ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT 256MB


The PowerColor Radeon HD 2400 XT 256MB

The PowerColor Radeon HD 2400 XT 256MB

PowerColor provided us with its Radeon HD 2400 XT 256MB, which comes in a low profile version that is quite typical of budget cards. Since these low-end cards usually do not require a large PCB, manufacturers can afford to save cost and at the same time, these low profile cards can fit very comfortably into smaller chassis and HTPC casings, extending the potential market. A quiet, almost silent small cooler is also sufficient for this card, which is not unexpected for its class.

The 65nm RV610 core is clocked at 700MHz, making it the fastest of the Radeon HD 2400 series. Connected to this is 256MB of DDR3 memory, all of which are rated at 1.4ns and running at a decent 1400MHz DDR. The Radeon HD 2400 XT will also conscript system memory by default, doubling its total frame buffer to 512MB through ATI's HyperMemory technology. However, like we mentioned earlier, the local memory bandwidth is restricted by its 64-bit bus so all that memory may not be as useful as one would think.

In terms of having hardware unique to the Radeon HD series, the Radeon HD 2400 XT has the full complement, from a programmable hardware tessellation unit to the Avivo HD suite of technologies. Pertinent to most users would be its HD video decoder, with the Radeon HD 2400 XT possessing ATI's new Universal Video Decoder (UVD) and Advanced Video Processor (AVP) are both onboard to handle HD video playback tasks instead of the CPU. Unfortunately, this is one aspect that we are unable to test comprehensively at the moment due to the lack of a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive but we're working on it. For a budget product like this Radeon HD 2400 XT however, it should be a major selling point if it works as advertised.


Besides the onboard video processors, there is also a HD audio controller for ATI's version of an all-protected content path for hassle free HDMI support. You'll need a DVI-to-HDMI converter to output the combined digital stream to your HDMI device, e.g. a HDTV and sadly for us that doesn't seem to be included in our review unit. However, PowerColor's retail offering should include an edition with this dongle included. Nevertheless, HDCP compliance is a given, since that goes along with the HDMI support and ATI has stated that this will be true for all Radeon HD series card currently, even for the budget offerings. Together with the DVI output, there is a standard analog output and the mini-DIN output. A rather common configuration of connectors for such a low-end card. CrossFire, though not the most important requisite for a low-end card, is also handled internally via software and no interconnecting bridges are required.

Since the card is closer to an entry-level offering, no applications or games were bundled other than the bare essentials as listed here:-

  • DVI to DB15 VGA converter
  • S-Video to Composite converter
  • Drivers CD
  • PowerColor manual

In any case, Valve is already offering free downloads like Half Life 2: Deathmatch and Lost Coast for all Radeon owners (regardless of model as long as it's a Radeon) so that should be available for the new Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 series too.