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Test Setup And Benchmarks

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

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.

We've almost completely eliminated mechanical storage in the lab, and instead lean on solid-state drives to alleviate I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our offices 256 GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.

Naturally, discrete graphics cards require a substantial amount of stable power, so XFX sent along its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12 V rail rated for 70 A. XFX claims that this unit provides 850 W of continuous power (not peak) at 50 degrees Celsius (notably higher than the inside of most enclosures).

Test System
Intel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V
Asus P8Z77-V LX
LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M
On-Board Gigabit LAN controller
Corsair Performance Memory, 4 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
XFX Radeon R7 240 DDR3
730/750 MHz GPU, 2 GB DDR3 at 900 MHz (1800 MT/s)

XFX Radeon R7 250 GDDR5
1000/1050 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1150 MHz (4600 MT/s)

Sapphire Radeon HD 7730 GDDR5

800 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz (4500 MT/s)

Reference Radeon HD 6670 GDDR5
800 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1000 MHz (4000 MT/s)

Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 DDR3

800 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 900 MHz (1600 MT/s)

Reference AMD Radeon HD 7750
800 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz (4500 MT/s)

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770
1000 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz (4500 MT/s)

Zotac GeForce GT 630 GDDR5
810 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 900 MHz (3600 MT/s)

Reference Nvidia GT 640
900 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 891 MHz (1782 MT/s)
Hard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s
Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
DirectX 11
Graphics Drivers
AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.5, Nvidia GeForce 331.93 Beta
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Metro: Last Light
Version, DirectX 10, Built-in Benchmark
Grid 2
Version, Version, 25-Sec. Fraps
Assassin's Creed IV:
Black Flag
Version 1.04, Custom THG Benchmark, 60-Sec. Fraps
Battlefield 4
Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark, 60-Sec. Fraps
BioShock Infinite
Version 1.0.1441711, Built-in Benchmark, Fraps
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