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HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB GDDR5
Written by Scott Harness   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 00:00
thumb HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 1GB GDDR5Cheap and Cheerful usually means low in value and nasty when it comes to PC tech, but this HIS 4890 card manages to offer a lot for a relatively low price.

Everyone loves a bargain. And with the release of the 5xxx series cards, the older generation cards are being sold off quite cheaply. Pretty much anything from the 48xx line up is relatively speaking, quite cheap now, and we are seeing the usual shake up in designs as manufacturers are moving stock.

The 48xx series of cards are a fantastic series, and without anything definitive to show off DX11 as yet, then most folks are not going to miss out on anything by not buying a 5xxx card just yet. have a new 4890 card added to their catalogue; the  HD 4890 iCooler x4 Native HDMI 1GB GDDR5. Sporting the big black obsidian (well, plastic) cooler and promising low temperatures and low noise levels, we had to take a look at this now cheap alternative to a top end 5xxx series.


Model Name
HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 (Full HD 1080p) Native HDMI 1GB (256bit) GDDR5 Dual Link-DVI / VGA / HDMI (HDCP) PCIe (RoHS)
Radeon HD 4800 PCIe Series
Pixel Pipelines
800 stream processing units* (Unified)
Vertex Engines
800 stream processing units* (Unified)
Memory Size
Manu. Process
Memory Type
Engine CLK
Memory CLK
Memory Interface
Max. Resolution
1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)
Bus Interface
PCI Express x16
Power Requirements
500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
1x VGA, 1x DVI, 1x (Native) HDMI


box_box1 box_box2 box_box3

The box for the HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 Native HDMI 1GB GDDR5 is very compact and ... plain is the wrong word; pure would perhaps be better. A white background with images of ice flows, and of course the pertinent information on the front, and extended information on the back. Inside we have a white box with a cut out showing off the card inside. This cut out however, is only seen once you open the box.

box_contents1 box_contents2 box_contents3

Included with the HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 Native HDMI 1GB GDDR5 is the card itself, a coupon to download the Stormrise game, a Crossfire bridge connector, an HIS mini folder with the driver disk and manual and two Power adapters. The software disk has more than just the driver (Windows 7 compaitble driver) but also has the BumpTop 3D desktop software as well. The power adapters are of two different kinds; the first is the regular two 4 pin Molex to one 6 pin PCIe and the second is a two 4 pin Molex to one 8 pin PCIe. Yes, this card uses an 8 pin PCIe connector, although I've successfully run the card with two 6 pin connectors. YMMV.

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The card itself is very ominous looking with its big black glossy cooling setup which is highly reflective (and prone to gathering dust thanks to static cling). The transparent blue fins on the fan are curved and help provide greater airflow with less noise to the heatpipe cooler.

card_ramunder1 card_power1

At the rear of the card we can see the aforementioned PCIe power connectors. Again, I've run the card with two 6 pin adapters but you may find you need to use an 8 pin, and of course the 8 pin would be preferable if you're overclocking. The ram at the rear of the card is covered by a black heatsink which can be seen under the overhang of the cooler.

card_back1 card_ramsink1

The back of the card is pretty uneventful but there is a matching heatsink for the ram on this side of the card. The IO panel sports three different ports; a DVI-I port, a VGA port and a native HDMI port.


Testing the HIS HD 4890 iCooler x4 Native HDMI 1GB GDDR5 consists of putting it through it's paces in a few games and also seeing how far we can overclock it. For comparison, I'm using a 4870 1GB card and the 5770. Obviously the 4890 is going to be the faster card here, but the other 2 cards sit in the same sort of area for price currently and will give us a reference to compare how much of a difference there is.

Test Setup: Intel Core 2 Duo 6420 @ 3.00GHz, 4GB of OCZ PC2-6400 Ram @ 900MHz, Asus Blitz Formula, Maxtor Diamondmax 10 7200 250GB HDD, Asetek Waterchill Watercooling, Hyper Type M 730w PSU. All latest drivers as of October 2009 and the OS is Windows 7 RC1.


Left 4 Dead – Recording a custom demo on the No Mercy – Sewers level (outside in the rain), we used FRAPS to record frame rates as we played back the demo on all cards at same settings.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars – ETQW gives us our OpenGL test results as we run through a recorded demo on the Slipgate level. Settings for all cards were the same.

Racedriver: GRID – Grid has some very good looking visuals. We used FRAPS as we took a Skyline for a test drive around the Ring. Settings for each card were set to highest possible for that card.

Batman: Arkham Asylum - This is a new game to our testing, and we used FRAPS along with the games inbuilt benchmark to gather our scores. The benchmark itself only lasts for 90 seconds or so, which means the last 30 seconds of our results are while sitting in the menu looking at the results, but things are equal across all cards tested. Settings are at highest for each card.

Assassin's Creed – We headed for the nearest tower from the bureau roof in Acre and repeatedly climbed to the top. With 2 leaps of faith and a good look of the city from on high, we once again used FRAPS to record our framerates. Settings for each card were set to highest possible for that card.

Crysis Warhead – We used the Framebuffer benchmark tool to run through the Ambush demo and recorded the results with FRAPS. Settings for each card were set to highest possible for that card.

Devil May Cry 4 (Benchmark) – DMC4's benchmark provides a nice way of testing that anyone can do. Results are all from the benchmark itself, and include average frame rates as well as 4 graphs for each level tested. Settings for all cards were the same.

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