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  (Source: AnandTech)

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(Click to enlarge)
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



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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.


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