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ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A Radeon HD 4890 Videocard Review

ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A Radeon HD 4890 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: As you might have guessed, ATI's new Radeon HD 4890 videocard is well placed to compete with enthusiast videocards like the Radeon HD 4870 1GB and Geforce GTS 260 Core 216, as well as the recently released nVidia Geforce GTX 275.
 94% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Apr 02 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A

ATI Radeon HD 4890 Core Technologies

The ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A videocard uses the PCI Express x16 2.0 bus interface and features a single Radeon HD 4890 GPU, code named 'RV790.'

The RV790 graphics chip is built on a 55nm process and packs roughly 956 million transistors into a 282mm square GPU die. The shift in architecture from the R600 series of GPUs means that RV790 runs cooler and consumes generally less power, which in turn lets AMD's engineers turn up the overall performance. It also means that there are now 800 stream processors on board (up from 320 in the Radeon HD 3870), and 40 texture units (up from 16). DirectX 10.1, Shader Model 4.1, OpenGL 3.0 support is standard.

The default clock speeds for the ATI RV790 are 850MHz GPU, 975MHz memory quad-pumped.

When calculating the speed of the Radeon HD 4890's memory we must remember the actual effective speed is 3.9GHz because it is using GDDR5 memory. The AMD Radeon 48xx series are the only videocards to take advantage of GDDR5, a memory standard that allows for quad-pumping. This means the the base 975MHz clock of the memory is actually signalling four times per clock cycle, for an effective speed of 3900MHz (975 x 4). By comparison even the latest G200 GPU NVIDIA cards are still using older GDDR3 memory, which can only be dual-pumped. NVIDIA compensates for this by using wider, 448 or 512 bit memory interfaces.

The Radeon HD 4890 supports audio through a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, along with H.264, MPEG-2 and VC-1 hardware decoding, as well as HDCP compliance. The HDMI output carries 7.1 channel audio, making it a great alternative if you're gaming on an HDTV or simply want to output movies from a Blu-ray DVD drive to your big screen. These technologies are collectively wrapped up in ATI's Avivo HD video and display platform which makes use of the aforementioned Unified Video Decoder 2.

ATI CrossfireX Multi-Videocard Teaming

While we didn't get a chance to test this ASUS EAH 4890 HTDI/1GD5/A in Crossfire, AMD's multi-GPU technology does deserve attention.


ATI employ two flexible flat-wire Kapton cables between each of the videocards' Crossfire connectors. Both bridge connectors must be used in order to take advantage of ATI's CrossFire technology.

AMD Crossfire has steadily improved in performance and compatibility since it was first introduced with the Radeon x850 GPU. While older Crossfire versions required a tricky master-slave card scheme in order to function properly, the current version of Crossfire X is much more user friendly, and supported on most of Intel and AMD motherboard chipsets. CrossfireX can be scaled across as many four GPUs, although quad-Crossfire adopters might want to be warned this rarely if ever gives linear performance scaling, as we've demonstrated in previous reviews.

Heat and Noise Observations

ATI list the maximum board power draw for the ATI RV790 based videocard at 190W. Considering that the ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A videocard has two 6-pin SLI power connectors and uses a fairly substantial 2-slot wide reference heatsink, we'd be inclined to agree that the RV790 and it's associated GPU power supply generate a fair bit of heat under load. The graphics card enlists a 4700RPM squirrel cage fan to do most of the work. Cool air is draw into the heatsink and exhausted out the rear of the PC case pretty hot. The PWM controlled fan is quiet most of the time, but at full speed it produces a sustained vacuum cleaner sound that's pretty loud.

The videocard idles around 48 degrees Celsius and under full load hits the high 60Cs. Edges of the heatsink can get pretty hot, so if you're using this videocard in a case with poor circulation it might be a good idea to aim a fan a the back of the videocard for a little extra cooling.

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Contents of Article: ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A
 Pg 1.  ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A Radeon HD 4890 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — ATI Radeon HD 4890 Core Technologies
 Pg 3.  Videocard Power Consumption Measurements
 Pg 4.  GPU Voltage Tweaks Brings Overclocking to New Heights
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, Crysis
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 10.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4, FEAR
 Pg 11.  Advanced Video card Benchmarks: Crysis, Quake

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