Benchmark Overview and Conclusion
When looking at our benchmark results, it's clear that the Radeon 9250 and 9600SE perform similarly. The Radeon 9600 scored victories in 9 of the tests, while the 9250 took the top spot in six. Most of the wins for the 9250 came during the OpenGL powered Doom3 set of tests, however, where none of the cards we tested came close to producing playable framerates.
When evaluated in the proper context, the ATi Radeon 9250 is a decent video card. What consumers need to do is seriously consider what they are looking for in a video card. If playing graphically intense games is their main goal, the 9250 is obviously not for them. However, if improving their 2D desktop environment, whether it is for DVD's, photo editing or other applications, the 9250 will perform the task wonderfully. This is not to say that this card will not handle some of the newer games on the market, you just may have to turn down some of the eye-candy to achieve playable framerates.
From a feature standpoint, our only gripe with the 9250 is the lack of DVI port. Though most users who are considering this card as an upgrade will probably not have invested the extra money into a DVI capable LCD, it is a possible limiting factor which reduces the overall appeal of the card. With that said, some of ATI's partners have taken this into consideration and have incorporated a DVI port in their products. Their is also a slew of other OEMs which feature alterations such as a full half-height card layout. Overall, gamers should probably look for a more powerful video card, but someone looking to upgrade from an integrated graphics solution or replace a similar performing card would be hard pressed to find a better value than the Radeon 9250. At under $60 for a 128MB model, the 9250 is very affordable.