Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Summarizing the performance of the ATI Radeon HD 4890, as it relates to AMD's previous generation HD 4870, is easy. Due to the its increased GPU core and memory clock speeds, the Radeon HD 4890 is the fastest, single-GPU powered graphics card AMD / ATI has released to date. In every test, the Radeon HD 4890 (Asus EAH4890) was faster than the 1GB Radeon HD 4870, and the overclocked 4890 (Asus EAH4890 TOP) simply increased the card's overall lead. In comparison to competing offerings from NVIDIA, the Radeon HD 4890 is faster than the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 overall, but it didn't quite keep pace with the just announced GeForce GTX 275.
Exact pricing for the various ATI Radeon HD 4890 cards that should start to become available sometime later today is yet to be nailed down. According to the most recent information we have, pricing for reference clocked standard edition Radeon HD 4890 cards should be about $249, but mail in rebates should bring the final priced down to about $229. We are still waiting to confirm what AMD's add-in board partners will be selling Radeon HD 4890 overclocked edition parts for, but we're hearing $269 is the target, with mail in rebates bringing the final price down to about $249. Considering what we've seen from the Radeon HD 4890, the cards offers a lot of bang for the buck, especially if you're the overclocking type. The RV790 GPU powering the Radeon HD 4890 looks to have plenty of frequency headroom left for overclocking, which will surely appeal to the modders out there.
It is not a completely new design, but the Radeon HD 4890 is an exciting product nonetheless. To put it simply, the Radeon HD 4890 is the fastest, single-GPU powered graphics card AMD has ever produced. And its competitive pricing and overclocking headroom should further its appeal amongst enthusiasts. It may not be the fastest card in AMD's graphics card line--that distinction still belongs to the Radeon HD 4870 X2--but could a dual-RV790 GPU based graphics card be that far out for AMD? Time will tell, of course. For now, the battle between AMD and NVIDIA rages on with a fresh pair of combatants that offer value propositions that are sure to please potential consumers.