AMD Radeon RX 6400 Review: Tiny Low-Power Package

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,254
I warmed up a tiny bit about this card but mostly because it has a single thing that it can offer people: It's the best performing single slot half height GPU you can get that has a *reasonable* price tag (Workstation cards that cost 400 bucks and perform just a tiny bit better are kind of terrible)

The only tragedy is the lack of hardware video decoders but there's a ton of tiny cases and situation where a single slot, half height is literally the only thing you have to fit a GPU without resorting to weird solutions like external m.2 to pci-e adapters.

But hey if you want the tiniest possible itx system and are not willing to wait 12 to 18 months for Ryzen 7000s apus featuring both ddr5 and RDNA 2 (As those will probably match the performance of this card or get close enough to not matter much) then sure.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,117   +3,660
What a missed opportunity. If AMD had purposely designed the 6400/6500 as RX 550/560 successors they would have been a nice combo, seeing how they support the full DX12 Ultimate feature set unlike any other competing products.

Due to being repurposed mobile GPU with the associated shortcomings on desktop, they unfortunately aren‘t.

The saddest part is that a 550 style 6400 would have been a great upgrade option for owners of older / OEM PC.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,365   +5,592
Man, losing 15% performance on average with PCIe 3.0 is kinda horrible. For anyone with an older or budget system (you know the market for this thing) AMD has offiially moved the price/perf needle backwards.

They really gimped this thing with that x4 link. I guess the only hope at this point for a reasonable 75w card is intel's A380 GPU. I shoulda just bit the bullet and bought a 1650LP 3 years ago...
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 250   +334
If there were a market for high performance LP cards, you can rest assured Nvidia/AMD would make them. If they can stuff a GPU like the mobile 3080 ti, that's nearly as powerful as a desktop 3070, into a laptop, then they could make LP cards that would outperform a 3070. The market just is not there or there is just not money in it for Nvidia/AMD. So unfortunately, all you get is a RX 6400.
 

takaozo

Posts: 65   +71
Looks like a server network card with video output.

👺

I also wonder why they puth the gold contacts for x16, could have save some penny's there.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,706   +6,653
This, with HDMI 2.1 and hardware H265/HEVC decode, would easily make a great card for a HTPC. https://www.amd.com/en/products/graphics/amd-radeon-rx-6400

What were you guys thinking when you tested this as a gaming card? Really?? Testing this with games that make some high-end cards strain, and you also knew that it would be a piece of :poop: So what is the point?? IMO, you completely missed the mark. Yes, I know TS is a gaming site, but still, all I can say is WTF? - especially with no mention of possible use as an HTPC card. :rolleyes:

Muh games, oh no, muh games perform like crap on this card. 🤣 Thanks for the excellent, if unwarranted, review.

You might have saved yourself some time by simply saying - For gaming: NOT RECOMMENDED. Sheesh.
 

ZackL04

Posts: 793   +600
Extremely harsh Steve.

Where can I buy this, its single slot lp right??

I want one for my sff Batocera machine

Its perfect for the second hand optiplex I picked up, like you mentioned. Much better value than the Quadro T600 I was going to buy instead at $249

Is this not THE best price/performance for a single slot lp card? I think if def serves a purpose, I’d agree its niche without the HTPC codecs, but def an amazing value for an arcade cabinet!
 
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HardReset

Posts: 1,665   +1,322
At least this time you finally understood this chip is actually mobile one.

However, giving 30/100 for something just because "there are better second hand deals available" would also mean practically every card that is not better than last generation high end model should also receive max 50/100 because, yeah, there are better second hand deals available 🤦‍♂️
 

Shirley Dulcey

Posts: 33   +27
The real fail is not the gaming performance. It's the omission of hardware AV1 decode and the hardware encoders, just like the RX 6500 XT. It means that the card doesn't fit the bill for what should have been its primary use case: home theater PCs. Only two video outputs means that it's also a fail as a cheap and cheerful way to drive a multi-display setup where gaming-level performance is not needed, such as video walls.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,665   +1,322
The real fail is not the gaming performance. It's the omission of hardware AV1 decode and the hardware encoders, just like the RX 6500 XT. It means that the card doesn't fit the bill for what should have been its primary use case: home theater PCs. Only two video outputs means that it's also a fail as a cheap and cheerful way to drive a multi-display setup where gaming-level performance is not needed, such as video walls.
6500XT and 6400 are both Mobile GPU's.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,706   +6,653
The real fail is not the gaming performance. It's the omission of hardware AV1 decode and the hardware encoders, just like the RX 6500 XT. It means that the card doesn't fit the bill for what should have been its primary use case: home theater PCs. Only two video outputs means that it's also a fail as a cheap and cheerful way to drive a multi-display setup where gaming-level performance is not needed, such as video walls.
I guess if you are talking only streaming, perhaps, but if you have a solution for UHD Blu-ray, drive, proper firmware, etc., like us Ancients, then its close enough for the mark, IMO, as it does have hardware h.265/HEVC decoding and HDMI 2.1.

However, I have yet to find a streaming service that can match even Blu-ray levels of performance, so AV1 decode may not be that much of an issue for my use case.
However, this is not a review of a laptop with a 6400.

There are companies selling these as PCIE cards for desktop computers. And they are awful products.
Depending on your use case - gaming, obviously, don't waste your time and energy.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,665   +1,322
However, this is not a review of a laptop with a 6400.

There are companies selling these as PCIE cards for desktop computers. And they are awful products.
Mobile GPU's exist outside mobile too.

Companies are selling these for desktops, true. That is problem because :confused: Feel free to tell me better offering at similar price. New products only. Current prices. Go ahead.

Not so awful any more?
 

Shirley Dulcey

Posts: 33   +27
Mobile GPU's exist outside mobile too.

Companies are selling these for desktops, true. That is problem because :confused: Feel free to tell me better offering at similar price. New products only. Current prices. Go ahead.

Not so awful any more?
It doesn't meet the needs of desktop users. Heck, it doesn't even meet the needs of mobile users all that well. (Though since it will only go into new laptops, at least the PCIe x4 bottleneck isn't as big a deal; it's when you put the 6400 or 6500 into an older system with version 3 or version 2 PCIe that it gets really bad.) Adding back the video encoding and decoding features would make it much more suitable for media consumption and for livestreaming non-game content. (To be suitable for streaming game play it would have to be a better gaming card.)

Netflix and YouTube are both streaming content in AV1 now so it matters. Its lack will mean that users will either use more bandwidth (the service will have to use a less efficient codec) or get a lower quality stream. Running a software decoder might be viable on a desktop system if the CPU can keep up, which is doubtful for the CPUs that will get paired with the 6400, but it would be a battery killer in a laptop.

I don't feel like this meets anybody's needs well. With the full video features of the higher end Radeon cards it would at least have a niche. It might have to cost $30 more but it would be much easier to recommend to some users. The niche for low end mobile GPUs is shrinking in any case because iGPUs have gotten so much better.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 512   +976
Mobile GPU's exist outside mobile too.

Companies are selling these for desktops, true. That is problem because :confused: Feel free to tell me better offering at similar price. New products only. Current prices. Go ahead.

Not so awful any more?

Actually, totally terrible. These really only exist because AMD overestimated the amount of design wins it might get for laptops with these GPUs.

If these had been properly designed for some sort of category, like say HTPC, they would have had support for multiple outputs, PCIE lanes, and video de- and encoders.

And besides, how does someone maneuver themselves into a corner such that they suddenly urgently feel they need a dedicated GPU with a) single slot b) half height and c) no external power? Get a system fit for purpose. And dump these in a landfill.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,665   +1,322
It doesn't meet the needs of desktop users. Heck, it doesn't even meet the needs of mobile users all that well. (Though since it will only go into new laptops, at least the PCIe x4 bottleneck isn't as big a deal; it's when you put the 6400 or 6500 into an older system with version 3 or version 2 PCIe that it gets really bad.) Adding back the video encoding and decoding features would make it much more suitable for media consumption and for livestreaming non-game content. (To be suitable for streaming game play it would have to be a better gaming card.)

Netflix and YouTube are both streaming content in AV1 now so it matters. Its lack will mean that users will either use more bandwidth (the service will have to use a less efficient codec) or get a lower quality stream. Running a software decoder might be viable on a desktop system if the CPU can keep up, which is doubtful for the CPUs that will get paired with the 6400, but it would be a battery killer in a laptop.

I don't feel like this meets anybody's needs well. With the full video features of the higher end Radeon cards it would at least have a niche. It might have to cost $30 more but it would be much easier to recommend to some users. The niche for low end mobile GPUs is shrinking in any case because iGPUs have gotten so much better.
I agree but still: can you get better card for same price? New, today's prices.

You can continue your rant about PCIe 4.0 necessity, missing features etc. But unless you can give better option for same price, then this card is best choice for it's price range. Like it or not.

Current market situation is what it is and since Nvidia didn't bring any new Ampere designs lately for desktop (RTX3050 is just cut down 3060), AMD didn't do any worse than Nvidia.
Actually, totally terrible. These really only exist because AMD overestimated the amount of design wins it might get for laptops with these GPUs.

If these had been properly designed for some sort of category, like say HTPC, they would have had support for multiple outputs, PCIE lanes, and video de- and encoders.

And besides, how does someone maneuver themselves into a corner such that they suddenly urgently feel they need a dedicated GPU with a) single slot b) half height and c) no external power? Get a system fit for purpose. And dump these in a landfill.
These exists on desktop market because AMD didn't want to design new low end RDNA2 cards when RDNA3 is coming.

Of course, but again, RDNA3 is coming soon and Nvidia also didn't bother to do any better.

Someone that cannot afford whole system but can afford graphics card? Like everyone has unlimited money 🤔
 

Shirley Dulcey

Posts: 33   +27
I agree but still: can you get better card for same price? New, today's prices.

You can continue your rant about PCIe 4.0 necessity, missing features etc. But unless you can give better option for same price, then this card is best choice for it's price range. Like it or not.

Current market situation is what it is and since Nvidia didn't bring any new Ampere designs lately for desktop (RTX3050 is just cut down 3060), AMD didn't do any worse than Nvidia.

These exists on desktop market because AMD didn't want to design new low end RDNA2 cards when RDNA3 is coming.

Of course, but again, RDNA3 is coming soon and Nvidia also didn't bother to do any better.

Someone that cannot afford whole system but can afford graphics card? Like everyone has unlimited money 🤔
If you're building a new system, the best option is not to buy any of these bad graphics cards. Buy a Radeon 5000 series APU, use the iGPU for now, and buy something better when it comes along.

If you're looking to upgrade an older system, and especially one without PCIe gen 4, buy used or wait. At some point it will be possible to buy an RTX3050 for its $250 MSRP, and it will be a reasonable buy at that price.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 774   +879
"For those of you looking for an affordable gaming graphics card, the RX 6400 won't be it, or at least it shouldn't be for anyone who has access to a decent second hand market"

Steve, Steve my friend, you surely have heard by now about those cards that have been ridden into oblivion by miners and are now being sold as "used, but in pristine and mint condition" GPUs.....right?

And others have mentioned, this is not meant to be a serious gaming card, so why treat it as such!!

 

HardReset

Posts: 1,665   +1,322
If you're building a new system, the best option is not to buy any of these bad graphics cards. Buy a Radeon 5000 series APU, use the iGPU for now, and buy something better when it comes along.

If you're looking to upgrade an older system, and especially one without PCIe gen 4, buy used or wait. At some point it will be possible to buy an RTX3050 for its $250 MSRP, and it will be a reasonable buy at that price.
And if you don't have time to wait until you get used card then what? Buying used card is usually slower than buying new one.

Once again, if you need card right now, then used or waiting is not option.

How about finally telling better option for new GPU at same price?
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
So these are the laptop chips that the laptop manufacturers didn’t want. You really get the sense that AMD just doesn’t care about the users by gimping it’s PCIe lanes.

I pity the poor souls who end up trying to play games on this thing.

 

BadThad

Posts: 1,039   +1,193
Agree with Steve, this is an $80 card in the current market, in a normal market $40-50. As crappy as it is, I'd like to see it compared to IGP. Might be a close competition!

Here's to hoping Intel can actually get their cards to market at a good price. They should shake-up the low/mid graphics market and help bring prices back down to reality.