XFX HD 4890 XXX 1GB PCIe Graphics Card

Test Setup & System Analysis

Test Setup

To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configurations used in this review can be seen below:

i7 Rig

CPU: Intel Nehalem i7 920 Skt1366 2.66GHz (@3.8 Ghz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD5
Memory: 3x2GB Corsair DDR3 1600mhz @ 8-8-8-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 80GB
Graphics Drivers: Supplied by ATI
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w
During the testing of the setups above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games
• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Oblivion

• Race drive: GRID
• Call of Duty IV
• Unreal Tournament III

Power Consumption

Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Because of this, the readings below are of the total system, not just the GPU. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of Crysis.

The power consumption figures did not throw up anything out of the ordinary with the overclocked XFX 4890XXX edition consuming slightly more power than the stock Asus card. 


Temperatures were taken at the factory clocked speed during idle in Windows and after 10 minutes of running Furmark with settings maxed out (2560x1600 8xMSAA). Ambient temperatures were taken with a household thermometer. As we use an open test bench setup consideration should be given to the fact that the temperatures would likely increase further in a closed case environment.

Again, because of the overclock on the XFX 4890, the temperatures were inevitably slightly higher but still well under control and the fan barely spun up at idle. Under load the fan did become audible and at 100% it was very noisy. The reference cooler for the ATI cards have change little over recent releases so if you already own an ATI card with a dual slot cooler you will no doubt be well aware of the whooshing noise this card is capable of.
For overclocking the XFX 4890XXX, I used the ATI Overdrive utility in the Catylist Control Panel.
stock overclock

The XFX4890XXX, being a pre-overclocked card, did not raise my hopes of any extra clocks worthwhile of discussion but the card easily maxed out the Overdrive utility reaching the golden 1GHz GPU clockspeed with ease. The Asus card I reviewed needed a bump in Vcore to reach this speed with any stability so it is a credit to the XFX card that it managed this speed without the help of added voltage. To test the benifits of such an achievement, I ran Call of Duty 4 at different resultions and then compared the results to the stock(overclock) speed.

Call of Duty 4 showed some impressive improvements in frames per second. With almost a 25% increase in FPS at the lowest resolution and significant increases at high and ultra high resolutions, COD4 certainly benefits from the overclock. In the next few pages however we will see just how much benefit the stock overclocked setting gives the card over the reference speeds of the Asus card.

Let's move on to our suite of benchmarks where we pitch it up against the GTX295, ATI 4870x2, ATI4870 XXX and stock GTX285...
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Most Recent Comments

02-04-2009, 04:13:19

Nice review!

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

02-04-2009, 04:16:33

Sorted taQuote

02-04-2009, 04:37:22

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...Quote

02-04-2009, 04:44:08

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?Quote

02-04-2009, 04:50:34

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

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

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