Introduced late last year, Aftershock's mid-tower Hypergate retains the NZXT-branded chassis from the previous version. Available in glossy black or white, the casing design will appeal to the minimalist. Its front panel is featureless except for the Aftershock logo. It is the perfect blank canvas for those with their own designs as Aftershock also offers custom paint jobs (at an extra charge).
The Hypergate, as with other Aftershock gaming desktop PCs, was recently refreshed with the new Intel Skylake processor.
The review set comes with a Core i5 processor.
There are no drive bays for optical drives, but a standalone optical drive is included. A side window lets you see inside the chassis and you can add LED lights to make the computer even more eye-catching. Also, the processor fan can be upgraded to a silent water-cooling solution, though I found the system to be quiet with just the fan.
Conveniently located at the top of the chassis are two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks and the power button. This review unit lacks support for the faster USB 3.1 standard. It also does not support two Nvidia graphics cards. But you can always select a higher-end motherboard with these features at Aftershock's website.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-6500 (3.2GHz)
GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5
STORAGE: 120GB SSD and 1TB SATA HDD
CONNECTIVITY: 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, 3 x DVI, VGA, 8 x USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5
These custom touches help to distinguish the Hypergate from other gaming desktops.
As it is, the recommended Aftershock system, which is the set reviewed here, is a fairly capable gaming machine.
Many PC vendors offer a PC with a high-end processor but cut back on other parts. The Hypergate does not have the best processor, but its graphics card is pretty fast. This approach helps the Aftershock punch above its weight in gaming.
For instance, the Aftershock scored 66 frames per second (fps) in Crysis 3 at Very High setting at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It also managed close to 60 fps in The Witcher 3 at High setting. These are higher numbers than the one produced by the Asus G11CB. But in a system benchmark that tests productivity apps and video editing, such as PCMark 8, the Asus is superior (4,295 compared with 3,721).
Finally, Aftershock's pricing ($1,839) is very reasonable, especially when you factor in its two- year warranty and one-year on-site support.
A similar system from Sim Lim Square retailers would cost between $1,600 and $1,800, depending on your choice of components.
• An excellent choice for gamers on a modest budget, the Aftershock can also be customised to become a top gaming system.