The video card market will change again in a few short months as it always seems to do with the release of a new Microsoft operating system and DirectX 11. The last major shift came about with the release of Microsoft Windows Vista and DirectX 10.0 which required a new interface and did not work in Windows XP. Today, virtually every video card sold is based upon DirectX 10.0 or 10.1 in the case of ATI cards and a few NVIDIA mobile parts.
ATI launched the HD 4870 in the summer of last year to a lot of praise due to its high performance, feature set and reasonable cost. They chose to have their HD 4870 compete against NVIDIA's GTX 260 while their HD 4870 x2 dual chip card competed against NVIDIA's high-end, the GTX 280. ATI generally releases new cards every 6-9 months on the high-end of things and the replacement for the HD 4870 was the HD 4890 which was a higher clocked card on the same chip basically as the HD 4870. Today I'm taking a look at the Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 2G GDDR5 card.