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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Review
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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Review

Sam ChenJuly 30, 2017

Sub-$100 Graphics

asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-22As an enthusiast hardware review site, we generally don’t review low end graphics hardware, but it’s understandable that not everyone needs to have the latest $500+ graphics cards and it’s always interesting to see just how far you could get with a sub-$100 budget.

Today we’ll be reviewing two entry level Radeon R7 series graphics cards from ASUS, the ASUS Radeon R7 240 and R7 250. In terms of specs, both the ASUS Radeon R7 240 and Radeon R7 250 are equipped with 28nm Oland GPUs with a choice between the Radeon R7 250 containing a fully unlocked Oland GPU (aka Oland XT) paired with faster GDDR5 memory, or the Radeon R7 240 with a slightly neutered Oland GPU (aka Oland Pro) paired with slower DDR3 memory.

With that said, let’s take a closer look!

Specifications

Manufacturer ASUS ASUS
Model Radeon R7 240 Radeon R7 250
GPU Oland Pro Oland XT
Fabrication 28nm 28nm
Base Clock 1000 MHz 1050 MHz
Boost Clock N/A N/A
Architecture GCN GCN
Stream Processors 320 384
Texture Units 20 24
ROPs 8 8
Memory Configuration 2GB GDDR3 1GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Frequency 900 MHz (1800MHz Effective) 1150 MHz (4.6 GHz Effective)

A Closer Look at the ASUS Radeon R7 240

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Here’s a look at the packaging for the ASUS Radeon R7 240.

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Included we get some documentation, a driver disk, two low profile adapters (one for VGA and one for DVI/HDMI, allowing both to be used simultaneously with two PCIe slots), and the ASUS Radeon R7 240 itself.

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Here’s a closer look at the ASUS Radeon R7 240.Here we can see that the card is a fairly small single slot, low profile design. Cooling is handled by a single heatsink with a fairly small 37mm fan mounted on the heatsink. Given that the Radeon R7 240 has a TDP of only 30w, no external power is needed.

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Video outputs include the usual VGA, HDMI and DVI. Unfortunately although a Dual Link DVI port is included, resolutions above 1920×1200 (high-resolution IPS, IGZO, etc. displays) are not supported.

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Removing the heatsink assembly, we can take a closer look at the components onboard the card.

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The ASUS Radeon R7 240 is powered by AMD’s 28nm Oland Pro GPU, which is a neutered version of the full Oland XT GPU used on the R7 250. With the Oland Pro (aka R7 240), AMD has disabled one of the Computer Units giving the GPU access to 320 stream processors, 8 ROPs and 20 TMUs.

Onboard memory is powered by eight Nanya NT5CB128M16HP-EK chips making up a total of 2GB of DDR3 running off a 128-bit memory interface.

A Closer Look at the ASUS Radeon R7 250

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Here’s a look at the packaging for the ASUS Radeon R7 250.

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The ASUS Radeon R7 250 is quite light on accessories with only some documentation and the graphics card included in the packaging.

asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-10asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-11

Here’s a closer look at the ASUS Radeon R7 250.We’ve got a full sized single slot PCIe card this time around with a slightly larger heatsink sporting a 72mm fan. Like the ASUS Radeon R7 240, the R7 250 with a TDP of only 65w does not require external power.

asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-12

Video outputs include the usual VGA, HDMI and DVI. Unfortunately although a Dual Link DVI port is included, resolutions above 1920×1200 (high-resolution IPS, IGZO, etc. displays) are not supported.

asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-15asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-16

Removing the heatsink assembly, we can take a closer look at the components onboard the card.

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The ASUS Radeon R7 250 is powered by AMD’s 28nm Oland XT GPU, which is the fully unlocked version of the Oland GPU. The GPU contains a total of 6 Compute Units giving the GPU access to 384 stream processors, 8 ROPs and 24 TMUs.

Onboard memory is powered by four Elpida W2032BBBG-6A-F chips making up a total of 1GB of GDDR5 running off a 128-bit memory interface.

ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Testing Setup

Ivy Bridge Test Bench

CPU Intel Core i5 3570K
Motherboard Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H
Memory Kingston HyperX Genesis 16GB DDR3 2133MHz
Graphics N/A
Boot Drive OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD
Storage Drive Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB
Power Supply Corsair HX650
Case HSPC High Speed Tech Station
Optical Drive ASUS OEM DVD Drive
Operating System Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Special thanks to GigabyteKingston, OCZ Technology and HSPC for sponsoring our test bench!

Initial Boot

ASUS Radeon R7 240

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ASUS Radeon R7 250

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

3D Mark

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The new 3D Mark, now referred to as just 3D Mark, is Futuremark’s latest update to the popular 3D Mark series of benchmarks. The updated 3D Mark now includes multiple benchmarks for cross platform support as well as updated graphics to push the latest graphics cards to their limits.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

3D Mark 11

3D Mark 11 is an extremely popular benchmark designed by Futuremark for the sole purpose of stress testing a system’s graphics performance. Trusted by hardware enthusiasts and gamers world wide, 3D Mark 11 uses the latest features of DX11 to stress test graphics performance with consistent loads which simulate in game performance.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Unigine Heaven v4.0

Unigine Heaven is another DX11 benchmark that stresses the graphical processing capabilities of the GPU using the advanced UNIGINE engine.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Shogun 2: Total War

Shogun 2: Total War is the most recent installment of the long running Total War series. Capable of using DX11’s features, it’s the perfect benchmark to test for the gaming performance. For our testing today, we’ll be using the Shogun 2: Total War benchmark utility.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Crysis 2

As the successor to Crysis, which was hailed as the most graphically intensive game of all time when it was released in late 2007, Crysis 2 is less graphically demanding than its predecessor, but still one of the most graphically challenging games of all time.  You simply can’t take a step in Crysis 2 without stepping into some intense tessellation. Combined with rich lighting, insane physics, and oodles of post processing, Crysis 2 requires a ton of graphics muscle to run.

Today, we’ll be benchmarking Crysis 2 in the map “Central Park” with the Adrenaline Crysis 2 Benchmark Tool.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Metro 2033

Similar to Crysis 2, Metro 2033 is extremely tessellation intensive and fills the ranks as one of the most graphically intense games of all time.

Today, we’ll be benchmarking Metro 2033’s Frontline map using the Metro 2033’s included Benchmark Utility.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Sleeping Dogs

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Released in 2012, Sleeping Dogs is an open world action-adventure title based on the infamous Hong Kong triads. With an open world environment, fast paced action and excellent graphics, Sleeping Dogs makes for a perfect test of graphics card capability. For our benchmarking today, we’ll be using Adrenaline’s Action Benchmark Tool.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Hitman: Absolution

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Hitman: Absolution is a action adventure game released in late 2012 which focuses on the hitman, Agent 47, and his assassination missions. After a 6 year hiatus, the Hitman series is back in full force with updated graphics based off the developer, Square Enix/IO Interactive’s Glacier 2 engine. For our benchmarking today, we’ll be using Adrenaline’s Action Benchmark Tool.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Battlefield 4

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Only a year after the initial release of Battlefield 3, the team at DICE went back to the drawing board to introduce their latest and greatest modern combat shooter, Battlefield 4. Based off DICE’s all-new Frostbite 3 engine, Battlefield 4 brings a new level of realism to the world of PC and console gaming with an unparalleled level of visual immersion, realistic character animations, and physics driven dynamic environments.

For our benchmarking, we’ll be doing a benchmark on a 60 second run of the game at the beginning of the Tashgar mission. While this scene doesn’t involve any firefights, it’s a very graphics intensive scene that involves a fast moving drive through the hills of Tashgar, which makes heavy use of the Frostbite 3’s motion blurring, depth of field, particle effects, and real time lighting engine.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Performance

Power Consumption

For power consumption testing, we’ll be measuring full system power while idle along with full system power with the graphics card running at full load using Furmark. All power consumption measurements will be measured with the Extech 380801 Power Analyzer.

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Temperature Testing

For temperature testing, we’ll be measuring both graphics card temperatures when the graphics card is idle for 5 minutes after a cold boot. Load temperatures are taken after a full 30 minute burn using Furmark.

While some of you aren’t huge fans of Furmark as it creates an ultra heavy, unrealistic load on the graphics card, we feel like it’s a more useful tool as it differentiates between graphics cards that have extremely well designed coolers and ones that simply have cooling solutions that simply pass the test, if you will. Most games these days generally don’t create enough of a load/heat to even exceed temperatures where the fans would spin up on most custom coolers so it’s difficult to adequately rank cooling solutions without using a tool like Furmark.

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ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Conclusions

asus-radeon-r7-240-250-custom-pc-review-19All right, so with benchmarks out of the way, let’s talk about some final thoughts here.

From an enthusiast point of view, performance on the ASUS Radeon R7 240 and R7 250 definitely doesn’t impress all that much. After all, you really can’t expect too much out of a sub-$100 graphics card. That said, it does run modern games… and it does it reasonably well at lower resolutions and lower quality settings so those looking for a cheap stop-gap solution before purchasing a new gaming system may find the R7 240 or R7 250 the perfect drop-in cards for the task.

The ASUS Radeon R7 240 can generally be found at around $70 and the ASUS Radeon R7 250 can generally be found at around $90, which makes it one of the few graphics cards on the market under $100. It also happens to be one of the few graphics cards on the market that’s capable of running without any external power, which should be of great interest for those stuck with older, pre-built systems that don’t have external power and simply don’t have the CPU or GPU processing power for HD video decoding or light gaming. While those stuck in this type of scenario who still want to do 1080p gaming with medium quality settings have the option of going with the newly introduced Nvidia GeForce GTX 750/750 Ti, it will come at a significantly higher price-point, which may be unnecessary for those simply looking to play a bit of old school Counter Strike. 

Overall, while the ASUS Radeon R7 240 and Radeon R7 250 isn’t anywhere near the most impressive graphics card we’ve seen to date, it’s a product that fills a necessary gap for those with older, mostly pre-built systems who aren’t necessarily heavy gamers, but need a cheap graphics card for simple 1080p video playback or light gaming. If that fits your description, definitely be sure to check out what ASUS’s Radeon R7 series has to offer.

CPCR-Bronze

Sample provided by: ASUS

Available at: Amazon

About The Author
Sam Chen
Hardware and Technology Enthusiast. SSD Evangelist. Editor-in-Chief.
1 Comments
  • Les Gulledge
    January 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Sam…
    What bothers me a great deal is “the author’s penchant” for using Infidel CPUs to test cards like the 240 and 250 which are meant to be used in DUAL GRAPHICS mode. Totally skipped. Why is this? From what I’ve found it often nearly doubles the frame rates. Maybe AMD isn’t paying you guys enough to do this – and as such it is a disservice to your readers… “you” being a blanket term for all tech authors. I’ve found very little on this. What gives? Also there is literally NOTHING on the R7 240 2GD5. They’re out there and available yet …?? If you guys don’t do the testing how are we to know? I realize there are thousands of cards, combinations… but if you’re going to test a dual graphics capable card … why the hell don’t you? Ok I understand using Infidel. But aren’t all things relevant? It’s all subjective. Why not be more OBjective?
    Overall a good test and article. Gaming at this level – is there a point in comparing it to ANYTHING higher than – say an HD7770 or R250/260X? We already KNOW they’re crappy.. How many times does it need to be proven when the last paragraph you wrote says exactly that.

    Drop out the top 4-5.. bottom 4 -5… then give us something honest. It would save you time and provide more relevant info than we actually got. If you had a data base that we could access… so much the better. Maybe I should check Anand. Miss him.
    Thanks

    Les Gulledge

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