XFX HD 4890 XXX 1GB PCIe Graphics Card

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance

This is perhaps the first time I have come across such a box design, if indeed you can call it a box. The X shape is very striking to look at and the box design must surely have been developed from a master or Origami as getting an X shape like this must take some doing. The outer design is very appealing being gunmetal grey and red with faux screws holding the package together.

The front of the box displays the bare essentials such as product name and 1GB of DDR5/ATI CrossfireX technology emblems. Nowhere on the box that I could see though were the usual XXX stickers, something that will no doubt be rectified for retail versions. Flipping the box over we get a more in depth specification list as well as XFX advising you to register the product to take advantage of their industry leading 5-Star Support program.
 
box front box rear
 
Here's where things went a little awry. Opening the box, without tearing the nicely designed sleeve eventually got the better of me so after 5 minutes of head scratching and a few expletives, I gave up and just tore into it. While it's all very well designing a nice looking box, it just felt wrong tearing it open like that. I guess it's the Yorkshire man in me that thinks about the resale value before even using the item at hand. Once I made a few strategic tears, I did figure out that it was possible to open it up without tearing but alas the moment had passed and my patience had dwindled.

box side box inner

So here we have another interesting design, the 'box through a box' perpendicular style, again forming an X. This time, it was much easier to get into the contents with one box sliding out from another. The lower box, contained 2 section with the upper section containing the accessories, user guides and the lower compartment holding the graphics card itself.

box open accessory box
 
The accessories are both complete and comprehensive. Two user guides were provided along with a support CD. Sadly the support CD didn't have any drivers on it, instead it simply guides you to the XFX website. While this is a good prompt to use the latest available drivers, I can only hope that the drivers are available on launch as the most recent CAT 9.3's were not compatible. Finishing off the accessory list were a DVI/VGA adaptor, an HDMI adaptor, 2x6-pin to dual Molex connectors, a crossfire bridge, the included HAWX game and a novelty 'do not disturb' sign.

accessories manual
 
Finally we get to see the card in all its glory. Being based on a reference design, XFX have not fixed what isn't broken and so simply added there own branding to the plastic cooler top. In fact the more eagle-eyed among you may well notice the original sticker can just be seen around the edges. The rear of the card is a mass of SMD's and screws with a small backplate holding the copper triple heatpiped cooler to the GPU.
 
card front card rear
 
The connectivity of the card is a standard dual slot affair with 2xDVI ports and a TV out port. I would have liked to have seen colour coded DVI ports as with some of the XFX Nvidia cards but that's a minor issue that can easily be rectified in future releases. At the power end of the card we see that ATI have managed to stick to the 2x6-pin PCIe power ports rather replacing a 6 pin with a more powerful 8-pin ensuring that users of older PSU's can still take advantage of this card.

dvi pcie
 
The card has two Crossfire tabs ensuring the card is CrossfireX compatible (something we will put to the test in a later review). On the back of the card is a multitude of SMD's and power/fault indication LEDs (red). In the centre of the card is a small backplate held down by four spring loaded screws.

crossfire side 2

The cooler was easily removed thanks in part to the simple way the cooler is attached. The paste used is nigh on perfect both in consistency and amount and ensured the GPU got very good mount. Thermal pads were chosen to provide convection of heat from the memory chips and power regulators.

cooler paste
 
Qimonda DDR5 chips are the memory chips used on the XFX4890XXX card we reviewed today which should ensure some excellent overclocking ability. Below right we see the GPU core itself which while not being reduced in die size, it has had a number of tweaks, again hopefully improving the overclocking possibilities of the card as well as increased the stock speeds of the card.

memory gpu

Based on the reference design, the XFX 4890XXX card is nothing out of the ordinary to look at. Sure the packaging is very interesting and the accessories are excellent but I would have liked to have seen a little more originality with the card itself rather than a change of sticker. Being a XXX version I was surprised to find there was no indication of this anywhere to be found on either the packaging or the card itself save for the advertised clockspeed.

Enough of the aesthetics, let's take a look at the cards overclocking abilities and the test setup used for todays review...
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Most Recent Comments

02-04-2009, 03:41:06

JN
"At OC3D we love all things overclocked. We love shiny new releases. Do we love the new 4890XXX edition from XFX? Find out in our exclusive review..." - by W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...205649673s.jpg

XFX HD 4890 XXX 1GB PCIe Graphics Card

02-04-2009, 04:13:19

Madmatt
Nice review!

Might want to check the spelling of hawx as you seem to have it as hawkx. On the last page and first.

02-04-2009, 04:16:33

w3bbo
Sorted ta

02-04-2009, 04:37:22

Ham
What a strange shape box...

Still nothing groundbreaking. It's getting to the stage where it might just be worth 200 to upgrade form the 8800 series...

02-04-2009, 04:44:08

nepas
nice review!Wish I could afford to upgrade,as Ham says these cards look to be a good upgrade from the 8800's.Did you try these cards in crossfire?I have just read over at tpu that in crossfire they blow away almost everything,can you confirm?

02-04-2009, 04:50:34

tinytomlogan
Looks at 4870's and crys, still not used them and now I want these AARRRGGGHHH

Nice review dude.... whats your address again?

02-04-2009, 05:36:20

w3bbo
Crossfire review will be coming very soon but I got a couple of other fish to fry first. I'll be testing them out asap as it might just top topple the GTX295/4870x2.

My address is of a national security issue I'm afraid

22-06-2009, 22:08:23

cl0ck_ed
OMG, 1000 core 1200 mem, that is imprassive. these hd4890's walk all over the gtx 275 for bang per buck, and at this oc the perform on the par with a gtx285! wow.

All i need now is a x48 mobo and xfire a pair of these and spin them at 1000mhz core, that would be sweet.

24-06-2009, 08:58:26

tinytomlogan
I still think that its worth waiting for the 5800 range, these are basicaly overclocked die shrunk 4870's. Still if you are in the market to buy now then these can be had pretty cheap

24-06-2009, 09:42:00

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='cl0ck_ed'
OMG, 1000 core 1200 mem, that is imprassive. these hd4890's walk all over the gtx 275 for bang per buck, and at this oc the perform on the par with a gtx285! wow.

All i need now is a x48 mobo and xfire a pair of these and spin them at 1000mhz core, that would be sweet.
It is quite strange to look at the pricing now in these card stakes.

XFX are giving a price of 240, which I'd take as an rrp, undoubtably the online competitors would look to discount that a bit. Some 34 by Scan's standard.

I look at Scan, and their hottest selling GTX285 from ASUS is 240.

Appreciating that the stock 4890 from XFX is 140 at Scan, which is what I'd expect, and they sell their cheapest in-stock GTX275 for 178. How much bang for buck u get for physx, I dunno.

What exactly is going on here with this XXX edition ? From a stock card 140 to a XXX edition is some 66 ? For an OC ur driverset can give u and a standard cooler.

I would hope XFX are not overpricing these deliberately, as it's not the addition to the AMD family their fans would expect.

Great review, good card, overpriced in comparison to it's own range imo.

24-06-2009, 20:17:49

cl0ck_ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'

Appreciating that the stock 4890 from XFX is 140 at Scan, which is what I'd expect, and they sell their cheapest in-stock GTX275 for 178. How much bang for buck u get for physx, I dunno.

What exactly is going on here with this XXX edition ? From a stock card 140 to a XXX edition is some 66 ? For an OC ur driverset can give u and a standard cooler.
Scan have the 1000mhz card for 160, therefore 18 more than the stock hd4890. Which is a fair price considering the hassle of increasing voltages, flashing bios's and overclocking etc..

25-06-2009, 06:31:56

Rastalovich
Now that really is a weird situation, 160 for the 1Ghz with HAWX.

206 for the 900Mhz "slower" card.

Have a feeling the black edition isn't going to be restocked tho. But seriously a slower card, 46 more ? XFX's logic is what ?

25-06-2009, 08:17:43

Rastalovich
I've purposely bumped this as I was just looking at Scan's line-up of GTX285 cards with a colleague.

XFX have a XXX 285, 670Mhz, priced 252 - and a 648Mhz priced @ 282.

Something smells.

They going eol with older, quicker cards, and bringing newer slower lines for 30/50 more ? If I were a journalist I'd be asking XFX some serious questions.

25-06-2009, 08:28:09

cl0ck_ed
isn't it scan pricing not xfx? xfx must have madfe loads of the quicker cards to sell them for a cheaper price than the slower

25-06-2009, 09:30:45

w3bbo
As above, I would think that this was scans pricing not XFX.

I'll see if I can get hold of XFX to get their take on it although I can tell you they will not comment on there distributers pricing strategies.

10-09-2009, 22:04:58

AMDFTW
ive just got my 4890 xxx to 1Ghz core clock,and regarding Scan priceing they have always done crazy things like this its best to go instore sometimes as when i got my old AMD dualcore it was was on todayonly for 65 i whent instore and got it for 40 crazy aye

11-09-2009, 17:31:11

iceie
The box look really good
Reply
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