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Is there anything we can do to help out without spending much cash on our side?
Tell NVIDIA and their different AIB partners (eVGA, ASUS, MSI, BFG Tech, et al) that you are a customer that uses Linux and would appreciate Linux benchmarks and more information on their products, through channels like Phoronix.com.
Basically fglrx is a joke, but R600+ has got no 3d support in mesa at all currently, not even enough for compiz. You can at least watch videos with xv on Nvidia and when you disable composite (maybe a bit stupid restriction) then you get vdpau h264 video accelleration too (tearfree without composite).
Simple mistake here on the second page; idle power for the 4890 should be 60 watts not 160 watts if we go by the statistics on the slides on the first page.
Anyways, great review on this just-released card! I was so shocked and happy to see my RSS feed show an article from you guys on the 4890 on the day of the official release. This was a very thorough guide and review. I find it very important because I am deeply considering purchasing an ATI Radeon 4890.
The page you linked to was measuring total system power consumption at the outlet, not just the power usage of the card. That 160W idle was for the video card, cpu, motherboard, hard drive, AC/DC conversion losses, etc.