WITH GREAT POWER, COMES GREAT SIZE

Af­ter­shock Ti­tan V2.1

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - by Sale­hud­din Husin

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.

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