Having a decent rig is compulsory for gamers that wish to play the latest games. The most significant drawback however, is the price. But building a gaming rig does not necessarily mean nuking your wallet to oblivion. Some alternatives are available in the market, such as the R7 Radeon chipsets from AMD. With all the craze revolving around their more chunky R9 counterparts, the R7 series is but a speck in the spotlight. Or is it? Here in Team Tech, we have something from Sapphire that would probably sway users who wish to get something affordable, and at the same time, worth your while in the form of the R7 250.

Unboxing

As with all Sapphire graphics cards, the box sport a certain color representing their line.

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The design of the outer box stands in contrast to the inner one, having only a plain façade to show-off.

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These are the things inside the box: the card itself, driver CD together with a sticker, and manuals and other paper stuff.

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For starters, the Sapphire R7 250 does not require additional power from the PSU, making it a good candidate for small form factors or affordable rigs. The footprint of the card itself is very small, leaving us wondering why it comes with such a large box. For ports, the Sapphire R7 250 caters to VGA, HDMI, and DVI.

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Game Benchmarks

Bench Buddy
CPU Intel Core i5 4670K
VGA Sapphire R7 250
Memory 2 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer
HDD WD10EZEX 1TB 64MB Cache
Motherboard ASUS Gryphon Z87 w/ Armor Kit

benchmark

We used a modest rig to test the card and we did not have it on overclock. The games tested were on their respective HIGH preset settings with display resolution at 1920 x 1080.

Game Min Max Ave Settings
Rome 2 Total War 26 55 44.4 High
Call of Duty: Ghosts 19 75 35 High, FXAA
Titanfall 17 52 31.38 High, 2X MSAA
Wolfenstein: The New Order 20 57 32.28 High
Battlefield 4 29.65 63 16 High
Watch Dogs 6 19 14 High

 

The Sapphire R7 250 is playable in Titanfall, Wolfenstein, Call of Duty, and Rome 2 Total War. Very apparent is the lack of performance in Watch Dogs and Battlefield 4. As the settings used were High, trickling it down to Medium or Low will certainly help in achieving a higher frame rate.

We can say that the card is capable of playing the latest generation of games, albeit, at a limited pace.

Unigine Heaven

unengine

“Heaven Benchmark with its current version 4.0 is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions, as well as check the cooling system’s potential under maximum heat output. It provides completely unbiased results and generates true in-game rendering workloads across all platforms, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.”

3D Mark Firestrike

3d mark

“Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.”

3D Mark 11 Pro

3dmark 11

“3DMark 11 is a DirectX 11 video card benchmark test for Windows that is designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance. 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.”

Specifications

Display Support 2 x Maximum Display Monitor(s) support
Output 1 x D-Sub(VGA), 1 x HDMI (with 3D), 1 x Single-Link DVI-D
GPU 1000/Boost:1050 MHz Core Clock, 28 nm Chip, 384 x Stream Processors
Video Memory 1024 MB 128 -bit GDDR5 4600Mhz Effective
Dimension 150 x 105 x 26 mm, Occupies 1.5 slots
Software Driver CD

 

Conclusion

The Sapphire R7 250 proves to be one good card in the midst of many great, but pricey ones. The value itself may captivate either those who wish to build rigs sporting a small form factor or those who simply want an affordable card to play recent games. Though the 1GB VRAM may not be enough for playing games or using applications in high resolution. If the need for a large memory arises, one can opt to get a 2GB variant from Sapphire. Also, we found the packaged contents a wee bit simple as compared with other brands. This would be a possible reason that the said card goes for 4,000Php to 4,200Php, a good budget card you could really use.

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