As things stand now, we are coming to an end of an era for graphics cards. The RV700-class GPU, introduced almost exactly a year ago in the form of the Radeon HD 4850 and HD 4870, has brought ATI back into game after a long period in the wilderness. ATI graphics cards were competitive again, and even if NVIDIA would not openly admit it, we like to think the guys in green were a bit taken aback by just how good the Radeon HD 4800 series was.
Fast forward to today, and we are coming to the end of the Radeon HD 4800 series' shelf life. If all goes well, we should expect the new RV800-class GPUs to make their debut later this year before Christmas. Of course, the same goes for NVIDIA's new G300 series GPUs. But before the older Radeon HD 4800 cards take their bow and make their grand exit, there is time still for one last hurrah, and it is coming from none other than one of ATI's most committed vendors, Sapphire.
This is the Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890. As its name suggest, it employs vapor chamber cooling technology. Without going into much detail, vapor chamber technology is a method of cooling that promises faster heat transfer by the means of liquid vaporization and condensation. To our knowledge, Sapphire is the only major vending that employs vapor chamber technology in their graphics card and it should be intriguing to see how it stands up against conventional coolers.
Let's get on with the review proper then, shall we?