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HIS Radeon HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card

HIS expands their Turbo line-up of cards to include the new HD 4890. We take a closer look at it today.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Apr 15 2009 11:52 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: HIS

Introduction


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card



Recently we saw ATI launch the HD 4890 and while it's not the fastest single GPU card on the market, it's not the most expensive either. Compared to the GTX 275 it has its ups and downs and while NVIDIA and ATI say the RRP on the two cards are the same, now that we've got stock of each on the market we're finding that the HD 4890 is coming in cheaper.

From the word go we've seen some companies offer overclocked models, almost from release date. One of those companies is HIS and today we'll be taking the time to see how their Turbo version of the card goes.

While this particular model doesn't carry with it the IceQ cooling that we've become quite accustomed to seeing from HIS, we don't doubt that in the near future they will release a model that does carry it with possibly even higher clocks.

With that all said and done, though, let's have a look at the package and see if HIS can add something different to the mix to make it stand out from the other cards we've already looked at. From there we'll have a look at the card and see what clocks the card carries before checking out what kind of performance increase we get.

The Package




Having a look at the HIS box there isn't anything too out of the ordinary that we haven't seen from the company before. Across the bottom of the box we can clearly see the model of the card. Working our way up we can see that there's mention of a HDMI adapter included and above that we see some of the features of the card.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Looking at the top of the box we can see the HIS logo and to the right of that we have mention that the card is part of the Turbo series. On the same sticker we can see the clock speeds that HIS have used on the memory and core. Finally, we also have a sticker that mentions S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky being included.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we have a bit of a blurb on the HD 4800 series of graphics cards. To the left we have some of the main features like 1GB of GDDR5, 800 stream processors and many more. We can also see a few of the many awards that HIS have won over the years.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


As far as cables go, we've got a component out dongle, dual molex to 6-Pin PCI Express connector, S-Video to RCA connector, DVI to HDMI and DVI to VGA connectors along with a CrossFire connector.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


As far as paperwork goes, we've got a quick installation guide; we also have a driver CD along with a full version copy of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky which we saw mentioned on the front of the box.

The Card




Having a look at the HIS HD 4890 Turbo, as far as the physical design goes there isn't anything we haven't seen before with the card using the reference cooler that we've seen on other HD 4890s we've looked at. Of course, to make the card stand out HIS have added their own sticker that let us know the brand and model.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Looking at the back of the card, we have two 6-Pin PCI Express power connectors. Closer to the front we have two Crossfire connectors which give us the ability to run up to three cards at the same time in a CrossfireX configuration.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


At the front of the card we have two Dual Link DVI connectors with a TV-Out port sitting in the middle. At the top we can see a bunch of vents. With the design of the cooler the air is pushed straight out the back of the card exiting the case and keeping the hot air away from the other components inside your PC.


Specifications

Being a part of the Turbo series of cards, the HD 4890 carries with it an increased core and memory speed. Having a look below we can see that the core comes in at 900MHz which is 50MHz up on the default 850MHz clock.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


We can also see that the 1GB of GDDR5 memory has been increased from 975MHz or 3900MHz QDR to 1000MHz or a more rounded off 4000MHz QDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit
Drivers: Catalyst 9.2, Catalyst 9.3 (HD 4890), ForceWare 185.65

Today we'll be seeing how the HD 4890 Turbo compares against the older HD 4870 and the GTX 260. The main thing we'll be looking at today, though, is what kind of extra performance we get when compared to the stock model from Sapphire.

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here



3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Straight off the bat we can see a nice little performance increase with the HIS HD 4890 Turbo. We can actually see at the Extreme preset it manages to beat out the GTX 260 which is something the stock model couldn't achieve.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


We again see a boost in performance when compared to the stock model. The best gains are seen at the highest resolution with the HIS HD 4890 Turbo being only a whisker away from that 30 FPS minimum we love to see at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Under CINEBENCH we see the HIS HD 4890 Turbo again get a little boost. Compared to the HD 4870, though, CINEBENCH performance is down.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


We continue to see the gains with the HIS HD 4890 Turbo when compared to the stock model. We see that the clocks also help pass the GTX 260 at the lower resolutions.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


In the minimum department we see that there's no difference between the two HD 4890s. In the average department, however, we see the Turbo model get a slight boost at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Like we've seen all along, performance is up on the Turbo model and again it manages to overtake the GTX 260 at the lower resolutions.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Under Clear Sky we again see those gains. Compared to the NVIDIA offering we see the HD 4890s have a massive jump.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here



Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Like all our other test results so far, the HD 4890 Turbo again gets a boost compared to the stock model.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


With AA and AF on we see a slight boost in performance with the Turbo model, but nothing to get excited about.


World In Conflict

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Here we see a slight boost in performance in the average department, but nothing in the minimum department.


Left 4 Dead

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Left 4 Dead gives the Turbo a small boost in performance.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Across the board we see a boost in speed from the Turbo model; the best gains are seen at 1920 x 1200, though.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


We again see at up to 1920 x 1200 there's some nice little gains. Above that, though, there isn't a huge difference.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


Finally we leave with Clear Sky and again the Turbo gets a slight boost in performance when compared to the stock model.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


With the same cooler being used it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the temperatures on the two HD 4890s are similar.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


The same can be said with the noise levels.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


HIS HD 4890 Turbo Graphics Card


With both HD 4890s being very similar, we see that the power usage between the two are almost identical as well.

Final Thoughts




Compared to the reference clocked Sapphire 4890, the Turbo offering from HIS offers a nice little boost in performance with the best gains being seen at resolutions of up to 1920 x 1200. Not only do we get a few extra FPS when compared to the stock model, but HIS has also turned around and spiced up the bundle by including a full version copy of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky.

At $299.99 U.S. Dollars over at Newegg, the HD 4890 Turbo from HIS comes in a bit more expensive than other brands, but the extra money gets you not only a few more valuable FPS, but a full version game which is valued at almost the same difference between a stock model and an overclocked one.

The other advantage with the Turbo model from HIS is that it's one of the higher overclocked cards with some companies not quite reaching 900MHz. All in all, we've got a nice HD 4890 that packs a bit of extra grunt over the stock model. If that's not good enough as is, HIS have then thrown in a game to sweeten the deal up.

If you want a card that you can stick straight in your system which is going to give you more grunt than the standard run of the mill HD 4890, while all at the same time having the ability to install a new game straight after, this is the card for you. If you want even more power, though, jump into the Catalyst Control Center, move to the Overdrive section and ramp up the MHz on the core and memory a little more.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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