PowerColor RX 6400 ITX Review

WHEN AMD ANNOUNCED the RX 6500 XT and RX 6400, it said the latter would be exclusive to pre-built OEM PCs. Several months later, AMD changed its mind and the Radeon RX 6400 is now available as an add-in board from several graphics card vendors. The PowerColor RX 6400 ITX perhaps isn’t the ideal model, since the biggest selling points for the RX 6400 are that it doesn’t require any extra power connectors and it can fit in a single-slot, half-height form factor. If you happen to have a slim PC, about the only other options besides the RX 6400 are extremely weak solutions such as the old GT 1030 or RX 550 from five years ago. Read our PowerColor RX 6400 ITX Review.

–JARRED WALTON

PowerColor RX 6400 ITX Review

The Navi 24 at least brings some features up to the modern era. You get PCIe 4.0 support, ray-tracing hardware, and 4GB of GDDR6 backed by a 16MB Infinity Cache. However, the PCIe link is only four lanes, and in testing with a PCIe 3.0 connection, performance dropped by nine percent on average. The ray-tracing support also barely counts, and while we tested performance at 1080p medium, the best result from a demanding DXR (DirectX Raytracing) game was only 15fps, with several DXR games landing in single-digit frame rates. Finally, Navi 24 was originally intended for laptops where it would be paired with processors that have integrated graphics and hardware for video encoding and decoding. To save die space, Navi 24 lacks any form of H.264 or H.265 encoding support—though it can decode those formats just fine.

Overall, graphics performance basically ties with the GTX 1650 GDDR5 solution that launched three years ago. The GTX 1650 was technically faster at 1080p ultra, although it was largely a pyrrhic victory because most games failed to reach 30fps. Adding insult to injury, the suggested price is $ higher than Nvidia’s card—although it’s getting difficult to find new GTX 1650 cards in stock, and they routinely sell for $ or more. GTX 1650 also has full H.264/H.265 encoding support, and there were actually a few models that ran with reduced clocks so that they didn’t need a six-pin power connector.

Incidentally, AMD has fully locked down clock speeds on the RX 6400. Open AMD’s Radeon Settings utility and you can’t change any of the settings, not even fan speed. The same goes for MSI Afterburner. Which is fine, because this is clearly a budget-focused card and overclocking likely isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of features. With a 53W TBP (typical board power), even the tiny fans and heatsinks on half-height models should cool the GPU sufficiently to let it reach its performance potential.

BENCHMARKS

PowerColor RX 6400 ITX Review

Best scores are in bold. All testing conducted with a Core i9-12900K, MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi DDR4, 2x 16GB DDR4-3600 CL16, 2TB Crucial P5 Plus M.2 SSD, Cooler Master MWE 1250 Gold V2. Scores are average frame rates at 1920×1080 medium/ultra.

Sadly, it appears Nvidia saw AMD’s budget sector plans and decided that it couldn’t let the RX 6400 go unchallenged, so it just launched a ‘new’ GTX 1630 card. While the 1630 does have better video encoding hardware, that’s about the only advantage. The GTX 1630 has just 512 shader cores and makes the RX 6400 look much better by comparison. It’s also priced as high as the far more capable GTX 1650 that uses the same TU117 GPU, just with 50 percent more shader cores and twice the memory bandwidth. Both new GPUs end up feeling like they were moved into production back when cryptocurrency mining and severe graphics card shortages were ongoing, which is thankfully no longer the case.

This is a GPU for a specific niche—mostly users who want a slim graphics card. If you fall into that category, as slow and defeatured as the RX 6400 is, it may be your best option. Some would even argue that for the intended market, the card performs admirably and warrants a higher score. Those who don’t need a slim card and have PCs with six-pin or eight-pin power connectors have better options, such as the GTX 1650 Super or the previous generation RX 5500 XT. Both can be found on eBay for under $ and even used cards should still run fine as these models were not good for Ethereum mining.

VERDICT

PowerColor RX 6400 ITX

$ www.powercolor.com

5 Total Score
PowerColor RX 6400 ITX Review

PROS
  • No extra power required
  • half-height models available
  • as fast as the GTX 1650.
CONS
  • Slower than most GPUs
  • costs nearly as much as RX 6500 XT
  • no encoding hardware
  • x4 PCIe
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Best PowerColor RX 6400 ITX prices ?

$159.99
September 24, 2022 11:18 am
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3 new from $159.99

SPECIFICATIONS

Architecture Navi 24

Lithography TSMC N6

Boost Clock 2,321MHz

GPU Cores 768

Memory 4GB 16Gb/s

TFLOPS FP32 3.6

Bandwidth 128GB/s

TBP 53W

Connectors 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4

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