Aftershock Terra 15 Review – Lower Cost 2070 Laptop?
Lets find out if any compromises have been made to keep price down in this detailed review, but first … Aw man, everything in Australia is just so expensive. It'S, not fair websites like Newegg generally seem to offer better prices than what I can find locally, but we're too far aware from everywhere else and upside down. So shipping just costs way too much. Wait free shipping at Newegg on orders over 300 AUD until the 15th of March. Yes, that's right Uh, who are you I'm you but pretending to be a disembodied voice.? Ok, but uh? How do I get the deal Simply check out the sponsored link in the description which will show you all products that are eligible for free shipping, there's, even laptops with a wider range of models than you can even buy in Australia.? Alright, but seriously, I did actually buy all the parts of my PC except the case from Newegg in the US, and it was still cheaper to get it sent from there to Australia so definitely worth checking out Alright back to the Terra 15 For the specs theres, An Intel i7, 9750H CPU Nvidia RTX 2070 Max P, graphics, 16gb of memory in dual channel, a 15.6 1080p 144Hz screen and a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD. For network connectivity, its got Gigabit Ethernet WiFi, 5 and Bluetooth 5. Theres a fair bit of customization available when ordering Through the Aftershock website and if youre in Australia, you can get 50 off with this or any other Aftershock laptops with code JARRODSTECH.
. The Terra 15 is also available with GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2080 Max Q graphics.. Interestingly, those options are half a centimeter thinner about 300g lighter and in the case of the 1660 Ti option has a smaller battery, so it looks like the higher wattage 2070 configuration Ive got here is a little larger and heavier probably as it needs extra cooling capacity.. The laptop is made out of magnesium alloy and this extends to the lid interior and the bottom, so it feels quite nice., Its all matte black, with bronze or orange accenting around the edges, fan vents and touchpad, and the sides of the lid light up orange from The screens backlight. Overall, it looks very similar to the Aorus 15 Ive, previously reviewed both use a similar Quanta chassis, though there are some differences here, such as improved cooling., The weight of the 2070 Max P. Configuration is listed at 2.36kg on their website. However, mine weighed about 200g less than this and was just over 3KG with the 230w power brick and cables included.. The dimensions are quite similar when compared to other 15 gaming laptops and its not too thick for a 2070 machine., Its a touch wider compared to others. Ive recently tested with 9.5mm screen bezels on the sides.. The 15.6 1080p 144Hz screen has a matte finish. Viewing angles: looked fine and theres; no G, Sync. Theres, no Optimus, though, as the display is connected directly to the Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics.
Instead of the Intel graphics. In the processor., This means that well see increased gaming performance at the expense of lower battery life. I did not see the option of enabling Optimus. Ive tested the screen with the Spyder 5 and got 96 of sRGB 67 of NTSC and 72 of AdobeRGB. At 100. Brightness I measured the panel at 328 nits in the center, with an 8501 contrast ratio, so pretty average results for a 144Hz panel and decent for a gaming laptop.. There was basically no backlight bleed. It looked fine even in this worst case, but this will vary between laptop and panel.. Despite the metalic build, there was more screen flex than Id like to see when intentionally moving it, and this seems to be because the hinge is in the center of the panel. However, the hinge itself did seem sturdy enough., It was just possible to open up with one finger. Weight was somewhat evenly distributed and no issues using it. On my lap., The 720p camera is found above the display in the center. Despite the thinner screen bezels., The audio is ok, but the camera is below average. Heres. What typing on the keyboard sounds like, and this is what it sounds like when we set the fan to max speed., So its pretty loud for me right now, but you can still hear me. Ok over the fan noise., The keyboard has 3 zones of RGB backlighting, which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions.
. The brightness is controlled in two levels, either through software or by holding function and pressing space bar.. Even at max brightness. I thought the keys looked a little dim. Overall, I didnt enjoy typing with the keyboard, much mostly because of the slightly smaller backspace enter and backslash keys, along with smaller arrow keys, which seems strange, given there is space on the left and right of the keyboard, which Could have been used to stretch it out. Heres, how typing sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.. I did like that theres a dedicated fan button, though this automatically sets the fan to max speed and it doesnt require any software to operate.. In addition to the keyboard lighting, there are two lights on the front corners of the laptop.. They can be adjusted through the control center software. They also have two levels of brightness or can be turned off. However, youre limited to either green, red or blue colours, only. Keyboard flex was present, but on the lower side, when intentionally pushing down hard overall, it felt sturdy enough due to the metallic body. Realistically, though, there werent any issues during normal use., The precision touchpad physically clicks down when pressed. It was smooth to the touch and worked well. I had no problems using it. Its on the wider side compared to most others, but my hands never touched it while typing. I dont think its quite as wide as say. The ones from MSI.
Fingerprints show up quite easily on the matte finish. However, as its smooth theyre easy to clean with a microfiber cloth. On the left from the back theres, an air exhaust vent, gigabit ethernet, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A port MicroSD card slot and status LEDs. On the right from the front theres, a 3.5mm, audio, combo jack. Two more USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A ports and another air exhaust vent.. The back has air exhausts towards the corners, then from left to right. Weve got the power input, HDMI 2.0 and mini DisplayPort 1.3 outputs, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port, no Thunderbolt and Kensington lock. Theres nothing happening on the front. Underneath has heaps of air ventilation holes towards the back. However, it seems the fans may be blocked from sucking in air from most angles. Due to the rubber feet.. Getting inside was simple: just remove 11 Phillips head screws and pry the bottom panel off., Once inside weve got the 2.5 drive bay down the front left WiFi card just above that battery along the front right. Two memory slots in the middle and two M.2 drives to the right of that which both support NVMe PCIe storage., The required mounting hardware and cable, was provided in the box. If you need to install a 2.5 drive., The two 2W speakers are found on the left and right sides near the front.. I thought they sounded below average, quite tinny sounding.. They got loud enough at maximum volume, though, and the latencymon results look ok.
. The Terra 15 is powered by a 64wh battery. Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and keyboard lighting off., While just watching YouTube videos, it only lasted for 2 and a half hours as the Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics were in use. The whole time theres no option of using Optimus. While gaming, it lasted for 53 minutes, at which point the frame rate dipped from a stable 30 FPS to 5 FPS and was no longer usable. It lasted for an hour and 8 minutes in total. With this state.. Now lets find out how hot the Terra 15 gets and see if this causes any issues to performance. The control center software lets you select different performance modes which, from lowest to highest, are power, saving gaming and high performance.. I didnt find a way to change the fan speed through this software, so it seems like all weve got. Is the dedicated fan button on the keyboard to max it out. Inside there are a couple of heatpipes shared between processor and graphics., Rather than also test games. Like I usually do, Ive focussed on running stress tests in more configurations, so the Heaven GPU benchmark and the Aida64 CPU stress test at the same time to load up the system.. Ive got the idle results down the bottom. It was quite cool and all of this testing was done with a 21c ambient room temperature. The CPU was thermal throttling any time it was averaging 96 degrees Celsius.
So, most of the time, as per the blue bars., The GPU shown by the green bars was also thermal throttling whenever it was running at 86, degrees. Starting out with the lowest power saving mode, the CPU doesnt get as hot as the other results. As this mode caps, the power limit to 15 watts, however, the GPU was still thermal throttling., Stepping up to game mode now, and the GPU is still thermal throttling at 86. However, the CPU was just slightly behind thermal throttling. It was instead power limit throttling as game mode caps. Its power limit to 35 watts., Going to high performance mode now triggered the CPU to hit thermal throttling.. If we set the fan to maximum speed, though it was just possible to remove this and the GPU was no longer thermal throttling like this., If we instead apply a 0.15v undervolt to the CPU well, there was no change with regards to thermals.. If we use a cooling pad, only the CPU was still throttling. However, the cooling pad removed the GPU thermal throttle the same as setting the fans to max speed and trust me using a cooling pad was way quieter compared to using the laptops fans at maximum.. Next, up with the cooling pad plus CPU undervolt, there was no change, at least in terms of temperatures and using the laptop fans at max plus. The undervolt was the same. Combining the laptops fans at max cooling pad and undervolt, though we finally get nice temperatures.
. These are the average clock speeds from the same tests just shown. When we go from power saving to game mode. The CPU clock speed raises due to the higher power limit. However, the GPU performance ends up being worse because now that the CPU can reach higher speeds, theres more heat in those shared heatpipes, which negatively affects GPU performance., The CPU clock, speed, hardly rises stepping up to high performance mode. If you recall, we were only 1 degree out from the thermal throttle point on the CPU. Setting. The fan to max speed gave us a nice performance boost, though, however, as youll hear soon its very loud in this mode., We can actually get better CPU performance simply by using a cooling pad or undervolting, both of which are far quieter compared to max fan speed.. The CPU undervolt didnt really change the GPU speed as the CPU temperature didnt lower. However, the cooling pad was able to help there. Once we start combining these cooling options together, we see the best results with the CPU now only just a little behind the full 4GHz. All core turbo boost speed under this worst case stress test., I think a cooling pad and undervolting is the most sensible option. However, if you recall thermals were still on the higher end of the spectrum until we also max the fan out., These were the power levels being reached in this test. We can see the GPU wasnt able to get near its 115 watt limit at stock settings without making performance improvements, whether that be through higher fan, speed, undervolting or using a cooling pad.
In CPU. Only workloads like Cinebench, the 9750H would reach the current limit at stock. In high performance mode, the power or thermal limit were not issues. Here. Applying an undervolt almost got us to 3000 points, which is a fair score for this chip. Heres. How it looks in the areas where youll actually touch at idle. It was a little below the 30 degree average. I usually see., With the stress tests running in power saving mode its a little warm, but not bad. At all., Stepping up to gaming mode saw fairly similar temperatures just a little warm in the middle, with a cooler, WASD area. High performance mode, didnt really change much either. Then, with the fans set to max speed, it drops by around 5 degrees at the warmest points. Lets, have a listen to how loud the fans get.. It was almost silent at idle. I could only just hear the pulsating fan. Power, saving and game mode were about the same. Then high performance mode was only slightly louder., As you heard things get pretty crazy. When setting the fan to maximum speed, it was too loud and high pitch sounding. Its too bad that theres no fan customization through the software. Hopefully, that gets added with an update, as it would be preferable to set a middle ground because, as we saw earlier, boosting the fan, speed helped improve performance and thermals.. Next lets find out just how well the Terra 15 performs in games.
Ive tested with high performance mode and fan boosted for best results, along with all Windows updates and latest Nvidia drivers. Installed. The results are a little strange. Take Battlefield 5, for instance. The performance actually got better stepping up from low to high settings. Im, not exactly sure why this was the case, but it was consistent and persisted after a reboot and game reinstall. It wasnt the only weird result: though. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the Built in benchmark and the performance got progressively worse stepping up from lowest to medium settings before rising up at high with highest performing about what Id expect from a 2070.. That said, the results were still inconsistent at highest settings. The result here is an average from multiple runs, but I saw results anywhere between 80 and 89 FPS. Red Dead Redemption 2 was also tested with the games benchmark tool and the results were looking a bit more normal. This time, around. Control saw similar normal results with the highest setting preset capable of delivering above 60 FPS. It was running quite well., Apex legends was tested with either all settings at maximum or minimum as it doesnt have built in setting presets.. The 144 FPS frame cap was being hit at minimum and there was still excellent results at max settings, though strangely the 1 low was worse at minimum., Fortnite was tested using the replay feature and max settings was close to the refresh rate of the screen with much Higher possible at lower setting levels.
CSGO is an example of a game with high frame rate that benefits by the lack of Optimus.. The FPS in this game is noticeably higher when compared to a laptop with same specs that uses Optimus. So some games will do better on the Terra 15 due to this. Lets also take a look at how this config of the Terra 15 compares with other laptops use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers.. The Battlefield 5 results look pretty good, at least with the highest setting level. Remember, the results were actually worse at lower setting levels.. In any case, it seems to be performing near other RTX 2070 laptops granted on the higher end of the scale. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games benchmark tool. This time the result was one of the lower numbers from the 2070 laptops, though just 1 FPS below the MAX 15, so not far off the others, but again as mentioned results were inconsistent and varied between 80 to 89 FPS., Far Cry 5 was also tested with the games benchmark and the results werent great.. This is a CPU heavy test and, despite having the same i7 9750H as many other machines tested here with lower power, graphics, its a fair bit behind. Ive used Adobe Premiere to export one of my laptop review videos at 4K.. The performance is lower compared to other laptops due to the lack of Intel, graphics.
Theres, no Optimus in this laptop, which means no quick, sync, which greatly speeds up this workload.. Now, for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike Timespy and Port Royal from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. Ive, used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage and the 1TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus I had installed, was performing great. However, results will vary based on the storage option selected when ordering. The MicroSD card sticks out a minimal amount, and the speeds with my V90 card seemed ok. For updated pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording The 2070 model Ive tested here starts at under 2600 AUD, but you can of course, get 50 off that price with code JARRODSTECH, it should work for other laptops. There too. Price will change based on how you spec it, though – and there is also the cheaper 1660 Ti option or the 2080 Max Q version, but, as mentioned, those seem to use a slightly different chassis, so its hard for me to compare them.. This price is competitive. The Terra 15 would be one of the cheaper gaming laptops available in Australia with RTX 2070 graphics., As mentioned Gigabyte, seem to sell a very similar chassis as the Aorus 15 and even their 2060 config costs more than Aftershocks 2070 one. Theres. Some stiff competition from Metabox, though the Prime V, with same CPU, GPU and memory, is about 90 more currently, so the Terra 15 is a little cheaper.
With all of that in mind. Lets conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the Terra 15 gaming laptop., The build quality was ok. There was some chassis and screen flex due to the middle hinge. However, it feels pretty nice as its all magnesium alloy. Theres plenty of storage space inside with two M.2 slots and a 2.5 drive bay. Im sure some people would have preferred to see a larger battery in exchange for the 2.5 drive.. My guess is considering theres, no MUX switch or Optimus, and that were stuck to the power hungry, Nvidia, graphics, regardless battery life is pretty much always going to be on the lower side. At least this way we should see a performance improvement compared to an Optimus solution.. That said, it would have been better to see the MUX switch to allow the user to pick which mode to run the machine in rather than being forced one way or the other. But I suppose that would probably increase the cost. Its difficult to see how much of a performance boost were getting from this anyway, as some of the games tested, produced, inconsistent results, while a number behaved strangely and performed worse at lower settings, something Ive never seen before.. I couldnt pin it down, but it seemed to be some form of throttling its difficult to say exactly as in instances of lower performance. I saw current limit power limit and thermal throttling interchangeably.. As we saw in the thermal testing.
It does run hot and there was throttling in my worst case. Tests at stock, however undervolting and using a cooling pad did help quite a bit. So it would be nice if the machine came undervolted out of the box, as this would likely assist those who arent otherwise aware. As thermals can be a limitation depending on workload. Its probably also worth considering paying extra for a better thermal paste option. Setting the fans to max speed did help, but, as you heard, they get extremely loud and the control center software seemed limited in that it didnt. Let me customize the fan, hopefully a future update will fix that.. I found the touchpad ok, but I really didnt like using the keyboard, mostly due to the smaller than average backspace enter backslash and arrow keys. Aftershock in Singapore offer the new Vapor 15, which appears to be the same as the MAX 15 from Eluktronics. I recently reviewed and is different from the Vapor 15 Pro Intel collaboration just to keep the naming confusing. Anyway. It does cost a bit more than the Terra 15 for the same specs, but I think its worth it. It was overall just a better machine and is worth the less than 10 price increase in my opinion.. Unfortunately, Aftershock in Australia dont currently appear to offer that configuration, maybe theyll, get it in future though.. As for what I did like, the 144Hz screen was decent in terms of colour, gamut, brightness and backlight bleed.
There was a fair selection of ports available. Some games saw a performance boost due to the lack of Optimus and the total weight of the laptop wasnt too heavy, considering the hardware inside.. So, to summarise, due to the issues around thermals throttling, inconsistent game performance loud fan, noise, with lack of fan, control, annoying, at least for me, keyboard and poor battery life. Id probably have to give it a miss if it were my money and look at other options. To be fair. The Terra 15 is on the lower end of the price scale, for an RTX 2070 Max P laptop in Australia and, if youre willing to use a cooling pad and undervolt it can perform well.. Let me know what you thought about the Aftershock Terra 15 gaming laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel, consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.