To be able to comply to a decent gaming experience on your PC these days, you need to inject a fair amount of money into a graphics card. Of course you want the best, yet you don't want to pay too much. This is why we all love competition. ATI, NVIDIA and soon Intel are all fighting for your hard earned cold cash. Competition is the mighty allspark of innovation and is responsible for the evolution of graphics cards. But not just that, stiff competition will also drive prices down. We've seen this with NVIDIA's GTX 280 release. That card introduced at 500~550 USD, and then came ATI .. owned by AMD we quickly saw a much desired change; prices of high-end graphics cards became much cheaper.
Currently you can pick up a high-end Radeon graphics card for under 250 USD. As a result of ATI's nearly brilliant strategy, NVIDIA had to follow, and they quickly launched a similar priced GeForce GTX 275, which let's face it ... is almost a GTX 285 at 250 USD.
So though the graphics industry might be in a bit of a slope right now, just look back at the past year .. when the Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 got launched, it completely reshaped the graphics arena, much to the dislike of team green as it made high-end graphics way more affordable.
Each high-end graphics card will always get a spin-off product. For the Radeon HD 4870 that meant the Radeon HD 4890, which was launched back in April. And while launched at 249 USD, you can now pick these faster clocked puppies already at 199 USD. And that creates a gap, an opportunity. See, the scalability of the Radeon HD 4890 is brilliant. Where the reference clocked products run at 850 MHz, they just can go much higher, if you create the right circumstances of course. Many manufacturers jumped onto that bandwagon and we right now are seeing the most extraordinary Radeon HD 4890 cards.
Today we test such a card, it comes from the chaps at PowerColor, they launched their Radeon HD 4890 PCS+ , a card with custom cooling, a lot of copper .. and it comes pre-overclocked at 950 MHz with a 4200 MHz memory frequency. That definitely sounds sexy, doesn't it?
Let's have a peek at the product and startup this in-depth review. Onwards to the next page fellows, and grab some coffee while you are at it.
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