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  (Source: AnandTech)

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Massive demand expected by AMD for its latest graphics card

ATI, the graphics division of AMD, has launched the Radeon HD 4890 video card exclusively with 1 GB of GDDR5 RAM.

The RV790 is not just an overclocked RV770. DailyTech noticed the RV790 chip was slightly larger than the RV770 when we acquired a reference board several weeks ago. It is a new respin of the original silicon, with retrained and rearchitectured power paths for greater power efficiency. ATI engineers also used decoupling capacitors in a decap ring to increase signal integrity.

All of this enables higher clock speeds. While the Radeon 4870 has a core clock of 750MHz, the Radeon 4890 runs its core clock at 850MHz. The standard GDDR5 runs at 3.9GHz effective, and provides 124.8 GB/s of bandwidth. Several ATI graphics board partners will be launching models with core clocks running at over 1GHz using improved cooling solutions.

Power consumption is also greatly reduced. The Radeon 4890 board consumes approximately 60W at near idle loads, such as when displaying 2D graphics or working on Word or Excel documents. This cuts powers consumption by a third from the Radeon 4870, which utilizes 90W at idle.

On the flip side, maximum board power is now rated at 190W with the 4890, an increase of 30W. This is due to the higher clock speeds of both the GPU and the GDDR5 memory.

DailyTech has performed a few basic tests of the Radeon 4890, and our results show a 10%-25% performance improvement, depending on the game. The drivers in the box will work best for now, until the Catalyst 9.4 drivers are released later this month.

We have received word that there are over 50,000 Radeon HD 4890 cards already in the market. Several retailers have already sold cards to anxious fans ahead of today's launch date. The cards themselves should sell for no more than $250 at stock speeds, although we expect prices to drop slightly in a month's time. Some partners have also said that mail-in rebates for $20 will be available.

AMD recently tried to lower prices on its Radeon 4870 and 4850 cards, but its board partners believe that the performance of the Radeon 4870 is too good to lower prices further. The 1GB version of the Radeon 4870 is now selling for around the $180 mark, although it may be available for less with a mail-in rebate partly subsidized by AMD.

The primary competition for the Radeon HD 4890 will be NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 275, which is also priced at around $250. However, there will be no retail availability until April 14th, when it was originally supposed to be launched. Even so, our sources say that NVIDIA will not have the volumes that it needs to meet demand, which may end up raising prices.

Further out, ATI will be launching its first DirectX 11 parts in late summer. Some consumers may be tempted to wait for the next generation of cards with an all new architecture, but they will launch at higher prices. If you're looking for a high performance single chip video card, the Radeon 4890 may be your best bet for the next five months.

UPDATE: ATI has confirmed that the original information we received was incorrect, and the RV790 does indeed have 959 million transistors.

 

GTX 280

ATI Radeon HD 4890

GTX 275

ATI Radeon HD 4870

GTX 260 Core 216

ATI Radeon HD 4850

GTS 250

Stream Processors

240

800

240

800

216

800

128

Texture Address / Filtering

80 / 80

40

80 / 80

40

72/72

40

64 / 64

ROPs

32

16

28

16

28

16

16

Core Clock

602MHz

 850MHz

633MHz

750MHz

576MHz

625MHz

738MHz

Memory Clock

1107MHz

3.9GHz GDDR5

1134MHz

3.6GHz GDDR5

999MHz

1986MHz GDDR3

1100MHz

Memory Bus Width

512-bit

256-bit

448-bit

256-bit

448-bit

256-bit

256-bit

Frame Buffer

1GB

1GB

896MB

1GB/512MB

896MB

512MB

512MB

Transistor Count

1.4B

959M

1.4B

956M

1.4B

956M

754M

Price Point

$349

$249

$249

$179/$149

$179

$129

$129



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Not quite fast enough
By Bateluer on 4/2/2009 9:57:24 AM , Rating: 3
I've got a 4870 512M now, from the numbers I'm seeing, the 4890 doesn't make sense for me as an upgrade. The extra RAM would be nice, but it only makes a discernible difference in a few titles.

I think I'll wait another 6 months or so for the next gen 40nm high end chips.

Although, if the 4890 drops to around 180-ish, I may be tempted to sell my 4870 and pick one up.




RE: Not quite fast enough
By ttowntom on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Not quite fast enough
By Doormat on 4/2/2009 11:48:16 AM , Rating: 5
Not quite, 30W 24/7/365 is $30/yr or less. If you're going to upgrade from a 4870 to a 4890, I don't think you're the person to hold on to the card long enough to make up the difference.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By ttowntom on 4/2/09, Rating: -1
RE: Not quite fast enough
By inighthawki on 4/2/2009 1:31:14 PM , Rating: 5
if you consider upgrading at the half-gen mark, i highly doubt you're willing to wait 5 years to get your money's worth.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By just4U on 4/2/2009 5:30:12 PM , Rating: 1
It doesn't really matter I don't think. The 4890 and 275 are parts that are likely to entice those on older graphics that waited rather then those of us who are already on the current generation.

I see price drops though all around because that's what will really spur people to buy under the current economic conditions.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By Cypherdude1 on 4/6/2009 11:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
Why do most of the ATI cards run so HOT? They require ultrafast and LOUD fans to cool them and TWO slots. Not everyone wants to play games. I'd like to find a new ATI PCI-Express card which does not use a fan, has 2 DVI monitor outputs, 1 S-Video output, uses only ONE slot, and plays DVD's ported to TV.

That's what I mainly use my present ATI video card on this older system for. The picture is excellent, so good I can actually pause the DVD and surf the 'Net if I wish. Because it does not have a fan, there very little noise while I see my DVD's. Not everyone is a gamer. ATI has overlooked us in this market segment.

BTW, because video card fans come with the card, card makers usually install the cheapest sleeve-bearing fans they can find. High speed sleeve-bearing fans usually only last a year during heavy use so forget about keeping your card "for 5 years." LOL.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By Jansen (blog) on 4/6/2009 6:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
The 4600 series has been around for a while. There are also passive solutions that don't use cooling fans, but the chip runs hotter as a result.

The $250 market segment chooses performance over cool performance. A passive solution is possible, but most people would rather have a dual slot solution with higher performance.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By ExarKun333 on 4/2/2009 12:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
The card is great (don't get me wrong) but the reviews I have seen don't seem to support the savings in the idle power.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By tpurves on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Not quite fast enough
By plonk420 on 4/2/2009 3:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
it (the driver and/or CCC) does it automatically when not in a 3D app.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By Griswold on 4/2/2009 4:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
Its more like 3W, according to AT's review.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By yomamafor1 on 4/2/2009 12:43:20 PM , Rating: 4
I really looks like 4890 is just an overclocked version of 4870... both share the same core, the same number of processors, and the same amount of filling rate.

IMO its really not worth the money to upgrade to a 4890.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By Golgatha on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Not quite fast enough
By lakrids on 4/2/2009 2:02:09 PM , Rating: 3
RV790 is an updated core that allows overclocks to 1ghz in many cases. http://firingsquad.com/media/article_image.asp/242...

But I agree, if I had a 4870 I wouldn't upgrade either.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By Mitch101 on 4/2/2009 4:23:35 PM , Rating: 5
I have a 3870 and I think its going to be enough to carry me through DX10/10.1. Just like my 850xt carried me through the end of DX9.

I'm going to sit it out until DX11 cards arrive. Of those few games I cant play at my monitors full spec they will be $10.00 or less when I get the DX11 card. I just cant see upgrading to another DX10 card when DX11 will be out soon enough.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By teko on 4/2/2009 3:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
HardwareCanucks managed to overclock theirs to 1GHz on stock heatsink. Maybe the guy got lucky, but still pretty impressive.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canu...

He thinks it can go higher, but unfortunately Catalyst CCC currently limits core clock speed to 1GHz.


RE: Not quite fast enough
By just4U on 4/2/2009 5:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
I can only get 805 out of my core on the 4870 so yeah that's rather impressive. (Again though for those of us on current gen cards it's not a compelling reason to upgrade)


RE: Not quite fast enough
By silversound on 4/2/2009 2:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
Preview around 10%-15% faster than 4870 1GB and almost on par with GTX280 without supported driver, GTX280 should drop another 100 now~


RE: Not quite fast enough
By FireSnake on 4/3/2009 4:24:46 AM , Rating: 3
I think that you will do well with your card for quite a while.

With 4870 installed there is no need to upgrade just yet.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














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