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AMD’s budget Radeon RX 6500 XT release date just tipped for January

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
(Image credit: AMD)

Over a year after the release of Nvidia’s RTX 30-series line of GPU, the graphics cards are still near impossible to find at anything approaching their MSRP. Despite earlier assurances of averting a paper launch, AMD’s cards aren’t faring much better.

A combination of pandemic stricken supply chain issues and the cards being money makers for cryptocurrency miners makes it nearly impossible for regular gamers to get a look in.

For those that don’t want to spend double the MSRP on an eBay card, some good news may be on the way. Videocardz has spotted a post on Chinese forum Bilibili from a user it describes as having a “good” track record of leaks predicting budget AMD GPUs in the works for early 2022.

According to the leak, the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT will arrive in January, with the Radeon RX 6400 following in March. Both cards will apparently have 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM, and the cheaper RX 6400 won’t require hooking up to your PSU thanks to its sub-75W power draw. Previous rumors have pointed to Navi 24 GPUs with 1,024 cores on the RX 6500 XT and 768 on the RX 6400.

While it’s tempting to be cynical and speculate that these cheaper cards won’t be cheap for very long once supply issues bite, there are reasons to be slightly more optimistic for these. The limited VRAM means these GPUs would be of less use to cryptocurrency miners, and their less ambitious specs hopefully means that they’ll be that bit easier to manufacture at scale. 

Of course, none of that is very reassuring if the cards aren’t great for the latest games, and that’s something we won’t know until benchmarks begin coming through. On paper, the specs point to gaming generally capped at 1080p though. 

Of course, AMD isn’t the only company that’s reportedly got a new GPU planned for early 2022. Just yesterday, it was reported that Nvidia is plotting a desktop version of its GeForce RTX 3050 GPU — a relatively low-end card which itself is supposedly being made to target Intel’s upcoming debut Arc GPU.

For those prepared to pay top dollar, the exciting moves are due to come towards the end of the year, when Nvidia is apparently planning the launch of the RTX 40 series, but if crypto mining continues to look appealing then it may prove just as scarce as its predecessor. 

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.