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GeForce GTX 1630 Proves the RX 6400 Is the Hero We Needed

Gainward GeForce GTX 1630 Ghost
Gainward GeForce GTX 1630 Ghost (Image credit: Gainward)

If you think the Radeon RX 6400 was a disappointment, Nvidia's freshly baked GeForce GTX 1630 will truly blow your socks off. TechPowerUp's review puts the Radeon RX 6400 (Navi 24) nearly 60% ahead of the new GeForce GTX 1630. That's disappointing for anyone looking to buy an entry-level GPU, but hardly surprising considering how far specs have been cut.

Nvidia quietly launched the GeForce GTX 1630 today, and you can see why it didn't make much noise after seeing how the Turing-based graphics card performs. TechPowerUp tested the GeForce GTX 1630 at higher resolutions, but we'll be kind and focus on their 1080p results. Objectively, it's unlikely that consumers will pick up the GeForce GTX 1630 for 1440p or 4K gaming, considering that the Turing graphics card struggles at 1080p with demanding image fidelity.

The good news is that the GeForce GTX 1630 delivered up to three times higher performance than the five-year-old GeForce GT 1030. That's all the good we can say about it. Early rumors claim the GeForce GTX 1630 was supposed to replace the aging GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, but TechPowerUp unfortunately didn't include the Pascal graphics card in its tests. The GeForce GTX 1630 is the first "x30" SKU to carry the GTX branding, and it's the lowest-end model in Nvidia's ongoing GeForce GTX 16-series. There's a 61% performance gap between it and the GeForce GTX 1650, which nominally has the same price.

How does the GeForce GTX 1650 fare against its AMD rivals? It was 32% faster than the relatively archaic Radeon RX 560 2GB, which also turned five years old this year. The GeForce GTX 1650 can't keep up with the more up-to-date competition, however, and the Radeon RX 6400 delivered 57% higher performance than the GeForce GTX 1630.

The only thing Nvidia got right with the GeForce GTX 1630 may be the graphics card's power consumption. It has a 75W TDP, so the recommended power supply is a 300W unit. Some vendors have still added a single 6-pin PCIe power connector, which shouldn't be necessary. TechPowerUp recorded a maximum power consumption of 65W, and up to 71W if you like frying your graphics card in Furmark. The Radeon RX 6400 drew 56W at maximum by comparison. In gaming, the publication measured 48W for the GeForce GTX 1630 and 51W for the Radeon RX 6400. Unfortunately, the thermal limit is unalterable, so you can't raise it for overclocking, much like the Radeon RX 6400.

Turning to the features, the Radeon RX 6400 comes with ray tracing, but it's not something you'd typically use on a low-end graphics card. The GeForce GTX 1630 uses the TU117 chip, so it lacks the RT and Tensor cores. That means the graphics card doesn't have access to ray tracing or Nvidia's DLSS technology. It's a shame because that latter would be beneficial for a bottom-end graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1630. Furthermore, as TechPowerUp noted, the GeForce GTX 1630 can utilize Nvidia Image Scaling (NIS) for inferior results. However, AMD rides in to save the day. Team Red has embraced everyone with its FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 (FSR 2.0), so GeForce GTX 1630 owners can leverage AMD's technology to boost gaming performance. Ironic, isn't it?

Before its release, many speculated that the GeForce GTX 1630 would carry a $150 price tag. Although the graphics card is out now, we still don't know the MSRP. TechPowerUp highlighted that neither Nvidia nor Gainward provided any details on pricing. However, with EVGA pricing its GeForce GTX 1630 SC Gaming at $199.99 (opens in new tab) and Colorful with the GeForce GTX 1630 NB at $169, the rumored $150 minimum price tag looks plausible. The problem is that the Radeon RX 6400 has a $159 MSRP, and there are custom models that retail at that price. So for $9 more, you're getting a faster graphics card, making the Radeon RX 6400 the unsung hero.

For most people, we'd recommend stepping up to something better than either of those GPUs. Our best graphics cards list recommends the RX 6500 XT as a better budget solution, and it's about 25% faster than the 6400 and can be had for as little as $175 (opens in new tab). Alternatively, you could try to pick up a used GTX 1650 Super, which is a far better card and sells for around $160 on eBay. The GTX 1060 6GB, RX 570 4GB, and GTX 1650 are all faster than the anemic GTX 1630 as well.

Zhiye Liu
Zhiye Liu

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • King_V
    I read the title...

    GeForce GTX 1630 Proves the RX 6400 Is the Hero We Needed

    and my brain cringed a little when it saw that line of text on the screen. But, the title is . . correct?


    "Radeon RX 6400 delivered 57% higher performance than the GeForce GTX 1630. "

    Ouch. Also, that, at the best case, the 1630 draws only 3W less, and in the worst case, draws 15W more than the RX 6400. Double-ouch.
    Reply
  • DRagor
    The most logical comparison for this level GPU is with integrated graphics. And that is completely missing in the article.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    Do you remember when the RX 570 cost $120 and offered twice the performance?
    It's hard to believe that was only 3 years ago. But such is the progress of technology, always marching forward into the brighter future of tomorrow.
    Reply
  • PiranhaTech
    I can somewhat give AMD a little slack because the RX 6400 was during the crypto mess and some of us wanted a GPU to hold us over, though it should be a $70-120 card. I was hoping more from Nvidia
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    DRagor said:
    The most logical comparison for this level GPU is with integrated graphics. And that is completely missing in the article.
    Nope. The card is supposedly priced at around $150, the same MSRP that Nvidia gave the ~60% faster 1650 when it launched over 3 years ago, and within $10 of the RX 6400's price. Though neither Nvidia or the card manufacturer would supply TechPowerUp with official pricing information, probably because they are trying to hold onto former crypto-market pricing for as long as possible for these lower end cards. Granted, the 1650 is also typically still marked up to over $200, but it's possible to find the 6400 for as little as its $160 MSRP now. So the most logical comparison is with other similarly-priced cards on the market. In any case, the better current-generation integrated graphics solutions tend to perform roughly in the vicinity of a 1030, a card included in their comparison, though the exact performance level can vary depending on memory configuration and the processor being compared.

    The only thing Nvidia got right with the GeForce GTX 1630 may be the graphics card's power consumption. It has a 75W TDP, so the recommended power supply is a 300W unit.
    Except the power draw is bad too, at least for the performance on offer. Going by Techpowerup's article, the power draw of the 1630 is nearly identical to the RX 6400, despite the 6400 offering close to 60% more performance. Keep in mind that the GTX 1030 had a 30 watt TDP, or 20 watts for the DDR4 model, so that's a big increase in power draw over the card's similarly-numbered predecessor. And while a 20-30 watt card will most likely work fine with just about any low-end power supply in a prebuilt system, the 1630 can potential climb up into the 65-70 watt range, which is more likely to result in an unstable system on such a PSU.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    DRagor said:
    The most logical comparison for this level GPU is with integrated graphics. And that is completely missing in the article.
    The most logical comparison for this card is a toilet with money getting flushed down it. I don't see any realistic scenario where purchasing this card makes sense.
    Reply
  • neojack
    I think this class of card has a role to play for repurposing refurb office PCs (cheap Dell, HP towers on ebay or local stores) into entry-level gaming PCs

    I believe they are the most powerfull option for if someone search for cards without 6-pin connectors ?
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    neojack said:
    I think this class of card has a role to play for repurposing refurb office PCs (cheap Dell, HP towers on ebay or local stores) into entry-level gaming PCs

    I believe they are the most powerfull option for if someone search for cards without 6-pin connectors ?
    No, RX 6400s and many GTX 1650s also don't require additional power, and have similar power draw, despite offering around 60% more performance. So there's not really much point in the 1630, unless it drops to a significantly lower price point.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    neojack said:
    I think this class of card has a role to play for repurposing refurb office PCs (cheap Dell, HP towers on ebay or local stores) into entry-level gaming PCs

    Maybe the cheapest way to run three monitors or more.

    What kind of Hardware is behind the new (ish) screen menus at all the restaurants?
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    I really don't understand these cards at all with these prices. (Unless your intent is to upgrade an older prebuilt for e-sports, or much older titles.) As the article states the 1650 has a similar price and performs much better. And the 6400 is in the ballpark also.

    Entry level should be RX480/580/590/6400 levels of performance now. This is 1080p at medium settings.

    Any thing else I would think you would better off going 5700g APU if doing a new system build. That will get you 720p gaming and a much lower system price.
    Reply