AMD launches $199 Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card – cheaper RDNA 2

And the Radeon RX 6400 slips in under the radar.

The ongoing shortages in technology products, and PC parts in particular, have plagued gamers looking to upgrade their systems. Nowhere is this issue more prevalent than with graphics cards, whose supply is hampered by the twin evils of stock constraints and take-up by cryptominers.

Nevertheless, another two discrete GPUs roll off the AMD RDNA 2 line, bringing the total up to eight. The Radeon RX 6500 XT and Radeon RX 6400 have the noteworthy accolade of being the first pair to use TSMC’s 6nm process, which ought to work well for energy efficiency and high frequency.

Club386 Table of Doom™

GPURX 6600 XTRX 6600RX 6500 XTRX 6400
Launch dateAug 2021Oct 2021Jan 2022Jan 2022
CodenameNavi 23Navi 23Navi 24Navi 24
ArchitectureRDNA 2RDNA 2RDNA 2RDNA 2
Process (nm)7766
Transistors (bn)
Die Size (mm²)237237N/AN/A
Infinity Cache (MB)32321616
Boost Clock (MHz)2,5892,4912,8152,321
Peak GFLOPs10,6058,9285,7653,565
Memory Size (GB)8844
Memory Clock (Mbps)16,00014,00018,00016,000
Memory Width (bits)1281286464
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s)256224144128
Power Connector (pin)8860
Board Power (watts)16013210753
Launch MSRP (USD)379329199N/A

Radeon RX 6500 XT

Though both GPUs are based on the same 5.4bn transistor Navi 24 die, the RX 6500 XT is comfortably the more powerful of the two. It packs in 1,024 shaders situated across 16 Compute Units. Core frequencies are indeed handsome, as it features Game and Boost clocks of 2,610MHz and 2,815MHz, respectively.

Crunching the numbers reveals a peak 5.77TFLOPS of single-precision compute. The card carries 16MB of Infinity Cache – used as an interim buffer between the cores and card memory – and has 4GB of GDDR6 memory running at 18Gbps across a 64-bit interface.

All of that sounds good until you compare it to the next GPUs up, the released Radeon RX 6600 XT and 6600. Those are much more powerful cards in every respect, though they also do cost significantly more… if you can find them in stock.

Having only 4GB of board memory is potentially troublesome insofar as it may prove too small for some games that load large textures, even at a FHD resolution, and it’s one area where rival Nvidia does better with its just-announced RTX 3050 8GB.

A board power of 107W ought to mean small, simple cards with basic cooling. On-shelf date is set as January 19.

Radeon RX 6400

Perusing the specifications shows AMD really dials down the energy consumption on the RX 6400. The most striking feature is the 53W board power, which is less than half that of the RX 6500 XT, and entails running without additional power cabling from the PSU.

Massively reducing its thermal budget has a knock-on effect of hampering performance. It’s difficult to tell how it will fare in real-world games, but at a guess, FHD60 at high-quality settings may be possible.

There’s no pricing for this model, but it’s expected on the same January 19 date. It will be built by AMD’s partners alone, so we expect to see small-form-factor cards with minimal cooling and lighting extravagance.