PowerColor HD 2400 Pro 256 MB

robgs - 2007-07-28 18:24:12 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: robgs   
Reviewed on: August 1, 2007
PowerColor
PowerColor
Price: $55.00 US

Introduction:

Have you got a gaming system built on a shoestring budget? Maybe you're building a new system and want the latest technology but without the financial bite. If you're an ATI fan, then the PowerColor HD 2400 Pro may be just what you're looking for.  The newly released medium ranged cards, built on ATI’s R600 GPU technology, are the lower cost alternatives to the high end cards.  The HD 2400 Pro incorporates most of the features of its higher end counterparts, except with more cost effective components. As one of PowerColor’s entry level boards, we’ll look into what kind of performance you can expect to see.

PowerColor was established in 1997 by the Tul Corporation, and has since continued to grow and prosper by consistently providing quality performance products and innovative technology to its customers. The right products, the right time, and the best quality are PowerColor’s driving principles that help to continue its drive to produce quality products for the world market.

Closer Look:

Judging by the size and weight of the box, which is about the size of a video game box, the HD 2400 Pro is quite compact.

 

 

Inside the box we find the video card, an S-video to RCA dongle, an instruction manual and an installation CD.

 

As you can see, the HD 2400 Pro is quite small, which will definitely help in some space restrictive cases.

 

Installation:

Before you begin the installation of this video card, or any video card for that matter, always completely uninstall any old drivers and software from your system. Starting with a clean system will help ensure that the installation will go more smoothly and prevent any software conflicts.

To install the PowerColor HD 2400 Pro, just insert the card into an available PCI-E slot. Ensure the card is completely seated inside the slot and that the locking tab is fully engaged. Then secure the card in the PCI expansion slot with the provided screw.

 

 

 

Next, plug your monitor into the card using any of the available connectors.  You have a choice of DVI, VGA, TV, or S-Video outputs.

 

 

After you have restarted your system, you will have to install the new drivers.  Insert the provided installation CD into your CD or DVD drive and follow the onscreen instructions. It is recommended that you download the latest drivers from the PowerColor website to make sure you have the latest and greatest software.

 

 

If you follow the onscreen instructions for the software and drivers, you shouldn’t have any problems with the install.

 

 

 

Configuration:

After the system has rebooted, following the driver installation. You should configure the card to suit your personal preferences. If you right click anywhere on the desktop, you should now see an “ATi Catalyst Control Center” menu item. Selecting this brings us to the main screen for the control center where we can choose basic or advanced controls.

 

 

 

 

In basic mode, the number of choices that you can make are reduced. For those of us that may not want to be bothered with all the details, ATi has integrated most of the selections for how the video card will operate into simpler choices and helpful wizards. After choosing the “Basic” ATi Catalyst Control Center, the next screen allows us to choose from three file tabs, “Easy Setup Wizards,”  “Quick Settings” and “Information Center.”

 

 

In the first tab you can select Avivo Video Converter or set up display configuration.  The Avivo video converter, just as the name implies, converts video from one format to another. The display configuration is what we are after. Here you can select the resolution for your screen.

 

 

The next file tab allows us to choose from three main selections, “3D Quality,”  “Video Playback,” and “Display setup.” The controls are very basic and allow you to make various changes to the configuration, without a lot of detail.

 

 

And finally, the last tab in “Basic” mode shows you what various software versions are installed on your system.

Configuration:

In “Advanced” mode, we are given many more choices as to how we would like the HD 2400 Pro to work.

 

 

 

 

The first selection after the welcome is the “Information Center.” Again, the same as the information center in basic mode, this shows us what software versions are installed, but also shows us a lot of information about the hardware that is on the card.

 

 

Next, in the “Display Manager,” you can select multiple monitors or different resolutions and refresh rates.

 

”Display Options” is where you can change how the Catalyst Control Center detects your different displays, as well as select an option to override the 3D refresh rate.

 

In “Digital Panel Properties,” there are four subdirectories where we can change the properties of our digital display.  The four subheadings are, “Attributes,” “Avivo Color,” “HDTV Support” and “LCD Overdrive”.

 

 

Configuration:

The next heading is 3D, where we can change all of the other properties of our 3D experience in explicit detail. For the purposes of this review, I won’t go through each subheading, but suffice it to know that I have left each setting to allow the program to select the desired effect. In this way, wherever possible, I can tailor each game to specific settings that I will choose in the game.

 

 

 

 

The “Color” section is where you can adjust the color levels of your monitor.

 

There are a whole host of controls available under the next heading, “Video.”  All of these settings help in configuring the video output to your monitor or TV.

 

 

 

For problems, the next section “VPU Recover” gives you some solutions. In case there is a fault with your video card and it stops responding, you can select VPU Recovery. Also, the system will create a report for ATi in the event you may need assistance with a problem.

 

Finally, there is a handy overclocking utility which will allow you to squeeze the most out your card.

 

I have left the settings for most of the options in their default positions to show a typical performance result in the testing section of this review. Now that the installation is complete, we’ll test the PowerColor HD 2400 Pro with the standard barrage of Overclockers Club benchmarks.

Specifications:

Graphics Engine RADEON HD2400
Video Memory 256MB MB DDR2
Engine Clock 525 MHz
Memory Clock 400 MHz x 2
Memory Interface 64bit
Bus Standard PCIE x16
TV Output Yes
DVI Output Yes
HDMI Support Yes
Adapter/Cable Bundled Manual, S-video
Software Bundled Driver CD

 

Features:

Testing:

To test the PowerColor HD 2400 Pro video card, I will run it through a series of well known benchmarks and guage the performance level based on frames per second counts and benchmark scores. The benchmarks I will use are Far Cry, F.E.A.R., Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Call of Duty 2, Quake 4, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, 3DMark06, and RyderMark. The setup of each benchmark will be shown before the graphs for each test.

Test Setup:

Video Cards Compared:

Benchmark: Far Cry

Far Cry is a game that was introduced a few years ago but still has many advanced features to task any of the newer video cards.

Settings:

 

 

 

Benchmark: F.E.A.R

First Encounter Assault Recon is still considered by many the top shooter available.  Here we will use the built in hardware test at the settings listed below.

Settings:

 

 

Benchmark: Microsoft X

Microsoft Flight Simulator X is one of the most well known and popular flight sims out there.  If you are a flight sim fan, you probably own this game or at the very least have heard of it.  Since Microsoft Flight Simulator X doesn't support the 800 x 600 resolution, that resolution is omitted for this test.

 

 

 

Settings:

 

 

Benchmark: Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 2 is an excellent WW II shooter that has been around for some time now.

 

 

 

Settings:

 

Benchmark: Quake 4

ID software, in its latest installment of the Quake series, has supplied a game with some intense graphics and innovative effects that continue to bring video cards to their knees.

 

 

 

Settings:

 

Benchmark: Need for Speed MW

In its latest installment of Need for Speed, Electronic Arts supplies a game rich in detail, realism and fun, and can be quite demanding on hardware.

 

 

 

Settings:

 

Benchmark: 3DMark06

3DMark06 is another very popular video card and system benchmark.  It is always nice to use the latest version of this software as we also get a chance to see what new texture, lighting, and graphics processing standards are coming down the pipe.

 

 

 

 

Settings:

 

 

Benchmark: RyderMark

RyderMark is a relatively new benchmark on the scene that has been created by Candella Software.

 

 

 

 

Settings:

 

Conclusion:

The installation of this card went very smoothly. There was adequate documentation available, both in print and online, to help with the special features, as well as with the configuration. The Catalyst Control Center is a very handy utility that is easy to navigate and has many features that I would have only expected on a more expensive card. One drawback was that the heatsink and fan looked a little undersized and would probably be the big limiting factor in overclocking, but the board design makes upgrading it much easier.

At first glance, this card appeared to be way too small to be of any performance value, but after testing, I quickly realized that the size was really a benefit of the 65nm fabrication process that this card was built with. I really like the fact that the HD 2400 Pro is so compact in design but can still deliver so much power and performance at moderate game settings.  It would easily fit into any size case or multimedia enclosure.

The PowerColor HD 2400 Pro is definitely not a top of the line video card, but it is not meant to be. The card, when configured properly, can deliver blazing fast performance that is, at some resolutions, not far from the high end cards. For the overall cost and what you get for your money, the PowerColor HD 2400 Pro is a good choice for the moderate gaming system.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: