Over the past 5-6 years, Nvidia’s GT1030, GTX1050ti, and GTX1650 video cards have dominated the low-profile market. At the beginning of 2022, the entry-level RX6400 GPU was released, and gradually low-profile solutions based on it appeared on the market. There are two options for low profile GPU models (this applies not only to the RX6400) – a “narrow” single-slot variant with a thin heatsink and a fan and a “wide” two-slot variant. The latter has a thicker radiator and two fans. Dual-slot variants also include the Gigabyte Radeon RX 6400 D6 low profile graphics card model, which we’ll discuss in this review.
As expected, the graphics card box is small. The front side lists the key features (4GB VRAM, PCI-E 4.0) and shows a headlight from a car (perhaps a collaboration with BMW).
On the back side, the main technologies of AMD are indicated, and the use of solid-state capacitors with low ESR and stuff like that are mentioned.
The Radeon RX 6400 D6 comes with a low-profile bar and a small installation manual in different languages.
As we mentioned above, this low profile graphics card occupies two slots in the case, which gives a chance for more or less normal GPU cooling. Two small fans blow the thick aluminum radiator.
The radiator itself is attached to the board with four screws. In the photo below, pay attention to two additional screws just to the right of the GPU (they fasten another mini-radiator), as well as to the screws that secure the back bar (We will return to this a little later).
The card comes with only two video outputs – HDMI and Displayport.
If you look at the card from the end, you can see that the heatsink has rather long fins, which inspires hope for effective heat removal.
If you look under the radiator from the other side, you can see that part of the radiator is cut off to install high electronic components (capacitors and chokes). At the same time, the radiator fins in this place are blown through, which allows additional cooling of the board.
In the photo, you can see a second, smaller radiator, which is installed on the power circuit. We have some doubts about the effectiveness of such a design, but we can count on a reputable manufacturer like Gigabyte. Surely, the Gigabyte engineers have calculated everything well.
Since we are talking about design features, we will walk you through the process of replacing the mounting plate. You’d expect that to replace the bar with a lower-profile one, you’ll only need to unscrew a few screws. But this is not the case with this model.
Here, a large bar with four screws is attached, and you can unscrew one of them only after removing the radiator. So, replacing the bar = replacing the thermal paste in this particular case.
This is what the board itself looks like. As you can see, the manufacturer did not regret the thermal paste. The pads on the two memory chips are soft and seem to be of good quality. The same gaskets are used on MOSFETs.
By the way, the mounting strips have a different design. The low-profile one is attached to the connectors with only two screws, and it is not necessary to remove the heatsink to remove it.
GigaByte Radeon RX 6400 D6 specifications
- Graphics Processing: Radeon RX 6400
- Core Clock: Boost Clock – up to 2321 MHz / Game Clock – up to 2039 MHz
- Stream Processors: 768
- Process Technology: 6 nm
- Memory Clock: 16000 MHz
- Memory Size: 4 GB
- Memory Type: GDDR6
- Memory Bus: 64 bit
- Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 128 GB/s
- Card Bus: PCI-E 4.0
- Digital max resolution: 7680×4320 (Ultra HD 8K)
- Multi-view: 2
- Card size: L=182 W=69 H=36 mm
- PCB Form: Low Profile
- DirectX: 12 Ultimate
- OpenGL: 4.6
- Recommended PSU: 350W
- Additional power connectors: No
- Output: DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.1 x1
As you can see, the manufacturer cut down all the characteristics of the graphics card to the maximum, so you can’t count on outstanding performance. On the other hand, the video chip is made according to a new process technology (6 nm) and consumes relatively little power (about 50 W), which will allow you to fit a card into a compact case.
You can also use the GPU-Z utility to get some additional information.
As you can see, the memory here is from Micron. The default frequency is 2039 MHz, but in fact, the graphics card in idle reduces the frequency to tens of megahertz.
GigaByte Radeon RX 6400 D6 review test stand
At the time of writing the review, we didn’t have a slim case, so we tested in a full-size case. Test system configuration:
- Asrock Z590M Pro4 motherboard
- Intel Core i7-11700 processor
- Kingston HyperX FURY Black (2х8GB) RAM kit
- MSI Modern MD241P monitor (REVIEW)
- Corsair CX750 power supply
All these were well-ventilated in a Phanteks Eclipse P400A case. The heat outside the window had already subsided, so it was only 26 degrees in the room.
Power consumption, heating, noise
If you look at AMD’s website, it says 53W of power consumption. In the HWInfo program, we saw a maximum power consumption of 42.3W.
Since AMD graphics cards do not show all the power consumed, the truth is somewhere nearby. We think it’s not a big mistake to assume that the card consumes about 50 watts at its peak.
As for temperatures, under constant load, the chip warms up to an average of 72 degrees. The hottest point of the chip is up to 82 degrees. This result is not bad for a small aluminum radiator without heat pipes.
As for the fans, they spin at about the same speed all the time – from 2120 rpm in idle to 2450 rpm under load. At the same time, they are not audible at all against the background of the processor cooler. Most likely, their small size is “to blame” for this. So the Radeon RX 6400 D6 can be called conditionally silent.
We will briefly talk about the possibilities of tuning and overclocking – they are not. Neither in the driver settings (the latest version 22.7.1 from 07/25/22 is installed), nor in the MSI Afterburner utility settings, nothing can be changed: neither the frequency, the voltage, nor the fan speed.
The card is a fully configured and ready-to-use device. Either use it or take it back to the store.
We ran some tests in more or less modern games. In all cases, the resolution was 1920×1080 (FHD). Using a lower resolution doesn’t make sense, and a higher resolution is too difficult for this budget chip, so we didn’t even try.
Our system allows PCI-E 4.0 mode to be enabled, so the card will work as intended by the manufacturer. In PCI-E 3.0 mode, there will be some performance degradation (but not too much).
Let’s start with games that came out a couple of years ago.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020)
At low and medium quality settings, the GigaByte Radeon RX 6400 D6 performed quite well. There is a rare drawdown up to 30 fps, but in general, everything is fine.
At high settings, the frame rate is no longer suitable for comfortable gaming. The fact is that the high-quality textures in this game require more than 4 GB of video memory, which immediately drops the frame rate to about 25 fps.
Therefore, we reduced the quality of the environment textures in this test to medium. There was enough memory, but the graphics processor is still bad at rendering high detail.
Cyberpunk 2077 (2020)
This is one of the most demanding and high-end graphics games of recent years, besides, it made a lot of noise. There were many questions on game optimization at launch, but over the past year the game code has been brought into focus, and now the game runs quite tolerably even on budget cards.
As you can see, at low settings (low graphics quality + low texture quality), the card produces 54 fps on average, which is quite playable. The fps rate dropped to 42 points at medium settings, and at high settings, which is almost unplayable, taking into account drawdowns up to 23 fps.
AMD Fidelity FX Super Resolution technology (abbreviated as FSR) can save the situation. This is an analog of DLSS technology from NVIDIA. When applied, the picture is rendered at a lower resolution, and then stretched to fit the screen (in our case 1920×1080).
The diagram above shows that at medium graphics settings, the average fps rose to 55, which is very good. At high settings, the speed increase is also noticeable, but the video card still “does not pull”.
We set the FRS quality to the maximum (“ultra quality”). Only in this case, the artifacts are almost invisible. In other settings, the speed increases even more, but the low rendering resolution becomes too noticeable.
Far Cry 6 (2021)
In this game, the graphics card showed a fairly high frame rate. True, only at low and medium-quality settings. High settings, like Valhalla, require more than 4GB of VRAM.
However, medium settings at 63 fps allow you to comfortably play on a Full HD monitor.
The use of AMD FSR technology, as in the case of Cyberpunk, allows you to significantly increase the frame rate. We used the highest quality mode (here it is called “excellent quality”). Reducing the quality of FSR leads to a strong blurring of the picture. Given the decent frame rate, this is not worth doing.
Forza Horizon 5 (2021)
A fresh arcade racing simulator was released last year and was very well optimized. On medium settings, the game speed does not drop below 60 fps. Yes, you can play at high settings.
Elden Ring (2022)
But the contender for the game of the year 2022 – the game Elden Ring is not very well optimized. At the start of sales, the game had performance problems even on top-end graphics cards, and recently it turned out that cutting a spreading tree out of the game using a mod can significantly increase the frame rate.
The game does not have a regular benchmark, so we took performance measurements at one of the starting locations, running in a circle.
Even though the average fps in the game is quite high (47 fps on “medium” is quite good), you can play it with some comfort only at low settings. In medium settings, constant frame rate drops are already noticeable.
GIGABYTE’s Radeon RX 6400 D6 is, in our humble opinion, the best low profile GPU for compact PCs. At least for now. The main disadvantage is 4 PCI-E 4.0, which degrades performance on older systems. Another disadvantage is the inability to manually adjust frequencies, power consumption, and fan speed.
Price and availability
GigaByte Radeon RX 6400 D6 low profile graphics card is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk at $179.99 / £195.97.
- Still supporting new games
- Not too hot
- Consume around 50 watts
- PCI-E 4.0
- No support for Overclocking