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Review: Sapphire Radeon R7 250, Dual Graphics and Mantle

by Tarinder Sandhu on 12 February 2014, 15:00

Tags: Sapphire, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacanz

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Testing methodology

Comparison Configurations

Core i5-4670
Gigabyte G1.Sniper A88X
Gigabyte Z87-D3HP
Chipset Driver
AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta
Intel Inf and IMEI 9
DDR3 Memory
AMD Gamer Series 16GB (2x8GB)
Memory Timings
10-11-11-28-2T @ 2,133MHz
9-10-9-27-2T @ 1,866MHz
Integrated Graphics
Radeon R7
HD 4600
IGP driver
AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta 6
Discrete card(s)
Sapphire Radeon R7 250
Discrete driver
AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta 6
Disk Drive
Samsung 840 Pro 250GB
Corsair Graphite 600T
Power Supply
Corsair AX760i
Operating System
Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Gaming Benchmarks

Battlefield 4 DX11 and Mantle, 1,920x1,080 medium quality
Bioshock Infinite 1,920x1,080 medium quality
GRID 2 1,920x1,080 high quality
Total War: Rome II 1,920x1,080 medium quality

Power consumption Benchmarks

Power Consumption While idling and when running GRID 2


The normal course of action would be to test with numerous cards, add commentary relating to its position in the graphs, and then draw a conclusion. We've decided on a different tack this time around. Appreciating this card is an obvious candidate for teaming up to facilitate Dual Graphics on an AMD Kaveri APU platform and that the much-vaunted Mantle API is now in the wild, it makes sense to understand the Sapphire's use in this kind of scenario.

We have benchmarked the Sapphire R7 250 DDR3 against AMD's R7 graphics integrated in the A10-7850K APU and the HD 4600 Graphics contained within the Core i5-4670. Doing so provides a solid foundation for understanding how this entry-level discrete GPU compares against some of the best IGPs available. We've then teamed the R7 250 with the onboard R7 IGP and run some numbers for Dual Graphics. Remember, this is only available on AMD platforms and one of the company's key selling points.

We've also run the Sapphire R7 250 on the Intel platform, primarily to see if the more-powerful CPU cores make a difference in our gaming tests. Lastly, we've also run Battlefield 4 via both DirectX11 and Mantle, to see if the new API is the performance boon it is made out to be. Got all that?