XFX R7 240 ReviewRHKCommander959 - March 24, 2014
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XFX R7 240 Core Closer Look:
The XFX R7 240 is a low-profile and affordable card. It is at the bottom of performance since it is a budget solution. The R7 240 uses an Oland Pro core based on the Volcanic Islands GCN architecture — produced on 28nm fabrication technology. The memory is 2GB of DDR3 connected through a 128-bit memory bus (from two 64-bit dual channel memory controllers). This is a huge step back on memory bandwidth — some models have GDDR5. DirectX 11.2, Mantle, and OpenGL 4.3 are supported, but TrueAudio Technology is not. Apparently the Video Codec Engine (VCE) is not supported either. Eyefinity is limited to two monitors as well.
The XFX graphics card uses a passive heat sink with a large heat pipe running down its length. The card is a low-profile two-slot design due to the tall passive heat sink. This cooler allows the card to run silently except for any coil-whine that may be present. Video output is through on-board DVI and HDMI, while VGA is provided through a ribbon cable. The two brackets included are to reconfigure the card to fit into low-profile expansion slots. The slot is a full 16-lane in PCI Express 3.0. The back of the card is what you would expect — circuits abound. Four Hynix memory ICs flank the back of the GPU core. Two warranty-void stickers cover two of the four heat sink mount screws.
The XFX R7 240 has the XFX logo cut into the expansion slot. Beneath it are the VGA, HDMI, and DVI ports. To swap to the low-profile brackets you have to remove four standoffs and a phillips-head screw and re-install these onto the new brackets. The back of the card is pretty uninteresting, there are no shrouds or power connections — only circuitry. You do get a view of the heat pipe here.
The sides are fairly open and with the heat sink being taller, it should make cooling more efficient without a fan. A black decorative band of metal has the XFX logo on it. The heat pipe is full length, but bends down to meet the heat sink base as is evident from a side view.
With the heat sink removed, it is possible to see the AMD Oland Pro Volcanic Islands GCN core. Four more DDR3 Hynix memory ICs were also hiding out under the heat sink. Other than that, the card is pretty sparse — a couple chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs. It looks like there are two power phases for the core and one for the memory. The AMD Oland Pro core says "made in Malaysia". The core is produced on a 28nm fabrication process. This core has five Compute Units for a total of 320 Stream Processors. There are 20 Texture Units, 32 Z/Stencil ROP Units, 8 Color ROP Units, and 256KB of L2 read/write cache. DirectX 11.2 and OpenGL 4.3 are supported, along with dual-monitor solutions. The memory is Hynix H5TQ2G63BFR-11C 241A NWKBGG55H3. This IC design has been around since 2009 and the information is readily available from the Hynix website. These eight ICs are rated for 900MHz operation with 1.5V, XFX has them set for 800MHz. Hynix became known as SK Hynix in early 2012 after SK Group became a major share holder in the company.
On the next page are specifications and a features list for the XFX R7 240!