The Vaporizer - Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 2GB GDDR5

The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 2GB GDDR5

The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 2GB GDDR5

As you would expect, the Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 comes factory-overclocked, but only midly. Its core clock speeds have received a 20MHz bump from 850MHz to 870MHz, whereas memory clock speeds have been improved more significantly to 4200MHz DDR as compared to a stock card's 3900MHz DDR. It should be noted that these clock speeds are bit on the conservative side, considering the overclocked Sapphire HD 4890 that we've reviewed earlier this year came clocked by default at 900MHz at the core and 3900MHz DDR at the memory. Given the superior cooling technology on this card, we expected more. Still, this should give us some boost in performance.

Aside from the increased clock speeds, the Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 is also one of the few Radeon HD 4890 cards to come with 2GB of framebuffer. To be honest, we are not sure if today's applications will be able to make full use of the full 2GB of video memory, and we doubt it will offer any substantial increase in performance over cards with a 'mere' 1GB of framebuffer. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

On the surface, the Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 doesn't look like much, but it is what's underneath that matters.

The vapor chamber base covers the entire GPU as well as the memory chips. Only eight of the 16 memory chips are cooled via vapor chamber technology though, the other eight are located on the opposite side of the PCB and are kept cool by traditional cooling fins.

The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 comes with a healthy number of video output options, apart from the usual DVI and VGA outputs, it also sports a DisplayPort and a HDMI port.

Unlike most Radeon HD 4890 cards which require two 6-pin PCIe connector to power up, the Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 needs both 8 and 6-pin PCIe power connectors to juice itself up. It is recommended that you have a PSU rated for at least 500W.