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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I've put together a brief comparison of two nVidia GT 240 graphics cards:
XFX GT240 512MB GDDR5 and MSI GT240 1GB GDDR5 - Pictured below:

*Update: Charts donated by Voxox - Thanks!*

XFX GT240 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150452

MSI GT240 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127483


I've selected a few synthetic and game benchmarks to see if the GT 240 benefits from additional VRAM. Both of these models sport GDDR5 - 512MB for the XFX card and 1GB for the MSI offering - and are both at stock clocks of 550Mhz core, 850Mhz memory (3400Mhz effective).

System Specs
Core i7 860 - 2.8Ghz - Stock
4GB DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 (Fighting my motherboard to get them to their rated speed)
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 ITX
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB
Windows 7 64 Home Premium
Forceware 257.21
XFX GT240 512MB GDDR5
MSI GT240 1GB GDDR5

The Tests
3dMark06
-Default Setting
3dMark Vantage
-Performance
-Extreme
Dirt 2
-High Preset - 4xAA
Far Cry 2
-High Preset - 4xAA
Just Cause 2
-All settings High - 0xAA 2xAF - HBAO High - V-Sync Off
Resident Evil 5
-Fixed Benchmark - Max settings - 4xAA
Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark
-Low (720p)
-High (1080p)
All games are tested at 720p, 1680x1050, and 1920x1200 resolutions.
XFX scores will be marked in blue, MSI in green.

3dMark06
3dmarks 10404 - 10370
No appreciable difference

3dMark Vantage
Performance
3dMarks - 5594 - 5606
GPU Score - 4378 - 4389
No appreciable difference
Extreme
3dMarks - 1967 - 2171
GPU Score - 1875 - 2069
Here we notice a more significant difference, exceeding 10%.
Extreme runs at 1920x1200, so resolution is most likely a contributory factor.

Synthetics show that at low resolution, there is no difference in performance, but there is a small bump at higher resolution. We will see if the selected games reflect this trend or not.

Dirt 2
A VERY GPU-intensive game that shines when the settings are cranked. Fun to play, too!
720p
Avg - 61.5 - 61.8
Min - 51.5 - 51.7
1680x1050
Avg - 44.8 - 45.0
Min - 37.7 - 38.4
1920x1200
Avg - 37.1 - 37.0
Min - 30.1 - 30.6

Additional VRAM does not yield a performance increase in Dirt 2, even at 1920x1200. This leads me to believe GT 240 doesn't have enough firepower to utilize the additional memory in most situations. We'll see if other games trend this way as well.


Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 is extremely GPU intensive, I left some bells and whistles enabled to see if it would yield any performance differential, despite the framerates listed being mostly unplayable.
Average Framerate
720p - 23.2 - 23.8
1680x1050 - 15.6 - 15.8
1920x1200 - 13.0 - 13.3
The performance here is nearly identical, I think it's safe to say that the GT 240 is limited by its processing power, not its VRAM in intensive applications.


Far Cry 2
A bit older, but still a good measure of GPU and CPU strength.
720p
Avg - 42.4 - 42.7
Min - 29.7 - 32.0
1680x1050
Avg - 27.7 - 29.3
Min - 12.3 - 15.8
1920x1200
Avg - 23.4 - 25.0
Min - 10.2 - 18.0
Finally we actually see a tangible benefit. The average FPS at medium and high resolutions are a frame and a half faster, and the minimum FPS have substantially improved. Additional VRAM is useful in Far Cry 2.


Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark
Fresh off the internet, I've included the FFXIV benchmark. I've done a bit of benching with it, and it seemed worthwhile to include it, so here you go.
Low - 720p - 2049 - 2046
High - 1080p - 1077 - 1075
The difference is negligible. While this may change in future releases, keep it in mind when shopping for a GPU if FFXIV is on your plate.


Resident Evil 5
My first time using this benchmark, it's straightforward and useful so I tossed it in. Running the "Fixed Benchmark" mode.
720p - 58.3 - 58.4
1680x1050 - 41.2 - 41.1
1920x1200 - 31.7 - 31.7
In line with testing so far, it shows that the GT240 is not limited by its VRAM in RE5.


Conclusion
While not as in depth as I would have liked (May run further benchmarks soon) this was a good indicator of how the GT240 manages in GPU intensive games and shed light on the impact of VRAM quantity. If you're shopping for a GT240 and want to maximize your budget efficiency, pick up the 512MB model. The difference between it and the 1GB model does not justify the price differential. While I did not cover a GDDR3 model, I would advise that they be overlooked in favor of GDDR5. The sweet spot for the GT240 is the 512MB GDDR5 model.
When purchased, these cards cost:
MSI - $90 ($60 AR)
XFX - $76 ($46 AR)
Given these prices, the XFX model wins in value.

Notes
There are several features that these graphics cards are lacking that I would like to mention as well.
-Neither features software voltage control
-Neither offers fan speed control
-Furmark load at 25C ambient of these cards is 66C (XFX) and 62C (MSI)
-Both cards take up two pci slots
-Neither card features memory heatsinks
I'm particularly miffed by the MSI GT240. It claims "30% Overclocking boost using Afterburner" on the Newegg site. This would be very reasonable if it actually supported voltage control through afterburner. There is no reason it shouldn't, as it is very well-built and has a competent cooler. Without this feature, I'm less likely to recommend it as a budget solution.
The other aggravating feature of both cards is the lack of fan speed control. Without it, it's fairly audible. I liken it to the sound of an intel stock LGA1156 cooler at full speed. Slightly softer than that, but rather annoying.

If you're looking for a cost-effective, low-power solution to play the latest games at modest settings and can overlook these quibbles, then by all means the GT240 is a strong value proposition that you should consider, since many of them are available for less than $50 after rebate and sip power. They are great upgrades for pre-built HP, Dell, etc systems.

Hope this helps a few people, I may update it with additional games in the future. Thanks for reading!
 

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Laptop Enthusiast
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9,346 Posts
This is actually fairly surprising... Seeing this to some people can be useful in choosing what card to get. If it saves you $15-$20, why not?
I say keep up these reviews. Do the ones that have the DDR3 Memory if you can. That's where it's bound to show through.

Good review. Very easy to read. Well thought out.
 

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Premium Member
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8,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Imglidinhere View Post
This is actually fairly surprising... Seeing this to some people can be useful in choosing what card to get. If it saves you $15-$20, why not?
I say keep up these reviews. Do the ones that have the DDR3 Memory if you can. That's where it's bound to show through.

Good review. Very easy to read. Well thought out.

Maybe I can get my hands on a GDDR3 version at some point. The only thing is when I compare cards it comes out of my pocket lol.... and that pocket isn't as deep as it used to be


Quote:

Originally Posted by ablearcher View Post
FC2 was already given, since it slaughters cards without enough vram (1GB).

I'd recommend adding FPS graphs (line graphs over time).

Nice review !

This isn't up to the level of my usual reviews, this was more of a "I want to get this posted so I can put the 5770 back in my ITX rig because I'm tired of running games at low settings at 1920x1200" kind of post lol.

I'll see if I can get a few game benchmarks like GTAIV and SFIV tonight or something. I could do Crysis too. We'll see


Thanks for the replies!

P.S. - Expect a Core i3 article soon. Ran it stock and OC'd to 4.0Ghz with a 5770 and 5850
 

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I.T. Specialist III
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I wish I didn't smoke my old BFG 512MB DDR3 7950GT OC... I'd love to see how it would compare to the newer low-range GPU's
 

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Premium Member
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Yeah. DDR3 GT240 if you can. XD
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by amstech View Post
I wish I didn't smoke my old BFG 512MB DDR3 7950GT OC... I'd love to see how it would compare to the newer low-range GPU's

If you've still got it I'd take it off your hands and try to fix it!


Don't make me run to best buy to pick up a GDDR3 GT240. I'll do it, I'm crazy!
 

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nice review. i'm glad i got the 512mb gddr5 version
 

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Questionnaire galore!
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Thanks
smile.gif
 

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On the other hand, a 1GB GT240 is a great choice for people who wants Adobe MPE accelleration. It's cheap, meets the "hack/workaround" requirement and makes a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Spam reported
smile.gif


Also, this particular review focuses purely on gaming performance... Perhaps I'll expand my full-feature reviews to include a look at GPU-accelerated programs too
wink.gif
 

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ugh more spam.. on topic though picking me up a gt 240 512mb ddr5 card today at microcenter for $70. these cards fold decent ~4000ppd roughly if i recall. perfect match up with the celeron e3400 i'm getting for $40 also. entire build is just over $200, you cant beat that for 10k 3dmark06 points.
 

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I would like to see how sli cards go up against single cards. Those kind of charts are impossible to find. Of paticular interest I would like to know how a gtx 260 216 sp's sli'd (or tri sli) holds up to todays cards (5850, 5870, 460, 470, 480, and beyond)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When you guys see an obvious spam post like the ones plaguing this thread, click on the "Report Post" triangle in the lower left-hand side of the post, check the "spam" box, and submit it.

You'll be doing your civic duty
smile.gif
 
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