So here is where we arrive at the premises of Sapphire with their Radeon HD 4890 Toxic Vapor-X. We've just discussed what the reference product is all about and what its features are. But the Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Toxic Vapor-X has a few additional tricks up its sleeve. First off it comes with a heatpipe based cooler, this cooler is called the Vapor-X, which refers to the cooling method inside the heatpipe, Vapor Chamber Technology (which is phase change with the coolant going from gas to liquid and vice versa). The design incorporates three heatpipes with a thermally controlled (PWM) fan. Covering the actual aluminum cooler and copper heatpipes is a plastic shroud on the face of the graphics card. We'll show you that a bit more in the photo-shoot though.
The cooler brings down the temperatures significantly and as our tests will show, even under massive stress it will not top 75 degrees C (167 F), which is really nice to see. Another benefit just has to be the fact that the cooler is real silent in operation, a big plus in my book. In fact when it comes to an inaudible solution, it's one of the better coolers we have seen implemented in a while.
More and better cooling also means you can typically squeeze a little more voltage into the GPU which then 'can' allow a higher clock frequency. So where the reference product is clocked at 850 MHz on the GPU core, the Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Toxic Vapor-X is clocked at 960 MHz which is a bump of another 110 MHz.
Now, if we go all the way back to the Radeon HD 4870 with the same features and nearly identical chipset... this Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Toxic Vapor-X is clocked 210 MHz faster. In GPU land that is a heck of a lot you guys.
The memory clock then, the original Radeon HD 4870 was clocked at 3600 MHz effective (3600/4= 900 MHz). The reference Radeon HD 4890 has that same memory clocked at 3900 MHz, and this Sapphire card comes with a memory clock of 4200 MHz (effective). Again, really impressive stuff. At this rate we'll be hitting 5 GHz memory at the beginning of next year.
All in all these facts combined bring a lot more performance to an already nice and fast product series. Below you can see that progression when you compare the different models a little.
ATI Radeon HD 4870
ATI Radeon HD 4890
Sapphire Toxic HD 4890 Vapor-X
# of transistors
Stream Processing Units
850 (and higher)
3600 MHz (effective)
3900 MHz (effective)
4200 MHz (effective)
Math processing rate (Multiply Add)
Memory & type
Power Consumption (peak)
Power Consumption (Idle)
So this is most definitely an interesting product series. With the RV790 ASIC ATI was also able to bring down heat levels at IDLE, and as a positive side effect was able to bring down power consumption another 30 Watts as well.
Package and bundle, once we open up the box we must admit to finding a fairly complete bundle. Everything needed is included, and though we do not see a free game bundled we do get the following:
Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Toxic Vapor-X 1024MB GDDR5
Molex to 6-pin power converter cable
Molex to 8-pin power converter cable
DVI->VGA (SUB-D) dongle
DVI-> HDMI dongle
3-way RCA component HDTV (analog) cable
S-VIDEO -> composite dongle
Two software titles from Cyberlink including Power DVD
Overall a pretty decent bundle we say. This very product can be spotted for roughly 239~249 USD, and for the EU you can expect something in the 210~225 EUR price range. That definitely is a little higher than the 'regular' model of the card, but remember what you receive in return for that; an awesome cooler and more performance.
Sapphire gives you a two year warranty on their products. A bit of a downside is that this warranty is only applicable to the first buyer of the product, warranty has to be carried out by the dealer/reseller as well (carry-in).
But let's have a look at the product and then start up some preliminary tests on heat levels, power consumption and overall noise (sound pressure).
Sapphire Toxic HD 4890 Vapor-X review We test the Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Toxic Vapor-X edition graphics card. Armed with a nice vapor chamber heatpipe based cooler and with it's clock frequency locked at a steady 960 MHz, this little beast is ready for some serious gaming action. And it doesn't stop there though, even the nice phat 1 GB graphics memory is clocked higher at 4200 MHz.