Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Introducing The Radeon R7 240 And 250

Radeon R7 240 And 250: Our Sub-$100 Gaming Card Round-Up
By

While the Radeon R7 240 and 250 are new in the retail space, they've been available to OEMs for a year as the Radeon HD 8570 and 8670, respectively. Both cards are based on the Oland GPU. Although the graphics processor does support higher clock rates through PowerTune with Boost, it's considered a first-gen GCN-based GPU and does not offer any of the features introduced with the Radeon R9 290-series cards, such as TrueAudio, precision improvements to the native LOG and EXP operations, or optimizations to the Masked Quad Sum of Absolute Difference (MQSAD).

As the Radeon R7 240, AMD's Oland Pro is limited to five of the GPU's six available Compute Units, each with 64 shaders and four texture units. Do the math and you get 320 total shaders and 20 TMUs. Two ROP partitions are capable of processing eight operations per cycle. Additionally, a pair of 64-bit dual-channel memory controllers yield a 128-bit aggregate pathway. This is the smallest we've ever seen Graphics Core Next scaled down, so I'm personally curious to see how it'll compare to previous-gen parts like the Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 with 480 VLIW5 shaders.

In fact, comparing the Radeon R7 240's 730 MHz base and 780 MHz peak clock rates to the Radeon HD 6670 DDR3's 800 MHz frequency should shed some light on how much more (or less) efficient GCN is next to VLIW5 (which we already know was not as efficient as VLIW4). A 128-bit memory bus laden with 900 MHz DDR3 memory is used on both cards, so memory bandwidth is identical.

The Radeon R7 250 comes equipped with an uncut version of the GPU, called Oland XT. All six of its Compute Units are operational, exposing 384 shaders and 24 TMUs. The back-end is unchanged; you still get two ROP partitions and a 128-bit memory interface. So, overall, there's not a ton of difference between the two GPUs. The Radeon R7 250 has other advantages, though. Its core operates at 1000 MHz and can accelerate up to 1050 MHz under the right thermal conditions. Manufacturers can also choose to arm it with GDDR5 memory. I'd even go so far as to say avoid models with DDR3, since they sell for close to the same price.

Perhaps you noticed that the Radeon R7 250 sounds a lot like the Radeon HD 7730, a card based on a cut-down Bonaire GPU with the same number of CUs, shaders, and ROP partitions. The Radeon HD 7730 runs at 800 MHz though, and the GDDR5-based version sports memory operating 25 MHz slower. We're including it in our benchmarks for comparison.

XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition

XFX provided two Radeon R7 240 samples. Both are able to accelerate up to 780 MHz under the right conditions and feature 2 GB of 800 MHz DDR3. Also, they're based on the same half-height 7" x 2.75" PCB. The only functional difference between them concerns cooling; one model is actively cooled by a 50 mm fan, while the other is passively-cooled. 

Interestingly, XFX's memory clock is 100 MHz under AMD's 900 MHz reference spec. We increased this using Overdrive, so our benchmark results reflect AMD's proposed performance levels, rather than XFX's.

Not surprisingly, the cards are similar around back. They employ the same Hynix H5TQ2G63BFR memory packages and rounded PCB edges.

XFX equips both cards with dual-link DVI, HDMI, and VGA outputs.


The Radeon R7 240 has a relatively low 30 W TDP, so the power it needs is easily delivered by a PCI Express slot.

It would have been possible to build these cards in a single-slot form factor. However, XFX chose a dual-slot design for improved cooling.

This class of Radeon card doesn't come equipped with bridge connectors for CrossFire (nor does it enjoy the benefit of AMD's integrated XDMA engine). Instead, it can be linked to a second board using the PCI Express bus.

XFX bundles its cards with warranty information, a quick install guide, a driver install guide, a graphics card and peripheral pamphlet, a power supply pamphlet, and support information. They also come with a driver CD and half-height output bezels.

XFX Radeon R7 250 Core Edition

The XFX Radeon R7 250 Core Edition adheres to AMD's reference peak clock rate of 1050 MHz, complemented by 1 GB of 1150 MHz GDDR5 on a full-height 7" x 4.5" PCB. The black acrylic Ghost cooler has an understated style that's not flashy and is still classy-looking.

Like the Radeon R7 240 cards, this one's PCB also has rounded edges.

The display outputs are similar, too. You get dual-link DVI, HDMI, and VGA connectors.

XFX's Ghost cooler uses an 85 mm fan to contend with the GPU's 65 W TDP. There's a space between the fan bezel and card itself for airflow, and the large heat sink covers both the graphics processor and memory packages. This card also lacks a physical CrossFire connector, just like AMD's Radeon HD 7750. Two-card configurations communicate over PCI Express.

The same support documentation is included: there's a warranty information card, a quick install guide, a driver install guide, a graphics card and peripheral pamphlet, a power supply pamphlet, and support information. A driver CD is also included, but there's no half-height bezel option for this full-sized product.

Display all 98 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    cleeve , January 29, 2014 3:13 AM
    Quote:
    My brother has a HP s3500f slimline computer that I thought the R7 240 might work well in (at least better than the Geforce 6150se it has now). Problem is he has a 250w PSU, all the R7 240's list 400w minimum and it seems the only place to get one under $75 is eBay($43, new). 400w seems awfully high for such a low end card...


    A 400W is overkill if you're running a power-efficient CPU.

    Look at the results, the most this system puilled with the R7 240 is 122 Watts under load. That's the whole system, with an overclocked Core i5-2500K!

    A good 250W PSU should be fine. AMD is kind of recommending overkill here, but they do that to protect people from poor quality PSUs. A 250W HP shouldn't be a problem as long as the platform isn't power hungry.
  • 10 Hide
    InvalidError , January 29, 2014 4:53 AM
    Where do you get that 400W figure from that Guru3D article? The highest measured figure in there says: "System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 231W" and further down they say they estimate the board's power to max out at ~86W which is just above 7A.That would be power measured at the wall which includes PSU losses... and their test system includes water pump for their OC'd i7-965, cold-cathode lighting and a bunch of other unnecessary stuff most low-end systems would not have that brings their idle power up to a whopping 155W instead of the 50-80W range for typical for current Intel-based mainstream setups.
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    Hazly1979 , January 29, 2014 1:08 AM
    This card is slower than HD 7750AMD is playing [removed] now for sub par $100

    Watch the language - G
  • -7 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , January 29, 2014 1:40 AM
    No need to read the review, those parts are [removed]HD 7750 or the new Nvidia GTX 750 for the WIN

    Watch the language - G
  • -8 Hide
    blackmagnum , January 29, 2014 2:11 AM
    Just buy a bigger PSU and be done with these poor performance-for-the-dollar/watt cards.
  • 7 Hide
    tridon , January 29, 2014 2:13 AM
    These discrete cards that squeeze frames out with very little power drain are great. I recently bought one such cheap AMD-card for my fiancée when she wanted to play Guild Wars 2 with me. Having an aging low cost workstation with a weak power supply "Made in Hell", cards like these were the only option. At least without having to upgrade and tweak other parts of the PC. (Yes I'm lazy [and like to save money]).Don Woligroski: For the few(?) that are in the same situation as me it would be great to se an efficiency chart. Like average frames pr. average watt usage through a benchmark, or something in that vein.
  • 4 Hide
    Martell1977 , January 29, 2014 2:42 AM
    My brother has a HP s3500f slimline computer that I thought the R7 240 might work well in (at least better than the Geforce 6150se it has now). Problem is he has a 250w PSU, all the R7 240's list 400w minimum and it seems the only place to get one under $75 is eBay($43, new). 400w seems awfully high for such a low end card...
  • 17 Hide
    cleeve , January 29, 2014 3:13 AM
    Quote:
    My brother has a HP s3500f slimline computer that I thought the R7 240 might work well in (at least better than the Geforce 6150se it has now). Problem is he has a 250w PSU, all the R7 240's list 400w minimum and it seems the only place to get one under $75 is eBay($43, new). 400w seems awfully high for such a low end card...


    A 400W is overkill if you're running a power-efficient CPU.

    Look at the results, the most this system puilled with the R7 240 is 122 Watts under load. That's the whole system, with an overclocked Core i5-2500K!

    A good 250W PSU should be fine. AMD is kind of recommending overkill here, but they do that to protect people from poor quality PSUs. A 250W HP shouldn't be a problem as long as the platform isn't power hungry.
  • -7 Hide
    cats_Paw , January 29, 2014 4:38 AM
    Cleeve.... not true:http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_radeon_hd_7750_and_7770_review,7.htmlA stressed 7770 Requires at least a 400W good PSU (Note that 400W DOES NOT mean 400W on the 12V rail, but 400W in total. If you do that math in a 250W supply you get a lot less power on the 12V rail, who knows maybe 170... Also remmber that the GPU needs a fixed amount of power in a defined amount of cables. This means that if the PSU is not good, it wont be able to juice the GPU well enought).
  • 6 Hide
    Sakkura , January 29, 2014 4:47 AM
    In Metro: Last Light, the GT 640 gets exactly the same FPS and frame time variance at both 720p and 1080p. It looks like you accidentally input the data from one benchmark run in both places.

    *EDIT BY EDITOR*

    You're absolutely right! We fixed the charts, thanks for catching that!
  • 9 Hide
    Sakkura , January 29, 2014 4:50 AM
    Quote:
    Cleeve.... not true:http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_radeon_hd_7750_and_7770_review,7.htmlA stressed 7770 Requires at least a 400W good PSU (Note that 400W DOES NOT mean 400W on the 12V rail, but 400W in total. If you do that math in a 250W supply you get a lot less power on the 12V rail, who knows maybe 170... Also remmber that the GPU needs a fixed amount of power in a defined amount of cables. This means that if the PSU is not good, it wont be able to juice the GPU well enought).

    A good 250W power supply will have 18-20 amps on the 12V rail, which is fine for the R7 240.

    I don't know why you bring up the 7770, it clearly draws a lot more power than the R7 240.
  • 10 Hide
    InvalidError , January 29, 2014 4:53 AM
    Where do you get that 400W figure from that Guru3D article? The highest measured figure in there says: "System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 231W" and further down they say they estimate the board's power to max out at ~86W which is just above 7A.That would be power measured at the wall which includes PSU losses... and their test system includes water pump for their OC'd i7-965, cold-cathode lighting and a bunch of other unnecessary stuff most low-end systems would not have that brings their idle power up to a whopping 155W instead of the 50-80W range for typical for current Intel-based mainstream setups.
  • -1 Hide
    boytitan2 , January 29, 2014 4:57 AM
    Thing is while the 7770 offers better performance it also offers a higher power consumption meaning most people who are just grabbing a graphics card for a prebuilt system will not be able to use the thing with out a psu upgrade which now means you should just get a better card since you are spending more money.
  • 1 Hide
    PunchGrinder , January 29, 2014 5:01 AM
    Think the question is what card/configuration is most sufficient/efficient/performance setup for Crossfire . With two of the R7 250s you have twice the GCNs. Which is better than that of the R9 270x. Or the same. However the card,mb configuration may not be adaqaute, or the price performance ratio might not match your requirements. Have read where the new A10 kaveris,can 'only'use the DDR3 type R7 240,250s. So there is a little consideration here for this. Some info from: http://wccftech.com/amd-kaveri-dual-graphics-works-ddr3-memory-based-radeon-r7-gpus/
  • 6 Hide
    digiex , January 29, 2014 5:09 AM
    How about R7 240 DDR3 vs R7 240 DDR5 vs A10 Kaveri?
  • 3 Hide
    lowguppy , January 29, 2014 5:51 AM
    The 7750 maintains a solid 10% edge over the R7 250, keeping it's crown as the most powerful low-profile, no extra power GPU on the market. With no fab shrinks expected until fall this doesn't look likely to change. Even if the R7 260 matches it in shaders it is unlikely to get much of an edge without adding external power.
  • 1 Hide
    blubbey , January 29, 2014 5:59 AM
    Hopefully with 20nm coming the 7750 and 7770 will be at the 340 and 350 positions respectively. That'd be a massive increase in value.
  • 6 Hide
    cleeve , January 29, 2014 6:40 AM
    Quote:
    Cleeve.... not true:http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_radeon_hd_7750_and_7770_review,7.htmlA stressed 7770 Requires at least a 400W good PSU (Note that 400W DOES NOT mean 400W on the 12V rail, but 400W in total. If you do that math in a 250W supply you get a lot less power on the 12V rail, who knows maybe 170... Also remmber that the GPU needs a fixed amount of power in a defined amount of cables. This means that if the PSU is not good, it wont be able to juice the GPU well enought).


    We were talking about the R7 240, not the 7770. ;) 
  • 7 Hide
    InvalidError , January 29, 2014 6:50 AM
    Quote:
    We were talking about the R7 240, not the 7770. ;) 

    Even the 7770 is only a ~86W card... just barely high enough to require a 6pin PCIe power connection.
  • 2 Hide
    gopher1369 , January 29, 2014 6:51 AM
    @blackmagnum, and how would you do that whilst staying under $100, exactly?
  • 0 Hide
    adbat , January 29, 2014 7:08 AM
    I just wonder why are there no tests at lower resolution? Games look a lot better when they run smooth in lower res with a bit of smoothing then choppy in HD.
  • 4 Hide
    Sakkura , January 29, 2014 7:09 AM
    Quote:
    I just wonder why are there no tests at lower resolution? Games look a lot better when they run smooth in lower res with a bit of smoothing then choppy in HD.

    What? What the heck are you talking about? :pt1cable: 

    Quote:
    Because we want a sense of the entire sub-$100 graphics card market, we're generating two sets of benchmarks. For the first set, we're dropping detail settings and resolutions to the point where very low-cost cards can contend (down to a minimum of 1280x720). The next set is at 1920x1080 at more demanding detail settings.
Display more comments