Aftershock Impulse SFF Gaming PC Review
In this review, well check out gaming performance, overclocking, thermals and basically everything else. Too.. The Impulse is available with different hardware configurations.. In my unit theres an Intel i5 8600K CPU Nvidia, RTX, 2070 graphics, 16GB of memory running in dual channel, a 256GB M.2 SATA SSD and 1TB hard drive.. When ordering online youve got the option of selecting different hardware check the link in the description to see whats available. For the CPU, you can select the i3 8100 up to i7 9700K for graphics. You can go from the 1050 Ti all the way up to a 2080 Ti, while memory can go up to 32gb in the two available memory. Slots. Youve also got the option of picking between a H310 of Z370 board. So if youre going for a K, CPU and plan on overclocking make sure you pick, the Z370 board upgrade too., They seem to be using the Kolink Rocket Mini ITX case here. Its made of aluminium and has a brushed finish on all panels. Aftershock are also offering custom paint jobs, though, if you want something other than the default silver.. The left and right side panels have holes for airflow and each panel can be removed by taking out four screws with a phillips head screwdriver giving us access to the internals.. The sides of the panels were a little sharp in areas so be careful. There. On the left, weve got the vertically mounted graphics card, in this case the Zotac Gaming RTX, 2070 mini.
. Otherwise, on this side, we can see the 600 watt power supply. On the right. Weve got the motherboard and in this case an Intel stock, CPU cooler. However, youve got the option of upgrading this when ordering and Ill cover the thermal performance. A bit. Later. Ive got a H310 motherboard here, so I wasnt able to overclock the i5 8600K CPU. There is a Z370 option for ', more though. At the top of the board theres a single M.2 slot and its got two memory. Slots.. There are two 2.5 inch drive bays found below the case and they simply slide out. For IO. On the back of the motherboard, weve got HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI for using with the Intel, CPU graphics as well as two USB 2.0 Type: A ports, PS2 port gigabit, ethernet, two USB 3 Type, A ports, WiFi antenna and 3.5mm audio jacks. On the 2070 graphics card. There are three DisplayPort outputs, HDMI and DVI port, though all of this will vary based on the motherboard and graphics selected.. On the front, there are two USB 3 Type, A ports along with the power button, just above which lights up white, while running. The white lighting matched the Zotac graphics card in this particular build, which could be seen through the left side. Panel., Underneath there are just four sticky rubber feet, while the top of the case is just smooth brushed. Metal. Now lets look at the thermals testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 26 degrees celsius.
A bit warm as its summer here at the moment. Testing was completed with the side panels on, however, results will of course vary greatly depending on hardware selection., Starting at the bottom of the graph. Ive got the idle temperatures and it was running fairly cool and quiet. No problems there. I tested gaming with Watch Dogs 2 as it uses a good combination of CPU and graphics and both were around 80 degrees Celsius. Not too bad.. I wasnt able to boost the fan. Speed of the stock Intel cooler so instead went with a 0.1v undervolt on the CPU, and I maxed the fan out of the graphics card, while overclocking it by 200MHz with MSI Afterburner.. By doing this, the CPU temperature lowered 4 degrees and the graphics temperature rose 5 degrees from the overclock. Despite the boosted fan speed., The stress test results are from running the Aida64 stress test and Heaven benchmark at the same time, in order to try and fully utilize. Both the processor and graphics in a worst case, scenario. Continuing up the graph at stock, both CPU and GPU, are in the mid 80s and by undervolting the CPU and overclocking the graphics again, with the fan maxed out the results basically swap., These are the average clock, Speeds for the same tests, just shown., The 200MHz graphics, overclock and fan boost is giving us a nice improvement well see how this affected gaming performance a bit later. The CPU clock.
Speed was the same regardless. It was sitting at a 60 watt TDP at stock. No thermal or power limit throttling, so it was able to achieve its 4.1GHz all core turbo speed, no problems, even with the Intel cooler. Again I wasnt able to overclock the 8600K. As my unit didnt have a Z370 motherboard., As there was no way to modify the CPU, the Cinebench test was pretty boring, no way to improve performance as its already performing as best as it can here.. As for the fan noise produced by the system Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. It was still audible. The fans of the Zotac 2070 dont seem to stop when not doing anything. Under stress test with the fans at stock. It gets fairly loud, similar to while gaming. With the graphics card fans maxed out its now quite loud and again, I wasnt able to boost the CPU fan speed.. While gaming. I did notice that the case felt fairly warm to the touch. So I pulled out the thermal camera and had a quick look.. It was getting close to 50 degrees Celsius in some parts, so fairly warm but realistically not an issue. Its not like youll be leaning on it or anything.. The only exhaust is a single 80mm fan up the top. Overall, despite the Intel, CPU cooler, it performed perfectly fine with no thermal throttling. With this hardware combination. However, if youre looking at picking a higher tier CPU Id recommend going for the cooler upgrade as well.
By default, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal paste is used, which is great and youve got the option of upgrading to conductonaut, if youre after liquid metal, which may honestly be Required in such a small build, if you go for the 9700K., The CPU and graphics have access to their own fresh air through either side of the case, though its worth noting that there is no dust filtering in the case. Ive. Also measured total system power draw from the wall at idle were looking at around 50 watts, then 263 watts with the Aida64 stress test and Heaven benchmark running.. This rises by around 30 watts once we overclock the graphics.. I didnt show it here, but we could drop around 20 watts with the 0.1v CPU undervolt which, as we saw earlier, also improved CPU temperature.. Finally, lets get into some gaming benchmarks. Ive tested these games at stock settings as thats, probably how most people will use the PC. Dont worry well: look at overclocking, after., Ive tested at 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions at all setting levels so that we can really see what this hardware is capable. Of. Lets start out with Battlefield 5, which was tested in campaign mode, as that can actually make use of RTX, which our 2070 supports. At 1080p. It was kind of playable at ultra and high settings. Not excellent Id definitely be sticking to medium or low settings, but even there the 1 lows werent great. Personally Id stick to RTX off, at least with this hardware.
Ultra settings with RTX off looks nicer than medium settings with RTX on in my opinion, and it performs way better. Stepping up to 1440p RTX on is still able to average 60 FPS with the 2070 at medium settings or below, but again same deal looks nicer at Ultra with it off and performs better. At 4K youre not going to want to bother with RTX on at all here, even the 2080 Ti struggles with it at 4K and low settings with RTX off were required for a solid 60 FPS. Fortnite was tested using the Replay feature and as a well optimized game at 1080p, we were getting very high frame rates even with the settings maxed out at epic, no problems at all. At 1440p. The frame rates are still excellent, with over 100 FPS achievable with max settings.. At 4K, 60 FPS was still possible with high settings, while stepping down further was still able to maintain well above 100 FPS. Far Cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark and at 1080p it was performing quite well over 100 FPS at ultra settings with decent 1 lows. At 1440p, the results are still quite respectable, still above 80 FPS, even at ultra settings with the 1 lows again not too far behind the averages. 4K really drops the performance in this test. With 60 FPS averages no longer possible, even with low settings.. Csgo was tested with the Ulletical benchmark and, as usual on modern hardware, we get very high frame rates in this test with over 300 FPS possible.
Even with all settings on maximum. At 1440p, 300 FPS was still almost possible with all settings maxed out, though fairly good 1 low improvements at the lower settings, which is likely what youd use playing competitively anyway. 4K was still playable, with almost 300 FPS achievable with the Settings on minimum. Rainbow Six Siege was tested using the built in benchmark and as another pretty well optimized game. We were seeing very high frame rates in this test running very nicely, even at ultra settings at 1080p.. At 1440p, the results are still quite high, with 180 FPS reached with ultra settings with a 1 low thats, still quite high., The 1 low results at 4K are still quite decent, so not many dips in performance and the average frame rates are still decent too, with Above 100 possible at high settings. PUBG was tested using the replay feature and at 1080p, as usual, there wasnt too much of a performance difference seen between the different setting levels, with over 100 FPS at ultra settings. At 1440p. There wasnt much change at the lower settings, but the higher levels drop back as the hardware gets put to work with 100 FPS averages still possible at high settings., Not sure why youd be playing this game at 4K, if youre, actually after the chicken dinner, but with Very low settings it was still going alright with the 1 low. Still above 60 FPS. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested using the built in benchmark and at 1080p, even with the highest settings, 100 FPS was only just out of reach.
At 1440p. Highest settings still scored over 60 FPS with 100 now possible at low settings and then finally, at 4K, lowest settings were required to maintain above 60. Fps averages in this test. Ive also got some Dota 2 results at 1080p. Keep in mind that I tested this using an intensive replay that doesnt represent actual game play its a worst case scenario, so that I can compare these results with other machines.. I did play a quick game with the settings maxed out, though, and I was able to average around 120 FPS there. Were seeing pretty nice performance from the i5 8600K CPU and RTX 2070 graphics at both 1080p and even 1440p, with good settings., While some less demanding Games are capable of running at 4K on this hardware. I dont generally consider the 2070 a 4K graphics card, so Id suggest going for something higher if youre after 4K., As mentioned before, it was possible to improve performance by overclocking. The graphics so lets take a look at how these settings helped out.. I did also undervolt the CPU, though, as we saw earlier, this had no practical effect to performance, as there was no throttling., Ive retested Far Cry 5 and we can see that there is an improvement to frame rates with the overclocks applied. Ive only tested ultra settings At all three resolutions, and at 1080p there was just a 1 improvement to average FPS.. At 1440p there was a larger 7 improvement to average FPS and a 4 improvement to 1 low and then finally, at 4K there was a larger 10 improvement to both average frame rates and the 1 low.
Performance improves at higher resolutions, as the CPU becomes less of A factor, and as shown here, we can get some nice boosts. Ive used Crystal disk mark to test the storage and my 256GB M.2 SATA SSD was performing fairly and the 1TB 5400RPM hard drive was perhaps a little above average. Although results will vary based on the hardware you select, you can go up to a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD and 2TB 2.5 inch SSHD. For up to date. Pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording here in Australia, with these specs its going for around 2400 AUD. Before all my international viewers say thats too high again. This is in Australian dollars stuff. Here not only costs more, but we also have a 10 tax on top of everything, too, without our tax and after conversion, its around 1500 USD.. The Aftershock Impulse has quite a lot of different hardware selection available.. The Kolink rocket case is nice and small and, in my opinion, looks great, although smaller sizes always come at the cost of having limited cooling options. An AIO liquid cooler, for example, is not possible here.. This machine is definitely prioritizing the amount of physical space that it takes up at the expense of other options, such as cooling. However, with the decent specs I had here, it wasnt thermal throttling, though this did mean it needed to run the fans somewhat louder than Id.
Like but youd likely see better results going with the cooler upgrade and liquid metal option.. Let me know what you guys thought about the Impulse from Aftershock down in the comments and, if youre new here get subscribed for future tech.