[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The Radeon R7 240 is an entry-level GPU that replaces the Radeon HD 8570 and competes directly with the GeForce GT 630 from NVIDIA. The model we are analyzing is the Radeon R7 240 Core Edition (R7-240A-CL) from the traditional manufacturer XFX. It is a single slot card with 2 GiB of DDR3 memory. Let’s see how this model fared on our tests.

It is important to notice that there are video cards based on the Radeon R7 240 GPU using GDDR5 memory running at 4.6 GHz (providing a 73.6 GB/s bandwidth).

The Radeon R7 240 uses the PCI Express 3.0 interface, while its main competitor uses the PCI Express 2.0 interface. Although the chip supports PCI Express 3.0 x16, the video card we tested offers only half of the supported lanes and, therefore, it is a PCI Express 3.0 x8 card.

In the table below, we compare the main specifications for the video cards included in our review. The prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review and do not include rebates.

Video Card Core Clock Shader Clock Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX Price
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 780 MHz 780 MHz 1.8 GHz 128-bit 28.8 GB/s 2 GiB DDR3 320 11.2 USD 70.00
Radeon R7 250 1,050 MHz 1,050 MHz 4.6 GHz 128-bit 73.6 GB/s 1 GiB GDDR5 384 11.2 USD 100.00
GeForce GT 630 810 MHz 1,620 MHz 1.33 GHz 128-bit 21.3 GB/s 1 GiB DDR3 96 11.0 USD 70.00
GeForce GT 640 900 MHz 1,800 MHz 1.6 GHz 128-bit 25.6 GB/s 2 GiB DDR3 384 11.0 USD 100.00

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition.

[nextpage title=”The XFX R7 240 Core Edition”]

In Figure 1, you can see the small box of the XFX R7 240 Core Edition, and Figure 2 shows the board itself. It is a single-slot, low profile card, with no auxiliary power connector, since its TDP is only 50 W.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 1: Box

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 2: The XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Editon

Figure 3 shows the solder side of the card.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 3: Solder side

The Radeon R7 240 chip supports up to two video monitors, but the portrayed video card has three connectors: one VGA, one HDMI, and one DVI-D.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 4: Video connectors

[nextpage title=”The XFX R7 240 Core Edition (Cont’d)”]

The XFX R7 240 Core Edition uses a small, simple cooler with a 50 mm fan. This cooler does not touch the memory chips. As mentioned, the Radeon R7 240 has a TDP of 50 W. The card is 7.0” (178 mm) long.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 5: Cooler removed

The video card uses a voltage regulator with two phases for the GPU and one phase for the memory chips. The voltage regulator circuit uses a digital design and is controlled by an ANPEC APW7153B chip. All capacitors are solid.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 6: Voltage regulator

The reviewed video card uses eight Hynix H5TQ2G63BFR-11C DDR3 chips, each one storing 2 Gbits of data, comprising the 2 GiB of memory available on this video card. These chips can run up to 1,800 MHz. On this video card, they are accessed at 1,800 MHz, which means there is no margin for safely increasing the memory clock.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 7: Two of the eight memory chips

The only accessories that come with this video card (besides a manual and a driver disc) are two brackets that can be used to install this video card in low profile cases, shown in Figure 8.

XFX Radeon R7 240Figure 8: Accessories

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications “]

The main specifications for the XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition (R7-240A-CL) include:

  • Graphics chip: Radeon R7 240 running at 780 MHz
  • Memory: 2 GiB DDR3 memory (128-bit interface), eight Hynix H5TQ2G63BFR-11C chips running at 1.8 GHz DDR
  • Bus type: PCI Express 3.0 x8
  • Video Connectors: One DVI-D, one HDMI, and one VGA
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: Two low profile brackets
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One
  • Games included: None
  • Programs included: None
  • More information: https://www.xfxforce.com/
  • Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 70.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Video resolution: 1920×1080 @ 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • AMD video driver version: Catalyst 14.1
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 334.89

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark”]

3DMark is a program with a set of three benchmarks: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate, and Fire Strike.

The 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark measures DirectX 9 performance. Since it is compatible with very low-end systems, we ran it in the Extreme mode, which uses the 1920×1080 resolution and high quality textures.

The 3DMark Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance. It runs at 1280×720 resolution.

And the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed on high-end gamer PCs. It runs at 1920×1080 resolution.

 XFX Radeon R7 240

3DMark – Ice Storm Extreme Score Difference
Radeon R7 250 66900 58.5%
GeForce GT 640 44872 6.3%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 42199  
GeForce GT 630 32532 22.9%

 

XFX Radeon R7 240 

3DMark – Cloud Gate Score Difference
Radeon R7 250 11179 53.7%
GeForce GT 640 8522 17.1%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 7273  
GeForce GT 630 5913 18.7%

 

XFX Radeon R7 240 

3DMark – Fire Strike Score Difference
Radeon R7 250 2014 81.6%
GeForce GT 640 1399 26.1%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 1109  
GeForce GT 630 772 30.4%

[nextpage title=”Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag”]

Released in 2013, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag uses the AnvilNext DirectX 11 engine. We adjusted the resolution at 1920×1080, setting all image quality options to “high”, adjusting anti-aliasing to “FXAA,” and disabling “vsync,” then played the first mission of the game three times, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

XFX Radeon R7 240 

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag FPS Difference
Radeon R7 250 22 69.2%
GeForce GT 640 16 23.1%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 13  
GeForce GT 630 9 30.8%

[nextpage title=”Battlefield 4″]

Battlefield 4 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise, released in 2013. It is based on the Frostbite 3 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first mission for three times, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “medium.”

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

XFX Radeon R7 240 

Battlefield 4 FPS Difference
Radeon R7 250 45 73.1%
GeForce GT 640 29 11.5%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 26  
GeForce GT 630 18 30.8%

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon”]

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is the most recent addition to the popular FPS franchise. It was released in 2013.

It is based on the Dunia 2 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we played the first mission for three times, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “medium.”

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

 XFX Radeon R7 240

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon FPS Difference
Radeon R7 250 25 78.6%
GeForce GT 640 21 50.0%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Edition 14  
GeForce GT 630 13 7.1%

[nextpage title=”Splinter Cell Blacklist”]

Splinter Cell Blacklist is an action/stealth game launched in 2013, based on the LEAD (Unreal 2.5) engine.

In order to measure performance using this game, we played the “Safehouse” mission three times, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “high.”

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

 XFX Radeon R7 240

Splinter Cell Blacklist FPS Difference
Radeon R7 250 26 116.7%
GeForce GT 640 17 41.7%
XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition 12  
GeForce GT 630 10 16.7%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Being a low cost video card, the Radeon R7 240 was not aimed on gamers who want to play the most recent titles. It is intended to be used as a replacement for the CPU’s integrated graphics for general use, or for the casual gamer.

Our tests were consistent with this: the frame rate in recent games, with medium or high quality in 1920×1080 resolution, were too low for a decent gameplay. On the other hand, the card actually ran four of the newest and heaviest games, which means that, at lower resolution and video quality settings, a casual player can actually use it to have some fun.

While the Radeon R7 240 with 2 GiB DDR3 was between 5.9% and 33.3% slower than the GeForce GT 640, and between 34.9% and 53.8% slower than the R7 250 (which are both more expensive), comparing it to its main competitor, the GeForce GT 630 (which costs the same), the portrayed video card was always faster, winning by a percentage between 7.7% and 44.4%.

Those results show that the XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition with 2 GiB of DDR3 memory is a good buy if you are looking for an entry-level video card around the USD 70.00 price tag.