First up is the ASUS EAH4890, which features the standard reference clocks and is based off the reference design. The design looks just like a Radeon HD 4870, but the PCB is different and so is the heatsink that is found under the plastic shroud. The Radeon HD 4890 is a dual-slot card as you can see from the picture above.
The back of the ASUS Radeon HD 4890 graphics card is pretty bare since no memory chips or components happen to be located here.
AMD wanted to address the concerns that the Radeon HD 4870 series was running too warm and added an extra heat pipe to help keep the core nice and cool. The picture above shows the two heat-pipes that are found on the Radeon HD 4870 1GB on the left and then the new three heat-pipe design on the right. The Radeon HD 4890 and Radeon HD 4890 OC both feature the same three heat-pipe heat sink.
The Radeon HD 4890 has a max board power of 190 Watts, but due to improved power efficiency it should use less power at idle than a Radeon HD 4870 1GB. At full load though it will consume more as it has higher clock speeds and voltages. The Radeon HD 4870 used 160 Watts of power during peak usage in case you are wondering what the old specification was. One thing that I’d like to point out is that the new reference PCB has a spot on it for an 8-pin power connector, so I wonder if at one point AMD was planning on using a 6-pin and an 8-pin connector on this graphics card. When it comes to power supply requirements, ASUS suggests a minimum 550W system power supply with a +12V current rating of 40Amps in order to properly run a single Radeon HD 4890.
On the top of the card you will find the pair of CrossFire connectors, which allow the cards to be used in CrossFire with two cards or CrossFireX with a total of 3 or 4 graphics cards connected together. Multi-GPU technology has been around for years and is here to stay.
The ASUS Radeon HD 4890 also includes two dual-link DVI outputs and an HD TV output that can be used with the bundled dongle.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 OC is the same exact card with just a different BIOS on it that has a 50MHz higher core clock. Since there is no physical difference between the cards let’s move on!