HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) review

The HP Victus 15 (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) is an entry-level gaming laptop that doesn’t try to compete with the $5000 gaming laptops boasting the latest graphics card and processors.

This gaming laptop is for someone beginning their gaming journey who doesn’t want to spend a fortune getting into the hobby. And in that regard, the HP Victus 15 provides a solid foundation, but it struggles to achieve 60fps on the most graphically demanding games.

If you’re comfortable knowing you’re not playing a game at its best possible settings or you’re looking to play less demanding games like Rocket League or Counter-Strike, you’ll enjoy the HP Victus 15. However, for what you get, this is an expensive laptop.

At $2,799, the HP Victus 15 is overpriced. It’s not nearly as powerful as similarly priced competitors, has woeful battery life, and doesn’t boast the performance capabilities you’d expect from a $2,800 device.

Pros

  • 144Hz display
  • Omen Gaming Hub

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average performance
  • Bloatware
  • Poor battery

Price

This version of the HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop costs $2,799. This is with an AMD Radeon RX 6500M graphics card, an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and 16GB of RAM.

While it isn’t as expensive as the best-of-the-best gaming laptops, it’s overpriced.

As a comparison, an Asus Rog Strix G16 gaming laptop with an Nvidia RTX 4050 and an Intel i7-13650HX costs $2,999, and a Lenovo Legion Slim 5 gaming laptop with an RTX 4060 and an Intel i7-13700H and 2560 x 1600 resolution display costs $2,550. Both of these boasts better performance.

HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) review

Design

The Victus 15 is a familiar-looking laptop. There isn’t much here that stands out. It has a smooth design with a large reflective V in the middle, ventilation vents underneath and on the back, and speaker cutouts on the bottom front corners. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that can disguise itself as a work laptop, this does a good job.

The keyboard is well-spaced with backlighting on the keys and is large enough to incorporate a numpad which is a bonus. There’s a USB-A port, a power adapter port, a headphone jack and an SD card reader on the left side. On the right side, there’s another USB-A port, a USB-C port, an ethernet port and an HDMI 2.1 port. This is a good amount of ports; I never felt I needed any extra.

The Victus 15 comes in three colours, Black, White and Blue. Our review device featured the Black scheme, and it looks fine.

Underneath the display, there’s a thick bezel, and there are also thinner bezels on the sides and top well. This is becoming a dated look and isn’t as sleek as an edge-to-edge design.

It measures 357.88 x 255 x 23.6 mm and weighs 2.29kg. It’s compact enough to be carried around easily but isn’t as light as an ultraportable laptop. This is to be expected in a gaming laptop, though.

HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) review

Display

The HP Victus 15 boasts a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz display. It’s fine.

HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) review

Gaming

This version of the Victus 15 allowed us to play most games at medium to high settings at 60fps.

We tested this with five games, all running at 1080p resolution, The Witcher 3, Hell Let Loose, Forza Horizon 5, Atomic Heart and Rocket League.

For The Witcher 3 we achieved around 45fps on High graphics settings. Dropping that to medium, we got closer to a 60fps average with only a few frame drops in busy areas. It was a similar story with Forza Horizon 5. 

Hell Let Loose is a poorly optimised game, and we struggled to achieve 60fps on any settings. On medium, we were getting close to 40fps on average. This isn’t necessarily an inditement on the hardware. Even with better hardware, frames are hard to come by on Hell Let Loose.

With Atomic Heart, we needed to drop the settings to medium preset to get stable frames at around 50fps, and with Rocket League, we achieved an easy 60fps on high settings.

The Victus 15 isn’t going to be able to run the best games at their highest settings. However, less graphically demanding games like Rocket League or Counter Strike will run at 60fps on high settings.

Software

The Victus 15 comes with a lot of bloatware. When starting the PC, you have to close pop-ups from ExpressVPN, DropBox, McAfee Live Secure and more. While these can be uninstalled, it’s an avoidable nuisance.

HP’s Omen Gaming Hub is here as well. This allows you to see metrics in real-time, like temperature, GPU/CPU usage, memory usage and storage. It also allows you to turn on features like a game optimiser, in which apps running in the background are stopped to ensure all the resources are directed to your game. Don’t expect much out of this. With Optimiser on, you won’t suddenly get a massive boost in frames, but it’s nice to monitor the laptop as you game.

HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) review

Battery

Like most gaming laptops, to get the most out of the Victus 15, you’ll have to use it while plugged in. This is because the hardware requires a lot of power, and the power brick on the charging lead allows for that.

That said, the battery life here is poor by gaming laptop standards when not plugged in. We could barely get 1.5 hours out of the battery, meaning we couldn’t even watch a movie without having to plug the laptop in.

This laptop needs to be plugged in at all times, which takes away from being able to use it for things other than gaming.

Verdict

The HP Victus 15 Gaming Laptop (AMD Radeon RX 6500M) offers a decent gaming experience with its AMD Radeon RX 6500M graphics card, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, and 16GB of RAM. However, considering its price of $2,799, other gaming laptops in the price range will provide a better gaming experience. 

For what this laptop allows you to achieve, it’s expensive. It has a poor battery, comes with a lot of bloatware and doesn’t stand out in the market.

While the 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz display is satisfactory. You won’t be able to achieve 60fps from the newest, most graphically demanding games. If you’re looking to play older games or independent titles, then the HP Victus 15 will probably be able to accommodate those titles (depending on your settings). However, there are alternatives that will enable you to achieve significantly better performance for a similar price. 

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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