ASI's IQ17-D2: Is Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 Still Fast Enough?

A Great (But Late) Start

ASI’s IQ17-D2 is a recent model, but its graphics cards certainly showed their age. Here’s a quick look at the final tally.

Once again we see how a power-hungry Core i7 desktop processor gives the D900F an “unfair advantage” over traditional mobile designs. But should notebook buyers really hop on that boat? A look back at the Panther Review shows how most of its added weight goes into CPU cooling, and the total cooling package even exceeds that required for ASI’s dual-graphics card design. Both notebooks fall far behind MSI’s GT725 in portability, but the GT725’s lighter cooler had overheating problems of its own. Almost incredibly, the IQ17-D2 presented no problems whatsoever throughout our testing.

But something’s obviously missing, and that something is a pair of modern graphics modules. Was the IQ17 really designed for 3870s or is this the fall-back product that they were forced to use when manufacturers like Asus found out that Radeon HD 4870’s really aren’t suitable for notebooks?

As we look forward to new mobile graphics modules that take advantage of ATI’s newfound performance and efficiency, we can honestly say that the IQ17-D2’s design appears almost perfect for such updates. It’s unfortunate that Intel’s mobile Core i7 processors will be available before any such graphics modules are launched, as this means the IQ17-D2 might serve as an excellent chassis for the completely new architecture.

Now for the answer to the original question: Is Mobility Radeon 3870 X2 still the best? From our tests, it appears that it’s about equal to a single Mobility 4850 in gaming prowess, though less efficient overall. The next-generation of 40nm GPUs from AMD and Nvidia can't come soon enough. We're downright spoiled on the desktop, now that we've seen the Radeon HD 5800- and 5700-series cards. It's only a matter of time before that same technology emerges for gamers on the go. But again, we're not holding our breath.

Editor's Note: Moments before press time, ASI let us know that it was willing to give Tom’s Hardware readers access to a $200 instant rebate on the IQ17. If you’re interested, please follow this link.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • i have a 3870 x2 and its still rocking the new games great!
    1920 x 1200 resolutions run smoothly,
    i just have to tone the antialaising to like 2x or off on a few games like re5
  • lashabane
    I love ASI's products.
  • CoryInJapan
    That not bad for a gaming laptop.Could play COD4 and TF2 on there all day.
  • lashabane
    There really needs to be an edit function.
  • doomtomb
    Eurocom had some awesome performance but the power consumption is scary. You can't be away from an outlet for more than 45 minutes.
  • tacoslave
    i like my desktop for gaming but when i have to go someplace and its a long trip i use this
    its got pretty decent battery life (3 hours) and it doesnt hurt the wallet that much anyway.
  • curnel_D
    I'm an ASI partner, and I've been reselling these laptops since 2005. Most of their lineup are Brandless Compal (second largest OEM notebook supplier) notebooks. Not many score real high in the looks department, but the quality and durability is head and shoulders above the competition.
  • melvis72
    I'd like to see a review on an Alienware M17x with Dual 280's or Dual 4870's just to see if all the money wasted is fast or not.
  • liquidsnake718
    Not bad, I wouldnt get a laptop for gaming. Just get a mobile gaming device like a psp or dsi. I would rather play with a regular laptop than spend on a crazy laptop when I can just buy a ps3 or even build another great PC for that insane price. Crysis, COD5, STALKER and Fallout arent meant to be played with Laptops anyway on their max settings. You can play these in low or medium settings which is fine but I would never expect the world with even these mobile beasts.
  • Ehsan w
    I suggest Ati drops whatever they have now, and start working on the mobility 5xxx series
    Since the desktop versions already don't use a lot of power
    but gives really good performance, they could totally rape Nvidia in a year