WITH GREAT POWER, COMES GREAT SIZE
Aftershock Titan V2.1
It’s been a whlie since we reviewed the original Aftershock Titan and the latest iteration, the Titan V2.1, continues to be a monster of a gaming machine.
Unlike the Aorus approach to create an SLI configuration into a slim chassis, the Titan makes no excuses at being a desktop replacement.
Its large size actually affords it a lot of room to pack in high-end hardware without compromising cooling and ventilation. We don’t know what deal Aftershock made with the Devil, but the Titan V2.1 is relatively quiet even when its fans are running at full blast during gaming. It’s not whisper-quiet obviously, but compared to its contemporaries that sound like aircraft taking off the moment you fire up a game, the hum of the Titan V2.1 comes across as bearable background noise.
And we’re talking about twin GeForce GTX 980Ms here, making the Titan V2.1 one of the most powerful gaming laptops around graphics-wise, even against the Aorus X7 Pro, which comes in an SLI GTX 970M configuration (also reviewed in this issue).
Another benefit of its size is its solid base and a keyboard that’s much more comfortable to use due to greater key travel distance. It actually reminded us more of a regular PC keyboard. The fully customizable backlight option is a plus too.
Another thing we love about the Titan V2.1 is its removable battery, which is a feature that’s becoming a rarity these days as manufacturers try to shave weight and bulk by integrating as many components as possible. For something as large as the Titan V2.1, having the option to switch out battery packs makes a lot of sense.
So, let’s tackle the real question on your minds. How does Aftershock do it? How can the Titan V2.1 feature twin SLI GTX 980Ms for $4,204 (based on recommended specs) when
the MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro, which comes with a single GTX 980M, already has a base cost of $4,208?
Unfortunately, the simple answer is compromise. Pretty much every other component on the Titan V2.1 is a level or so below the competition.
Yes, you can customize the machine and upgrade processor, RAM and maybe get a Blu-ray drive instead. There are also two additional mSATA bays for expanded storage options and RAID configurations. However, all this will significantly add to its cost.
What we find surprising though is the fact that there is no upgrade option for its display, which is limited to a full HD 1080p panel. For a 17-inch notebook with SLI GTX 980Ms, we certainly expected more.
There are a couple of minor quibbles we have about the design as well. We really don’t like having USB ports only on the right side and the back. Considering that most of us are right handed, having a USB device attached (maybe a thumbdrive or even a wired for USB device) on the right side can only lead to accidental collisions with the mouse. Since this is a gaming laptop, do you really want to be interrupted in the midst of gaming just because you bumped into your thumbdrive?
When it comes to actual performance, the Titan V2.1 takes no prisoners. It consistently outperforms all its contemporary peers. We benchmarked it against the MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro (single GTX 980M) and Aorus X7 Pro (SLI GTX 970M). Although on paper, the Titan V2.1 does have a weaker processor and less RAM than the competition, its raw graphics performance makes up for everything. The Titan V2.1 was actually able to double the scores of the MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro in both 3D Mark 2013 Fire Strike benchmark and Tomb Raider in High settings. Results against the Aorus X7 Pro was also impressive, with an average 20% performance lead.
It is also notable that we recorded lower temperatures on the Titan V2.1 than both the MSI and Aorus after benchmarking.
At the end, it boils down to function over performance. Other brands like MSI, Aorus and Razer offer additional features and solutions like customizable macros, Killer LAN and upgradable MXM graphics to entice gamers, and to an extent, it does help shape a balance gaming system.
The Titan V2.1 on the other hand, eschews all the frills for pure power. If you want a notebook that’ll play just about anything at the highest settings, the Aftershock Titan V2.1’s made for you.
CONCLUSION Don’t mind the weight or slightly barebones spec, the Titan V2.1 has more than enough graphics power to outmuscle everything.
It may not be as stylish as Aorus X7 Pro but the Titan does have some visual flair.
The backlights for the keyboard is easily customizable with any color you can think of.