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Sapphire R7 240 Dual HDMI Graphics Card

Sapphire R7 240 Dual HDMI Graphics Card

Testing Methodology

The OS we use is Windows 8 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.

Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear pre-fetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows Vista occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.

We ran each test a total of 3 times, and reported the average score from all three scores. Benchmark screenshots are of the median result. Anomalous results were discounted and the benchmarks were rerun.

Please note that due to new driver releases with performance improvements, we rebenched every card shown in the results section. The results here will be different than previous reviews due to the performance increases in drivers.

Test Rig

Test Rig
Case Test Bench
CPUs Intel i7-4770K
Motherboards ASUS Maximus VI Formula
Ram Gskill TridentX 8GB (2x4GB) 2666Mhz 11-13-13 Dual-Channel Kit
CPU Cooler Custom Liquid Cooling
Hard Drives 8x Western Digital RE4 2TB 7200RPM 3Gb/s Hard Drives (Raid 5)
SSD 3x Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s SSD
Optical ASUS DVD-Burner
GPU Sapphire Radeon R7-240 Dual HDMI
Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card
GeForce Drivers 327.23                  (GTX 760,770, 780,TITAN and 690)
Catalyst 13.11    (AMD Radeon R9-280X and R7-240)
PSU Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1475W Gold
Mouse Tt eSPORTS Theron Gaming Mouse
Keyboard Tt eSPORTS Meks G1 Illuminated

Synthetic Benchmarks & Games

We will use the following applications to benchmark the performance of the R9-280X video card.

Benchmarks
3DMark 11
3Dmark 2013
Sleeping Dogs
Tomb Raider
Metro 2033
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Batman Arkham City
Dirt 3 Showdown
Metro Last Light
Sniper Elite V2

3DMark 11

3d11 3d11x

Here you can see that like I said this card is not made for the 3D Gaming world as it is simply outmatched by a very large margin in 3D testing.

3DMark 2013

firestrike firestrike extreme

In 3DMark Firestrike and extreme the card shows the same

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Unigine Heaven is a benchmark program based on Unigine Corp’s latest engine, Unigine. The engine features DirectX 11, Hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0. All of these new technologies combined with the ability to run each card through the same exact test means this benchmark should be in our arsenal for a long time.

heaven

Even though the 240 is not made for it I was surprised that it handled choppy but still showed motion and honestly I was sure it would crash but it chugged right along.

Sleeping Dogs

sleeping dogs

Sleeping dogs is an AMD pushed game but at full res the 240 is only able to pull just shy of 7FPS

Metro 2033

metro 2033

Metro 2033 is another area I thought the card would crash but it simply chugged along albeit quite choppy.

Batman Arkham City

batman ac

Batman Arkham City showed higher framerates as the game load was less….. but in order to accurately compare this is at max settings so realistically with some lowered detail settings I could see Batman being somewhat playable which honestly is a surprise to me.

Tomb Raider

tomb raider

Tomb Raider being a heavily AMD based game with very high end graphics I knew it would be a rough ride and the 240 simply wasn’t up to it..

Metro Last Light

Metro LAst Light

Here we have Metro Last Light another killer game and it simply could not be playable on the 240 which honestly is of no surprise since most upper end cards barely pull stable higher framerates.

Sniper Elite V2

sniper elite V2

Sniper Elite V2 showed some decent frame rate for max settings here which shows some promise to this cards capabilities.

Dirt 3 Showdown

dirt3

Dirt 3 Showdown for being such an amazing looking game actually seems like it could be very playable here if settings were tweaked to middle of the road instead of max.

Sapphire Radeon R7-240 Dual HDMI Sapphire being the premier partner for AMD its only natural that they offer every one of AMDs offerings and maybe even some special tweaks to the lower end or more mainstream models available. The card we are reviewing today happens to be one of those cards which is the R7-240 which is destined to be something like a stock replacement for an off the shelf PC. Sapphire did something pretty interesting here by equipping the card with dual HDMI connectors vs the standard connection array. Key Features…

Review Overview

Performance - 8
Value - 8.5
Quality - 9
Features - 8
Innovation - 9

8.5

Summary : The Sapphire R7-240 Dual HDMI is one potent mini card with a ton of overclocking potential, perfect for off the shelf system upgrades

9

2 comments

  1. Kind of pretentious to consider today a lowly card hobbled on DDR3 to have a place in Ultra 1080p gaming. This is just a quick dual monitor upgrade card for a SFF. There are GDDR5 R7 240 units like the one Diamond has that would be more the “entry gaming” while in a half-height package. It has some oomph to permit 1080p when more judicious medium/no-AA settings are placed on it. Sure it not going to “wow” you but to even achieve 1080p in a SFF enclosure and only a 30W TDP is astounding.

    “I have to wonder why Sapphire did not crank this up to begin with.” Because they’re constrained to stay within the 30W TDP.

    I really see next time you do this type of card, forget all the other graphic cards you’ve notched on your grip. Cut it down a to say 4 cards all in this half-height package, price, and card in the past and perhaps currently fall into something approaching this TDP. Would be nice to see this against a 6570 DDR5 (60W), a GT 630 (65W) (hard if impossible to get as DDR5 half-height), and something stronger that can chronicle into a bunch of previous data like a 6670 GDDR5 (65W). Using that group gives a clear picture as to where we’ve been, and expectations today. All the synthetic test don’t indicate much of anything other than it’s way lower performance than, newer, more powerful and expensive gaming cards. Kind of figured that…

    • I agree with Ultra 1080p gaming, however I dont have a 1080p monitor just a 20 inch 720p monitor and I can play all games on high or ultra with at least 30fps at 1600×900. So for 50 bucks it was awesome for me.

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