ECS GeForce GT 240 512MB
The ECS GeForce GT 240 is a budget gaming card, lower on the performance ladder than the newly-released Radeon 5670 in what is probably its closest competitor. The GT 240 certainly targeted at the occasional gamer who is bound to play at 1280 resolution and won’t be concerned about top performance or framerates. Further, it is designed to be very light also in terms of power consumption, and can draw its power directly from the motherboard itself without requiring a separate PCI-E connector. It is a small, quiet, low-power card that is a pretty good upgrade option for people with an older system that want to easily improve their graphics performance.
In terms of features and functionality, the ECS GT 240 uses a 40nm process that produces little heat and power consumption, along with GDDR5 for the memory. In terms of performance, we saw that 1280 resolution is likely the limit for respectable framerates even with antialiasing turned on in today’s popular games, but it will struggle at 1680 resolution unless you reduce or disable the antialiasing or the image quality settings. However, the GT 240 has some considerable gas left in the tank for overclocking, and may give you an average minimal increase of approximately 15%, depending on the game. That is not insignificant, allowing it to compete more closely with the Radeon 5670. However, overclocking for everyone, and at stock speeds the performance gap is too much to ignore, with the new ATI card handily beating its Nvidia counterpart here.
There are a few drawbacks here, however. First, the cooler doesn’t exhaust warm air outside the rear of the case, though this is minor because there isn’t much heat produced to begin with. Also, the performance is largely limited to 1280 resolution as mentioned. Lastly and most important, however, is that the GT 240 is the latest victim of ATI’s Radeon 5000 series cards, and the 5670 in this instance. The release of the Radeon 5670 has put Nvidia and its partners in a difficult spot, as the performance of the GT 240 simply cannot match ATI’s competitor in terms of performance. As a result, the ECS GT 240 is priced about $15 USD lower, sitting around $85 USD. That is a pretty good price on its own for a decent upgrade, but when you compare what you get from ATI for the extra cost of what amounts to a pizza (how’s that for perspective?), clearly this puts the GT 240 in for a tough ride unless you’re an Nvidia fanboy.
The ECS GeForce GT 240 is a good budget gaming card for consumers who do light gaming at 1280 resolution and may be looking for an easy upgrade in their performance. The card runs beautifully cool and quiet, and the price is pretty good too, but its performance is eclipsed by the Radeon 5670 across the board unless you’re willing to overclock the GT 240 to considerably lessen the gap.
ECS GeForce GT 240 512MB
Our thanks go to ECS for providing the GeForce GT 240 for this review.