As mentioned, our review sample is made by XFX but apart from the XFX sticker it is exactly the same as any other HD 4890 so can be considered a reference model. Unfortunately we didn't receive a fully boxed retail sample so we can't vouch for the accessories/extras you get. However, we've been informed that retails versions of the card will include a full copy of the Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X arcade flight sim game. Also included in the box will be a CrossFire bridge, a 6-pin to 4-pin power adapter, DVI to VGA and a DVI to HDMI dongles, an HDTV component adapter, and the all important XFX door hanger. All XFX cards are covered by a two year warranty.
Now, I'm sure most of you are aware that today was also the launch date (though very limited stock is available) for nVidia's new card at this price range, the GeForce GTX 275. Unfortunately, we only received our card this morning so rather than shoehorn the two cards in together for a head to head, we've stuck to our schedule and will compare the HD 4890 to existing cards. Then tomorrow we'll follow up with a full review of the GTX 275 and compare these two very evenly matched cards directly.
As for those existing cards, well there's such a price gap, both above and below, the HD 4870 and GTX 260 that these are really the only major competition for the new HD 4890 so that's what we've kept our comparisons to.
* Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition
* Asus P6T motherboard
* 3 x 1GB Qimonda IMSH1GU03A1F1C-10F PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM
* 150GB Western Digital Raptor
* Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
* ATI HD 4890
* ATI HD 4870
* nVidia GeForce GTX 260
* ATI HD 4890 - Beta Driver
* Other ATI cards - Catalyst 9.2
* nVidia cards - 182.08
* Race Driver: GRID
* Call of Duty 4
* Counter-Strike: Source