Aftershock Apex-15R Gaming Laptop Review
Up. Lets start with the specs of my unit as you can customize it a bit when ordering. Ive got the 6 core Intel. I7 8750H CPU. Ive got 16GB of memory running at DDR4 2666 in dual channel, but it can be upgraded to 32GB. For storage. Its got two M.2 slots with support for NVMe storage and Ive got one 250GB SSD installed. Theres, a single 2.5 inch drive bay for a hard drive or SSD, but that slots empty in my unit. For the graphics theres an Nvidia GTX 1060. Here in the Apex 15R, but youve also got the option of getting the GTX 1050Ti in the Apex 15.. This powers, the 15.6 1080p 144Hz AHVA panel. Although the base model comes with a 60Hz IPS panel. For network connectivity, theres a gigabit ethernet port support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth., The Apex 15 has a black brushed metallic exterior, which is completely smooth, and this matches the interior.. The sides are well rounded, but the front edge can feel a little sharp, but otherwise the build quality feels very solid.. The dimensions of the laptop are 36cm in width 24cm in depth and just under 2cm in height. So a little smaller than many other 15 inch laptops due to the thin bezel, which generally means a smaller footprint.. The weight is listed as 1.95KG on the Aftershock website and mine, weighed very close to this., With the 180 Watt power, brick and cables for charging included.
The total weight increases to 2.5KG. Its got a 15.6 1080p 144Hz AHVA panel. Although no G, Sync here., No problems at all with viewing angles. Ahva is like IPS in that viewing angles are excellent. Ive, measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 97 of sRGB, 67 of NTSC and 72 of AdobeRGB, so not bad for a gaming laptop. At 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 371 nits in the center so fairly bright and with a 7301 contrast ratio so again pretty decent for a gaming laptop and overall I thought it looked. Great. Ive taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst case. Backlight bleed test and there was some bleed showing from the corners, although I never actually noticed this during normal use. However, this will vary between laptops.. There was only minor screen flex while moving it. It was quite sturdy due to the metal exterior and the hinges being out towards the far corners further aids in stability.. It cant quite be opened up with one finger theres slightly more weight towards the back, but no issues using it on my lap., Despite the thin screen bezel, the 720p camera is placed above the top of the screen.. Both the camera and microphone are fairly average, but you'll be able to judge both for yourself.. One of the stand out features of the laptop is that its got a mechanical keyboard with blue switches and a tactile 2mm depth, not something youd expect from a 2cm thin laptop.
. The keys are RGB backlit too, with individual key customization and quite a few effects built in.. The keys themselves were great to type with, but at times I felt like the keys were a little close together for me. As a mechanical keyboard. The key presses can be quite loud. Heres how the keys sound to type with to try and give you an idea of what to expect.. Aftershock also offer the laptop with brown switches instead, which offer silent linear feedback, as opposed to the clicky tactile feedback. With the default blue switches that Ive got here., There was minimal keyboard flex while pushing down hard. Overall, the body was quite solid. Above the keyboard towards the right theres, the power button and the fan boost button, which will increase the fan, speed to improve cooling at the expense of fan. Noise. Fingerprints show up quite easily on the smooth metal, lid and interior, but as a smooth surface theyre easy enough to wipe off.. The touchpad was smooth to the touch and worked well. It clicks down. When you push, you can right click anywhere with two fingers or otherwise one finger click down the bottom left or right hand, sides for left or right clicks, respectively. On the left, theres, a Kensington, lock, air exhaust vent, gigabit, ethernet port, USB 2.0 Type, A port and 3.5Mm microphone and headphone jacks. On the right, theres two USB 3 Type, A ports, SD card slot and air exhaust vent.
On the back. There are two more air exhaust vents toward the corners and then from left to right. Weve got two mini: DisplayPort, outputs, HDMI, 2.0 port, USB Type C port, no mention of Thunderbolt support, though, and the power input. The front has an RGB light bar in the center, which can be adjusted using the installed controlled center software.. The speakers are found towards the front left and right corners. They sound On the back of the black brushed metal lid theres, the Aftershock logo in the center, with a mirrored finish. Underneath theres, some pretty serious air vents right on the intake spots for the cooling fans and well see how the temperatures go soon.. It was very easy to access the internals by simply taking out the screws with a phillps head screwdriver. Inside we get easy access to the two M.2 slots. Single 2.5 inch drive bay, two memory slots battery and WiFi card. Powering the laptop is a 46 Watt hour battery and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos. With the screen on half brightness lighting effects off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 3 hours and 51 minutes.. It was able to swap over to Intel integrated graphics, which helped improve battery thanks to Nvidia Optimus., While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS. The battery lasted for an hour and 16 minutes. However, when it had around 40 of a charge left, the frame rate dropped to around 10 FPS and it wasnt playable anymore.
So youll want to keep the power brick nearby if youre gaming, but I always recommend that anyway, for best performance. Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment. Also keep in mind. There are heatpipes shared between processor and graphics, so a change in one component may affect the other.. Its also worth noting that when you buy the laptop youve got the option of selecting stock thermal compound or thermal grizzly, kryonaut or conductonaut options., Starting at the bottom of the graph at idle. The GPU was quite cool a little warmer on the CPU, but not bad. Considering the fans were silent., Moving up to the gaming test at stock shown by the green bar Ive tested Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of CPU and GPU.. Applying a CPU undervolt shown in yellow didnt, really change the CPU temperatures. Much., The stress tests were done by running Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark at the same time, in order to attempt to fully utilize both the processor and graphics. Continuing up in the red bar, the temperatures rise a bit for the CPU, although cooler for the GPU and No difference in temperatures with the CPU undervolt applied but well see how this affected performance in the next graph.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests, just shown. Starting down the bottom. In the green bar with our gaming test.
We can see that theres, a 200MHz CPU boost with the undervolt applied and a 160MHz boost to the graphics with the overclock set., With the stress tests running, were seeing a larger 400MHz improvement to the CPU once undervolted and a 140MHz boost to the graphics with the Overclock applied shown by the red and purple bars., Although the power limit of the CPU can be boosted, I didnt test the combined CPU and GPU stress test or gaming with the power limit boosted, as I still found this workload to never pass 35 watts on the Cpu likely because the BIOS is just configured in this manner for a combined workload.. These are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU. Only stress tests without any GPU load. At stock in the blue bar were a bit below the 3.9GHz all core turbo speed, but just applying a 0.150v undervolt to the CPU boosted us by 400MHz and with the power limit. Also boosted shown in the red bar were only just shy of full performance in this stress test. By default. The power limit is your standard 45 watts, but with Intel XTU I was able to boost it to 56 watts for some extra performance. To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here with the older 7th gen i7 7700HQ, just down the bottom for comparison. Single core performance, didnt change as theres, never any throttling there, but in multi core we can see how the power limit boost and undervolt affects.
Cpu performance.. Here are the GPU, only clock speeds, while under a graphical only stress test both at stock and with a 200MHz GPU core overclock applied, although on average in this test were seeing a 138MHz boost due to power limitations on the graphics which I wasnt able to modify Using MSI, Afterburner and well see how this affects performance later.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was in the low 30s in the center peaking to the high 30s right up the back fairly standard.. While gaming, the center reaches the mid 40s and around 50 degrees Celsius right up. The back with the left and right sides of the keyboard, much cooler in comparison and then similar results, while under stress test.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. The fan wasnt moving. So it was completely silent., While gaming and under stress test it got fairly loud with the fan maxed out, not too surprising, considering the specs inside and how thin the laptop is. Though.. Finally, lets take a look at some gaming benchmarks. All games were run at 1080p with the latest Windows updates and these Nvidia drivers, with the software set to game mode for best. Performance. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature and it was playing quite nicely even at epic settings, which was still able to average above 70 FPS and then at the lower levels.
We really started. Taking advantage of the 144Hz panel. Overwatch was tested playing in the practice range and again, very nice results in this well optimized game at epic settings. No problems at all with further improvements seen at lower settings. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode and not in multiplayer mode as its easier to consistently reproduce the test run.. It still played pretty well at ultra settings almost able to average 60 FPS, but it was noticeably better with medium or low settings.. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark and Direct X, 12 and again, pretty nice results with a fairly large jump. Once we go to low or lowest settings. PUBG was tested using the replay feature and as a less optimized game, the frame rates, arent crazily high, but still very playable at around high settings, which was averaging above 60 FPS. CSGO was tested using the Ulletical benchmark and, As usual, the frame rates at all settings were fairly high. Rainbow. Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark and again very high frame rates from this test, which is pretty much always the case with over 100 FPS reached at ultra settings in this test.. Far Cry 5 was also tested with the built in benchmark, and some nice results for this test. With this laptop just able to average above 60 FPS at ultra settings. Assassins, Creed Odyssey was another that was tested with the built in benchmark, and while I dont think you really need a high frame rate to play this game, the frame rate could be improved.
A fair bit with lower settings. Dota 2 was tested using a fairly intensive replay, so this should be a worst case scenario. These results are not the same as actually playing the game which would result in higher performance.. I use this test as its reproducible and easy to compare with my other videos. Watch. Dogs 2 is a demanding game, but, as it doesnt seem to need a high frame rate to play, I have no trouble playing at ultra settings anything above 30 FPS. As long as the 1 low isnt too terrible runs fine for me. Ghost Recon is another resource, demanding game and, as usual, not great results at ultra settings, but thats normal for most laptops, much less problems at pretty much any other setting level though.. The Witcher 3 was tested with Hairworks disabled and even ultra settings were just able to get us a 60 FPS average. Although I found it played much nicer at high settings or below., Shadow of war was tested with the built in benchmark and quite high frame rates were seen regardless of settings.. Now, for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy and VRMark from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. Overall, were seeing great gaming performance from the GTX 1060 and i7 8750H combination and the dual channel memory configuration is just icing on the cake.. All games tested were able to run with good settings and still get decent frame rates.
Ive said it before and Ill say it again. The 1060 is an awesome option for 1080p gaming, although youll only really see high enough frame rates to make best use of the 144Hz panel in the less demanding titles like Overwatch., As we saw earlier, weve got the option of overclocking the graphics so lets see how This actually helps improve gaming performance.. The exact same Windows updates, game updates and Nvidia drivers were installed, so there shouldnt be any changes other than these CPU undervolting and graphics. Overclocking changes. Far Cry 5 was retested using the built in benchmark. The average frame rates at ultra settings were 8.6 better compared to stock speeds and a 7 boost to the 1 low one of the largest improvements Ive seen from overclocking and undervolting, a laptop, probably because its also one of the few Ive been able to boost the Power limit with., As for storage in Crystal Disk Mark, the 250GB is giving us pretty. Nice read speeds for a SATA based SSD and alright writes.. I dont have a disk in the single 2.5 inch drive bay, and these are the speeds from the SD card slot. Using a V90 rated card so not great but still better, to have an SD slot than not. For updated pricing check. The links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording. The Apex. 15R is going for 1969 AUD, so around 1300 USD for my international viewers without taxes.
Just for context. The Acer Helios 300 with similar specs goes for around 2000 AUD here and in my opinion this is a much better laptop. Stuff just costs more here. So just keep that in mind US based friends before you judge it purely on our Australian dollar pricing.. So what did you guys think about the Apex 15R gaming laptop from Aftershock Overall Im? Pretty impressed of the power were able to get from such a thin unit, especially considering the thermals are kept in check.. The GTX 1060 and i7 8750H combined with dual channel memory, gives us excellent gaming performance in pretty much all modern games tested with good settings and the 144Hz screen with thin bezels just looks great.. The only downsides I personally had was that the keyboard felt a little cramped with the keys close together the control panel. Software is a little clunky feeling and could use an update and Watch Dogs 2 actually thought it was cheat software and refused to start. Until I closed it and the battery wasnt able to sustain gaming below 40., Otherwise, though, I really think the pros massively outweigh the cons with this laptop youre. Getting good specs solid, build quality, a mechanical keyboard, thin bezels with small overall footprint, great specs and come on even RGB light bar.. Let me know what you guys thought about the Apex 15 gaming laptop from Aftershock down in the comments and leave a like to. Let me know if you found the review useful.
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