Rumour: Radeon HD 4890 coming in April

Written by Ben Hardwidge

February 16, 2009 // 11:48 a.m.

Tags: #40nm #4890 #55nm #clock #hd #pcb #radeon #rv790 #speed #vrm

Companies: #amd

In a bid to take on the threat from Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 285, the rumour mill reports that AMD is planning to release a new single-GPU graphics card in April called the Radeon HD 4890.

Tech gossip site VR-Zone claims to have spoken to a source with a sample of the GPU, who says that it will be based on the RV790 core, and will feature a core clock speed of 850MHz and a GDDR5 memory clock speed of 975MHz (3.9GHz effective).

The site also reports that two versions of the GPU will be released as standard – a standard edition and an overclocked edition. The former is apparently due to be released in mid April, with the latter arriving in a future month.

As a point of comparison, a standard Radeon HD 4870 has a GPU clock speed of 750MHz and an effective GDDR5 memory clock speed of 3.6GHz. The site also claims that the GPU will have a comparatively high operating voltage of 1.3V, but makes no mention of an increase in the number of stream processors or texture units, meaning that the GPU would just offer a hike in clock speeds.

When we first looked at the Radeon HD 4870, we noticed that there were two spare solder pads next to the card’s Vitec 59PR9853 multi-phase inductor, which regulates the voltage of the GPU, so a larger VRM could be installed on an existing RV770 PCB to accommodate a new GPU with a higher voltage.

This would tie in with other reports on the Web that say that AMD is working on a product to fill the gap between the current 55nm RV770 and the future 40nm RV870 core, sticking with the same 55nm fabrication technology as the former. If the RV790 is a 55nm that’s pin-compatible with RV770, then it would be easy enough for board partners to use the existing PCB and slot in a new VRM and GPU. VR-Zone claims that the Radeon HD 4890 is due to be priced at around $299 US (£241.13) when it’s launched.

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