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ASUS EAH4890 TOP w/ Super ML Capacitor

W1zzard

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#1
ASUS has sent us one of the first samples of their new EAH4890 TOP which uses a SuperML capacitor that is supposed to offer cleaner voltage resulting in better overlocking. Also this is the first card to feature a 6+8 pin PCI-Express power connector for improved voltage delivery. Last but not least, ASUS is now using a dual fan cooler with six thick heatpipes.

Show full review
 
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#2
While the card seems a bit loud and unimpressive at stock settings, I think most users of this forum would favor it for its extra features that provide stability for overclocking.

The fact that this card prices in with those who use the stock cooler, this is a no brainer if I were in the market for a 4890. It would take me probably under an hour to tweak this card to my liking.
 

Parad0x

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#3
Great job as always W1zz on the review. Curious how Sapphire's Toxic HD4890 will end up behaving in real life. On paper so far was pretty close to this ASUS.
 
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#4
I was hoping for better as well. Waiting on the Atomic!

EDIT: Btw thanks for the good review!
 
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#5
Thanks for the review! I'm surprised about a few things, the price (+), the noise (-) and the overclocking potential(-). I'd personally much rather see a card with a full cover water block than this thing. I know PowerColor is preparing a liquid cooled 4890, but - since WC is more and more popular these days - I would think there would be more companies willing to take that route, especially that the PC's card is nowhere to be seen as yet. I mean, the air cooler on this card is probably expensive, so changing it to water wouldn't bump the price that much, imo, especially when now you have to pay for both air cooler and a water block, if you want to WC.
 

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#6
That PCB looks clean as hell. Very good review, thanks for adding the OC results with the voltage upper thing too :toast:
 

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#7
I'd personally much rather see a card with a full cover water block than this thing.
how big is the enthusiast vga market vs the enthusiast watercooling market? 0.5%? probably something closer to 0.1% or even less. and not each of these persons would buy such a card.
 

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#8
Wow great review man. I'm really disappointed by this card though. I guess I expected a bit more.

Now it's time to look forward to a review of sapphires' new 4890.
 
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#9
how big is the enthusiast vga market vs the enthusiast watercooling market? 0.5%? probably something closer to 0.1% or even less. and not each of these persons would buy such a card.
You mean that only 0.1 - 0.5% of enthusiasts do watercooling? I would disagree. I mean I don't have any figures to back that up, it's just my personal feeling, but it seems too low. How much I can't tell.

Besides, I don't think (I have made a block myself, so it can't be that difficult) it takes a lot of resources to develop a waterblock for a card. And as the card is to be perceived as an overclocking monster, they could give you an option as to the cooling. You don't even need to keep high stock of these cards, just make it on backorder.

I's just my opinion. Power Color did that with 4870, they're doing it again with 4890, so there must be a market for it. Besides, sometimes a company does things to be present in the market, without that much consideration to profit (mind you, I refer to costs of developing and making a few waterblocks, not the card itself).
 

W1zzard

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#10
i doubt powercolor sold 1000 watercooled 4870s
 
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#11
i doubt powercolor sold 1000 watercooled 4870s
You're probably right, but that would just back up my last statement. And I thought Asus made a good example of that when they presented (if I'm not mistaken) a HD 3850 X3 or something. They must have spent a lot of cash on the development of that card, so coming up with a waterblock would be a trifle in comparison. Besides, I don't think Asus are gonna sell that much of these either.

Anyway, there's no point arguing about that. It's something that would definitely appeal to me, as - based on your review - both noise and performance of the cooler do not.
 

W1zzard

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#12
Besides, I don't think Asus are gonna sell that much of these either.
as i said, asus will replace all eah4890 top cards with the superml variant. educated guess is they will sell at least 20k
 
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#13
Possibly, I don't know that much about market figures. All I'm trying to say is that I don't like the cooler. If I were in the market for a 4890, I'd most likely buy this card, as it's price is really good (if indeed on par with stock 4890) and replace the cooler with a wb, which I'm sure might further increase OC potential of the card (I'd hope).

But I get it, you don't think it'd make much sense to create another sku, keep the stock at sufficient levels, etc. From the financial stand point, you're probably right. But I still think a company like this could do this, seeing that others (Power Color, Sapphire, EVGA for nVidia) do it as well.
 
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#14
Thanks for the trusted info on this card :)must say was hoping for better OC results :shadedshu :shadedshu Back to the Toxic :) Here's hoping that AMD's bin is for them ;);)
 

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#16
always pleasant to read w1zzards reviews :)


Are you ever going to add crossfire/SLI results into the mix? I'm aware it would be more work, but i'm sure people would be interested.
 

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#17
nice review, now i'm glad i didn't decide upon a Asus Top ML part, its true what Wizzard said, smoke and mirrors. I think ill go with Sapphire or Palit for the 4890.
 

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#19
# Less impressive overclocking than expected

I don't understand this minus point...

You've stated that the PowerColor was used at 1.5V which explains the 400W+ peak power draw while TOP was used at 1.312V which explains the low stock clocks... but why is it alright to compare them like that?

It did surpass the 1GHz barrier... unlike the 1.5V Powercolor!
Afterall "every single sample overclocks differently".

You need to understand that not everyone uses a BFG ES-800 800W PSU... most of us have 500W to 650W PSU and wouldn't benefit from the same stable current that an 800W PSU offers. That's what the Super ML Capacitor is for... to offer stable current under situations which are closer to reality than those in articles and not to surpass by a lot the already high 1GHz frequency!

My point of view...
 

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#20
One of the best GPU reviews you've done W1zz. Im liking the black pcb and the cooler.
 
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#21
I am shocked at those low clocks. My ASUS 4890 does 975-1100 with no voltage increase and is completely stable. The fan is set to 40% in CCC.




Validation: http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/9ncc2/
 
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#22
Has anyone askes asus what in the hell that sticker is supposed to mean.....

I got a little excited when I read up to 300% overclocking ability. :eek:

Maybe I can just buy some regular old cards and stick some 500% stickers on em and re-sell em.... dammit I will be rich!!! haahaaa
 

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#23
Has anyone askes asus what in the hell that sticker is supposed to mean.....

I got a little excited when I read up to 300% overclocking ability. :eek:

Maybe I can just buy some regular old cards and stick some 500% stickers on em and re-sell em.... dammit I will be rich!!! haahaaa
overclocks 300% better than the stock cooler!

10Mhz to 30MHz :laugh:
 
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#24
^ lol Youre right, i take it back :laugh:
 
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#25
Im debating getting one.