HIS R7 240 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB Review

 HIS R7 240

Introduction

AMD launched the Radeon R7 240, along with its siblings, the R7 250, R9 270X and R9 280X in October 2013. The cards were all met with great fanfare. The Radeon R7 240 was designed to replace the venerable three year old Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 cards. On paper, it seems to do this quite well. While it does appear to be a bit slower than the HD 6670, it does its job using less than half the power of its predecessors.

Still, there are a lot of reasons to be interested in the smallest of the current generation Radeon cards. It has most of its bigger brothers’ features. AMD’s 28nm Graphics Core Next architecture, check. Full HD ready, check. PCI-e 3.0 Support, check. Mantle support, check. CrossFireX, you can even check that feature too. All of this in a 30 watt TDP envelope.

Today we are looking at the HIS R7 240 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB. The Oland Pro graphics processor is built with 320 shader units, 20 TMUs and 8 ROPs. The HIS R7 240 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB card features the same clocks as the stock AMD version, this means the GPU runs at 730MHz, while 780MHz under boost. A PowerTune function controls the GPU clock ,depending on power draw, heat, and performance factors. Our particular R7 240 is the 1GB GDDR5 variety. The R7 240 available from AMD with two memory types; 1GB GDDR5 clocked at 1150MHz or 2GB DDR3 clocked at 900MHz. Both are on a 128 bit bus. I do not recommend DDR3 equipped graphics cards over GDDR5 equipped cards. While having 2GB of video memory may seem more attractive then having 1GB of video memory, these level of cards will rarely use over 1GB of video memory and the lesser bandwidth of DDR3 will hamper performance.

HIS’ Take on the R7 240 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB

  • iCooler is Quiet – The card is equipped with iCooler, making it extremely quiet and noise level is less than 28dB. You feel the quietness when viewing photos, browsing webs, checking your email and playing movies in UVD mode.
  • Boost Clock is Faster – The card has the latest Boost Clock technology, providing extra performance for the most demanding games and applications!
  • iTurbo – Your Graphics Card’s Assistant – iTurbo is your graphics card’s assistant to control your card to be quiet, cool. Experience overclocking by simply pressing the iTurbo Button
  • User Friendly Overclocking Software: Cooler, Quieter, OC! – iTurbo’s Fan Control and Fan Monitoring allow easy adjustment of your card to its maximum cooling performance or to run your card quietly!
  • Press iTurbo: OC Right Away! – With the smart auto overclocking function, users can experience a slight performance boost for selected HIS graphic cards with just one click!
  • Powerful Overclocking Software – Either you wish to unleash its full potential or to make it more environmental friendly, iTurbo is ready for you! iTurbo is compatible with all cards! Enjoy OC no matter what card you have!
  • High Quality Components – HIS uses only the finest materials and the most advanced techniques to build our cards, making them one of the most stable and durable product in the industry. The card is engineered with the highest standard of safety, preventing them any potential damages.
  • CrossFireX Ready! – The card’s is supports software crossfire, ready for CrossFire & strengthened performance without the need of a crossfire bridge!

New Technology, New Experiences

  • GCN – With AMD 2nd generation GCN technology, the card optimizes DirectX® 11.2 gaming performance automatically up to 2.5 times faster! It also offers up to 4.5x compute performance and up to 95% lower GPU Idle Power Consumption!
  • Apps Faster & Smoother! – The card enables a “quality graphics” experience on everyday applications, giving huge performance boosts on image processing, file compression, media converter apps, and a lot more!
    • Adobe Photoshop CS6
    • Corel Winzip 16.5
    • Musemage
    • Handbrake
    • MotionDSP Vreveal
    • GIMP
    • Cyberlink Power Director
    • ArcSoft Media Converter
  • PCI-e 3.0 SupportArmed with the latest PCI-e 3.0 bus design maximizes performance by delivering double bandwidth per lane of PCI-e 2.x. Paired the card with the latest platforms and get the ultimate performance!
  • See More, Enjoy More! – The card supports 30” LCD monitor and any large size TV up to 80″ feature with 16:9 ratio in amazing 4096 by 2160 resolution. Up-scaling your computer into a multimedia center with the biggest display!
  • Enjoy HD Beauty – With Full HD 1080p support, the card delivers high quality 1920X1080 graphics, enabling seamless full-screen video playback. See HD, hear HD and feel HD – Enjoy the beautiful graphics now with the card!
  • Enjoy Copy Protected Movies – The card is HDCP complaint, enabling users to play copy-protected content, such as commercial DVD movies.
  • Enjoy True to Life Graphics – ULTRA HD videos have resolution four times that of current HD videos, meaning images too clear that may deceive your eyes! With the card, you are set for getting the movie theater experience to your home. You may be able to watch a video shooting the Eiffel tower and zoom it in to see your friend’s face clearly from the top! Get your eyes impressed and enjoy mind-blowing graphics with extreme clarity, depth and texture!

More Graphics, Less Power

  • Low Power Consumption – You do not have to worry about having the proper power connection from you power supply. No external power is needed and power is supplied through the card slot. The card requires only 400W power supply. Just plug the card in and enjoy the superb graphics experiences!
  • Optimized Power & Performance – The new architecture of the card gets more usable processing power for your money, enabling better frame rates in the latest games at high resolutions. In addition, with AMD PowerPlay™ & AMD PowerTune technologies, you can optimize the balance between performance and power consumption of your system by adjusting the engine clock during runtime of the card. Manage the power and keep your wallet loaded!

Specifications

  • Model Name: HIS R7 240 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB
  • Chipset: Oland Pro
  • Fab: 28nm
  • Die Size (mm2): 90
  • Transistors (Million): 1040
  • Bus Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16                                                                           
  • Core Clock: Up to 730 MHz (Boost Clock Up to 780 MHz)
  • Memory: 1GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 128 bit
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 1125MHz (Effective 4600Mhz)
  • DirectX® Support: 11.2
  • OpenGL: 4.3
  • OpenCL: 1.2
  • Mantle: Yes
  • Standard Display Connectors: SL-DVI-D / HDMI / VGA

Feature Support

  • CrossFireX™ or SLI Technology: Yes CrossFireX™ (Up to 2 GPU’s)
  • AMD Powertune Technology: Yes
  • Eyefinity or Surround Technology: Yes (2 Monitors)
  • Maximum Number of Displays: 2
  • Video Codec Support H.264, MPEG, MPEG-2, VC-1, BLU-RAY 3D: No

Display Support

  • VGA Output: Yes
  • DVI Output: Yes – SL-DVI-D
  • DisplayPort: No
  • HDMI: Yes
  • HDCP Support: Yes

Maximum Resolution

  • VGA: 2048×1536
  • DVI: 2048×1536
  • DisplayPort: N/A
  • HDMI: 4096×2160

Power Specs + Board Dimensions

  • Board Dimensions: 230mmx117mmx38mm
  • TDP: 30W
  • Minimum System Power requirement (W): 400W
  • External Power Connector: None

HIS R7 240

A Closer Look

The HIS Radeon R7 240 1GB comes in a pretty standard box for its price range.

HIS R7 240

Once opened, we are greeted by another box.

HIS R7 240

There is not much to see here. A quick installation guide is included, but includes little written information. What information that is included in the installation guide, is generic in natural. The “Install CD with Multilingual User Guide” that the HIS website states that come with this card, was oddly missing from the box. I do not consider this to be a deal breaker though, as I always recommend not using the included CD. Downloading the drivers or utilities directly from the manufacturer’s website, ensures that you are getting the latest versions.

HIS R7 240

The card itself is also very standard issue for this price range. HIS does add its own design cues with a blue colored fan and a different fan shroud. Interestingly, with the exception of the decal on the fan hub, the card appears to be identical to the offering from Diamond Multimedia.

HIS R7 240

The blue PCB is of a similar color to the video card offerings from Gigabyte and Sapphire.

HIS R7 240

HIS R7 240

The connections are your basic VGA, HDMI, and DVI-D (Dual Link).

HIS R7 240

There are no external power connections. With a TDP of 30 watts, the card is easily powered by the PCI-E bus.

HIS R7 240

Hidden under the heatsink is AMD’s Oland Pro graphics processor and 1Gb of Elpida GDDR5 video memory.

HIS R7 240

HIS R7 240

HIS R7 240

Testing Setup

Testing Hardware

  • EVGA Z87 Stinger Motherboard
  • Intel Core i5 4670K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 1866MHz
  • ADATA XPG SX900 128GB Solid State Drive (2x)
  • Corsair H100 AIO CPU Cooler
  • EVGA Hadron Hydro Case
  • EVGA Hadron Integrated 500W Gold Power Supply

Software

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home 64-bit SP1
  • AMD Catalyst 14.4
  • Sapphire Trixx
  • Geeks3D Furmark
  • TechPowerUp GPU-Z
  • CPUID HWMonitor

Synthetic BenchMarks

  • Futuremark – 3DMark (DX11)
  • Maxon – Cinebench R15 (OpenGL)

Game BenchMarks

  • Sega – Aliens versus Predator (DX9)
  • 2K Games – Bioshock: Infinite (DX11)
  • Codemasters – Dirt 3(DX11)
  • Deep Silver – Metro: Last Light(DX11)
  • SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive – Thief (DX11 and Mantle)
  • SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive – Tomb Raider(DX11)

Testing Environment

Performance testing consists two sets of tests, synthetic benchmarks and actual game benchmarks. Between the two synthetic benchmarks and five game benchmarks; we are able to test OpenGL, DirectX 9.0C, DirectX 11, and Mantle application programming interface (API) environments. Synthetic benchmarks are run at their default settings. For gaming benchmarks, the first set of tests is at a 1680×1050 resolution and medium detail settings . This is the test where most medium range cards will typically perform well. The second set of tests is at 1920×1080 resolution and at more demanding detail settings. This is the test where most higher price range cards will typically perform well.

  1. Games are chosen using four criteria:
  2. Each game must be a well known title.
  3. Each game must have its own built-in benchmark.
  4. Each game must be on a game engine that is different from the other games or utilize its game engine in a way that is unique from the other games used.
  5. Each game must be free of continuous patch updates, to ensure a consistent environment for future graphics card testing.

Mechanical drives are eliminated in the test system, to alleviate any I/O-related bottlenecks. All testing was done with an Intel Core i5 4670K processor clocked to 4.5GHz. This processor speed helps minimize the effects of CPU bottlenecks and creates a more GPU bound state during gaming tests.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home 64-bit SP1 is chosen as the operating system, due to it being the most common operating system currently in use. Only the most current non-beta release drivers are used for testing, unless specifically stated otherwise.

Synthetic Benchmark Results

3DMark – Firestrike

“The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it’s not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It’s the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we’ve ever created.
Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”

3DMark Chart

 3d mark

CINEBENCH R15

“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

 CINEBENCH R15 Chart

cinebench

Game Benchmark Results

Aliens versus Predator

“Bringing the legendary war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters to FPS fans, AvP delivers three outstanding single player campaigns and provides untold hours of unique 3-way multiplayer gaming.

Experience distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect. “

Aliens versus Predator is the oldest game in our benchmark suite and the only only that uses DirectX 9.0C versus DirectX 11. Released in 2010, it was developed by Rebellion and published by Sega. It uses the Asura game engine and has the lowest recommended systems requirements in our game benchmark suite.

Aliens versus Predator 1680 x 1050 (FPS)

1680 x 1050 / 2 x AA / High Quality Presets

alien vs pred

 Aliens versus Predator 1920 x 1080 (FPS)

1920 x 1080 / 4 x AA / Very High Quality Presets

alien vs pred high res

Bioshock: Infinite

“Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker DeWitt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia.”

Bioshock: Infinite, developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, is the third iteration of the Bioshock franchise. It uses the extremely popular Unreal 3 game engine and is one of the best looking games of 2013.

Bioshock: Infinite 1680 x 1050 (FPS)

1680 x 1050 / Medium Quality

 bioshock

 Bioshock: Infinite 1920 x 1080 (FPS)

1920 x 1080 / Ultra Quality with Diffusion Depth of Field

bioshock high res

Dirt 3

“Get ready for DiRT 3! Race through the snow, rain and dirt and experience dramatic night races with the most amount of rally content in the series yet.

Powered by Codemasters’ award-winning EGO Engine, DiRT 3 features Flashback to rewind time and genre-leading damage. DiRT 3 is the ultimate off-road race.”

Codemasters’ 2011 Dirt 3 is possibly the most popular rally racing game ever created. It uses the EGO 2.0 game engine, which is also used in Codemasters follow up to Dirt 3, Dirt: Showdown.

 Dirt 3 1680 x 1050 (FPS)

1680 x 1050 / 2 x MSSA / Medium Quality Preset

 dirt3

Dirt 3 1920 x 1080 (FPS)

1920 x 1080 / 8 x MSSA / Ultra Quality Preset

dirt3 high res

Game Benchmark Results Continued

Metro: Last Light

“It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above.”

Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At its highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.

Metro: Last Light 1680 x 1050 (FPS)

1680 x 1050 / Normal Quality / AF 4 / Low Motion Blur / Normal Tesselation

 metro

Metro: Last Light 1920 x 1080 (FPS)

1920 x 1080 / Very High Quality / AF 16x / Normal Motion Blur / Very High Tesselation

 metro

Thief

“Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.”

Thief was developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. The newest game in our benchmark suite, Thief is also one of the most demanding and has the highest recommended system requirements. Those heavy requirements allow it to use the Unreal 3 game engine to great effect. It also features AMD’s Mantle API, as well as Microsoft’s common DirectX 11 API.

Thief 1680 x 1050 (FPS)

680 x 1050 / Normal Quality Preset

 thief

Thief 1920 x 1080 (FPS)

1920 x 1080 / Ultra Quality Preset

thief

Tomb Raider

“Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.”

Tomb Raider was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. It features a modified version of the Crystal game engine and was the first game to integrate AMD’s TressFX 2.0, which adds hair, fur and grass physics. 

Tomb Raider 1680 x 1050 (FPS)

1680 x 1050 / Normal Quality Preset

tomb raider

Tomb Raider 1920 x 1080 (FPS)

1920 x 1080 / Ultra Quality Preset

 tomb raider

Temperatures

The cooler on the HIS R7 240 is designed to allow be used in the R7 250. The R7 250 has a 2.2 times higher TDP. The results of using this cooler on the R7 240 yields very lower temperatures.

Temperatures (in Celsius)

 
temps 

Noise

Noise is a very subjective thing. While measuring dB level of noise can tell you how loud something is, it does not tell you the quality of the noise. Human hearing is the most sensitive in the 4000Hz range. This is roughly the same pitch as a crying newborn baby or the old adage, nails on a chalkboard. The human brain is wired to react to this frequency range and when we are unable to stop the noise, we become agitated.

For this test, the best case scenario is absolute silence. For the worst case scenario, I use the most annoying sounding and loudest video card I have at my disposal, the Nvidia 7600GT. The HIS R7 240 was rather quiet. It was so quiet, in fact, that I could not hear it over the test system’s Corsair H100 AIO cooling system without putting my eye right up to it. Not only does the use of a cooler designed to also be used on a R7 250 allow low temperatures, it also allows decreased fan speeds as well.

Overclocking

I started overclocking the R7 240 using AMD’s own Catalyst utility. I quickly found out that the R7 240 was able to easily run at the highest settings it had to offer. At this point the R7 240 was running 900Mhz on the core and 1300MHz (5200MHz) on the memory. This was an increase of 15% and 13% respectively. On an average, I saw in increase of around 10% percent increase in frame rates in our suite of benchmarks.

Feeling that the card had more to offer, I turned to my preferred overclocking utility for AMD based graphics cards, Sapphire Trixx. Sapphire Trixx offers a few advantages over AMD’s overclocking utility build into Catalyst. The range for adjustment for the core and memory are more extensive. It adds more advanced fan speed settings. It also adds the most important adjustment for over/underclockers, voltage control.

The R7 240, like most current graphics cards, is voltage locked. This keeps novice overclockers and perhaps a few not so novice overclockers from accidentally setting the core voltage to high, thus burning up the card’s video processor. Even with this limitation, I was able to set the processor voltage to 1.2 volts. I started ramping up the processor first in 10MHz increments until I reached 1080MHz. This was the highest setting the processor could reach and be 100% stable. This was a 38% overclock. Extremely impressive.

I then started ramping of the memory clock at the same 10MHz increments. Eventually, It reached a clock of 1365MHz, an increase of 19%. This was not as nearly as impressive as the 38% overclocked I got on the core, but it is still good.

The results speak well for themselves.

overclock

3DMark Firestrike Results

overclocking

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

HIS R7 240

The HIS R7 240 does manage playable performance at 1920×1080 in some modern game titles, as long as you are willing to play at the lowest-quality settings. At 1680×1050, the picture looks a bit rosier. In reality though, a large amount modern titles will require a resolution of 1280×720, in order to maintain a playable frame rate. While this may not sound very appetizing, this is the same resolution that Xbox One owners are forced to contend with. It is also much better then most of AMD’s and Intel’s integrated desktop graphic solutions.

Given this level of performance, is the HIS R7 240 iBoost a good buy? The charts suggest not. The particular XFX Radeon HD 7750 included in the charts is still available for $107, at the time of testing. While it costs 37% more then the $78 HIS R7 240 iBoost, it offers around twice the performance in some game titles. AMD’s own R7 250 is much the same, though slightly cheaper and with slightly less performance then the HD 7750. The picture gets even blurrier when you include Nvidia’s GTX 750, which starts at $110 and offers even higher performance then the HD 7750. Even with the impressive overclocking ability of the HIS R7 240 iBoost, it does not significantly change the picture.

This card is priced right in between Nvidia’s GT 630 and GT 640. It’s performance falls right in between those two cards as well. AMD’s R7 240 does have two important features that it’s Nvidia competition does not have. The first is the ability to utilize AMD’s Mantle API. While Mantle is not widespread, it is still very interesting. My Mantle testing with Thief showed a significant increase in frame rates when using lower resolutions and quality settings. The second important feature is the R7 240 ability to run in Dual Graphics mode, provided you have one of AMD’s newer Kaveri APU’s. I have not tested Dual Graphics, so I do not know if it is worth while feature or not, but I think it is worth mentioning.

At the end of the day, the $110 Nvidia GTX 750 makes it extremely hard to recommend any alternative priced under it. Performance under the $100 price range drops far faster then price does. However, when comparing the AMD R7 240 against Nvidia other offerings in the $70 – 80 price range, the R7 240 is indeed competitive. Adding the ability to leverage AMD’s Mantle API makes the R7 240 far more compelling then Nvidia’s GT 630, which is generally far slower anyway. If price is your number-one priority, the Radeon R7 240 is as low as anyone should realistically consider going and it is as low as I am willing to recommend. Just remember to buy the 1GB GDDR5 version. 

award


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