by Rob Williams on March 21, 2022 in Graphics & Displays
AMD’s latest Radeon Pro workstation-grade graphics card is the W6400, a low-profile offering that doesn’t require a power connector, and is priced at $229. As usual, we’re taking this new card for a spin through a wide-range of workloads, and see how it fits into the overall performance picture.
To take a look at our tested GPUs from a power perspective, we’re using UL’s 3DMark Fire Strike 4K stress test, and our PC plugged into a Kill-A-Watt to monitor full system power draw. The PC is left to sit idle for about five minutes after a fresh boot, at which point the Fire Strike test is kicked-off. The load value is recorded after about five minutes, at the same point in the looped test.
While the Radeon Pro W6400 sat behind the entire pack through most of our performance results, it unsurprisingly soars to the top of our power-related test. There’s a huge total power usage difference between the likes of the W6400 and W6600, making the former card ideal for smaller, more confined PCs. It’s nice to see this modest card sit at the top of at least one chart here!
When AMD briefed us on the Radeon Pro W6400, it teased “A New King’s Arriving”. That gave us the impression that a GPU even more powerful than the W6800 would be launching, so you can imagine our surprise when the next slides showed a cute little workstation GPU that doesn’t even require an external power connector!
What AMD meant by “King” here is the value perspective. For $229, users can equip their workstation with an affordable and reliable GPU that allows them to get their lighter workloads done without much fuss. Those who want their PC to take up as little footprint as possible will dig this card, as its low-profile design will accommodate many SSF designs. The fact that no power connector is required means no thought needs to go into routing power cables for it – a nice perk.
At its price point, this is one of the least-expensive workstation GPUs we remember seeing in a while. Despite its low price, the W6400 includes the same driver optimizations that the more powerful Radeon Pros have, which really benefits certain workloads, like Siemens NX.
As we covered earlier, for simpler workloads, this card will perform just fine, but if you’re concerned at all about not actually feeling held back in a significant way, the Radeon Pro W6600 is going to offer far more breathing room, delivering both higher frame rates in the viewport, and faster rendering times. Before jumping on a GPU like the W6400, you need to question whether or not the 4GB frame buffer will suffice for the long-run, and plan accordingly.
Overall, the Radeon Pro W6400 is an interesting card, and despite being the lowest-spec’d GPU in our entire tested lineup, it still delivered more than enough performance in key viewport workloads. We’re glad to see a Radeon Pro option at the $229 price point, and hope AMD plans to further fill out its workstation lineup through 2022, so that even more segments are filled.
- Good for light-to-medium design workloads.
- Select software (eg: Creo, Siemens NX) benefit from Pro optimizations.
- Low-power and low-profile, perfectly-suited for small PCs.
- No hardware video encoder.
- 4GB frame buffer will limit more complex projects.