XFX R7 240 and R7 250 vs GeForce GT 630 and GT 640
DOTA2, League of Legends and StarCraft 2 Performance
Competitive gaming continues to go from strength to strength and while a lot of mainstream focus is given to the likes of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty, some of the more popular tournaments focus on a completely different set of games. StarCraft 2 is probably one of the more notable games in this competitive arena but the likes of League of Legends and DOTA 2 also very much appeal to eSports players.
Unlike major titles such as Crysis 3 or Far Cry 3 competitive titles tend to be based on game engines which are playable on a wide range of systems, even with higher detail. Making them accessible for everyone, regardless of their budget. Today we are going to take a look at how some budget cards based on AMD and NVIDIA technology handle LoL, DOTA 2 and StarCraft 2... if competitive gaming takes your fancy, this is the place to find out what GPU will get you started.
The two items which we are focusing on in today's review, because they are new to market, are the XFX R7 240 and 250 and we will be placing them against the previously covered GT 630 and GT 640 from Zotac and ASUS. So looking at the XFX cards to begin with they arrive in compact packaging (the 240 box being about the same size as two 360 game boxes) with some nice styling and key specs on the front. Inside the bundles are pretty much identical. We have a bunch of product documentation, support information, software disc and two brackets which allow us to install the cards in low profile systems.
Shown above is the R7 250 Core Edition (Ghost Thermal). This card uses a low profile black PCB and mounted on the front is a dual slot cooler with single fan and heatsink beneath. The heatsink cools the memory on the front surface of the PCB however the Elpida branded parts on the back are bare. For outputs XFX go with DVI, HDMI and VGA.
The build quality is enhanced by XFX through the use of solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes and dust free fan design and this particular model requires around 65 watts. Looking a little deeper at the specifications we have an Oland XT GPU which contains 384 stream processors and our 1GB of GDDR5 is connected to the GPU by a 128-bit bus. For clocks, XFX go with a core of 1050 MHz and memory at 1150MHz.
Using a similar base design to the R7 250, this Core Edition R7 240 also has a black, low profile PCB along with the quality ferrite core chokes, solid capacitors and dust proof fan. That fan sits on a shorter heatsink than the 250, keeping this model to a single slot and in another change we get more memory chips on this card than the 250; 8 rather than 4. Though the 240 has 2GB vs the 250's 1GB. This is an Oland Pro based card which means we have 320 stream processors though the 128-bit bus is retailed and our power use is around 40w. Clock wise we have a 780MHz core and 900MHz memory (Hynix GDDR3).
Also worth noting is that these cards support AMD Mantle, which will be implemented in future games and should enhance performance and we can also output audio over HDMI, view 3D content, accelerate HD content and support for DirectX11, etc is also present.