The AMD Radeon RX 6400 should be the last 'new' GPU we'll see before the next-generation architectures slated to launch before the end of the year. Officially launched as an OEM-only product at the start of the year, AMD and its partners later decided to sell the cards on the retail market. It's not going to make our list of the best graphics cards, but if your primary requirement is a GPU that doesn't need a 6-pin or 8-pin power connector or a modern GPU that can be found in a half-height form factor, this is it. Still, we wanted to include it in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy, and it does fill a potential market niche.
We purchased this PowerColor ITX card at retail because no one wanted to send us a review sample. It sounds a bit like Intel's Arc A380 right now, though at least you can find the RX 6400 in the US market. We opted for the dual-slot model, mostly because that should represent the maximum level of performance you're likely to see from the GPU, whereas a half-height card might end up running a bit slower.
The primary competition for the RX 6400 consists of Nvidia's older GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1650, along with AMD's previous-gen RX 5500 XT and the slightly more expensive RX 6500 XT. Here's how the specifications stack up.
|Graphics Card||RX 6400||RX 6500 XT||RX 5500 XT 4GB||GTX 1650 Super||GTX 1650|
|Architecture||Navi 24||Navi 24||Navi 14||TU116||TU117|
|Process Technology||TSMC N6||TSMC N6||TSMC N7||TSMC 12FFN||TSMC 12FFN|
|Die size (mm^2)||107||107||158||284||200|
|SMs / CUs||12||16||22||20||14|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||2815||2815||1717||1725||1665|
|VRAM Speed (Gbps)||16||18||14||12||8|
|VRAM Bus Width||64||64||128||128||128|
|TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)||4.3||5.8||4.8||4.4||3|
|PCIe Link||Gen4 x4||Gen4 x4||Gen4 x8||Gen3 x16||Gen3 x16|
|Launch Date||Jan 2022||Jan 2022||Dec 2019||Nov 2019||Apr 2019|
|Online Price||$159.99 (opens in new tab)||$174.99 (opens in new tab)||~$150 used (opens in new tab)||~$150 used (opens in new tab)||~$100 used (opens in new tab)|
It's not a good look to have a new GPU competing against the three-year-old GTX 1650, but that's effectively where things stand. Nvidia hasn't really tried to launch a budget card in recent years, though there are plenty of indications that we'll soon see a new GeForce GTX 1630. That seems silly, as we already have the GTX 1650, and Nvidia should just make more of those instead of cutting features even more to create a 1630, but I digress.
One item of business we need to discuss is the out-of-box experience with the RX 6400, specifically the card's completely locked-down nature. Our understanding is that all overclocking options for the RX 6400 are disabled, and at least in AMD's drivers as well as MSI Afterburner, there's no ability to change any of the clocks or other elements. That probably means we won't see factory overclocked cards, which isn't the case for the other GPUs.
The RX 6400's biggest selling points will be size and power requirements. It's one of the few current options if you want a single-slot card that will fit into a slim form factor PC. Theoretically, you can put the RX 6400 into any PC that has a PCIe x16 slot, and it should work. However, we need to mention that performance will be lower with a PCIe 3.0 system, thanks to the x4 PCIe link width. (We measured about 8–10% lower performance on average when testing the RX 6500 XT with PCIe 3.0 vs. PCIe 4.0.)
Current graphics card prices are often hitting MSRPs, sometimes lower. For example, the RX 6400 can be purchased at AMD's official $160 starting price, while the RX 6500 XT can be had for just $15 more — but it needs a 6-pin power connector. AMD's older RX 5500 XT 4GB can only be found as a used option these days, and the same generally goes for the GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1650, though new cards can sometimes be had for $200. There were a few GTX 1650 cards that didn't need a 6-pin adapter, but they're hard to come by and tend to perform a bit worse than the typical 6-pin models.