best performance, with average frame rates around or over 100 fps at 1080p.
The HP Victus 16 is okay for school use. It's a fairly bulky laptop that's a little cumbersome to carry around, and you'll likely have to bring the charger with you as the battery lasts less than 6 hours of light productivity. However, the keyboard provides a great typing experience, and the touchpad is large and responsive. Its Intel 11th Gen CPU and NVIDIA dedicated GPU are more than capable of handling most student workloads, including demanding tasks like graphic design or 3D animation. Its 1080p 144Hz panel is reasonably sharp but doesn't get bright enough to combat glare in well-lit settings.
The HP Victus 16 is great for gaming. Its Intel Core i5-11400H and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 provide smooth gameplay at medium or high settings in graphically demanding AAA titles. You can also configure the laptop with a more powerful Core i7 or RTX 3060, which will get you even higher frame rates for better responsiveness. Only the CPU throttles a bit under load, so performance remains consistent even if you play for an extended period. Its 144Hz panel displays a clear image in fast-moving scenes with minimal ghosting, but it doesn't support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.
The HP Victus 16 is mediocre for media consumption. It's a bulky and heavy laptop that's hard to carry around, and its battery lasts less than 5 hours, which is only enough to get you through two full-length movies at the most. Its speakers sound good but don't get very loud, and while the display is reasonably sharp, colors look washed out and inaccurate. Also, it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare, and its low contrast makes blacks look gray in dim settings. That said, you can get the laptop with a brighter and more colorful 1440p panel, which will provide significantly better image quality.
The HP Victus 16 is excellent as a workstation. Its Intel Core i5-11400H CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 dedicated GPU can handle heavy workloads like video editing and 3D animation. If you need even better performance, you can configure it with a more powerful Core i7 and RTX 3060. On top of that, the memory and storage are user-replaceable and easily accessible. There's only a little bit of thermal throttling on the CPU, and it doesn't get overly hot or loud under load. It has a great port selection that includes an HDMI 2.1 port, but its USB-C port doesn't support Thunderbolt.
The HP Victus 16 is good for business use. It feels well-built even though it's entirely plastic, and it has a sleek design that doesn't stick out in a professional office environment. However, it isn't very portable because it's bulky and heavy, and its battery lasts less than 6 hours of light productivity, so you'll have to carry the charger with you. The keyboard feels great to type on, the touchpad is large and responsive, and the webcam captures a good image for video calls. Its Intel 11th Gen CPU can handle productivity tasks like text formatting, web browsing, presentations, and even heavy number crunching in spreadsheets.
We tested the HP Victus 16 (model 16-d0018ca) with an Intel Core i5-11400H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 dedicated GPU, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage. The screen, CPU, GPU, memory, and storage are configurable; you can see the available options in the table below. This review applies only to laptops in the 16t-d000 and 16-d0000 series. The HP Victus is available with AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs (16-e0000 and 16z-e000 series), but we consider them separate models as the AMD CPUs likely perform differently.
Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar HP Victus 16 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.
You can see our unit's label here.
Compared to other gaming laptops in its class, the HP Victus 16 stands out for its sturdy build and the quality of its keyboard and touchpad. It also has a sleeker design with fewer gamer aesthetics than other gaming laptops, so it doesn't stick out in a classroom or office.
The HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) are both budget gaming laptops. The HP is better mainly because the Acer's keyboard doesn't register some keystrokes at times, which can be a dealbreaker for most gamers. The HP also has a much better touchpad and webcam, and it's available with newer and more powerful CPUs and GPUs. On the other hand, the Acer has much longer battery life, and it's easier to carry around since it's a smaller device.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021) and the HP Victus 16 (2021) are both budget gaming laptops available with the same GPU options. However, the IdeaPad Gaming 3 has AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU options, whereas the Victus 16 has Intel 11th Gen. Both laptops offer a similar overall user experience, although the Victus 16 has a better port selection and doesn't get as hot under load. The performance will depend on which configuration you get. If you plan on using the laptop for work, the IdeaPad Gaming 3's AMD Ryzen CPUs have better multi-thread performance than Intel 11th Gen CPUs, making them better suited for production workloads like video editing and 3D rendering.
The Dell G15 (2022) and the HP Victus 16 (2021) are very similar budget gaming laptops. The HP provides a better user experience with a sturdier build, a more comfortable keyboard, and a more responsive touchpad. However, the Dell has higher-end display and GPU configuration options, like a 1440p 240Hz display and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU. The Dell's Intel 12th Gen CPUs also perform better than the HP's AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors, providing better frame rates in games and a smoother experience in demanding tasks like video editing.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021) and the HP Victus 16 (2021) are very similar gaming laptops. The Lenovo has AMD Ryzen CPU options, while the HP has Intel 11th Gen CPUs. The Lenovo has higher-end GPU options like an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU and an AMD Radeon RX 6600M, which aren't available on the HP. The overall user experience is similar between the two laptops; however, the HP has a larger and more responsive touchpad, while the Lenovo has a wider port selection. The HP doesn't have a MUX switch, but the Lenovo does.
The HP OMEN 16 (2022) is better than the HP Victus 16 (2021). The OMEN 16 is a more premium laptop that offers a better user experience with better thermals, quieter fans, and a more compact chassis for better portability. It also has newer Intel 12th Gen CPUs and more powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 and 3070 Ti GPU options.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is better than the HP Victus 16 (2021). The ASUS is a more premium device with a sturdier build, a brighter and more colorful display, an MUX switch, and a more powerful CPU and GPUs. The ASUS is also more compact, making it easier to carry around, and its battery lasts much longer. On the other hand, the HP doesn't get as hot under load, and its GPU doesn't throttle.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (2021) and the HP Victus 16 (2021) are both budget gaming laptops available with Intel 11th Gen. CPUs and NVIDIA dedicated GPUs. The HP has a larger and more responsive touchpad, as well as a wider port selection that includes an additional USB-A port and HDMI 2.1 support instead of HDMI 2.0. On the other hand, the Lenovo doesn't get as hot or loud under load, and its keyboard feels more comfortable to type on for extended periods. The HP has more powerful CPU options with more cores and threads, providing better performance in CPU-intensive games and applications. It also has a higher-end NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU option, which isn't available on the Lenovo.
The HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) are very different. The HP is a budget Windows gaming laptop, while the Apple is a premium productivity-focused laptop that runs macOS. The Apple provides a better user experience with a sharper, brighter, and more colorful Mini LED display, a sturdier all-aluminum build, a much better haptic touchpad, and longer battery life. If your main goal is gaming, it's best to go with the HP even if the Apple scores better in some benchmarks, as there are few games optimized for Macs running on an ARM-based SoC. For production work like video editing, the Apple laptop will provide a smoother experience and complete tasks faster, but the HP is also capable and can get the job done.
The HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) are very different. The HP is a budget gaming laptop that runs Windows, while the Apple laptop is a more premium productivity-focused laptop that runs macOS. The HP is available with more powerful CPUs and GPUs, so you can use it as a workstation too. However, the Apple laptop provides a much better user experience because it has a sharper, brighter, and more colorful display, a much better haptic touchpad, and a higher-quality webcam for video calls. The Apple laptop's build feels sturdier, its battery lasts longer, and its slimmer and compact design makes it more portable.
The HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020) are both gaming laptops available with Intel CPUs and dedicated NVIDIA GPUs. The Dell is a more premium device with a sturdier build, but it isn't as serviceable as the HP because the memory modules aren't user-replaceable. The Dell has a much faster 300Hz display that provides a more responsive gaming experience, a more comfortable keyboard, and a wider port selection that includes a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support. On the other hand, the HP has a larger touchpad with better tracking, its webcam captures a brighter image for video calls, and its battery lasts much longer and charges faster. The Dell is an older model with Intel 10th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2000-series GPUs, but there are newer models with Intel 11th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 3000-series GPUs.
The HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) are very different laptops. The HP is a budget gaming laptop, while the Acer is a productivity-focused ultraportable. If you need a portable device for work or school, it's best to go with the Acer as it's much thinner and lighter, and its battery lasts much longer. However, the HP laptop might be a better choice if you need a more powerful dedicated GPU for more demanding tasks like video editing or graphic design. The HP also has a more comfortable keyboard, a larger and more responsive touchpad, and a much better webcam for video calls.
The HP Victus 16 has a clean and minimalist design. It has a touch of gamer aesthetic, like the V shapes in the speaker grills above the keyboard, but it's subtle and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb in a professional working environment. The bezels are relatively thin on three sides; however, the bottom chin is much thicker, with a silver-colored Victus logo at the center. It's available in three color schemes: Ceramic White, Mica Silver, and Performance Blue.
The HP Victus has good build quality. It feels sturdy even though it's entirely plastic, and there aren't any gaps in the construction. There's a bit of flex in the display, but almost none in the keyboard deck. While the white plastic doesn't show fingerprints, it may look dirtier than the Mica Silver and Performance Blue models over time.
The HP Victus has an outstanding hinge. It feels smooth when opening and closing the laptop, and it's very sturdy with almost no play at all. However, you can still open the laptop with one hand, which is a nice quality-of-life feature that gives the laptop a more premium feel. Unfortunately, the screen wobbles a lot when typing aggressively or on an uneven surface.
Although the HP Victus 16 is thin for a gaming laptop, it's still on the chunky side, and it's heavy, making it hard to carry around. The power adapter is also large and takes up a lot of space in most bags.
The HP Victus' serviceability is excellent. It's very easy to access the internals as you only need to remove some Philips screws before prying open the bottom panel. The M.2 2280 storage slots support PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs. You can see HP's service manual here. Opening the laptop and changing the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.
Note: Models with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU have a 150W power adapter.
The HP Victus gaming laptop has five display options. All five are IPS panels but with different refresh rates, advertised brightness, and color gamut coverage, as you can see below:
The 1080p panels are reasonably sharp at this screen size. The 1440p display is sharper and will provide a more immersive experience in atmospheric games; however, none of the available GPUs are powerful enough to deliver a smooth experience at this resolution. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 can handle some light games at 1440p but not graphically demanding AAA titles. The 1440p panel is still a viable option if you plan on using the laptop for work or school, as it gives you more screen real estate for multitasking. The 16:9 aspect ratio is fairly typical for a gaming laptop. However, it doesn't provide as much vertical space as productivity-focused laptops with a 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio, so you have to scroll more often when reading a document or website.
The HP Victus' motion performance depends on which panel you get. The 144Hz and 165Hz displays provide a smoother and more responsive gaming experience than the 60Hz panels. The 144Hz panel has a decent response time, resulting in only a short blur trail behind fast-moving objects, and the 165Hz panel performs similarly. However, the 60Hz panels perform worse, producing a blurrier image with more noticeable ghosting. Unfortunately, none of the panels support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.
The HP Victus 16 has a good contrast ratio within the typical range of most IPS panels. However, it's a relatively low number compared to other panel technologies like VA and OLED. It isn't ideal for dark room viewing because blacks still look gray. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units, but the difference is usually minor and isn't noticeable. The other display options will perform similarly.
The HP Victus doesn't get very bright, so it's best to avoid using it in a well-lit or sunny environment. It gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting, which is great for dark room viewing as it's easier on the eyes. As mentioned in the screen section, there are panels with an advertised 300 cd/m² brightness, but that still isn't enough to make it suitable for use in very bright rooms or outdoors in broad daylight.
The HP Victus has good reflection handling. Its matte anti-reflective coating works well against lights shining directly at the screen. However, bright ambient lighting makes the screen look hazy, which is very distracting when viewing dark scenes.
The HP Victus' black uniformity is good. The screen looks a little patchy because there are different shades of gray, but this is only visible when viewing dark scenes in a dark room. Black uniformity varies between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances; you may get some backlight bleed, which is common for IPS panels, but you can expect the rest of the screen to be fairly similar.
The HP Victus has okay horizontal viewing angles. The image dims and washes out quickly as you move off-center. The image quality is still good enough to share text documents and such with someone else, but you have to look at the screen relatively straight on if you want to see an accurate image.
The HP Victus has mediocre vertical viewing angles. The image quality degrades fairly quickly, which can be an issue if you're using the laptop in a position that forces you to look at the screen from above or below. It isn't too bad for gaming or light productivity tasks like text formatting and web browsing, but it isn't ideal for color-critical work.
The HP Victus has poor color accuracy out of the box. Most colors are inaccurate due to the panel's narrow color gamut, and the white balance is off. The color temperature is slightly warmer than the standard 6500K target, resulting in a barely noticeable reddish tint. The gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve and sticks close to 2.4 instead, making most scenes appear darker than intended. Color accuracy varies between individual units, but the difference is usually minimal. The 1080p 60Hz panel with 45% NTSC coverage will likely be similar, but the 100% sRGB panels will be more accurate. If you want a budget gaming laptop with better color accuracy out of the box, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021).
The HP Victus has a poor color gamut. It doesn't even have full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, so most content looks dull and inaccurate. It also has limited coverage of wider color spaces like Adobe RGB, DCI P3, and Rec. 2020, making it unsuitable for any color-critical work or viewing HDR content. The 1080p 60Hz panel with 45% NTSC coverage will perform similarly. The other three display options, including the QHD panel, have 100% sRGB coverage; however, it's unlikely they have enough coverage of the wider color spaces to make them suitable for professional photo editing or viewing and producing HDR content.
The HP Victus laptop has a flicker-free backlight, which helps reduce eye strain for some people.
The HP Victus has a great keyboard. The keys are stable, with sufficient spacing between them, and the layout is easy to get used to. They have a good amount of travel distance, but they require a lot of force to actuate, making them slightly tiring to type on for extended periods. The backlight isn't adjustable, so you can only turn it on or off.
The HP Victus has a great touchpad. It's large, tracks all movements and gestures well, and there aren't any issues with palm rejection or actions like dragging and dropping. Clicking feels relatively satisfying, but you can't click towards the top of the touchpad.
The HP Victus has good speakers. They sound fairly well-balanced, with good vocal presence and clarity; however, they don't have much bass or treble extension. In short, they're good for spoken content, but not so much for music and movies. Unfortunately, they don't get very loud.
The webcam's video quality is good. The image is bright and has a decent amount of fine detail, but it's slightly noisy. Speech sounds clear over the microphone, with just a little bit of static and background noise.
The HP Victus has a great port selection. All USB ports support USB 3.2 Gen 1 data transfer speed (up to 5Gbps). The USB-A on the left and the USB-C ports support HP Sleep and Charge, meaning you can use the port to charge a mobile device even when the laptop is in Sleep mode. The USB-C port can output a video signal up to a maximum resolution of 5120 × 2880 @ 60Hz. The HDMI 2.1 port's maximum output resolution is 4k @ 120Hz or 8k @ 60Hz.
Our HP Victus uses an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 wireless adapter, but some models use a Realtek Wi-Fi 6 RTL8852AE-VT.
You can configure the HP Victus gaming laptop with an Intel Core i5-11260H, an Intel Core i5-11400H, or an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU. All three are powerful mobile processors designed for demanding tasks like gaming or video editing. The Core i5s have 6 cores and 12 threads, while the Core i7 has 8 cores and 16 threads.
For gaming, the Core i5s are powerful enough to provide a smooth experience as most games are GPU-limited, meaning they will push the GPU to its maximum capacity while the CPU sits around 40-60% utilization. If you play lots of open-world or RTS games, which are typically more CPU-intensive, it's worth upgrading to the Core i7 as its higher core count, faster clock speeds, and larger cache memory will provide better performance. The Core i7 is also a good option if you plan on streaming or running heavily multi-threaded applications like video editing software. As for choosing between the two Core i5s, the i5-11400H is only marginally faster than the i5-11260H, not enough to make much difference.
The HP Victus is available with AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, but we consider them different models.
The HP Victus has four dedicated GPU options: an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060. There's support for NVIDIA Optimus, meaning the laptop can switch to the integrated GPU in less demanding workloads to extend battery life. There isn't a MUX switch, so information from the dedicated GPU needs to pass through the integrated GPU before it gets to the display, resulting in a slight performance loss compared to other laptops that have one. If you want a gaming laptop with a MUX switch, check out the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021).
As for their performance, all four options are GPUs designed for 1080p gaming. The GTX 1650 is the lowest-end configuration and will get you roughly 60 fps in most graphically demanding games with low or medium settings. The RTX 3050 is a decent step up from the GTX 1650 and allows you to turn up some settings or run at higher frame rates, and like other RTX GPUs, it also has features that the GTX 1650 lacks, like ray-tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling). DLSS is a feature that aims to increase frame rates by rendering the game at a lower resolution and subsequently upscaling the image to minimize any loss in visual quality. However, it tends to work better at higher resolutions and depends heavily on each game's implementation, meaning you may see only a small increase in frame rate or none at all with it enabled. As for ray-tracing, it isn't worth enabling on an RTX 3050 due to its high-performance cost. The RTX 3050Ti is only marginally better than the regular RTX 3050; less than a 10% performance increase on average. However, the RTX 3060 is a big improvement over the RTX 3050 and will get you much higher frame rates or run some lighter games at 1440p. In regards to VRAM, 4GB is enough for most games at 1080p, but some AAA titles may need more, especially if you turn up settings like textures and detail. If you want some headroom to avoid this issue or need to run VRAM-heavy applications like graphic design software, it's best to upgrade to the RTX 3060, which has 6GB of VRAM. If you want a laptop with more powerful GPU options, check out the Razer Blade 14 (2022).
You can configure the HP Victus with 8, 12, 16, or 32GB of memory. The Core i5 models use 2933MHz RAM, but the Core i7 models use 3200MHz. While you can get away with less, it's best to opt for at least 16GB for the best gaming experience. Alternatively, you can get a base 8GB configuration and add more yourself later on as the memory is user-replaceable. However, note that the 8GB model can be in a single-channel configuration with one 8GB module or a dual-channel one with two 4GB modules. The dual-channel model will perform better if you leave it at 8GB, but you'd have to replace both modules if you want to get to 16GB rather than replacing just one.
You can configure the HP Victus with a 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD. Some models use a PCIe 3.0 drive, while others use a faster PCIe 4.0 drive; however, HP doesn't specify which type of storage drive a model has, so there's no way to know which one you'll get. You can also get the laptop with two 256GB PCIe NVMe SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration or an SSD (512GB or 1TB) with 32GB of Intel Optane memory. A RAID-0 array can increase drive speed by spreading the data evenly across all drives and treating the drives as a single unit, but the failure of one drive can cause the loss of data across all drives. Intel's Optane memory speeds up loading times; however, the performance gain is usually minimal when paired with a fast PCIe NVMe SSD.
The HP Victus' overall score in Geekbench 5 is outstanding. Its single-thread performance is fantastic and among the best for x86 CPUs of its generation. Its multi-thread performance is excellent, but if you plan on running heavily multi-threaded applications, it's best to upgrade to the i7-11800H since it has more cores and threads. The Core i5-11260H performs only slightly worse than the i5-11400H. In short, all three CPUs can handle heavy workloads like video editing and 3D animation, though the Core i5s will likely struggle a bit from time to time.
As for the GPU compute, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050's performance is excellent and good enough for professional production work. However, if you want the smoothest experience or fastest rendering times, it's best to go with the RTX 3060.
The HP Victus 16 performs exceptionally well in Cinebench R23. The Intel Core i5-11400H's single-thread performance is outstanding, nearly matching Apple's M1 SoC. Its multi-thread performance is excellent and good enough for professional-level 3D rendering work. If you need even better performance, go with the i7-11800H because it has more cores and threads. The i5-11260H will only be slightly slower than the i5-11400H.
The HP Victus 16 has an excellent score in Blender. While the Intel Core i5-11400H renders the bmw27 scene relatively quickly, there's no need to use the CPU because the dedicated GPU can complete the task much faster, especially the RTX GPUs that support the Optix API.
The HP Victus 16's Basemark GPU score is great and within the expected range for a lower mid-tier GPU like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 is more of an entry-level GPU and performs roughly 35% slower than the RTX 3050, in the same ballpark as the HP Pavilion Gaming laptop 15 (2021). The RTX 3050Ti is only marginally better than the regular RTX 3050, not enough of a performance increase to make much difference. However, the RTX 3060 performs significantly better than the RTX 3050, giving you upwards of 35% to 40% better performance. In short, the RTX 3050 is powerful enough to get around or slightly above 60 fps in graphically demanding games at high settings. You can get 60 fps with a GTX 1650, but you'll have to play with low settings. The RTX 3060 will give you the best frame rates and can even handle some lighter games at 1440p.
The HP Victus' storage drive performance is outstanding. Its fast read and write speeds make the system boot up, launch apps, and transfer files very quickly. Models with two 256GB SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration will be faster. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.
The HP Victus 16's battery life is disappointing. Even though the laptop supports NVIDIA Optimus, which automatically switches to the integrated graphics in light workloads to extend battery life, the battery still doesn't last long enough to get you through a typical 8-hour workday of light productivity. Video playback drains the battery even faster, giving you only enough time for two full-length movies at most. Battery life while gaming is very short, so you'll have to game with the laptop plugged in most of the time; however, it's still long compared to most gaming laptops with a dedicated GPU. Battery life will be longer on models with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, but it'll be shorter on models with an RTX 3060. That said, battery life varies greatly depending on your usage.
The HP Victus 16 has mediocre performance in Borderlands 3. It maintains a decent average frame rate at high settings, but there are very noticeable stutters due to frame drops, which isn't ideal for an FPS game that requires precise aiming. That said, the game runs much smoother at lower graphical settings. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 can only reach 60 fps at the lowest settings, similar to the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021). The RTX 3050Ti is only slightly better and gets you to a more stable 60 fps, while the RTX 3060 performs much better, with an average frame rate of at least 80 fps at high settings. Borderlands 3 is a GPU-limited game, so upgrading to the Intel Core i7 won't increase performance much.
Civilization VI runs smoothly on the HP Victus. Motion is smooth even at high settings, and the turn time is decent. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 will achieve an average of around 60 fps at high settings, while the RTX 3060 will be closer to 110 fps. The RTX 3050Ti performs only slightly better, giving you a few more frames per second at most. You have to upgrade to the Intel Core i7-11800H if you want faster turn times, as it's a CPU-intensive task.
The HP Victus runs CS:GO very smoothly. It maintains a high average frame rate, with only occasional dips that are hard to notice. Every configuration of the HP Victus can achieve high frame rates in this game, with the lowest-end NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 maintaining at least 150 fps at high settings.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs well on the HP Victus with an Intel Core i5-11400H and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050. The gameplay is smooth as the laptop maintains a high average frame rate with only occasional dips below 60 fps. The large frametime spikes are scene changes and aren't representative of the laptop's performance. The NVIDIA GTX 1650 will likely be closer to 60 fps at high settings or slightly below, similar to the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021). The RTX 3050Ti will only perform marginally better, pushing out a few more frames per second at the most, while the RTX 3060 will be much better, likely over 100 fps at high settings. Shadow of the Tomb Raider supports DLSS but enabling it on the RTX 3050 results in a slightly lower average frame rate than using the default TAA anti-aliasing.
The HP Victus 16's thermal and noise handling is okay. The keyboard deck is a little warm when idle, and while the fans are audible, they aren't distracting. The keyboard deck gets a bit toasty under load but isn't uncomfortable. The fans get pretty loud; however, it isn't annoying as it sounds more like heavy airflow than a high-pitch whine. Also, you can control the fan speed through the OMEN gaming Hub software, which has three fan speed options: Quiet, Default, and Performance.
The HP Victus has outstanding performance over time. Neither the CPU nor GPU gets hot under load. There's some thermal throttling on the CPU; however, it's minimal and only noticeable when running a CPU-intensive game or application, not in GPU-limited games where CPU utilization is relatively low.
The HP Victus gaming laptop comes with many pre-installed applications, including: