Authour: Steve 'SSXeon' Dikes
Editor: Charles 'Lupine' Oliver
Date: September 7th, 2009
AMD, with a big assist from the supply & demand formula, saw the issues with the HD2900XT, and made the changes that ultimately resulted in the HD3870, correcting that which was wrong with the 2900XT - namely power consumption, efficiency and cost. Building upon the HD3xxx series success, AMD once again used their tried & true 55nm process and introduced the heavy hitting the RV770 series - AKA HD4850, HD4870, and HD4870x2 and, most recently, the HD4890.
As we look forward to the upcoming launch of AMD's next generation parts, we're going take a parting look at their reining graphics card, the Radeon HD 4890 1GB. Additionally, we will take this opportunity to look at performance between three different driver releases: Catalyst 9.4, 9.6, and 9.8 and investigate the new UI differences introduced with the latest driver set.
The newest high-end addition the the AMD GPU family is the Radeon HD4890, but what differentiates it from the HD4870? First, it has 100MHz faster core clock; second, 300MHz faster GDDR5 memory speed. AMD accomplished this by adding "decoupling capacitors" around the perimeter of the die, allowing the card to achieve these higher clocks. This new method adds three million transistors to the core and, even though it doesn't seem much, its well worth the core bump for just this relatively minor change in the core design.
The decoupling capacitors around the die
The User Interface has changed since the last driver set and, like any change, some might not like it much even though its practically the same. All the features are there that were in the previous driver sets, its just a bit different visually. Change aversion aside, we find that the updated interface is cleaner and just looks nicer.
9.6 on the left, 9.8 on the right, not really different
9.6 on the left, 9.8 on the right, 9.8 is definitely prettier
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