XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 XXX Edition Video Card Review :: Features

04-13-2009 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Ben Sun
  • 956 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Shader Model 4.1
  • 32-bit floating point texture filtering
  • Indexed cube map arrays
  • Independent blend modes per render target
  • Pixel coverage sample masking
  • Read/write multi-sample surfaces with Shaders
  • Gather4 texture fetching

Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture

  • 800 stream processing units
    • Dynamic load balancing and resource allocation for vertex, geometry, and pixel Shaders
    • Common instruction set and texture unit access supported for all types of Shaders
    • Dedicated branch execution units and texture address processors
  • 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
  • Command processor for reduced CPU overhead
  • Shader instruction and constant caches
  • Up to 160 texture fetches per clock cycle
  • Up to 128 textures per pixel
  • Fully associative multi-level texture cache design
  • DXTC and 3Dc+ texture compression
  • High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
  • Fully associative texture Z/stencil cache designs
  • Double-sided hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
  • Early Z test and Fast Z Clear
  • Lossless Z & stencil compression (up to 128:1)
  • Lossless color compression (up to 8:1)
  • Up to 8 render targets (MRTs) with anti-aliasing
  • Accelerated physics processing

Dynamic Geometry Acceleration

  • High performance vertex cache
  • Programmable tessellation unit
  • Accelerated geometry Shader path for geometry amplification
  • Memory read/write cache for improved stream output performance

Anti-aliasing features

  • Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4, or 8 samples per pixel)
  • Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA)
  • Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
  • Gamma correct
  • Super AA (ATI CrossFireX™ configurations only)
  • All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering

Texture filtering features

  • 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes (up to 128 taps per pixel)
  • 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
  • sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
  • Percentage Closer Filtering (PCF)
  • Depth & stencil texture (DST) format support
  • Shared exponent HDR (RGBE 9:9:9:5) texture format support

OpenGL 3.0 support


ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform

  • Unified Video Decoder (UVD) for H.264/AVC, VC-1, and MPEG-2 video formats
    • High definition (HD) playback of Blu-ray and HD DVD video2
    • Dual stream (HD+SD) playback support
    • DirectX Video Acceleration 1.0 & 2.0 support
    • Support for BD-Live certified applications
  • Hardware DivX and MPEG-1 video decode acceleration
    • ATI Avivo Video Post Processor1
    • Color space conversion
    • Chroma subsampling format conversion
    • Horizontal and vertical scaling
    • Gamma correction
    • Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
    • De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
    • Detail enhancement
    • Color vibrance and flesh tone correction
    • Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
    • Bad edit correction
    • Enhanced DVD upscaling (SD to HD)9
    • Automatic dynamic contrast adjustment
  • Two independent display controllers
    • Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls and video overlays for each display
    • Full 30-bit display processing
    • Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion
    • Spatial/temporal dithering provides 30-bit color quality on 24-bit and 18-bit displays
    • High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all display outputs
    • Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
    • Fast, glitch-free mode switching
    • Hardware cursor
  • Two integrated dual-link DVI display outputs
    • Each supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)3
    • Each includes a dual-link HDCP encoder with on-chip key storage for high resolution playback of protected content4
  • Two integrated 400 MHz 30-bit RAMDACs
    • Each supports analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x15363
  • DisplayPort output support
    • 24- and 30-bit displays at all resolutions up to 2560x16003
  • HDMI output support
    • All display resolutions up to 1920x10803
    • Integrated HD audio controller with support for stereo and multi-channel (up to 7.1) audio formats, including AC-3, AAC, DTS5, enabling a plug-and-play audio solution over HDMI
  • Integrated AMD Xilleon™ HDTV encoder
    • Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite)
    • Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions
    • Underscan and overscan compensation
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
    • VGA mode support on all display outputs

ATI PowerPlay™ Technology

  • Advanced power management technology for optimal performance and power savings
  • Performance-on-Demand
    • Constantly monitors GPU activity, dynamically adjusting clocks and voltage based on user scenario
    • Clock and memory speed throttling
    • Voltage switching
    • Dynamic clock gating
    • Central thermal management - on-chip sensor monitors GPU temperature and triggers thermal actions as required

ATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology

  • Scale up rendering performance and image quality with up to four GPUs
  • Integrated compositing engine
  • High performance dual channel bridge interconnect

Brand Name XFX
Part Number HD-489A-ZDD7 V1.0
Graphics Chip RV790
Core clock 900
Shader Clock 900
SPs 800
Fabrication Process 55 nm
Transistors 959 million
Memory clock 3900MHz
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory bandwidth 124.8GB/second
Memory Size 1024MB
ROPs 16
Texture Filtering Units 40
Texture Filtering Rate 36GT/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes (via adapter)
Connectors Dual DisplayPort, DVI, TV-Out
RAMDACs 400MHz
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors Dual 6-pin power

ATI's HD4890 is based upon the RV790 chip which is a new version of the RV770 chip used in the HD 4870 and HD 4850 cards launched last year. It has the same number of transistors, the same memory controller, the same number of scalar processors and the same number of texture units and ROPs. So what is different about the HD4890 and HD 4870? ATI has clocked the HD 4890 much higher compared to the HD 4870 and HD 4850.

The card is based upon the 55 nanometer process technology from TSMC. ATI has improved the yields of the new card so that the chip will be clocked at 900MHz for the XFX card compared to the 750MHz for the standard reference 4870 card from last year. Power consumption is also improved, with 190W power compared to the 160W power required for the 750MHz HD 4870 cards. Here's a chart comparing the HD 4850, the HD 4870 and the HD 4890 cards:


Card XFX Radeon HD 4850 XFX Radeon HD 4870 XFX Radeon HD 4890 Standard XFX HD 4890 XT XFX HD 4890 XT
# of transistors 956million 956 million 956 million 956 million 956 million
SPs 800 800 800 800 800
Clock Speed 625MHz 750MHz 850MHz 875MHz 900MHz
Memory Clock 1980MHz (990x2) 3600MHz (900x4) 3900MHz (975MHzx4) 3900MHz (975MHzx4) 3900MHz (975MHzx4)
GFLOPs 1000 1200 1360 1440 1440
Texture units 40 40 40 40 40
ROPs 16 16 16 16 16
Memory and type 512MB GDDR3 512MB/1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5
Memory bandwidth 64GB/s 115.2GB/s 125GB/s 125GB/s 125GB/s
Memory interface 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Process 55nm 55nm 55nm 55nm 55nm
Power Consumption peak 110 160 190 190 190
Price online $130 $215 $229.99 $244.99 Not available yet

As you can see there are still XFX cards based upon the older cards available online. The differences are the standard is the reference clocked card, the XT is clocked slightly higher, the XXX Edition is clocked higher than the XT and the Black Edition cards are the highest clocked cards from their speed bins. Note the similarity between the cards indicating a choice between them depending on how much you want to spend.