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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card

The 5800s are almost ready to go mainstream but the HD 4890 is still a very real card. We check out what HIS has done with it today.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Sep 21 2009 3:09 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: HIS

Introduction




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Recently we've seen more and more companies begin to mix up the HD 4890 quite a bit. Be it big overclocks, new coolers or both, we're seeing more of the card now than we did in recent months. What makes this so interesting, though, is that the new HD 5800 series which is designed to take over where the HD 4800 leaves off is ready to come out.

This whole scenario isn't anything new, though. As new cards come in companies tend to mix it up with the older model to help sell spare chips that are lying around. The biggest draw to this situation is that you tend to also find that the pricing is more aggressive and considering that ATI has been pretty aggressive on pricing over the past few releases, this is even better news for people wanting a new graphics card.

Today we'll be looking at a HD 4890 from HIS which comes under the iCooler x4 name. Since this is a series we haven't looked at before, we're pretty sure that it carries with it a new cooler. HIS tends to offer a pretty good cooler when they move outside the box, so hopefully this time is no different. Let's have a look at the package before we have a closer look at the card itself and its spec before checking out the performance.

The Package




Having a look at the front of the box, there isn't anything that we haven't really seen before in overall layout. Across the top of the box we have the HIS logo along with some of the main features like 1GB of GDDR5 and 1080p Full HD support. Below that we have a picture of glaciers which goes with the whole "cool" theme that HIS have going on with this card.

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Here we also see mention of the iCooler x4 which is the series that this card sits in. We've also got a couple of stickers down the side that make note of native HDMI along with another sticker that shows Stormrise and makes note that a redemption coupon is included inside.

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Turning the box over, we have the HIS logo and the model again across the top of the box. Down the left side we have mention of the major features and benefits that the card has to offer. To the right we have a bit of a blurb on the model and below that we again have mention of some of the features along with a number of award logos that HIS have won over the years.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 33 | TweakTown.com


Opening up the box and moving inside, there isn't a whole lot going on. We've got a driver CD and manual in a nice little pack which also has a little HIS sticker inside. We've also got a coupon so you can digitally download Stormrise. The back of the coupon has a key and gives you the information you need to download it.

As for cables, there's two convertors, duel molex to 6-pin and duel molex to 8-pin. We've also got the standard Crossfire cable.

Video Card




Having a look at the card itself now, the first thing we of course notice is the new cooler that HIS has chosen to use. There isn't anything too unusual about the design when compared to other coolers we've seen.

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The biggest difference is that the fan has been moved to the middle to cool directly over the top of the core, which is different to the standard design where the fan sits on the far right. We can see the HIS logo is seen on the fan along with it being to the left of the card. Apart from that, there isn't a whole lot more that can be said about the card as the cooler covers the majority of it.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 36 | TweakTown.com


As far as power connectors go, there isn't anything different. We have two at the back, one being an 8-Pin and the other being a 6-Pin. Closer to the front of the card we of course have our two Crossfire connectors which give us the ability to run up to three of these cards together.

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In the I/O department we can see that HIS has decided to mix it up a bit. We've got our standard Dual-Link DVI connector along with a VGA one and native HDMI port. This setup is something we're seeing companies offer more and more. It would have been nice to see a HDMI to DVI adapter included in the package since if you're running a Dual DVI setup you're right out of luck; you'll have to purchase one separately.


Specifications

Checking out our GPU-Z screen shot below, we can see that HIS haven't chosen to do anything with the clocks. What this means is that our core comes in at 850MHz. As for the 1GB of memory, that remains at the same 975MHz or 3900MHz QDR.

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To be honest, it's a little disappointing to see that HIS haven't chosen to up the clocks considering they have decided to install a new cooler. With that said, though, it doesn't stop you from overclocking the card and if low temperatures are the main feature HIS want to offer, keeping the stock clocks is justified.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 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 and Windows Vista SP1 64-bit
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.8, ForceWare 190.62


Today we'll have a look at how the HD 4890 iCooler x4 from HIS handles itself against some of the higher end NVIDIA cards including the pre-overclocked GTX 260 from MSI and GTX 285 from ASUS, while also looking at the stock clocked GTX 275 from Palit.

Looking at price, the HD 4890 sits in between the GTX 260 and GTX 275, so keep this in mind when looking at our benchmarks.

Let's get started!


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.

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We can see that there isn't a whole lot of difference when comparing the GTX 260 to the HD 4890. We'll see how the HD 4890 goes in the real world tests.

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.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 03 | TweakTown.com


PT Boats has always favored NVIDIA cards, but we can see that the HD 4890 doesn't have a problem offering a minimum well above 30 FPS at 1920 x 1200.

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).

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Recent drivers have seen the HD 4800 series get a good boost in performance under CINEBENCH.

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).

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.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 06 | TweakTown.com


We can see that only the GTX 285 is able to break that 30 FPS minimum at 2560 x 1600. As for 1920 x 1200, though, we can see the HIS HD 4890 has no troubles.

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.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 08 | TweakTown.com


Under Warhead we can see that all the cards struggle and the HD 4890 really isn't any different with it falling to the back of the pack.

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.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 10 | TweakTown.com


Up to 1920 x 120 the HD 4890 from HIS runs like an absolute charm with it beating out the GTX 260. Moving to 2560 x 1600, though, we see the card does begin to fall back a bit.

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.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 12 | TweakTown.com


Clear Sky has always favored the ATI offerings and here is no different. Across the board we can see that the HD 4890 is not only able to beat out the GTX 260, but the more expensive GTX 275 and GTX 285 as well.

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.

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We see good numbers across the board here for the HD 4890 with it out performing both the GTX 260 and GTX 275 here.

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

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With AA and AF on we see the HD 4890 really struggle here with the card falling to the back of the pack.


World In Conflict

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 17 | TweakTown.com


WIC performance with AA and AF on sees the HD 4890 fall a little behind the GTX 260. All cards except for the GTX 285 are under that 30 FPS minimum we want to see.


Left 4 Dead

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Left 4 Dead sees the HD 4890 perform very well again with it out performing all the NVIDIA cards here.

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 Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 19 | TweakTown.com


HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 20 | TweakTown.com


Under XP we can see the HD 4890 sits back a bit again with it performing strong up to 1920 x 1200, but at 2560 x 1600 we see it falls right back.

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 Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 21 | TweakTown.com


HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 22 | TweakTown.com


We continue to see the HD 4890 perform strong at up to 1920 x 1200 with it out performing the GTX 260 and GTX 275 here. Again, at 2560 x 1600 the performance drops back and we see the HD 4890 fall to the back again.

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.

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HIS Radeon HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB Video Card 24 | TweakTown.com


Clear Sky again gives the HD 4890 a win here thanks to game favoring ATI cards.

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.

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Heat levels are similar to the GTX 260. It does sit higher than the GTX 275 and GTX 285 from NVIDIA.


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).

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While the card might run a bit warmer, noise levels at load are the best on the HIS at load when compared to the other cards here.

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.

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Power draw between most of the cards at load are pretty similar. At idle, however, it does sit a bit higher like the GTX 260 when compared to the other two cards.

Final Thoughts




One of the most important things you have to look at when it comes down to the performance of this card when compared to cards like the GTX 260 and GTX 275 is that at 2560 x 1600 there isn't really much of a difference between the cards. It doesn't really matter that the HD 4890 is 20 FPS and the GTX 275 is 25 FPS; if we're below that 30 FPS minimum it's pretty much considered unplayable. The thing also worth noting is that the GTX 260 we looked at is a pre-overclocked card.

If you want to game at 2560 x 1600 you're better off looking at a GTX 285 or even GTX 295 depending on your budget. If you're gaming at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, though, the HD 4890 is a perfectly placed card.

While the HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 hasn't hit the market just yet, we should see it in the next few weeks. Of course, with the HD 5870 coming out the last thing HIS would want is their model to get put to the side as all the focus is moved to the new HD 5800 cards.

When it comes to price we should see it come out pretty aggressively, around the $200 US mark is a pretty safe bet. When you throw in the fact that HIS have chosen to include the ability to get a full version game along with offering native HDMI, the whole card is a fairly good looking package.

At 1920 x 1200 the HD 4890 offers some good performance. Chuck in the package that HIS are offering and the performance of the cooler in the noise department and we've got a really good card on our hands.

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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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