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ATI Radeon HD 4890: Playing To Win Or Played Again?

Power Consumption

In the presentation ATI gave on its Radeon HD 4890 pre-launch, it admitted that the board’s load power would be up as a result of the higher clock speeds, to the tune of roughly 30 W. Idle power, however, was said to be down 30 W from 90 to 60 W.

That was a much more significant number in our eyes, since the card would spend a majority of its time in that lower-power state and, as a percentage, the drop from 90 to 60 W was much larger than the load increase from 160 W to 190 W.

Nevertheless, our system power measurements do not reflect the idle power consumption improvements. Our load numbers do jump 25 W, which is close to the 30 that ATI cites. But the idle power sitting on the Vista desktop is actually 2 W higher than the Radeon HD 4870 1 GB. The 512 MB card is higher than both, strangely enough. This was one of the original card samples, so it’s entirely possible that it isn’t optimized for power as the retail boards being tested alongside it.

The GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 trumps the entire ATI lineup, both in idle and load power consumption. The 55 nm GTX 285 turns in even better idle results, though its load consumption jumps in response to its increased complexity.

  • mbbs20
    overclocking ?
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    i usually don't bitch and moan about them not having enough test gpu's, but i'd really like to see that sapphire 2gb 4870 up there, seeing how its in the same price range as the 4890...

    any of these cards would suffice for me, 1680*1050 does save you a pretty penny
    Reply
  • ravenware
    http://firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_radeon_4890_nvidia_geforce_gtx_275/page4.asp

    It seems to overclock well and outpaces the 275.

    The stalker results seem odd from both review sites. But stalker is glitchy.

    If priced right this should be a decent addition to the 4x series.
    It holds its own against the 275 and in certain games the 285.

    Perhaps sapphire will release a dual card.
    The 4850x2 they released performed extremely well.
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    The 4850X2 is absent to compare to I see. Still nice to finally see a review of this thing. Nice gains over the 4870.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    Stalker: Clear Sky benchmarks are fairly new in our graphics card reviews, even if the game itself isn’t particularly fresh.Let us know what you think of this one in the comments section. At the very least, it’s a beautiful looking game.

    any benchmark is welcome i suppose

    too bad price goes up exponentially for minimal improvements... the 4890 will be about %50 more than the 4870
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Both the 2 GB card and the 4850 X2 are exclusive to Sapphire, and neither has been sent over. Nevertheless, we'll be following up with SLI/CrossFire scores in the near future and I'll see if either of those two solutions might be lined up for that story.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    cangelini, you are the man.

    just thought i'd let you know. this article was very well written, and you said everything i was thinking including the pricing. too bad you have to go to the other article to refer to gtx275 comparisons. regardless of that, gj
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Thanks Ek. Truth be told, both companies pulled their launches in, allowing about a week to get the testing/writing done. Usually that's pretty tight for one new launch. Two is a little rougher. But hopefully there was enough cross-linking between the pair to convey the right messages.
    Reply
  • mbbs20
    a good read...hardocp has a good one up as well
    Reply
  • ifko_pifko
    I'll post it here as well as in the GTX275 review:
    Summing all the framerates is just nonsense. ;-) The games with higher fps will weigh more than the others.
    Reply