AMD quietly launches the entry-level Radeon RX 6400

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AMD quietly launched its entry-level Radeon RX 6400 graphics card with a recommended price of US$159, making it the most affordable RX 6000 series card yet. The RDNA2-based RX 6400 features a slimmed down version of the Navi 24 6nm GPU, the same that powers the RX 6500 XT. It features 768 Shader Units and comes with a typical board power of 53W.

This power consumption figure means that it can get all of its power through the PCIe slot. This is one of the main advantages of the 6400. It can easily be integrated into any of the millions of Dell or HP systems worldwide, without having to worry about the power supply inside.

Many 6400 boards come with single-slot cooling, low-profile PCBs, or both. This is an important feature for small form factor systems.

In terms of performance, AMD touts the RX 6400 as superior to the GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1650 while consuming less power. Assuming those numbers hold up in independent testing and barring any PCIe 4x limitations, this is the kind of performance that casual gamers will enjoy. AMD claims the RX 6400 can maintain 60fps in a range of modern games, although the most demanding require low settings, and you can overlook things like ray tracing.

If you’re considering buying an RX 6400, it’s important to be aware of its limitations. It is limited to a single HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 output. A third would be nice, but that’s a legacy of its mobile origins. There is also its PCIe x4 limitation. A card at this level shouldn’t face a significant bottleneck in a PCIe 4.0 or PCIe 3.0 system, but it may be the case with an older PCIe 2.0 system, where I suspect many RX 6400s will end up, may -be a replacement for a dead or obsolete GPU.

It lacks a full media encoder and decoder, which will limit its appeal for HTPC users. However, this will depend on the processor that comes with it. An APU might be more appealing to users looking to create a media box.

If you’re aware of its limitations and don’t expect too much of it, the RX 6400 could carve out a place for itself, especially since Nvidia doesn’t yet have an Ampere generation card to compete with it. I think its price of $159 is too high, but it’s not a card that appeals to miners and it will surely fall over time. If that happens, the RX 6400 will make a reasonable entry-level gaming card. Load up PUBG or a bit of CS:GO and it’ll get the job done, while sipping energy and staying cool.

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