You know, every time I test a Radeon 4890 product I can't help feeling good about it. What an excellent product series ATI started with with the original RV770 ASIC and now RV790 GPUs, the Radeon HD 4890 kick ass.
Directly from baseline performance the overall performance at a 850 MHz core clock frequency is already really good, but merely weeks after the 4890 release AMD's partners started announcing their overclocked models.
The product from Sapphire that we reviewed today is in fact a little gem. Typically I leave personal comments out of a conclusion, as here at Guru3D we are all about bringing you guys objective reviews on hardware. But with this Toxic Vapor-X I popped it into the test PC... and instantly it felt good. We power up, boot into Windows... no noticeable noise, then I check the temperatures, all is perfectly fine. And then before benchmarking I always play some games to get my first impression out of a card and immediately that felt good as well. This product has been an instant hit from the very start.
Note the Toxic Vapor-X edition Radeon HD 4890 comes with a 249~259 USD price tag, and though in comparison with a 4870 basic model or the regular clocked 209 USD Radeon HD 4890 it certainly is a little more expensive, quite frankly we feel it's worth every penny even for the cooling and additional faster clock frequencies alone. I mean we are not talking about a 20 MHz overclock here, no, Sapphire added 110 MHz to the reference baseline core frequency. We think that's a lot of graphics card for that kind of money. Sure you can go for a slightly less expensive 4890 as well and overclock it yourself. But this magnificent 960 MHz core clock frequency combined with the 4200 MHz memory frequency does fall under your warranty, something you do not get when you overclock yourself.
Your overall gaming experience will be great, typically any game up-to 1920x1200 will not be a problem. Your framerates will be great, the image quality can be set to very high. Some games you can apply 8x AA too, others you'll settle for 4x AA. With the help of UVD you can watch your movies hardware assisted and enhanced by the GPU, and slowly but steadily we are now also seeing some ATI Stream applications surface.
So the baseline specifications and features are good, the performance is excellent, and we just love the cooler compared to the reference cooler which translates into better temperatures and a silent performing graphics card.
If you can spend an extra few tenners, really need I say more? Go get it...
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.