Both the Radeon HD 4890 and the GeForce GTX 275 are great graphics cards that are clearly better than the previous generation cards that they have replaced. The price versus performance value is high on both of these cards and for someone that has ~$250 to spend you’ll find that you can’t go wrong with either card.
When it comes to the Radeon HD 4890 it is hands down the fastest single-GPU graphics card that AMD has ever produced. It performs significantly better than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB and runs cooler and uses less power at idle. There really is not much bad to say about the card as it is also priced lower than the GeForce GTX 275. Add in the fact that it has already proven itself to be an overclocking monster with a core clock frequency of nearly 1GHz with the stock cooler and no voltage adjustments you have a clear winner for all the Radeon fans out there. It should also scare some of the NVIDIA fans out there as it was overall faster than the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 and even the GeForce GTX 275 in a couple of the benchmarks. Just think if AMD were to update the Radeon HD 4870 X2 with a pair of these RV790 chips!
The GeForce GTX 275 was also a fantastic card to benchmark and game on from the short period of time we had with it. NVIDIA gave us the public Forceware 185.65 drivers less than six hours before the launch of the GeForce GTX 275, so it was a mad dash to re-test all the benchmarks to make sure you have the best data to make a purchase decision. Speaking of drivers, the new Forceware Release 185 drivers are pretty slick as not only do they feature performance optimizations, but they also introduce new features like Ambient Occlusion. Ambient Occlusion is being used in a number of game titles like Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. and it is a feature that improves the eye candy in games. The Forceware 185 drivers also have improved texture management in DirectX 10, Z-culling efficiency, AA compression performance, and enhanced SLI scaling, especially in Valve Software Source-based game engines. That said, the GeForce GTX 275 was a great card and in the majority of the benchmarks it was faster than the Radeon HD 4890 and the Radeon HD 4890 OC, which is impressive. With an MSRP of $249 it might just be worth waiting for as it won’t be hitting store shelves till April 14th, 2009.
Legit Bottom Line: This battle is too close to call, but that doesn’t matter as the consumer wins no matter which card they pick.