Now Reading
Aftershock Rift 16X review: Capable flagship performance

Aftershock Rift 16X review: Capable flagship performance

Aftershock Rift 16X

The Aftershock Rift 16X is the latest flagship gaming notebook from the local brand. It offers a top-notch gaming experience, thanks to its high-end hardware components (Intel Core i9 and up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090), and a crisp 240Hz display. And while the Rift 16X can run pretty warm in games, it — unlike other gaming laptops — comes with an optional external water-cooling dock that attaches magnetically to the rear of the unit to alleviate thermal issues.

Quick specs

  • 16-inch 2,560 x 1,600 pixels (Up to 240Hz)
  • Intel Core i9-14900HX processor with 32GB memory, 2TB SSD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics
  • 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (PD 100W, DP), HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet port, SD card reader, audio jack
  • 2.5kg

The Aftershock Rift 16X looks rather plain, without any fancy logos or emblems on the lid. But there is a customisable LED light bar along the laptop's front lid, and of course, the keyboard offers the usual per-key RGB backlighting. But all things considered, it's relatively restrained for a gaming notebook. It weighs 2.5kg, which is portable enough for a 16-inch model, and while not the thinnest gaming laptop around, it's far from chunky. Build quality is solid, with barely any creak or flex.

Part of the lid protrudes out slightly, making it easier to open the laptop. It also means there's slightly more bezel space to accommodate the webcam, which comes with an infrared sensor for facial recognition. I like that there's a physical privacy shutter for the webcam. This 1080p webcam is decent, though I still noticed a fair amount of noise in videos. The Aftershock Rift 16X's display is surrounded by narrow bezels, which accentuate the bright and crisp 2,560 x 1,600-pixel screen. The display is matte, and handles reflections pretty well. But the most important thing here — at least for gamers — is the refresh rate, which can toggle between 60Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz.

Aftershock Rift 16X
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The keyboard offers good key travel, but it's not a mechanical keyboard like the ones found on some high-end gaming notebooks. So it's not as tactile — there's a hint of mushiness. The Aftershock Rift 16X has enough space for a numeric keypad, though these keys are narrower than usual. A shortcut key next to the power button toggles between different performance modes. A helpful LED indicator hints at the current performance mode. For example, this LED light is green when in office mode, when the fans are completely quiet.

You can access the Control Center software for more settings, such as disabling the Windows logo key (to prevent accidental key presses during gaming), customising the keyboard RGB and the LED light bar, and switching between different display profiles for photos, movies or even to enable a low blue light mode. As is often the case with gaming notebooks, the Aftershock Rift 16X has several ports at the back, including HDMI, USB-C, and Ethernet. Here you can also find water cooling intakes for the optional Glacier Core external water-cooling dock (costs an extra S$230) that I had previously tested with the Aftershock Apex 15X EVO.

Aftershock Rift 16X
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

When it comes to performance, the Aftershock Rift 16X hits it out of the park. Thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics, it will breeze through AAA games at the highest settings at its native resolution. Of course, its benchmark scores still defer to gaming notebooks with the flagship GeForce RTX 4090. For example, its 3DMark Time Spy Extreme score of 8,445 is some distance from the Razer Blade 18‘s 9,646. However, the Rift 16X actually did a tad better in games like Metro Exodus. At 1080p using the Ultra profile, the Rift 16X managed 132fps on average compared with 129fps for the Razer Blade 18.

But the Aftershock Rift 16X does heat up substantially in games. It failed to clear 3DMark's Speed Way stress test, unlike the Razer Blade 18. Peak temperatures for the CPU and GPU reached 95 degrees Celsius and 85 degrees Celsius respectively during the stress test. The good news is that the optional Glacier Core external water-cooling dock will likely tackle these thermal issues. It's an extra accessory that adds to the overall cost, though depending on your usage, it may be worth it.

See Also
Asus ROG Keris II Ace

My Aftershock Rift 16X review unit comes up to S$3,980 with 32GB of memory and Windows 11 Home. Surprisingly, there aren't that much customisation available. You can change the amount of memory and storage. But it only comes with the Intel Core i9-14900HX chip and either the GeForce RTX 4080 or the RTX 4090 for graphics. However, I can say with confidence that you'll get a capable gaming notebook with some nice productivity-oriented features, from the webcam shutter to the 16:10 aspect ratio to the hinge that lets you open the screen to 180 degrees. Get it now from Aftershock.

Note: Review unit provided by Aftershock PC.

Any purchase you make through our links may generate a commission. It supports our work, but does not dictate our editorial reviews. We've also recently added thumb ratings due to SEO. We still think they are stupid. See our FAQ here.

© 2021 Can Buy or Not
All Rights Reserved.