Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate Review
Not too long ago I had a large case full of standard size components siting next to the television. It took up far too much room and mirrored the sounds of a jet fighter taking off. I could have created a smaller system but it wouldn’t have had the processing power I required at the time. Thankfully those days are long gone. As HTPCs become more important part of our living rooms, the hardware we will have available to us will be tailored toward that usage. The R7 250 Ultimate is another step in that direction. It is powerful enough to support many sources of entertainment in the living room and do so silently. The Ultimate is able to be a passively cooled GPU because of the large 4 heat pipe cooler. During our testing we proved that this R7 250 can maintain decent temps without air passing over the fins, (although we don’t suggest this for prolonged durations). Even the smallest HTPC cases allow for 80mm quiet fans to aide with needed air circulation so take advantage of it.
Looking at the performance benchmarks at face value, the R7 250 Ultimate would appear to be anything but ultimate. Ultimate is normally reserved for the top end, not the middle of the road anyway. Regardless of the name, Sapphire put together an attractive product for the masses. As we stated previously, it was never intended to handle max settings at high resolutions but the R7 250 proved its worth once we scaled back and let BF4 take control. If I didn’t already make plans for this GPU, it would have gone into one of the systems at home so the kids could LAN together.
In closing, if you are planning on using the R7 250 Ultimate within the intended range you will be pleased with the level of performance. If you are planning on playing any recent titles maxed out so you can bask in all of its graphical glory, you are barking up the wrong tree. The Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate is available for as low as $90 placing it in a very confusing spot on the discrete GPU market. The sub $100, yet above $80 area of the market is filled with many cards that overlap one another such as the R7 240, other 250s, GT 650, 650ti, 730 and even a 740. Results of benchmark testing can blur the lines even further so the best thing to do is keep an eye out for sales. A few bucks or free shipping can make or break the deal. However most of those other offerings had active cooling solutions and will not offer the silent operation of the Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate. PureOC gives the R7 250 Ultimate a Great Hardware Award. We will also be giving this exact GPU away to some lucky fan in the US. Check out our Facebook page for details soon.