iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail







The most powerful single-GPU card from AMD.

May 13, 2009

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All three cards are equipped with the same cooler, so we'll only examine the one on the card from HIS.


This cooling system is similar to what we saw in RADEON HD 3870 two years ago. Only the base has been reshaped (to match the new layout of memory chips), and the heatsink is now made of copper alloy, so the card has grown heavier. Compared to the 4870, the new cooler is more effective owing to added heat pipes. We also have information that fan speed limits have been potentially enlarged (that is a fan on the 4890 will rotate faster than on the 4870 at high temperatures).

The operation principle is the same: a turbine drives air through the heat sink. There is a big advantage: hot air is thrown out of a system unit, it does not stay inside. There is a problem as well: the cooler is wide and takes up two slots (although it's not much of a problem anymore). However, a new advantage appeared in addition to the first one: this cooling system is quiet, and the card is very close to being noiseless. Don't worry when the cooler on the 4890 card starts up at full speed, it will be just for a couple of seconds as the card initializes.

The die was manufactured on Week 8, that is late in February 2009.

We monitored temperatures using RivaTuner. As all these cards are just copies of the reference design, and they operate at the same frequencies, we'll publish common results.

RADEON HD 4890 1024MB

As we can see, this cooling system demonstrates top efficiency, having solved the problem of high GPU temperature in the 4870.

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