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

Results: Metro: Last Light

Like many of the games we're using to test these entry-level graphics cards, Metro: Last Light is not a casual title. It can be brutally demanding, in fact. To make it run well on these modest GPUs, we're forced to drop the detail levels as low as they'll go at 1280x720.

Even at 720p, this game is an insurmountable challenge for some of these cards. It takes a Radeon HD 6670 equipped with GDDR5 memory to maintain a minimum frame rate around the 30 FPS level.

Lower-end offerings like the GeForce GT 640 and Radeon R7 240 really only dip below 30 FPS briefly during one demanding part of the test, so I'll begrudgingly call them playable as well. But the Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 and GeForce GT 630 GDDR5 do not give us acceptable performance.

Fortunately, the frame time variance averages are pretty low. There are a few spikes during the benchmark, but nothing we'd flag as an issue for one card or another.

At 1920x1080, many cards are forced under 30 FPS for extended periods of time. The Radeon R7 250 is still probably playable, since they only fall under the threshold briefly. But for a smoother experience, you'd want at least a Radeon HD 7750 or 7770.

A majority of cards demonstrate low variance with occasional spikes, but the Radeon R7 240, GeForce GT 630 GDDR5, GeForce GT 640, and Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 really struggle at this resolution.

  • Hazly1979
    This card is slower than HD 7750AMD is playing now for sub par $100

    Watch the language - G
    Reply
  • emad_ramlawi
    No need to read the review, those parts are HD 7750 or the new Nvidia GTX 750 for the WIN

    Watch the language - G
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    Just buy a bigger PSU and be done with these poor performance-for-the-dollar/watt cards.
    Reply
  • tridon
    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 ).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.
    Reply
  • Martell1977
    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...
    Reply
  • cleeve
    12559832 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    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).
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    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!
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    12560307 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    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.
    Reply