A Control Volume Finite-Element Method in conjunction with imposed periodically fully-developed flow conditions was used to perform a two-dimensional, laminar, steady-flow numerical study comparing the performance of a flat tube and an oval tube to that of a round tube in a simulated heat exchanger device for the case of specified heat flux along the tube walls. The Reynolds number range for the study was 50 to 350. Fluids of Prandtl number 0.7 and 7.0 were considered. For the cases studied, the heat transfer enhancement ratio was less than one indicating that the round tube outperformed both the flat tube and the oval tube based on heat transfer considerations alone. However, for all cases studied, the heat transfer performance ratio was greater than one indicating that if both heat transfer performance and required pumping power are considered, both the flat tube and oval tube outperformed the round tube. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.