Add-in-board and PC accessories maker XFX has unveiled two new passively cooled graphics cards as part of its AMD Radeon R7 200 series card lineup. The firm has released the full height 'Radeon R7 250 Core Edition' with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a half height, or low-profile, 'Radeon R7 240 Core Edition' with 2GB of DDR3 memory. Both graphics cards have outputs to connect via VGA, DVI or HDMI.
These two silent graphics cards are based upon the 28nm GCN 'Oland' GPU. Looking at the 'Radeon R7 250 Core Edition' specs first; this card has a core clock of 1050MHz and a memory clock of 1150MHz. The installed 1GB of memory is of the GDDR5 variety, connected via a 128-bit bus. The GPU supports DirectX 11.1 and offers 384 shaders and a TDP of 65W. It is priced at around € 92 (£77).
Looking at the 'Radeon R7 240 Core Edition' now; this card has a core clock of 780MHz and a memory clock of 900MHz. The installed 2GB of memory is of the DDR3 variety, connected via a 128-bit bus. The GPU supports DirectX 11.1 and offers 320 shaders and a TDP of 30W. You can see why this card requires a much smaller heat sink. It is priced at around € 75 (£58).
Tech site UK.hardware.info has had both these cards on its test bench and found that the XFX Radeon R7 250 Core Edition made a decent attempt at gaming at a price comparable to the Nvidia GeForce GT 640. Looking at the charts they published, the silent XFX Radeon R7 250 Core Edition actually was neck and neck with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 650, depending upon the game. The two new XFX passive cards are charted in blue below.
While the XFX Radeon R7 240 Core Edition "is not a gaming card," it could provide a useful boost compared with your integrated graphics. Also, importantly for passive cards, neither of them got very hot, both staying below 50C when running Metro 2033 tests, according to UK.hardware.info measurements.