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Sapphire HD 4890 Review

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To test out this latest video card from Sapphire I will run it through a series of game tests and synthetic benchmarks to see just how the performance compares to that delivered by similar video cards as well as its direct competition from the green camp. The OverclockersClub test system will be run as listed with the processor at 3.0GHz. The respective video card settings that will be used are the driver defaults with settings made in game as noted to provide as few variables as possible.


Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:

Comparison Video Cards:



Overclocked settings:

  • Sapphire HD 4890  970/1060

What I found out with the HD 4890 from Sapphire was that I was able to pull the same clock speed increase out of it that I did on the PowerColor offering. The first thing I did was increase the fan speed to 100% in the Catalyst Control Center to get the card as cool as it could be and then started upping the clock speeds on the GPU first to find the maximum possible GPU core speed. 980MHz would pass my cursory check with 3DMark06 at 2560x1600 with the AA and AF maxed but once into games I would get stars and see some snow. Backing down to 970MHz worked to clear that up. The memory would push to 1080MHz but fail, so again I needed to drop the speed down to a level that it would be playable through out some extended gaming. The increase of 115MHz on the core comes in at an almost 14% improvement while the memory comes in at just under 9% with an 85MHz improvement over the as delivered clock speeds. The one thing that still is an issue for me is the noise the reference cooling solution makes when it is spooled up to near 100%. ATI has yet to come up with a quiet solution that works. I can only hope Sapphire makes an improvement to this card by offering one with the company's Vapor-X Vapor chamber cooling solutions to eliminate the noise while still offering superb cooling.

  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. BioShock
  4. Call of Duty World at War
  5. Dead Space
  6. Fallout 3
  7. Left 4 Dead
  8. 3DMark 06 Professional
  9. 3DMark Vantage


  1. Intrduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Card)
  3. Closer Look: Drivers & Programs
  4. Closer Look (Catalyst Control Center)
  5. Specifcations & Features
  6. Testing (Setup & Overclocking)
  7. Testing: Far Cry 2
  8. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  9. Testing: BioShock
  10. Testing: Call Of Duty World at War
  11. Testing: Dead Space
  12. Testing: Fallout 3
  13. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  14. Testing: 3DMark 06
  15. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Conclusion
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