Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 graphics card
A single GPU graphics card for ATI's Radeon HD 4800 series
- Cool running temperatures, good overclocking potential, audio passthrough, decent performance
- Loud, not the best single GPU on the market
Providing big performance with a little price, ATI's Radeon HD 4890 graphics card is a step up from the Radeon HD 4870 with a minimal cost increase. It isn't the fastest card available, but it will run the latest games without problems.
Price$ 493.00 (AUD)
The latest addition to ATI's Radeon HD 4800 series of graphics cards falls short of the performance benchmark set by NVIDIA's GTX285. Nevertheless, if you are after decent performance without the credit card debt, the Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 will provide a modest boost in performance over the Radeon HD 4870.
In most respects, the Radeon HD 4890 isn't all that different from its predecessors, though ATI has made some tweaks under the hood. The card runs an altered 55nm RV770 GPU dubbed the RV790 which, thanks to tweaks and an increase in transistors, features a standard clock speed of 850MHz. Along with the GPU alterations, ATI has made 1GB of GDDR5 memory a mainstay of the Radeon HD 4890, with a clock speed of 975MHz for 124.8GB per second total memory bandwidth.
These changes also decrease the power consumption, going from the 90W required for the Radeon HD 4870 to a comparatively green 60W, though the Radeon HD 4890 graphics card will still require two 6-pin power connections. Temperatures also see a drop, going from hellish 90 degrees Celsius to more reasonable temperatures of 34 degrees at idle and a peak of 51 degrees during intensive operation. There is a cost to pay for this cool operation, however, as the video card's fan reaches sound levels that rival a construction site and, without an automatic fan monitoring utility, the fan's continuing attempts to deafen you will surely become a nuisance if installed in the wrong enclosure.
The Radeon HD 4890 graphics card measures 241mm in length for an easy fit in most ATX cases, though it will still take up two PCI slots. ATI provides a single S-Video and two DVI outputs, with the latter enabled for HDCP and audio throughput, making connection to a conventional television or HDMI-equipped monitor easy to accomplish.
Despite the noise, the Radeon HD 4890 performed quite well in our tests, which we ran on Windows Vista 64-bit PC with an Intel Core i7 965, 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a Western Digital VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) hard drive, in an Antec Skeleton case.
In Futuremark's 3DMark06, the Radeon HD 4890 graphics card scored a total of 10509 points, a significant advantage over the 9708 points that the NVIDIA GTX285 managed. However, in the 3DMark Vantage benchmark tests, the Radeon HD 4890's score of X4718 was inferior to the GTX285's X6191.
In real world gaming benchmarks, ATI's single GPU graphics card managed 131.42fps in Half Life 2: Episode Two and 60.3fps in Call of Juarez. These results are commendable, though the Radeon HD 4890's 48fps fell behind the GTX285's 60.17fps in Far Cry 2. In the DirectX 10 version of Lost Planet, the Radeon HD 4890 performed at 34.45fps to the GTX285's 50.1fps. Surprisingly, the two graphics cards were on par in Crysis: Warhead, showing a negligible 0.2fps between the ATI graphics card's 35.1fps to the GTX285's 35.3fps. Though the GTX285 remains a clear winner overall when comparing the two graphics cards, the Radeon HD 4890 still performs well.
While overclocking potential is generally not an area we pay too much attention to, it is definitely worth mentioning with the Radeon HD 4890 as overclocking the GPU and memory modules beyond their standard clocks is an easy and — in this case — a rewarding task. Using only the standard cooler and ATI's own Overdrive utility (available in the Catalyst Control Centre), we managed to overclock the Radeon HD 4890 reference design to a GPU clock of 1GHz and memory clock of 1200MHz without losing system stability. At these increased speeds we managed to squeeze an extra 3.1fps out of our Crysis: Warhead benchmark, a decent result for little effort.
The small improvements made to the Radeon HD 4890's GPU core and increased memory make for a decent boost in performance over other single GPU Radeon HD 4800 series cards, without inflating the price significantly. Though the noise is worrying, the performance and overclocking potential are well worth it.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Qualcomm details plans for Windows 10 PCs with Snapdragon 835
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- CCDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Contract - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- CCWeb Ops EngineerACT
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCDelphix Technical SpecialistVIC
- CCCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- FTInfrastructure Architect (Adelaide Based)VIC
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- CCGIS Developer - GeocortexWA
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD