Sapphire R7 250X Vapor-X Graphics Card Review

Sapphire R7 250X Vapor-X Graphics Card Review

Sapphire Radeon R7 250X Vapor-X Review

A couple of months ago AMD reasonably quietly launched the R7 250X, a part which unsurprisingly sits between their 250 and 260. We have looked at those products previously so today we take a quick look at the R7 250X in the form of Sapphires R7 250X Vapor-X model. With a factory overclock and one of Sapphires enhanced coolers we will throw some of the latest games at it such as Titanfall and WildStar, this is our Sapphire R7 250X Vapor-X Graphics Card Review.

Packaging and Bundle

Sapphire R7 250X boxSapphire R7 250X bundle

Sapphire vary the branding on their cards from red, for the more standard models to silver/grey for something enhanced like the Ultimate editions and then blue on our Vapor-X sample. Inside we get a selection of documentation, software CD, power cable and DVI to VGA dongle.

The R7 250X Vapor-X

Sapphire R7 250X coolerSapphire R7 250X base PCB
Sapphire R7 250X powerSapphire R7 250X base outputs

Sapphire go with a blue PCB on this card and attach to the front of it their dual fan Vapor-X cooler which features a vapour chamber, aluminium fins and copper heatpipes to maximise cooling potential. We get a single CrossFire connector on the top edge which allows us to connect two 250X’s together for enhanced performance. Power on this model is provided over the PCIe bus and a six pin power connector on the back edge of the card. In terms of outputs we have dual DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. These allow us to connect a wide range of displays including standard single 1920×1080 and Eyefinty setups such as 5760×1080.

In terms of specification Sapphire use a Cape Verde core, the same GPU previously seen on the 7700 series and this model is clocked at 1100MHz. Our 1GB of GDDR5 is connected via 128bit bus and clocked at 1300MHz. Also worth noting is that this card supports AMD Mantle, which should enhance performance and we can also output audio over HDMI, view 3D content, accelerate HD content and support for DirectX11 is also present.

Sapphire R7 250X base outputs

 

Sapphire R7 250X Vapor-X Graphics Card Review – Performance

Dimastech EasyXL Test Bench setup

Test System:
Sapphire R7 250X 1GB Vapor-X OC
AMD ‘Kaveri’ APU A10-7850K
ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer
AMD Radeon R9 Gamer Series DDR3-2400 (16GB)

Installed on Dimastech EasyXL Test Bench

Samsung EVO 1TB SSD
Corsair AX860 PSU
Asus 24″ 120Hz Display
Razer Black Widow Ultimate Stealth Keyboard
Roccat Kone XTD Mouse
Intel AC-7260 Wireless

Software:
Windows 8.1 64-bit
AMD Drivers: 14.4

Games:

Battlefield 4
Titanfall
Call of Duty Ghosts
League of Legends
DOTA 2
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Star Wars: The Old Republic
WildStar

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drives was performed (NTFS) and then Windows 8.1 was installed. Following the completion of the installation, the chipset and video drivers were installed. All windows updates were then installed as were the latest builds of the benchmarking tools. Finally, where appropriate, the hard drives were de-fragmented. For each test, the video drivers were set to default quality/optimizations (unless otherwise stated) and each drive was Sanitary/secure Erased between tests.

Good Benchmarking Practice
Where possible, each benchmark was performed three times and the median result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables that will follow. All applications had their latest patches applied and all hardware features the latest BIOS/Firmware.

Battlefield 4 Performance

Benchmark

Titanfall Performance

Benchmark

Call of Duty: Ghosts Performance

Benchmark

WildStar Performance

Benchmark

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Performance

Benchmark

Star Wars: The Old Republic Performance

Benchmark

League of Legends Performance

Benchmark

DOTA 2 Performance

Benchmark

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Performance

Benchmark
Benchmark
Benchmark

 

User Experience and Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of the R7 250X Vapor-X we have a card which creates a good first impression with the attractive heatsink shroud and blue PCB. We get decent quality Hynix memory on this value orientated card and Sapphire don’t cut any corners when it comes to performance and features, factory overclocking the product to maximise framerates and sticking with a good selection of outputs.

In terms of performance we have a card which never went above 61°C when gaming and the difference between idle use and load is only 80w. We found there to be around 90MHz headroom on the core (125MHz memory) for manual overclocking using Sapphires own Trixx utility and in each of the games we tested we were able to play at 1920×1080 with high detail, and in some cases ultra/max.

So that brings us to value where the 250X Vapor-X retails for around £89 which for a custom design card which has low power use, good temps and decent framerates at 1920×1080 seems a great deal.

Need something a little lower cost? Then check out our budget GPU eSports performance article

Value Award
Where to buy…
UK Store Overclockers.co.uk – £79.99

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