By formula of graphics cards, AMD has had some stinkers over time, and the Radeon RX 6400 must be counted amongst them. For $130, it’s a awful deal for many gamers, and the helpful requirement of a recent CPU and motherboard is maddening.

That is, for most gamers. Despite what I knew to be on the field of the RX 6400, I in actuality went out lately and bought one. No, I didn’t contain a psychological breakdown or some form of psychotic episode. Genuinely, I had a extraordinarily merely trigger of shopping for a 6400, and even when it’s a awful card for many of us, it in actual fact has a merely motive to exist.

RX 480 diploma performance for merely 40 watts
Matthew Connatser/Digital Developments
When we focal level on of what makes a merely GPU, performance is king. It’s no doubt what the typical GPU buyer has in thoughts when they’re scouring the web for benchmarks and performance data.

Nonetheless vitality design shall be essential. Truly essential.

In 2016, I changed into one of the principle of us to spend a Radeon RX 480, one of AMD’s finest GPUs ever, on legend of its gigantic performance, low save, and first fee vitality effectivity. I enjoyed how it simply performed video games cherish the Witcher 3, Hitman (2016), and Skyrim with excessive or max graphics at 1080p whereas sustaining a body fee of 60 frames per 2d (fps) or extra. Even on the present time, that’s a merely diploma of performance.

The RX 6400 consumes 100 much less watts of vitality than the RX 480. That’s a huge deal.

Nonetheless in terms of vitality effectivity, the RX 6400 locations its predecessor to disgrace. It’s nearly as snappy because the RX 480, and regardless of its dinky size, it consumes not as much as a 3rd of the vitality budget of the RX 480. As seen in many reviewers’ results when examined against the RX 570, which might perhaps stand in for the RX 480, the RX 6400 is handiest around 6% within the relief of in moderate body charges, whereas ingesting 100 much less watts of vitality. That’s a huge deal.

Of route, one essential caveat is that the RX 6400 requires PCIe 4.0 in give an explanation for to build at its high. With handiest PCIe 3.0 enabled, the RX 6400’s performance it appears declines by 15%. Here’s a critically thorny field for the RX 6400, as this design it underperforms on hardware that predates PCIe 4.0’s debut in 2019; paradoxically, most budget Ryzen 5000 CPUs don’t contain PCIe 4.0, even supposing all Ryzen 3000 chips did. Happily, Intel has PCIe 4.0 toughen on all of its Alder Lake CPUs, even its sub-$100 gadgets, the form you’d must pair with the RX 6400.

Affordable low-profile GPU pricing in the end
Matthew Connatser/Digital Developments
The RX 6400 is a low-profile GPU, that formula it’s rather compact physically, and meant to easily slot into smaller ITX builds the put aside start house is puny. Despite the incontrovertible fact that the RX 6400 is impressive compared to older GPUs, one might perhaps per chance per chance save that it has nearly identical performance to Nvidia’s weak GTX 1650, which came out in 2019, a fleshy three years before the RX 6400. That’s merely — the GTX 1650 also is available in low-profile sizes and consumes in regards to the identical quantity of vitality. So, what’s the RX 6400 doing that the 1650 can’t? Nicely, it comes all the design down to availability and worth.

For years, low-profile GPUs contain been skyrocketing in save, even before the GPU shortage reared its gross head. For reference, I bought a low-profile RX 460 2GB for $94 in 2017, which changed into in actual fact a in actual fact merely deal as low-profile GTX 1050s and GTX 1050 Tis went for some distance extra — generally at the same time as considerable as $150. I even win seeing low-profile 460s, 1050s, and 1050 Tis going for nearly $200 thru 2018 and 2019.

While provide changed into one component, the particular nail within the coffin changed into the dearth of new low-profile GPUs to build up up the slack. From 2016 to 2018, the handiest new low-profile GPU changed into the GT 1030, which might perhaps be very leisurely, backside-cease, and because of this failed to lift down prices or offer a helpful trip. In 2019, the GTX 1650 came out and it changed into promising for its excessive performance and effectivity, nevertheless it changed into merely too expensive, often selling for extra than $200. Even on the present time, most are going for $225 to $250, with one Gigabyte mannequin currently available for $175.

Honest final month, I bought my RX 6400 for handiest $130.

The true fact that the RX 6400 exists, critically at its save, assemble it a critically weird graphics card.

The RX 6400 has apparently enjoyed merely provide ever since it came out and is even selling beneath is $160 now and then. On the time of writing, there are two RX 6400s selling for $150, nevertheless merely final month, I bought my RX 6400 for $130. For these seeking to constructed a low-save, low-profile PC, saving $30 is a big deal when that formula it’ll gallop against a bigger, PCIe 4.0-enabled CPU.

I could perhaps per chance per chance be extra bitter in regards to the 6400’s save when I paid not as much as $100 for a merely low-profile GPU in 2017, for a extraordinarily identical PC you gape within the image above. The component is, low-profile cards for gaming aren’t merely niche — they’re a hassle within the niche of ITX-sized gaming PCs. Of us who steal to assemble tiny computers (myself integrated) merely must lift what they’ll salvage on the demonstrate time. I’m thankful that the RX 6400 exists, since it’s the principle low-profile GPU in a truly long time that’s fee the save.

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