AMD Radeon HD 4890 On Linux
For this launch-day article we were sent an ASUS Radeon HD 4890 1GB graphics card by AMD. Various other AIB partners of ATI/AMD will also be introducing their Radeon HD 4890 products today including Gigabyte, HIS, PowerColor, Sapphire, and XFX. One of the prominent features for this ASUS RV790 graphics card is VoltageTweak, which allows the GPU core voltage to be manipulated while overclocking in order to offer enhanced capabilities.
We have seen the box artwork from the various ATI/AMD partners for the Radeon HD 4890, and so far, no Tux logo has been found. Likewise, we have not heard of any companies that will be shipping the Linux drivers on their product CD/DVDs. Going back to the RV770 launch, we were told by AMD representatives that AIB partners would begin showing Tux on some product packaging and perhaps include their Catalyst Linux driver on the installation CD, but to date we have yet to come across that with any Radeon HD 4000 series hardware.
The Radeon HD 4890 reference design uses a dual-slot cooler and does not look that different from a Radeon HD 4870. The fan on this cooler uses a 4-pin connector and its speed dynamically adjusts based upon the GPU load and temperature, just like the Radeon HD 4870 reference cooling system.
Again, similar to the RV770, the RV790 requires two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors. The maximum board power consumption for the Radeon HD 4890 is 190 Watts while it should idle at around 60 Watts. The Radeon HD 4870 had a maximum power consumption of 160 Watts, but it idled at 90 Watts.
Up to four Radeon HD 4890 graphics cards can be paired together for a CrossFireX configuration with the two CrossFire connectors on this graphics card. However, the Catalyst Linux drivers continue to only support up to two graphics cards for this multi-GPU rendering feature.
The display connectors on the ASUS Radeon HD 4890 1GB graphics card include two dual-link DVI and a TV output. For those interested in connecting an RV790 graphics card to an HDMI display, the included DVI adapter can be used, and like the other R600/700 GPUs, there remains an integrated audio component.