Motherboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum ( Provided by: MSI );
Processor: Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme edition at 3.6GHz ( Provided by: Intel );
Memory: Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 ( Provided by: Corsair);
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM ( Provided by: SmoothCreation );
Vista 32 SP1
The difference between the XFX’s overclocked card and the reference Radeon HD 4890 is almost 6%, but it wasn’t enough to strike our chord. Overclocked to 1GHz, XFX’s HD 4890 Black Edition has 17% higher core clock than the reference HD 4890. However, the following tests prove that 17% better performance is by no means impossible.
XFX HD 4890 Black Edition managed to score 5493 in Vantage at extreme settings, which is 17% better than the reference card’s result of 4682.
FarCry 2 likes the XFX HD 4890 Black Edition card as it scores about 11% better than the reference HD 4890. Compared to the “green team” where we used Gainward GTX 275’s results, ATI’s GPU runs much better at high resolutions with antialiasing off, whereas turning on antialiasing results in Gainward winning by only 1fps or 2% better score at 2560x1600.
This game seems to like ATI. We enabled DirectX 10.1 support, helping the HD 4890 Black Edition to score 47fps with antialiasing on at 2560x1600, which is an excellent result. XFX’s card beats the reference one by 12%.
Left 4 Dead
In Left4Dead, XFX’s card scores 10-14% better results than the reference card does. With the resolution going higher, the Geforce GTX 275 came closer and closer to XFX’s card but it never beats it. The reference Radeon card couldn’t handle Gainward’s GTX 275.
World in Conflict
World in Conflict turned out to be an obstacle that Radeon cards couldn’t handle better than Geforce ones. XFX HD 4890 Black Edition however, still runs better than the reference HD 4890, this time with 11% better results.
The new XFX card, Radeon HD 4890 Black Edition runs at 1GHz, a speed which has once been an overclocker’s dream whereas today it’s just a matter of simply choosing an overclocked HD 4890 Black Edition. XFX bundles it with the HAWX gift-game so it’s the entire DX10.1 package priced under €185,-. The card will of course enable playing all the newer titles at standard or high resolutions.
Appearance-wise, the XFX HD 4890 Black Edition looks very much like the rest of the HD 4890 or HD 4870 pack, meaning the cooling is still reference. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite what we’d like as the HD 4890 gets pretty loud. Of course, you can regulate rpms, but in order to keep the temperatures down at 1GHz, the fan has to spin fast.
Compared to the HD 4870 card, the new HD 4890 Black Edition runs 250MHz faster, whereas compared to the HD 4890, the Black Edition runs 150MHz or 17% more. XFX’s performance is excellent, and a couple of tests has seen 17% better results, or 12% in average. Another good thing about this card is its 1024MB of GDDR5 memory, which will help with results at higher resolutions.
XFX Radeon HD 4890 Black Edition is a gamer's card and we’d recommend it to anyone who wants the best, and doesn’t care about noise that much.