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ATI Radeon 4890 and NVIDIA GTX 275 Graphics Review


by Stuart Davidson - 2nd April 2009
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Final Words and Conclusion


Asus Radeon 4890 1GB

The Asus 4890 is an impressive product on a variety of levels. From the moment we take the card from the package it is clear that Asus are keen to impress and the extras such as a leather mouse mat certainly create a good first impression.

When analysing the performance of the hardware there are occasions when it can be  outperformed by the GTX 275, however Asus do provide us with additional flexibility courtesy of SmartDoctor. This software allows us to increase the core voltage of the graphics card and as a result achieve excellent overclocking results which bring increased performance. This voltage increase is covered by the fantastic Asus warranty.


Available from NovaTech - £229.99
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Sapphire Radeon 4890 1GB
When purchasing a Sapphire product we know that the build quality will be first class and the 4890 thankfully makes no break with tradition. Throughout our testing the card performed perfectly and in terms of bundled extras it is hard to fault. When we compare the 4890 to the 4870 there are numerous tests where the 4890 shows good performance increases over the older part and those on older or lower specification products really should have this model on their short-list for a possible future upgrade.

Sapphire are also offering a faster clocked version of the reference 4890 we received today for testing, we unfortunately didn't have one for review but we are positive it will be around the same performance as the XFX model.


Available from NovaTech - £224.24
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XFX
Radeon 4890 1GB
A few months ago XFX entered the ATI marketplace with a range of Radeon 4000 series products and while the hardware was impressive we commented at the time that the overall package was a little rough around the edges. We hoped with this launch that XFX had time to refine their ATI products and it is clear with the 4890 XXX that they have. The product arrives in a very stylish box with all the cables and connectors an enthusiast would require. They supply a high quality free game with the bundle and the card is the fastest 4890 we have tested thanks to an increased core speed over the other reference models tested today. At this point there really is nothing in the 4890 market to beat the XFX XXX, though you will pay a premium for such an impressive product


Available from CCL
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GeForce GTX 275
It is clear from the performance figures achieved by the GTX 275 that it is a very desirable product. Throughout our testing the card was often leading the pack and regularly produced higher minimum framerates than the competition. CUDA/GPU computing continues to impress us and new additions such as vReveal detail just how useful and flexible the GeForce GPU can be. The one issue we found with the card was a reasonably high load temperature but we expect this to be resolved with retail cards.

Providing Nvidia and their partners can bring this card to market in a timely manner and at the price level indicated to us they should have a very popular product on their hands and one that it is hard not to recommend.

EDIT: After publication Nvidia have informed us the 275 cards are already available.
 

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