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ATI RADEON HD 4890 1024MB

The most powerful single-GPU card from AMD.

May 13, 2009



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Performance in games

Testbed:

  • Intel Core2 Extreme QX9650 (3000 MHz) CPU
  • Zotac 790i Ultra motherboard on NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM Corsair 2000MHz
  • WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA hard drive
  • Tagan TG900-BZ 900W PSU
  • Windows Vista 32-bit SP1, DirectX 10.1
  • Dell 3007WFP 30-inch monitor
  • ATI CATALYST 9.4; NVIDIA 185.68 drivers
  • VSync disabled

Benchmarks:

  • Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0 (HDR), built-in benchmarking utility (the Middle level), maximum settings.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky 1.507 (GSC Game World/THQ) -- DirectX 10.0, maximum quality settings (dynamic lighting enabled); demo, copy files to the savegames folder, run the game, load level 'ixbt4', and type "demo_play ixbt4" in the console. This game does not support AA.
  • 3DMark Vantage 1.02 (FutureMark) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, multitexturing, 'Extreme' settings.
  • CRYSIS 1.2 (Crytek/EA), DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, 'Very High' settings, 'Rescue' level; batch file, e-mail us to obtain the timedemo.
  • CRYSIS Warhead (Crytek/EA), DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, 'Very High' settings, 'Cargo' level; batch file, e-mail us to obtain the timedemo.
  • Company Of Heroes Opposing Fronts (Relic Entertainment/THQ) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, maximum settings; batch file, run the game, invoke graphics settings and click the test button.
  • World In Conflict 1.007 (Massive Entertainment/Sierra) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, 'Very High' settings with adjusted AA and AF; run the game, invoke graphics settings and click the test button.
  • Devil May Cry 4 (CAPCOM) -- DirectX 10.0, 'Super High' settings with adjusted AA and AF; Scene 1.
  • Lost Planet Extreme Condition Colonies Edition (CAPCOM) -- DirectX 10.0, 'Super High' settings (with adjusted AA and AF); Scene 1.

Note that performance charts are located on dedicated pages.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky

Performance charts: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.



World In Conflict

Performance charts: World In Conflict



CRYSIS, Rescue, DX10, Very High

Performance charts: CRYSIS, Rescue, DX10, Very High



CRYSIS Warhead, Cargo, DX10, Very High

Performance charts: CRYSIS Warhead, Cargo, DX10, Very High



Far Cry 2

Performance charts: Far Cry 2



Company Of Heroes

Performance charts: CoH



3DMark Vantage, Graphics MARKS

Performance charts: 3DMark Vantage, Graphics MARKS



Devil May Cry 4, SCENE1

Performance charts: Devil May Cry 4, SCENE1



Lost Planet EC Colonies, SCENE1

Performance charts: Lost Planet EC Colonies, SCENE1



Conclusions

I'd like to say that the graphics card from HIS (that we have actually received from AMD) worked at 900 MHz instead of 850 MHz (core). However, we decided to use typical frequencies (as it was a reference product, not an overclocked one). That's why all our tests were run with the 4890 operating at the nominal 850/975 MHz. We'll consider those 900 MHz to be a deviation. We are looking forward to production-like Turbo cards with increased frequencies (the same concerns the GTX 275).

Now to the point. RADEON HD 4890 has apparently reinforced the 4xxx family from AMD, bringing it real close to the single-GPU flagship from NVIDIA -- GeForce GTX 285 (it's actually the 4870 X2 that was designed to compete with it). Besides, GeForce GTX 260, which used to compete with the HD 4870 well, is apparently outperformed by the new product.

It would all have been great, and we would have praised RADEON HD 4890, but for NVIDIA launching a new competitor -- GTX 275. It's almost just as powerful as GTX 285, but it's equipped with a 448-bit memory bus instead of a 512-bit bus (so its memory volume is reduced from 1024 MB to 896 MB).

Our tests show that GTX 275 is a good product. But let's keep in mind two things: (1) it will be a limited edition, while the 4890 card comes in bulk; (2) we'll publish the GTX 275 review a tad later, where we'll analyze aspects of the new AMD-NVIDIA confrontation.

HIS RADEON HD 4890 1024MB is a usual reference card.

Sapphire RADEON HD 4890 1024MB is the same reference card with a better bundle.

Powercolor RADEON HD 4890 1024MB is also a reference card, so it will all depend on prices.

On the whole, RADEON 4890 is a very good product for its price.


We express our gratitude to Sapphire and HIS for the provided graphics cards.
The PSU has been provided by TAGAN, the monitor has been provided by NVIDIA.

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