Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X PCIe Graphics Card


Sapphire have yet again shown other manufacturers how to build a graphics card. The HD4890 Vapor-X may not be the highest  pre-overclocked card available but it is definitely the quietest air-cooled version. There's a lot to be said for high performance, quiet running GPU's and Sapphire should shout from the rooftops about this card as it has silence, stock reference cards can only dream about.
The card graphically performs on a par with other pre-overclocked 4890's and while this card has a miserly 20MHz overclock on the core, this speed can easily be increased using CCC's overdrive facility with the minimum of effort should you yearn for the absolute maximum frames per second. The memory overclock however, is already fairly high as overclocked versions go and this helped minimise the deficit of the GPU overclock shown by the majority of the benchmarks we ran today. Again, if you are overclocking the core you may just as well overclock the memory to Overdrive's limit as this cards cooling capacity can clearly take the heat.
Another area I was particularly impressed with was the packaging. While the included accessories were nothing above the norm, the improvements Sapphire have made to both the internal structure and external presentation are very welcome indeed. I can only hope that these methods are transferred to the lesser cards in Sapphire line up which at times left a lot to be desired. At present we do not have an exact price for the HD4890 Vapor-X version but I would expect it to be in the region of competing overclocked versions.
To summarise, the Sapphire HD4890 Vapor-X is an extremely good example of how innovative cooling solutions can make the difference between a good card and an excellent one. Sapphires Vapor-X technology is one such innovation which differentiates this card from being an also-ran to a 1st place finish. An old adage said that if you can't stand the heat you'd better get out of the kitchen. Well if you have this card in your armoury you can stay in the kitchen all day long. Personally, that would just be a waste of good gaming time which if I haven't already mentioned, this card also happens to excel at.
The Good
- Excellent overclocking ability
- Best cooling solution this side of watercooling
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Great connectivity
The Mediocre
- No included game
- Conservative GPU overclock
The Bad
- Nothing
Thanks to Sapphire for providing the HD4890 Vapor-X for todays review. Discuss in our forums.
«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next»

Most Recent Comments

02-06-2009, 06:42:45

the card peforms extremely well, but the card looks horrible when will sapphire discover good looking card chassisQuote

02-06-2009, 07:29:13

Sweet review man, massive props to Sapphire for final sticking a non reference cooled card on the market. Any idea when these will be available?Quote

02-06-2009, 14:51:16

Nice review as always my good man!

I wasn't sure that these coolers would make much odds over other after market coolers but those temps are pretty damn good.Quote

08-06-2009, 12:40:40

very nice review!

Is that cooler good enought?Quote

30-06-2009, 18:05:52

Well actually I am not quite convinced. You see almost solely based on this review I went merrily our and promptly bought 2 of these cards only to find that .

1) They run a lot hotter than stated. 67 Celcius at idle and run so hot when gaming that my PC crashes. I haven't managed to record the temp just before crash-poin but I have seen it at upto a blistering 93 Celcius!

2) I don't get anywhere near the FPS stated in the article. Infact I get exactly the same when playing CoD World at War online with 2 of these cards in crossfire as I did with one 9800GTX+. Namely 91 FPS.

I have plenty of ventilation in my rig and the fans on the HD4890s are certainly working.

At +4000rpm (confirmed by ATIs own CCC program and CPUIDs Hardware Monitor) they are audible let me tell you.

I don't believe my system is to blame despite it not being cutting edge.

Sapphire recommend a bigger PSU. 650W-750W and monitoring my temps with rivatuner.

I have a 620W PSU and run Vista ultimate 64 bit, which doesn't allow rivatuner to work since I downloaded the latest update if you can call it that.

Sys Specs:- [email protected] with Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme cooler and Noctua NF-P12 fan. ASUS Maximus Formula Republic of Gamers motherboard with X38 chipset and 4 GHZ of Kingston HyperX PC9600 RAM @ 1207MHz being cooled with a Corsair Dominator Airflow Fan.

CoolerMaster Real Power M620 Modular PSU.

Vista Ultimate 64 bit OS.

Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD501LJ 500 GB.

All incased in a Aerocool Hi-Tech 7 cabinette with a 40cm fan on the side and 2 x 12cm fans, one infront and one at the back.

Any good advice would be appriciated.

Bilko out.Quote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.