Sapphire has just revealed a new addition to its new R7 series. The Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate is the first silent (passive cooling) card to contain all the features of this new generation of products based on the highly successful graphics GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD.
It looks like the Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate is the first card in this generation to use a passive heatpipe and heatsink cooler with no fan to deliver totally silent cooling, and increased reliability as it has no mechanical moving parts. It shares all the features of the R7 series and the highly acclaimed GCN graphics processing architecture making it ideal for HTPCs and any general purpose PC where operational noise needs to be kept to a minimum. Casual and online gamers will find its silent operation attractive, as the GCN architecture supports gaming at 1080p with moderate settings.
People tend to use at least two monitors nowadays, therefore the Sapphire R7 series supports this with AMD Eyefinity, now in its second generation. The Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate supports three monitors in AMD Eyefinity. In addition, the SAPPHIRE R7 series cards can simultaneously output multiple, independent audio streams allowing the correct audio content to be associated with different applications on different screens.
In terms of spec, the Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate has its core clocks of 800 MHz and 1 GB of DDR5 memory clocked at 1125 MHz (4.5 GHz effective). It is believed to be the fastest passively cooled 128-bit graphics card on the market. It also comes with Displayport 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a outputs outputting a resolutions of 4096 x 2160, or Quad HD also known as latest 4K display. AMD 3D technology supports the latest Stereoscopic content over HDMI at 60 Hz per eye, 120 Hz total. The Dual-Link DVI-I output supports DVI monitors with resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 and provides analogue support for legacy VGA monitors.
Along with the fourth generation of DirectX 11 compatible solutions from the graphics division of AMD, the new Sapphire R7 series supports DirectX 11.1 and the Windows 8 operating system as well as delivering all the features of DirectX 11 such as DirectCompute11 and multi-threaded communications with the CPU. It comes with the latest high speed PCI-Express Gen3.0 interface, and multiple cards can be used to further enhance performance in CrossFireX mode on a suitably specified mainboard.
The Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate should now be available in-stores at a price tag of around £60 or £70.