MSI RADEON R7 250 2GB

msi r7 250 2gbThe MSI R7 250 2GB is an entry level gaming card. This card originally sold for $99.

  • 2GB 128-Bit DDR3
  • AMD Oland
  • Core Clock 1050 MHz
  • Boost Clock 1100 MHz
  • 1 x DVI-D 1 x HDMI 1.4a
  • 384 Stream Processors
  • 806 GFLOPS
  • shader model 5
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • DX12, OpenGL 4.3, Mantle
  • HDMI 1.4,DVI-D, D-SUB
  • 65W TDP
  • Dual slot 10cm cooler

The AMD Oland is a first generation GCN architecture from the southern islands group. The R7 250 has 6 GCU compute units, with 24 TMUs and 8 ROPs, combined with a 128-bit wide memory bus. The voltage regulator is the uPi uP1610P which has limited control but MSI has not implemented it. The memory is made by Hynix.

R250_Oland_diagram

MSI has used solid capacitors which are more popular with video card designers. These can take the heat of intense gaming. MSI also uses a 10cm fan to keep their card cool. The R7 250 is much more powerful than integrated graphics. The R7 250 has 2GB of dedicated VRAM so no need to share main memory with integrated graphics.

The NVIDIA GT 730 is the closest competitor. The GeForce GTX 750 Ti sells for about $50 more.

At idle you can expect a temperature of 28-35° C but once pushed to 100%, the temperatures will rise to ~70-80° C. The 10cm fan is a low noise design.

AS TESTED

CHASSIS RaidMax Mid Tower Chassis
MB Asus P8H61 LE/CSM
CPU Intel i3-2100
RAM 4096MB Kingston DDR3-1333
GPU MSI R7 250 2GB
PSU Corsair CS450M
MON Acer AL1916
KB/M Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 & Wacom Bamboo Capture
HD WDC WD5000AAKX
OS Windows 10

PERFORMANCE

All of the benchmarks are available here.

The R7 250 has enough shaders to be able to play a vast number of games.R7 250

Games like Left 4 Dead 2 run great  at 1920×1080 on the MSI R7 250. We have all of Valves games and all of the classics work fine.

The card does not play videos on Youtube very well past 1920×1080. For higher resolutions a more powerful card and a fast CPU will be needed.

VIDEO CONVERSION

We use video conversion tools as part of the creation of game video files. Using a OpenCL enabled converter with H.264 can be as much as 2x faster.  Most modern video tools now have options for both AMD and NVIDIA users.

DIRECTX 12

A a games developer conference in early 2014, Microsoft announced DirectX 12 which will ship with the next Windows release. DX12 is a refinement intended to take better advantage of the multithreaded capability of DX11 cards.

In general any gaming grade DX11 card will run DX12 fine. AMD is very suitable. DX12 will be rapidly supported by games in 2015 following the next Windows release.

CONCLUSION

The MSI R7 250 2GB is a low cost solution for basic gaming. Games from the Xbox era will run the best but Xbox 360 class games will be largely unplayable at higher resolutions.

MSI has done a good job with the design of this card. It should last for several years without problem.