ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB Not Performing Up to Par

I just bought an XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB video card for my computer. The rest of my specs are as follow:
My Specs:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Professional
Mobo: Foxconn C51XEM2AA - AM2 Socket - nForce 590 SLI
PSU: Enermax 500W - two 12V @ 22A - two PCI-E 6pin connectors
Memory: 4GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - 4 x 1GB
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2x512KB L2 Cache (Overclocked to 2.889GHz from 2.5GHz)
GPU: ATI XFX Radeon HD 4890 1GB
HDD: (1)Seagate 250GB HDD @ 7200RPMs SATA, (2)WD 500GB HDD @ 7200RPMs SATA
Monitor: LG 22" Widescreen running at 1600x1050

In COD:MW2 with all settings maxed and AA set to 2x I get from 40-70 fps (sometimes it dips into the 30's).

In Left 4 Dead with all settings maxed and AA at 4x and AF at 8x I get 30-50 fps.

In Team Fortress 2 with all settings maxed I get 30-50 fps.

I thought this card would perform much better in these not so demanding titles. Therefore, I am guessing my system is bottlenecked somewhere. I want to say it's the CPU but because my mobo only supports AM2 sockets, the only upgrade I can get is the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.0GHz with 2x1MB Cache. It is only $60 but I am not sure if it will really show any performance gain.

What do you guys think? I am open to thoughts and suggestions. Mind you, while it's easy to say "get a quad core", it requires me to get a whole new mobo, RAM, and CPU so in practice it's not that practical/easy.

Thanks in advance.
32 answers Last reply
More about radeon 4890 performing
  1. Yeah, it's your CPU, hands down. I would look into another MoBo & CPU to see a performance increase. Phenom 2 would be a good start, or perhaps Core i5
  2. It's your CPU but before you do anything, does your CPU max out at 2.889Ghz or can you push it to at least 3Ghz?
  3. Looks like you have 2 options
    1. Get the 6000+
    2. Upgrade Motherboard+CPU. If you stick with a Phenom X4 /AM2+/AM3 motherboard you can reuse your ram. If you go the i5/i7 route, you'll need new memory.
  4. The 6000+ won't do anything unless his mobo will let him get a 15-20% overclock. Going from 2.9 to 3.0Ghz = no performance gain at all....
  5. YOU CAN PUT Phenom II on AM2 !!!!

    I am with Phenom II x3 720 on AM2 mobo and its GREAT!!!

    go for it
  6. OvrClkr said:
    The 6000+ won't do anything unless his mobo will let him get a 15-20% overclock. Going from 2.9 to 3.0Ghz = no performance gain at all....


    I was assuming 6000+ AND overclock.
  7. rawsteel said:
    YOU CAN PUT Phenom II on AM2 !!!!

    I am with Phenom II x3 720 on AM2 mobo and its GREAT!!!

    go for it


    I have AM2... not AM2+. I believe the Phenoms are for AM2+. Correct me if I am wrong though.
  8. The AM2 (only) mobo will not work with an AM3 CPU ..... The mobo has to be AM2/AM2+ in order to work....
  9. OvrClkr said:
    The AM2 (only) mobo will not work with an AM3 CPU ..... The mobo has to be AM2/AM2+ in order to work....


    lol I am not asking about AM3. I dont have AM3. I have AM2 and want to know if an AM2+ cpu will work in an AM2 socket.

    Thanks for the extra info though :D
  10. ^^ that post was directed to rawsteel, really don't know how he installed an AM3 CPU on a AM2 (only) mobo. Maybe he did some magic, who knows..

    Socket AM2+ is an intermediate successor to socket AM2, which features split power planes, and HyperTransport 3.0. Socket AM2+ chips can plug into a socket AM2 motherboard, but operate only with HyperTransport 2.0. So the answer is yes you can =)
  11. I think I found my answer: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-motherboards,1749-9.html?xtmc=foxconn_am2_phenom_c51&xtcr=19

    Seems like the BIOS for my mobo does not support the Phenom processors =/
  12. hugoender said:
    I think I found my answer: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-motherboards,1749-9.html?xtmc=foxconn_am2_phenom_c51&xtcr=19

    Seems like the BIOS for my mobo does not support the Phenom processors =/


    DUDE look at the date of that article "12/26/2007" that is 2 years old :lol:

    Go to the Foxxcon website and look for a BIOS update, if you have issues let me know... or forget I will do that for you...

    UPDATE CPU CODE :
    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/downloads_detail.aspx?ID=en-us0001542
  13. OvrClkr said:
    DUDE look at the date of that article "12/26/2007" that is 2 years old :lol:

    Go to the Foxxcon website and look for a BIOS update, if you have issues let me know... or forget I will do that for you...

    UPDATE CPU CODE :
    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/downloads_detail.aspx?ID=en-us0001542


    lol I know it is 2 years old but Foxconn hasn't updated their BIOS since I bought the thing so it is still relevant.

    That link you posted... I have never seen that before (and I have looked for BIOS updates before). It doesn't exactly specify what that update is for (yes it says cpu code but does that mean it makes the mobo compatible with Phenom processors?).

    Btw, thanks a ton for taking the time to find that for me. I appreciate it.
  14. I copied the direct link so you wouldnt have to do it yourself... Here is the link :

    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/downloads.aspx?ProductModel=C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H&TypeID=en-us0000003
  15. OvrClkr said:
    I copied the direct link so you wouldnt have to do it yourself... Here is the link :

    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/downloads.aspx?ProductModel=C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H&TypeID=en-us0000003


    Did some research on that update and even with that new code it still does not support Phenom processors.

    Last time I buy a Foxconn board. Their tech support is non existent and their updates are rare.
  16. Sorry my mistake - its AM2+ :$

    better upgrade CPU/Mobo - you will see improvements not only in games , and then think about the GPU
  17. You don't need to buy a phenom, AM2+ does not mean phenom CPU's only.... Anyways I bet any AM2+ CPU will work on your mobo. If you do not want to risk it then why not call Foxconn and have a rep confirm?
  18. OvrClkr said:
    You don't need to buy a phenom, AM2+ does not mean phenom CPU's only.... Anyways I bet any AM2+ CPU will work on your mobo. If you do not want to risk it then why not call Foxconn and have a rep confirm?


    I have emailed them (there is no calling them) and am awaiting response. Yes, I can technically fit an AM2+ processor in my mobo but if the BIOS does not recognize the CPU for what it is, it won't work. Their latest BIOS is from 2007!

    I am not going to buy a processor only to not have it work. Especially after doing some researching and reading a bunch of forum threads of people with the same board saying it does not support the newer AM2+ processor.

    It's a terrible thing really. Promising AM2+ support with a simple BIOS update and then not delivering the BIOS update.

    Lesson learned I guess.
  19. If all else fails get a mobo/CPU like rawsteel and jay suggested =)

    AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103688

    Foxconn A7GM-S 2.0 AM2+ / AM3 Ready
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186165&cm_re=foxconn_motherboard-_-13-186-165-_-Product

    just a suggestion so you can use your exsisting ram....
  20. Not sure why Foxconn is not up to par on their updates... That board seems like it can handle a few more years....
  21. OvrClkr said:
    Not sure why Foxconn is not up to par on their updates... That board seems like it can handle a few more years....


    It can! That is why I bought it! For upgradeability. And I like how you suggest another Foxconn board. I really don't think I will ever buy one of their boards again.
  22. Well I just did a little test with COD: Modern Warfare 2. I ran Fraps to see the FPS. I then created a private match with the map where I normally have the lowest FPS (Scrapyard). Then in there I chose a spot where my fps dropped to it's lowest and made that stop the "designated" spot to stand on when checking different settings. Here is what I found.

    In this "designated" spot, the maximum fps I could get was in the 50's (51-58). I got this fps with the following settings:
    Resolution - 1680x1050
    AA - 4x
    VSync - On (I know this is supposed to decrease fps but it didn't so I left it on)
    Texture Quality - Extra (max)
    Shadows - off
    Specular Map - off
    Soften Smoke Edges - off

    When I turn any one of the last 3 settings on, my fps drops by 8-10. If I turn 2 of them on at the same time, it drops by 15-20. If I turn 3 of them on then my fps drops by 20ish (I get around 30 fps).

    Now, I did the same thing but this time turned all the textures to their lowest setting (Low) and set the resolution to the lowest 16:10 resolution (1280x800). With these settings and everything turned off (except for VSync which I left on) I was hitting the 60 fps cap almost all the time (it would go from 51-60). I then stood in the "designated" spot and turned on the Shadows, Specular Map, and Soften Smoke Edges. This dropped my fps to the mid 30's !!!

    So now my question is: Are the last three setting (shadows, specular map, soften smoke edges) cpu intensive or is it all handled by the video card? If it's cpu intensive then for sure my CPU is the problem. If not, then there must be something wrong with my video card. A Radeon HD 4890 1GB should be more than enough power to handle all the settings in COD:MW2. Until the 5000 series came out, the 4890 was the top of the line in ATI (after the 4870X2).

    I understand if maybe I could not run the textures on Extra or something but getting 30ish fps with everything minimum because I turned on Shadows, Specular Map, and Soften Smoke Edges is not acceptable.

    Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.
  23. Benchmarked my system with 3DMark Vantage and this is what I got:
    Total Score – P5585
    Graphics – 7492
    CPU – 3166

    Seems to me like the video card is underperforming.
  24. hugoender said:
    Well I just did a little test with COD: Modern Warfare 2. I ran Fraps to see the FPS. I then created a private match with the map where I normally have the lowest FPS (Scrapyard). Then in there I chose a spot where my fps dropped to it's lowest and made that stop the "designated" spot to stand on when checking different settings. Here is what I found.

    In this "designated" spot, the maximum fps I could get was in the 50's (51-58). I got this fps with the following settings:
    Resolution - 1680x1050
    AA - 4x
    VSync - On (I know this is supposed to decrease fps but it didn't so I left it on)
    Texture Quality - Extra (max)
    Shadows - off
    Specular Map - off
    Soften Smoke Edges - off

    When I turn any one of the last 3 settings on, my fps drops by 8-10. If I turn 2 of them on at the same time, it drops by 15-20. If I turn 3 of them on then my fps drops by 20ish (I get around 30 fps).

    Now, I did the same thing but this time turned all the textures to their lowest setting (Low) and set the resolution to the lowest 16:10 resolution (1280x800). With these settings and everything turned off (except for VSync which I left on) I was hitting the 60 fps cap almost all the time (it would go from 51-60). I then stood in the "designated" spot and turned on the Shadows, Specular Map, and Soften Smoke Edges. This dropped my fps to the mid 30's !!!

    So now my question is: Are the last three setting (shadows, specular map, soften smoke edges) cpu intensive or is it all handled by the video card? If it's cpu intensive then for sure my CPU is the problem. If not, then there must be something wrong with my video card. A Radeon HD 4890 1GB should be more than enough power to handle all the settings in COD:MW2. Until the 5000 series came out, the 4890 was the top of the line in ATI (after the 4870X2).

    I understand if maybe I could not run the textures on Extra or something but getting 30ish fps with everything minimum because I turned on Shadows, Specular Map, and Soften Smoke Edges is not acceptable.

    Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.



    Look, the reason you are gettin 56/58FPS with those settings is due to your CPU. If you get a 6000+ and overclock to at least 3.3/3.4Ghz your problem will be solved, the other option you have is saving up for a CPU/mobo combo and this way you have may have more head-room, your CPU is bottle-necking the system....
  25. I would like to update this thread.

    I got an ASUS Crosshair III AM3 motherboard, AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz cpu, and 2x2GB DDR3 1333 GSkill ram for Christmas. I put it all together last night and ran 3dMark06 again... here is what I got:

    Score - 16407
    SM 2.0 - 6434
    SM 3.0 - 7858
    CPU - 4488

    Still not as high as I thought it would be but it is a definite improvement.

    I was able to run COD: MW2 maxed out (with VSync on) while recording with Fraps (Full-Size) and ran at 60fps constant the whole time so I am more than happy. My CPU was DEFINITELY the bottleneck.

    Thank you all for your responses... have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
  26. nice, now you should try to overclock the 4890! I have mine at 1000/1100 with no tweaks etc and i ouutperform a gtx 285!
  27. impaledmango said:
    nice, now you should try to overclock the 4890! I have mine at 1000/1100 with no tweaks etc and i ouutperform a gtx 285!


    Well right now it's performing beyond what I need it to (my monitor refresh rate is 60Hz so I am capped at 60fps with Vsync on) so I will hold off on the OC until I need it. No need for extra stress on the card.
  28. true, I'm playing on 1920 x 1200, I need to squeeze out as much extra fps as possible. And I plan to upgrade in spring to either an nvidia fermi card or a 5870 depending on prices.
  29. Hi there,

    I have the 5770 with the AMD Athlon X2 6000+ cpu and I also found games to be pretty slow when AA was engaged. I posted recently in another thread where I was experiencing around 15-20fps on Mass Effect running at 1680x1050, max settings with 4x AA.

    Now I know the 4890 is faster than the 5770, but our systems should be fairly similar given the CPU discrepancies. I got about 35-40% improvement in my fps by changing my AA settings in my Catalyst menu. If you switch from 'edge detect' to 'box', you are almost guaranteed to get a major improvement in fps.

    Also check to make sure your AA is not set to super sampling. I have mine set to adaptive multi-sampling, as before it crippled my performance by at least 4-8 fps. I can now run Mass Effect on max details (including edited ini for better visual quality ) at 8x AA and I'm getting at least 5-10fps more than what I achieved with 4x AA with my earlier settings.

    I also don't know if my CPU is acting as a bottleneck. I've seen benchmarks run with the 4870 card in games like Fall Out 3 and Mass Effect where it's getting like 45fps+ at 1980 res with 8x AA. I'm definitely not getting that kind of performance.

    I just got the card so please don't recommend that I sell it and get something else. Thanks.

    PS Apologies to the OP. I just registered and I'm not able to post new topics. It says I need to 'mark all threads as old'. Call me a newbie, I don't know why. Sorry for barging in..

    Regards,
  30. @Yahzi

    I will say from personal experience that your CPU is definitely the bottleneck. As soon as you upgrade you will notice an increase in FPS. This is what happened with me and my 4890.

    Thanks for the tips. I already have it set to box and I have heard to turn Adaptive Anti-Aliasing off since it improves performance (correct me if I am wrong).

    Right now I have no need to tinker with anything since I am getting a constant 60fps with everything maxed (60 is the cap since I have vsync enabled and my monitor is at 60Hz).
  31. Hi Hugo,

    How much of an improvement did the new CPU upgrade make to gaming ? Which CPU did you get ? :) Yes, setting AA from super sampling to adaptive AA should definitely give you at least a 4-6 fps boost.

    The downside is that there is a shimmering effect as you walk, in pretty much any game. I don't know if others have experienced this, but with me, it's like Adaptive AA doesn't address all objects/landscapes in game, only certain portions, unlike super sampling.

    Those more experienced, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    BTW, have you tested Crysis with your new set up ? Benchmark results ? What settings do you use...sorry I'm just trying to get a feel for what other users play the game at.

    Just another question I was hoping I could ask, how on earth does one benchmark Mass Effect ? I've seen benchmarks here in earlier tests using Firmire and Fraps. But I don't know how it's set up. I really would like to compare my system against the competition.

    The same with Fall Out 3. I don't know how to set up the tests. If someone could chime in and let me know I would appreciate it.

    Thanks.

    Edit: Sorry, I didn't read the whole thread. I see you got the Phenom chip...nice. I'm planning on the 965 chip, either that or the i5 750. I'm an AMD fan, been one for a few years now. But if the i5 750 chip is better, well...

    Regards,
  32. hey guys i have just bought an ati radeon XFX 4890 and in cod when i look at certain places it drops to like 28 - 35, but it runs on like 80 odd on other times. in fallout 3 i cannot run the game at much more that 40 frames on high and with operation flashpoint any XAA destroys the fps from like 40 to 28.
    on 3dmark my gpu only scored about 3000 so i am wondering if it is my CPU or motherboard.

    here are my specs:>

    >Amd phenom 9500 quad, 2mb cache, 2.2mhz
    >ATI Radeon 4890 xfx
    >MSI K9A2 CF MOBO AM2+
    >3 GB 800mhz ram
    >500gb HDD

    please would some one get back to me and tell me which i will need to buy to stop the bottlenecking of my performance.
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