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


The launch of the Radeon HD 5800-series desktop parts puts the Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 three generations behind, yet cancellations of Asus' ill-fated Radeon HD 4870 X2-based W90VP notebook models may have once again put it at the top of AMD’s mobile graphics portfolio. It’s not like the competition has gotten tougher, since Nvidia's GeForce GTX 200M-series offerings are re-branded two generation-old desktop parts. And while we expect AMD to eventually put its newfound 2D energy efficiency to good use in a notebook GPU, we don’t like to hold our breath waiting for product announcements (an editor once popped a blood vessel doing this).

This was the harsh climate buyers faced a few months ago when Nvidia launched an efficiency-enhanced version of its desktop 8800 GTS 512 as a 1GB model named GTX 280M. The article that claimed high praise for its brutal honesty was equally panned for its lack of comparison to Mobility 4870 X2—a solution that, as ATI's mobile product page indicates, no longer technically exists. Several editors continued scouring the industry for anyone willing to pony up with ATI’s most powerful mobile graphics solution, and a multitude of requests were finally answered by an unlikely source when white-box supplier ASI stepped up to the plate.

Available with dual Mobility Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards for around $1,300, the only “catch” to the ASI IQ17 gaming notebook is that buyers must be willing to either install their own Socket P mobile CPU, DDR3 memory, and hard drives or source their system through one of ASI's reseller partners.

That values the hardware of our as-delivered test system to around $2,480, complete with a Core 2 Extreme X9100 CPU, two Toshiba MK3254GSY 320GB hard drives, and two Crucial CT25664BC1067 DDR3-1066 memory modules. If you have someone else order the same parts and add the operating system, expect to pay around $2,800-$3,000, including installation fees.

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ASI IQ17-D2 Configuration Options
CPUIntel Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme (Socket P Mobile) FSB-800/1066
ChipsetIntel PM45-ICH9M-Enhanced
RAMUp to 4GB DDR3-1066 or DDR3-800
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2
Display17" WUXGA (1920x1200)
HDDUp to two 2.5” (9.5mm thick) SATA 3.0 Gb/s HDD, RAID 0/1
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
Wired LANIntegrated Gigabit LAN
Wireless LANIntel WiFi Link 5300 802.11n
BluetoothInternal Bluetooth Module
OpticalH-L Data GSA-T50N 8x DVD±R, 6x DVD±RW, 5x DVD-RAM
Media ReaderMulti-format flash card interface
Webcam2.0 Megapixel
USB 2.0 Three ports (1-rear, 2-right)
IEEE-13941 x FireWire 400 (right-side)
eSATA1 x eSATA 3.0 Gb/s (rear)
Audio I/OHeadphone, Microphone, Digital Optical Out (right-side)
Video Out1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI (rear)
Battery12-cell 14.8V 6600mAh
WeightNotebook 10.0 lbs (filled), Power Adapter 2.8 lbs, Total 12.8 pounds
WarrantyOne-year parts and labor
SupportOne-year online and telephone
Total PriceApproximately $1,300 w/o CPU, RAM, HDD
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