ASUS G73Jh: Today's Top Gaming Laptopby Jarred Walton on April 17, 2010 2:25 AM EST
G73Jh: Test System and Benchmark Setup
Unlike the HD 5650 in the Acer 5740G, the HD 5870 is actually powerful enough to run games at high detail with DirectX 11 enabled. There are still times where you'll need to turn off a few settings (STALKER: Call of Pripyat with SSAO and all other features enabled will run at under 20 FPS at 1080p), but at reasonable settings without antialiasing you can get over 30FPS. Of course, some of the less demanding titles (e.g. Left 4 Dead 2) can run with 4xAA and maximum detail and still push 60+ FPS. As mentioned earlier, the Mobility HD 5870 is really more like the desktop HD 5770 (800 Stream Processors), and you should set your expectations accordingly. NVIDIA certainly isn't in a better position on laptops, where their top SKU is the GTX 285M—essentially a mobile version of the old 9800 GTX desktop chip with 128 CUDA Cores—and they don't even have a mobile DX11 alternative. Really, if you're after the fastest mobile GPU right now, it would have to be the HD 5870. SLI and CrossFire solutions would still be faster, but we prefer a single GPU if possible as it alleviates driver and game compatibility headaches.
Speaking of drivers, we mentioned back in February that AMD had committed to a new mobile driver program where they would roll out desktop and mobile drivers simultaneously. Some expressed skepticism, but so far AMD has kept their promise and the latest 10.3 Catalyst drivers work with most ATI-equipped notebooks. The exceptions are Toshiba, Sony, and Panasonic notebooks (presumably because those OEMs opted out of AMD's mobile driver program), as well as ATI-equipped laptops with switchable graphics. Remember NVIDIA's Optimus story where they said releasing updated drivers for switchable graphics was extremely difficult? Well, they appear to be right, as neither NVIDIA nor ATI have provided updated drivers for switchable graphics to date. In fact, that's the primary reason the Alienware M11x didn’t get an Editors' Choice award. If you want updated drivers, it appears discrete only or Optimus are the only current solutions with support.
Okay, enough stalling. Here's a recap of the system specs for the ASUS G73Jh-A2. Then we'll get right to the interesting stuff: gaming performance.
|ASUS G73Jh-A2 Testbed|
Intel Core i7-720QM
(4x1.60GHz, 45nm, 6MB L3, Turbo to 2.80GHz, 45W)
|Memory||4x2GB DDR3-1333 (Max 4x2GB)|
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1GB 128-bit GDDR5
800 SPs, 700/1.0GHz Core/RAM clocks (4.0GHz effective)
|Display||17.3" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p (1920x1080)|
|Hard Drive(s)||2x500GB 7200RPM HDD (non-RAID)|
|Optical Drive||8x DVDR SuperMulti|
|Battery||8-Cell, 14.6V, 75Wh|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
$1505 Online (Note: 9-10 day special order)
$1548 Alternative (In and out of stock everywhere)