Asus EAH4890 and HD4890TOP
The boxes these two cards ship in look almost the same. They differ only by the graphics adapter model name and a few insignificant details. Both are designed in red-orange color scheme with a knight on a horse raised on its hind legs. The knight and some other design elements are glossy and embossed while the rest of the box is matt. It looks pretty attractive, although a little commonplace.
The front of both boxes contains only the basic info about the product, such as type and size of installed memory (the type is actually marked as DDR5 and GDDR5 at the same time). As we have already said, this funny mistake is pretty popular among graphics card makers. But while DDR3 and GDDR3 are really two different memory types and mentioning one of them instead of the other can really confuse an inexperienced user, then DDR5 simply doesn’t exist.
The internal structure of the packaging is pretty interesting. If you remove the bright but pretty common-looking external cover, you will see a black box made of thick rigged cardboard with golden embossed lettering.
In my opinion, this box would look much more appealing and rich on the store shelves. Inside there is a rich-looking folder with some accessories, such as disks and a user manual. There is a tray made of polyurethane foam beneath it that holds the graphics card very securely. And the bundled cables and adapters are all placed in a small side section of it. Both cards come with the same exact accessories. Here they are:
- DVI-I → D-Sub adapter;
- DVI-I → HDMI adapter;
- S-Video → RCA adapter;
- YPbPr splitter;
- 2x4-pin Molex → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter;
- CrossFire bridge;
- Asus SpeedSetup installation guide;
- CD disk with drivers and utilities;
- CD disk with full electronic version of the user’s manual;
- DVD disk with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky game;
- Mouse pad with Asus logo.
I have to say that this is a pretty rich accessories set for sub-$250 graphics adapters. The bundle has everything you might ever need, except the second 2x4-pin Molex → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter. However, most contemporary power supply units are equipped with at least one 6-pin graphics card connector anyway, so the owners of the new Radeon HD 4890 are very unlikely to ever need a second adapter. We were a little surprised to see a full set of adapters supporting outdated analogue video output standards, however, some users may actually need them. So, we should definitely give Asus due credit for being so farsighted.
One of the bonuses for the potential customers is the well-known S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky game, which is currently one of the games used to test contemporary graphics cards performance. Another bonus deserves a special mention. It is a mouse pad made of brown imitation leather on porous rubber base that is stitched along the perimeter with coarse thread. It is very nice to the touch. Our Logitech Revolution MX mouse worked perfectly fine on it. Although it is not a serious gaming mouse pad also because it is pretty small in size, it will fit perfectly for everyday use. Besides, it looks very nice.
The disk with the drivers contains Asus GamerOSD and SmartDoctor utilities. The former is very similar to a well-known Fraps, but besides monitoring the performance, taking screenshots and recording gaming videos, GamerOSD allows overclocking GPUs and adjusting brightness and contrast on the fly, without quitting the game.
Another utility called Asus SmartDoctor provides more advanced overclocking options:
On EAX4890 graphics cards it allows not only adjusting GPU and memory frequencies, but also increasing the graphics processor voltage. The maximum voltage you can set is 1.45V, which should be more than enough for most overclockers. However, even this official software voltmod doesn’t eliminate the possibility of the graphics card failure in overclocked mode. Therefore, you should be very careful with this SmartDoctor function.
It is hard to tell who the winner is in this first round, but if we take into account only the package and accessories bundle, Asus EAX4890 graphics cards seem to be a little more attractive, in our opinion, than the solutions from EVGA and Zotac. But this is just a preliminary conclusion on one specific aspect. Let’s move on to the PCB design and features.