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Product Listing

Aftershock APEX-15 review: Performance you can afford

By Koh Wanzi - 26 Jul 2018
Launch SRP: S$2576

Performance benchmarks

Test setup and performance

Here’s a full list of the notebooks we’re looking at:

  • Aftershock APEX-15
  • Razer Blade (2018)
  • Aftershock PRIME-15

The Razer Blade was chosen to show how the APEX-15 and its GeForce GTX 1060 6GB stacks up against the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q. Similarly, the PRIME-15 was thrown in the mix to see how it compares against a notebook with a 7th-generation Intel CPU.

Test notebooks compared
  Aftershock APEX-15 Razer Blade (2018) Aftershock PRIME-15 Max-Q
  Aftershock APEX-15 Razer Blade (2018) Aftershock PRIME-15 Max-Q
Launch SRP
  • From S$2576
  • From S$3899
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2667 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz AHVA display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 120Hz display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Max-Q
Storage
  • Samsung PM981 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
  • Samsung PM981 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 960 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Seagate FireCuda SSHD 1TB
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wireless 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
Audio
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 2x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x microphone-in, headphone-out jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Type-C)
  • 3x USB 3.0 ports (USB3.1 Gen1, 1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)
  • 2x Mini Display port 1.3
  • 1x HDMITM output port (with HDCP)
  • 1x 2-in-1 Audio jack (Headphone / S/PDIF Optical output)
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
Miscellaneous
  • Per-key RGB illumination
  • RGB illumination
Battery Type
  • 46.74Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 80Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 55Wh
Dimensions
  • 359 x 240 x 19.9mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.3mm
  • 380 x 249 x 18.6mm
Weight
  • 1.95kg
  • 2.1 kg
  • 1.9kg

The notebooks were put through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

The Aftershock APEX-15 held up quite well against the two notebooks equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q. Overall, it was approximately 8 per cent behind the Razer Blade.

A look at the score breakdown shows that much of that difference can be accounted for by the APEX-15’s comparatively weaker gaming performance. The notebooks ended up trading blows in the other benchmarks, with the APEX-15 even coming ahead in the Essentials benchmark, which comprises tasks such as web browsing, video conferencing, and measurements of app start-up times.

All else being equal, the difference in graphics cards probably isn’t going to matter that much in non-gaming related tasks.

 

3DMark

3DMark is a more relevant assessment of gaming performance, and it puts the system through a range of graphics and computational performance tests at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K.

The performance difference was more obvious here, and the APEX-15 was around 29 per cent slower than the Razer Blade in the Fire Strike test. However, for a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB equipped notebook, it fares reasonably as expected, as can be seen in this older gaming notebook shootout where we've more GeForce GTX 1060 GPU based laptops tested.

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The benchmark also has a target frame rate of 109FPS, and I've included the average FPS each notebook managed to provide a clearer measure of their respective performance.

The APEX-15 passed the Orange Room test with little trouble, but it was still 10 percent behind the Razer Blade’s GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q. That said, both notebooks with the Intel 8th-generation processor still fell behind the Aftershock PRIME-15 and its Intel Core i7-7700HQ chip.

The way things look, VRMark still places a greater emphasis on higher single-core clock speeds and isn't quite able to fully utilize hexa-core Core i7-8750H. The latter has a 2.2GHz base clock and maximum turbo frequency of 4.1GHz, compared to the 2.8GHz base clock and 3.8GHz boost clock of the Core i7-7700HQ.

While the 8th-generation Coffee Lake processor has a higher turbo boost frequency, it seems like that couldn't make up for the considerably lower base clock.

 

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is a demanding real-time strategy game that puts thousands of units on screen, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful GPUs.

The APEX-15 didn’t come that far behind the Razer Blade, trailing it by roughly 7 percent at High settings, where the CPU is the limiting factor. However, the gap widened when the GPU became the limiting factor at Crazy settings, where the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB lagged by around 22 percent. Thankfully, the performance numbers are still reasonably adequate to run the game at those settings.

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is one of the most demanding titles to run today, but the good news is that the APEX-15 still managed to deliver a relatively playable experience at High settings.

That said, the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q in the Razer Blade was still a good 31 percent faster than the APEX-15. It maintained that lead at Ultra settings, coming away with a 34 percent advantage.


 

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division isn’t as demanding to run as Ashes of the Singularity or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but its Snowdrop engine can still stress cards with the use of dynamic lighting and the like.

At High settings, the Razer Blade was around 32 percent faster than the APEX-15. Still, it’s worth noting that the APEX-15’s 65.9FPS is still a very respectable showing and is a playable result. All told, the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB will run most games at 1080p resolution comfortably, provided you turn some of the eye candy down.

8.0
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 9
  • Mobility 7
The Good
Good value for money
Mechanical keyboard with optical switches
144Hz IPS-type display
Slim, light, and compact design
The Bad
Lackluster audio quality
Poor battery life
No Windows Precision Touchpad
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