Very few technology related products that are unleashed into the retail channel make a huge impression. Every now and then there are some exceptions though. For example when ATI released the RV770 based Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 graphics cards last year... they unleashed hell and fury when it came to price and performance, well for the competition at least. People were writing experiences about their 4850 or 4870 and added little 'heart' avatars into their personal reviews on the web. It was one of the best product launches ever for ATI.
To this very day RV770 (the ASIC / GPU name for Radeon HD 4870) is still marching on, ranking high in graphics card sales.
Ever since January, rumors started to surface on a new product called RV790. Typically it takes 4 to 6 weeks before a rumor is confirmed and halfway through February, just before the CeBIT exhibition, the first final specifications started to enter my mailbox. RV790 was confirmed, and today ATI is launching it.
RV790 will be called Radeon HD 4890. It is not a 40nm product as many of you had heard and hoped. It is however an incremental update of the Radeon HD 4870. Features wise it's 100% the same product, yet made more power efficient in idle, performs faster and is being repositioned as an enthusiast product... a very tweakable and overclockable piece of machinery actually.
With a significant increase in GPU clock frequency and a good bump in it's memory frequency, the Radeon HD 4890 will start selling this week. The product really is aimed directly against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 260 SP216, and yes... will definitely be faster. But of course NVIDIA will have something up their sleeves as well. The two chipzillas always are playing a cat and mouse game... and in the end there's only one real winner, you the consumer.
In this review we'll cover the Radeon HD 4890 armed with a weaponry of 1024MB memory, we'll take it through all our test paces and software, offer you a nice photo-shoot, but obviously first let's chat about that GPU for a minute. Next page please.
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