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::>Graphics cards > 2014 > 04 > PowerColor AXR7 250X 1GBD5-HE

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02-04-2014


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PowerColor Radeon R7 250X Graphics Card review and testing

In mid-February 2014 AMD has officially introduced a new graphics card AMD Radeon R7 250X of AMD Volcanic Islands product line. The main aim was to fill the space between AMD Radeon R7 250 and AMD Radeon R7 260. Actually, in this case AMD had an idea to follow a course of least resistance, offering updated AMD Radeon HD 7770 with less cost. Let’s note that AMD set a price tag of $ 100 that is quite interesting and attractive.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

As we have faced with already known graphics card AMD Radeon HD 7770, which received support of AMD Volcanic Island and API (DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, AMD Mantle and others). So the detailed description of the features and specifications of AMD Cape Verde graphics core you can found reading the review of ASUS Radeon HD 7770 Direct CU.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

For better clarity we would like to provide a comparative table of the characteristics of AMD Radeon R7 250X and other relevant graphics cards of AMD Company:

 

AMD Radeon R7 250

AMD Radeon R7 250X 

AMD Radeon R7 260

AMD Radeon R7 260Х

Code name

Oland XT

Cape Verde XT

Bonaire PRO

Bonaire XTX

Number of data flow processors

384

640

768

896

Texture blocks

24

40

48

56

Rasterization  blocks (ROP)

8

16

16

16

GPU frequency, MHz

1050

1000

1000

1100

Type and frequency of graphics memory

MHz

GDDR3 / GDDR5

900 / 1150

GDDR5
1125

GDDR5
1500

GDDR5
1625

Memory bus running, bit

128

128

128

128

Additionally we note that new items with 1 and 2 GB of memory will be available.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

At the moment of AMD Radeon R7 250X release the main competitors were NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti и NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650. Now we can add NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 to this list.

But first we would like to look closer at the graphics card PowerColor Radeon R7 250X itself. After testing it we will know all features of this model.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Model

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

(AXR7 250X 1GBD5-HE)

Graphics core

AMD Cape Verde XT

Number of universal Stream Processors

640

Support of API and technology

DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore

Engine Clock, MHz

1000

Memory Clock (effective), MHz

1125 (4500)

Graphics memory, GB

1

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus running, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

72,0

Type of  internal interface

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max. resolution

HDMI - 4096x2160

VGA – 2048x1536

Image output

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

1 х D-Sub

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimum System Power requirement (W)

400

PCIe-connector

1 x 6-pin

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in our test lab), mm

170 x 111,2 x 38

(187 х 114)

Drivers

Updated drives can be downloaded fron Company PowerColor website or website   GPU producers

Producer website

PowerColor

As we can see the tested model runs at the recommended frequency formula. Also it has a modified set of video outputs, where DisplayPort was replaceв by D-Sub.

Package and content

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

We have tested graphics card without the original box and original delivery system. That is why we took the information from official website. Carton packaging design of PowerColor Radeon R7 250X is designed in a corporate style with a predominance of black and red color palette. On its face there is information about: manufacturer, model, memory type and volume, type of internal interface and main technology (AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, DirectX 11.2).

This products will be supplied without any additional accessories (except manual and driver disk), which is not surprising for graphics card with cost around $ 100. In addition, this approach is accompanied by a various set of external interfaces and AMD CrossFireX technologies.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

The following set of interface is provided for image output:

  • 1 х DVI-I;
  • 1 х HDMI;
  • 1 х D-Sub.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • HDMI - 4096x2160
  • VGA – 2048x1536

Design and circuitry

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X Graphics card is performed on very compact printed circuit board (PCB) of red color. PCB design is very similar to AMD Radeon HD 7750 standard version. It has similar principles of key elements location. The main difference lies only in support of additional 6-pin PCIe.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Power testing is performed on the four-phase scheme (three phases for the GPU and one for memory chips). Since the manufacturer does not mention the key components of the circuitry, we have select only solid capacitors. The rest is standard but at the same time high quality components.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Core power subsystem is implemented on a digital PWM controller uP1609R of uPI Semiconductor production which according to official data supports active management of three phases and has the support of a number of protection technologies.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Besides PCI Express 3.0x16, power of PowerColor Radeon R7 250X is provided via one additional connector on the right side of the graphics card. In accordance with the recommendations of AMD, 6-pin connector is used. We would like to mention the ease of connection and disconnection of power cable PCIe.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Unlike AMD Radeon HD 7770, where for AMD CrossFireX technology implementation only one connector is used for connection of corresponding bridge, the model PowerColor Radeon R7 250X supports this technology only at the program level. This feature allows to combine two video accelerator for joint calculation of graphic effects without purchase of AMD CrossFireX bridge.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

The reverse side of the PCB, in addition to the above-mentioned PWM controller, has the mounting screws of the cooling system, and a number of stickers with service information.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

The center of our review is a graphics chip AMD Cape Verde XT produced according 28 nm process. It consists of 640 unified shader processors, 16 rasterization units and 40 texture units. Since PowerColor Radeon R7 250X supplies with a reference frequency formula, the graphics core operates at 1000 MHz.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Total memory capacity (1GB) is collected by 4 chips ELPIDA W2032BBBG-50-F (256MB each). They operate on recommended by AMD frequencies equals 1125 MHz (effective value - 4500 MHz). Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is realized via 128-bit bus which has capability of information passing 72.0 GB per second.

Cooling system

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

New product with installed cooling system occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 170 mm according to the official website (187 mm according to the measurements in our lab).

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

The cooler consists of a small whole radiator and one fan with blade diameter of 75 mm mounted on the plastic housing.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

Cooling of power supply subsystem elements on graphics core is provided by a small radiator with thermal interface, which is mounted on the PCB with plastic clips. The memory chips do not have any additional cooling.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

In automatic control of fan speed at maximum load the graphics core warmed up to 74°, and cooler (as indicated by the monitoring) operated with 50% of its maximum capacity. The noise level can be described as “medium”. However, it was quite comfortable for continuous operation near the PC.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

After the forced increase of fan speed to the maximum level, the GPU temperature was 68°. Generated noise level can be characterized as “high”.

PowerColor Radeon R7 250X

In case of load absence the operating frequency of the graphics core and memory automatically fell down. In this mode the GPU temperature did not exceed 33° and the noise level was fairly quiet.


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