R7 260X A Better Option?
Spending $90 to add the Radeon R7 250 to your A10-7850K's integrated GPU can yield up to 90% more performance for the A10-7850K or 50% more for the R7 250, depending on how you want to look at it. Those aren't bad figures but out of the six games we tested with just three of those showed positive gain and at least five of the games are known to support Crossfire very well.
But what if you spent $40 to $50 extra on the R7 260X and paired it with an Intel chip instead of relying on Crossfire?
As we saw before, using the A10-7850K with the R7 250 in Company of Heroes actually reduces performance over the R7 250 itself. Using the R7 250 with the Core i5-4430 allowed for 27.6fps at 1680x1050, though that isn't really enough for playable performance in our opinion. However, spending $40 to $50 (40 to 50%) more for an R7 260x, you can expect almost 60% more performance in this title for a very playable 43.6fps when paired with an i5-4430.
Metro: Last Light was another game where dual graphics didn't work very well and as a result the R7 250 was better off by itself. Coupled with the Core i5-4430, we saw an average of 27.8fps from the R7 250 at 1680x1050. The R7 260X on the other hand managed 53.5fps, making it 92% faster!
It appears that the i5-4430 is causing a system bottleneck in Hitman: Absolution that limits the R7 260X's performance so it couldn't extend the performance delivered by the R7 250 at 1280x800. However, at 1680x1050 we saw a 9% increase in performance as the average frame rate went from 45.2fps to 49.3fps.
The A10-7850K with the R7 250 in Crossfire managed 78.4fps at 1680x1050, which was 20% more than the Core i5-4430 / R7 250 combo but using i5-4430 with the R7 260X allowed for 55% more frames than the A10-7850K / R7 250.
Dual graphics worked well in BioShock: Infinite, allowing the A10-7850K / R7 250 combo to be 36% faster than the i5-4430 with the R7 250. However, the R7 260X was still 42% faster than the A10-7850K / R7 250 combo with 89.4fps.
The A10-7850K and the R7 250 paired up nicely in Arma 3 with 51% better performance than the R7 250 running solo and the R7 260X / Core i5 setup was only 23% faster with an average of 72.4fps.