Can ASRock's mini-ITX AMD RX 6400 keep budget PC gaming alive?

A Radeon RX 6500 XT GPU on a red backdrop
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD-exclusive board partner ASRock is working on a new RX 6400 graphics card, according to a new regulatory filing, though you likely won't see it on store shelves any time soon.

In a newly published Eurasian Economic Commission filing dated February 1, 2022, and originally flagged on Twitter by Komachi_Ensaka, ASRock listed several new AMD Big Navi graphics cards, including an RX6400 CLI 4G.

The RX 6400 is built off the same Navi 24 GPU found in the underwhelming RX 6500 XT, Neowin points out, so it would have a lot of the same issues found in that card. 

At a much lower price point though, these problems wouldn't be nearly as big a deal.  It could be a decent upgrade from the older RX 5xx cards that a lot of gamers are still using.

There is a catch though: the RX 6400 is an OEM-exclusive part, meaning that you'll only find it in prebuilt PCs or on the secondary resale market. Not that that's a bad thing.

Analysis: keep budget PC gaming alive by any means necessary

The RX 6400 might be OEM-exclusive, but it'll still be a cheap graphics card with decent performance for the price. Since OEMs can get bulk pricing on these kinds of parts, they tend to be even cheaper, which means the prebuilt budget gaming PCs based on them will be more affordable.

At a time when component price inflation is killing budget PC gaming, this is good news. DIY builders looking to build a cheap gaming PC have little reason to do so when more powerful game consoles are actually cheaper and more games become cross-platform.

And while it's true that the latest consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S are difficult to find, so are many older, lower-end components that would go into a budget gaming PC

Even worse, assuming you can find a five-year-old graphics card, at this point it might cost three times its original MSRP.

Prebuilt systems might not be the budget gaming PCs we want, but at this point, they might be the best hope for keeping budget PC gaming alive until we get through this whole semiconductor/supply chain nightmare we're living in now.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).