The MSI Radeon RX 6400 Aero ITX is an entry-level graphics card based on AMD's most affordable graphics processor from the RX 6000 RDNA2 series. The Radeon RX 6400 is meant for those who only need a slight upgrade over their integrated graphics solution, or those using HEDT or workstation processors that lack integrated graphics, but want a fairly powerful graphics solution for a graphics-rich desktop, web, and video. For the gaming crowd, it's being presented as an entry-level solution with enough muscle for e-sports or AAA games at 720p or 900p; or at Full HD (1080p) with FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and some medium settings.
The Radeon RX 6400 is based on the same "Navi 23" silicon as the RX 6500 XT launched earlier this year. This chip is the world's first GPU built on the 6 nm (TSMC N6) fabrication node. It is based on the same RDNA2 graphics architecture as the rest of the RX 6000 series. The RX 6400 is carved out by enabling 12 out of 16 compute units physically present on the silicon, resulting in 768 stream processors, 12 Ray Accelerators, 48 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. The chip meets the DirectX 12 Ultimate API feature set, including ray tracing. The memory sub-system is identical to the RX 6500 XT. You get 4 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 64-bit wide memory bus, with a data-rate of 16 Gbps, which results in 128 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Speeding things up is 16 MB of on-die Infinity Cache memory.
AMD is running the RX 6400 at engine clocks (GPU clocks) of 2039 MHz with up to 2321 MHz boost, and the memory at 16 Gbps (GDDR6-effective). The typical board power is still just 53 W, which means even custom-design graphics cards, such as the MSI Aero ITX we're reviewing today, lack any additional power connectors and can make do with what the PCIe slot provides (up to 75 W). The low TDP of the 6 nm silicon also means it's possible for board partners to build low-profile, single-slot graphics cards for truly compact SFF or ITX HTPC builds. A word of caution for those eyeing this for a media PC, though. Much like the RX 6500 XT, the Radeon RX 6400 lacks AV1 video decode hardware-acceleration. It accelerates H.264, H.265, and HEVC decode at up to 4K, but not AV1. Other SKUs in the Radeon RX 6000 series do come with AV1 hardware decode.
The MSI Radeon RX 6400 Aero ITX gets its name from its compact low-length board design. It's still full-height. Given the 53 W typical board power for the RX 6400, the Aero ITX lacks any additional power connectors and uses a simple aluminium mono-block fan heatsink to keep the tiny GPU cool, with passive cooling for the memory and VRM under its airflow. All Radeon RX 6400 cards released so far run at reference design clocks. No factory overclocks are available. The only two display outputs on offer are an HDMI 2.1 and a DisplayPort 1.4. AMD set $159 as the MSRP for the RX 6400, which the MSI RX 6400 Aero ITX follows pretty closely.