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

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i7 965 Extreme (Bloomfield) 3.2 GHz, 6.4 GT/s, 8 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings disabled
MotherboardAsus P6T (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10, BIOS 0403
MemoryCorsair Dominator 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ 1,600 MHz
Hard DriveWestern Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300 GB 10,000 RPM SATA 3 Gb/s HDD
NetworkingRealtek RTC8111C, 1 Gbps
Graphics CardsHIS Radeon HD 4890 1 GB
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2 GB
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1 GB
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 1 GB
Zotac GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896 MB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP 1100 W
CPU CoolerThermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64 Service Pack 1
DirectXDirectX 10
Platform DriverIntel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.0.1012
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 8.592.1 RC1
AMD Catalyst 9.3
Nvidia GeForce 182.08
BenchmarkConfiguration
World in ConflictVery High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Patch 1009, DirectX 10
Very High Quality Settings, 4x AA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Patch 1009, DirectX 10
Far Cry 2High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Steam Version
High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Steam Version
CrysisHigh Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1900x1200, 2560x1600, Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit Executable
High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1900x1200, 2560x1600 Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit Executable
Left 4 DeadHighest Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Steam Version
Highest Quality Settings, 4x AA / 8x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Steam Version
Grand Theft Auto IVHighest Quality Settings, No AA / "High" AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Patch #3
Stalker: Clear SkyHigh Quality Setting, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10 lighting
High Quality Setting, 4x MSAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10 lighting
3DMark VantagePerformance Default, High Quality, Extreme Quality
Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • 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