AMD silently gave the Radeon RX 6400 a retail launch last week. However, TechPowerUp’s review of the Radeon RX 6400 purportedly revealed that it lacks overclocking support, meaning there’s no way for owners to boost the Navi 24-based graphics card’s performance.
The Radeon RX 6400 initially targeted OEMs, but AMD eventually decided to unleash it for the retail market. The graphics card apparently performs like Nvidia’s three-year-old GeForce GTX 1650 from the Turing days. According to TechPowerUp’s results, even the Radeon RX 570, which debuted in 2017, is faster than the Radeon RX 6400. The publication recorded performance margins up to 17% in 1080p and 24% in 1440p in favor of the venerable Polaris graphics card. It’s no wonder AMD didn’t make a big deal out of the Radeon RX 6400 launch.
The Navi 24 silicon has some drawbacks. There’s a limitation on the bandwidth, for starters, with a 64-bit memory interface and only four lanes of (up to) PCIe 4.0 connectivity. AMD has also trimmed down the media encoding capabilities. As a result, Navi 24 lacks support for 4K H.264/H.265 encoding and AV1 decoding. In addition, certain AMD technologies, such as ReLive, aren’t available on the Radeon RX 6400, where the same feature is accessible to old geezers like the Radeon RX 480. Finally, it would appear zero overclocking support is part of the Radeon RX 6400’s shortcomings.
TechPowerUp claims that AMD has locked down the Radeon RX 6400 completely. While the OC settings panel is reachable in AMD’s Radeon WattMan utility, the custom setting doesn’t provide sliders to adjust the clock speeds. Nonetheless, it’s too soon to determine whether AMD has purposefully disabled overclocking on the Radeon RX 6400 based on a single sample. It could just be an oversight with the drivers on AMD’s part, and other utilities like MSI Afterburner might also work. Perhaps the chipmaker simply hasn’t explicitly enabled overclocking on the Radeon RX 6400 yet. It will be interesting to see whether third-party utilities can overclock the Radeon RX 6400, and we’ll likely hear more in the coming days.
Of course, the Radeon RX 6400 is far from being one of the best graphics cards on the market right now. Even with a $159 starting price, the Navi 24-based graphics card seems underpowered, but perhaps it can find some success in the current state of the graphics card market, especially with custom GeForce GTX 1650 models starting at $210. Considering the far more capable RTX 3050 starts at $250, however, we’d try for that rather than pinching pennies to end up with a weak sauce card.