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Radeon R7 250X Review: Reprising Radeon HD 7770 At $100

Test Setup And Benchmarks

I ran the benchmarks on the following page for AMD Radeon R7 260 Review: The Bonaire GPU Rides Again, where I went into depth on average frame rates and frame time variance. For the sake of brevity, I'm emphasizing frame rates this time around. If you want deeper analysis, we invite you to check out the Radeon R7 260 launch story.

What we're adding to the mix are screenshot to show how the detail settings we're choosing actually look at 1920x1080. My intention there is to show that dialing back image quality doesn't necessarily mean AMD's Radeon HD 7770/R7 250X is forced down to ugly levels of game play.

Test System
CPUIntel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V
MotherboardAsus P8Z77-V LX. LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M
NetworkingOn-Board Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryCorsair Performance Memory, 4 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
GraphicsXFX Radeon R7 250 GDDR51000/1050 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1150 MHz (4600 MT/s)Reference AMD Radeon HD 7750800 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz (4500 MT/s)Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 (Representing Radeon R7 250X)1000 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz (4500 MT/s)Gigabyte Radeon R7 2601000 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1500 MHz (6000 MT/s)Reference Radeon R7 260X1100 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1625 MHz (6500 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GT 640900 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 891 MHz (1782 MT/s)Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 6501058 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 1250 MHz (5000 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GTX 650 Ti925 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 1350 MHz (5400 MT/s)
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s
PowerXFX PRO850W, ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriversAMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.5, Nvidia GeForce 332.21 WHQL

We've almost completely eliminated mechanical storage in the lab, and instead lean on solid-state drives to alleviate I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our offices 256 GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.

Naturally, discrete graphics cards require a substantial amount of stable power, so XFX sent along its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12 V rail rated for 70 A. XFX claims that this unit provides 850 W of continuous power (not peak) at 50 degrees Celsius (a higher temperature than you'll find inside most enclosures).

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Metro: Last LightVersion 1.0.0.14, Built-in Benchmark
Grid 2Version 1.8.85.8679, Built-in Benchmark Scene D6
Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagVersion 1.05, Custom THG Benchmark, 40-Sec
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, Custom THG Benchmark, 90-Sec
BioShock InfiniteVersion 1.1.24.21018, Built-in Benchmark
  • RedJaron
    Hmm, so they still don't have an attractive alternative to the 7750? Bad move, AMD. Baaaad move . . .
    Reply
  • rolli59
    Renaming is a trend nowadays so no surprises!
    Reply
  • icraft
    Eh. I used the HD 7770, and while it is a good budget card, it had its issues. They should have put much faster memory on there, especially for 2GB cards, and bumped core to 1100 or better. My card saw better performance with a 200Mhz memory bump than with a 100Mhz core bump, so memory bandwidth is an issue here.
    Reply
  • Immaculate
    Why do the reviewers keep using a 2500K?
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    why would you get this card? why not get the 7770 that's now in the same price range and has 256 more shaders instead. I mean the r250 is the same as the 7700 in every way except the 7700 has 640 more shaders compared to the r250's 384. so it wouldn't make sense to buy an r250 esp now since the 7700 is in the same price range.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    12650126 said:
    Why do the reviewers keep using a 2500K?

    Why wouldn't we? What's wrong with an overclocked 2500K?
    Reply
  • cleeve
    12650223 said:
    why would you get this card? why not get the 7770 that's now in the same price range and has 256 more shaders instead. I mean the r250 is the same as the 7700 in every way except the 7700 has 640 more shaders compared to the r250's 384. so it wouldn't make sense to buy an r250 esp now since the 7700 is in the same price range.

    If you read this review you would see that the R7 250X is *exactly* the same as the 7770.

    It does not have 384 shaders, it has 640. You're thinking of the R7 250, not the new R7 250X. ;)

    Reply
  • The_Trutherizer
    Some might say it's unfair to NVidia and Intel, but R7s HAVE to be paired with a Kevari in reviews for people to really get a sense of the options provided by AMD these days. It's just soo relevant. And with games supporting Mantle as well. ASAP. Battlefield already does... Isn't the time more than ripe for people to get a feel for what the future may hold? Personally I've ran the swarm stress test Mantle demo and I know there is a massive difference between D3D and Mantle in both performance and quality. Fair enough... I have a 280x and an Intel 4670 cpu - I'm pretty much agnostic about brands. But I'd sincerely love to see what AMD has actually been cooking up on the entry level.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    cleeve I did read it, maybe you should actually read what I wrote I was talking about the r250 not r250x. like I said it doesn't make sense to buy a r250 when you can find 7770's as cheap or even an r250x rebrand for the same price an an r250.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    12650126 said:
    Why do the reviewers keep using a 2500K?
    Because:
    1) it works
    2) for most games and low/mid-range GPUs, it is also just about as fast as the fastest current CPUs so there is no actual urge to use the highest-powered, newest and latest CPUs available.
    Reply