Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 2G GDDR5 Review :: Features

07-31-2009 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun
  • 800 SPs
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • 2GB GDDR5 memory
  • Factory overclocked at 870MHz
  • Sapphire Patent Pending Black Diamond Choke
  • Quiet and Powerful Dual Slot Vapor-Chamber Cooler, Under dBA in 2D Operation, under 30 dBA in 3D Operation below 85 degrees C
  • Solid Capacitors
  • 24x Custom Filter Anti-aliasing and high performance anisotropic filtering
  • DirectX 10.1 support
  • Dynamic geometry acceleration
  • Game Physics processing capability
  • ATI Avivo HD video and display technology
  • Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) for Blu-ray and HD Video
  • Accelerated Video Transcoding (AVT)
  • DVD Upscaling
  • Dynamic Contrast
  • Built-in HDMI with 7.1 surround sound support
  • Dynamic power management with ATI PowerPlay Technology
  • ATI Stream technology

System Requirements

  • PCI Express based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available
  • 500 Watt or greater PSU with a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCI Express power connector (600W or greater with two 6-pin and two 8-pin power connectors for CrossfireX dual cards)
  • 1GB of system memory
  • Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
  • DVD Playback requires DVD drive
  • Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Playback requires Blu-Ray/HD-DVD drive
  • For a complete ATI CrossfireX system, a second ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card, an ATI CrossfireX Ready motherboard and one ATI CrossfireX Bridge Interconnect cable per board are required.

Brand NameSapphire
Part NumberVapor-X HD 4890 2GB GDDR5
Graphics ChipRV790 XT
Core clock870MHz
Shader Clock870MHz
Fabrication Process55nm
Transistors956 Million
Memory clock 4.2GHz effective
Memory bus256-bit
Memory bandwidth134.4GB/second
Memory Size2048MB
Texture Filtering Units40
Texture Filtering Rate32.4Gigatexels/second
HDCP SupportYes
HDMI SupportYes
ConnectorsDual Link DVI, HDMI, VGA,
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor ATX
Power Connectors 2x 6-pin power

Vapor-X works in a similar manner to heatpipe technology. A liquid coolant is vaporized at a hot surface, the resulting vapor is condensed at a cold surface then the liquid is returned to that hot surface. The recirculation process is controlled by a wick system. The Vapor-X system on the HD 4890 card is contained on the plate covering the graphics chip.

The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 has a large plate that is mounted on top of the graphics chip which contains the wicks that the Vapor-X technology uses inside. On top of that plate is an aluminum heatsink/fan combination to cool the entire assembly down. Two thermal pads on the top and side cool the memory chips on the card down. A heatsink covers the VRM chips, while another L-shaped heatsink covers the rear 1GB of memory. This system effectively cools the entire card.

The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 card is based upon ATI's RV790 XT chip. This chip has 800 Stream Processors and is built upon TSMC's 55nm process. The main feature of this chip includes full support for Microsoft's DirectX 10.1, which ATI supports but only some mobile NVIDIA chips support at the moment. DirectX 10.1 support in games is few and far between at the moment, but more are coming. ATI has already shown their Evergreen chips with support for DirectX 11, but they are not announced yet.

System requirements for this video card are listed above. Note a couple of things. 1. I would strongly recommend a solid 600W PSU for one of these HD 4890 cards. ATI has a list of Certified Power Supplies on their website. 2. I would strongly recommend at least 2GB of RAM on the system with a 2GB video card so proper usage of the card is not held back by inadequate system RAM. 3. The card requires an 8-pin and a 6-pin power connector.

ATI calls their multi-graphics card solution CrossfireX. Up to four ATI graphics cards can be used together with bridges to improve performance in games and applications that support them. The components required include a motherboard that supports Crossfire (Intel X58, X48, P45, AMD chipsets), two to four ATI video cards, and bridges to connect the top of the cards with. You can install four Sapphire Vapor-X 2GB video cards on the same system, but be aware that your video cards will likely have more memory than your system.