PowerColor Liquid Cooled Radeon HD 4890 LCS

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The Card

PowerColor's HD 4890 LCS, or Liquid Cooling Solution, replaces the plastic shroud and heatsink / fan assembly with a copper waterblock that acts as the heat transfer mechanism.

       

The HD 4890 LCS GPU (AX4890 1GBD5-WH) offers a core clock of 900MHz and memory clock at 1000MHz. It features 1GB of GDDR5 memory with a 256-bit interface. In addition, the videocard supports DX 10.1 and is PCIE 2.0 capable. Dual CrossFire connectors along the top edge of the PCB allows for multiple card CrossFireX configurations.

    

There's no mistaking who makes the waterblock. Along with the PowerColor name, we find an EK Waterblocks logo engraved on the Acetal top. Since EK is one of the most highly regarded waterblock makers in the scene, its encouraging to see them team up with companies to help provide pre-installed, liquid GPU cooling. The copper base offers ample thermal transfer to the heat producing chips and produces cooler operating temps and potentially higher overclocks. Weighing in at 1.67 lbs (760 g), the block has four openings with G1/4 threads. One inlet and outlet contributes to lower flow restriction and minimizes pressure drop within the cooling loop. 

    

With the waterblock removed, its easy to see that the videocard sports the reference design, red PCB with dual 6-pin PCI Express power connectors. Furthermore, eight Quimonda GDDR5 memory chips flank the 55nm RV790 GPU. A look at the PCI bracket reveals two dual link DVI connections with an HDTV out located between them. The use of a waterblock eliminates the need for a dual slot bracket with fan exhaust grills, however, so a single slot bracket would have made much more sense here.  

    

Included with the HD 4890 LCS is an accessory bundle that makes the installation a simple affair. There is a quick install guide, driver disc, CrossFire bridge connector, HDTV output cable, DVI-to-HDMI adapter, DVI-to-VGA adapter, and S-Video-to-Composite adapter. PowerColor did well to include a set of 1/2" and 3/8" fittings with corresponding hose clamps. Considering this card is liquid-cooled,we were hoping to find an enthusiast-friendly overclocking utility on the disc other than the one built into ATI's drivers, but came away empty handed.

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