back to article AMD ATI Radeon HD 4890

The new AMD ATI Radeon HD 4890 is heavily based on the HD 4870 but it has some changes in its architecture that allow it to run substantially higher clock speeds. How much higher? Glad you asked. The 4870 has reference clock speeds of 750MHz for the core and GDDR 5 memory that runs at 900MHz. GDDR 5 is a completely different …

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Not good value for money?

It seems to be beating the X2 in some tests, and that double card's more expensive. Surely that represents good value?

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X2 4870

The X2 uses CrossFire to link the two 4870 GPUs and its performance shows that CrossFire suffers all sorts of strange problems. When it works well its good but when it goes wrong it is a stinker and with an X2 you cannot turn CrossFire off so you're lumbered.

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Academic

Until ATI sort out their driver support issues (Vista ,Vista 64) then the performance of this new product is entirely academic. There are so many Dell Studio XPS owners with a 4850 experiencing a:

"Atikmdag has stopped responding and has successfully recovered "

and Dell have failed to address the issue over the last 6 months. I'm not sure how much it is costing Dell, many new units are going back and turning up in the Outlet store. There is no resolution yet - however, turning off the Aero interface or un-installing the ATI Catalyst software seems to solve it. However, if you paid good money for Vista Ultimate, it's not exactly satisfactory to turn off the pretty features of Vista... besides, what other software might cause it to break?

ATI - spend more effort on sorting out the software, hardware specs are OK but worthless on their own...

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Do you know what

I did not understand a word of that, why not show some pretty pictures of games so we can see how awesome these card are

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<title>

Why does the GTX280 score almost 4x as much on the CPU score?

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Jan
Joke

Of course you can tell the 4870 and the 4890 apart:

Of course you can tell the 4870 and the 4890 apart:

The 4870 is the one with the naked chick pictured on the heatsink.

Now, that was easy, wasn´t it?

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GTX280 in 3DMark Vantage

Nvidia shifts the PhysX workload from the CPU to the GPU which mightily increases the CPU score on high end Nvidia graphics cards. Unless you plan on playing games with loads of PhysX features you'd we well advised to focus on the GPU element of the test.

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Silver badge

4830 for todays budget concious

£300 on a gfx card is madness! I paid £70 for my 4830 (quidco for teh win) and it might not be the fastest kid on the block but will play happily in 1680x

I suppose I could Xfire it if I had a mobo but why bother - the mobo would cost just as much...

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Coat

Telling them apart...

Apart from the obvious pictures on the heatsink/exhaust thing, the two silver things on the end of the cards(capacitors?) are different sizes on each card. Defy that!! :-)

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Anonymous Coward

spot the difference

"Lay a 4870 next to a 4890 and we defy you to tell the two cards apart:"

Other than the obviouis picture, the capacitors in the bottom right are different sizes

what do i win?

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@AC: Academic

I bought 2 Dell home machines with ATi 3650 cards (1 for dad, the other for a friend), BOTH had incorrectly installed ATI drivers that caused errors and crashes.

The problem is the piss-poor way that Dell install them, not necessarily the hardware. The thing to try is a complete un-install of the Dell supplied drivers. Then use DriverCleaner or similar to ensure that all the registry keys have been removed as well. Then restart, and then install a new fresh, Catalyst from ATI. Do NOT use Windows Update or a Dell driver. That should clear up the issues - well fingers crossed! It did for those two machines mentioned above.

If not, then Dell has this annoying tendency to use PSUs that are severely under-powered for the hardware (my Dell Studio not XPS is a quad core, 8GB ram with ATi 3650 and had a pathetic 350W PSU). Try changing the PSU to a 500W min, decent quality PSU. Should help no end or see here: http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd4800/requirements.html for power requirements for the HD4800 series.

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JC

@ Dave

Dell isn't in the business of selling PSU at retail, and tests true PSU capacity from it's suppliers. Therefore, what you're getting with a Dell PSU rated for 350W tends to be one that's actually capable of it, and the whole integrated system also tested to be lower consumption which makes sense as you wouldn't expect a quad core box with a 3650 in it to reach 275W peak, let alone 350W.

Typical power requirements cited by video card manufacturers are to shift the burden and expense of instable equipment to the owner, how easily they can tell someone to throw more money at a problem because there are so many PSU out there that don't live up to their ratings.

On the other hand, a modern system with a 4870 or 90 video card in it ought to have higher than 350W PSU powering it, but if/when the day comes that Dell integrated (term loosely used, not meaning soldered onto the mainboard) these 4890 into systems they will provide a beefy enough PSU to at least handle the one installed card even if it cannot support Crossfire.

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Unhappy

ATI card in my vista PC

Biggest hardware upgrade mistake I've ever made.

With catalyst installed, aero randomly crashes.

With catalyst uninstalled, I get other errors like black squares showing up occasionally around the cursor, video upscaling not rendering properly and my dual monitors not staying in place after a restart.

So, current solution is "Windows Classic" theme, which is kind of annoying, since I do actually like the look of aero, and the PC and card is fast enough to run it.

Vista and by extension, this driver problem, has been around for what, nearly 4 years now? And windows 7 also has aero, so the problem won't be going away anytime soon. The excuse of "it's Microsofts problem" is starting to wear a little thin.

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