Review Of INTEL CORE i5-9400F


When the Core i5-8400 was first released, the lack of cheap Coffee Lake-compatible motherboards
meant that it didn’t provide particularly good value, as its lack of overclocking made it a poor choice to couple with an expensive Z-series board. Eventually, though, once cheaper motherboards arrived, it proved its worth,
bettering equivalent 1st and 2nd-generation Ryzen CPUs in games, and costing significantly less than the K-series models.
A few years later and the lack of overclocking remains with the Core i5-9400F but cheap motherboards are plentiful now, so theres no need to wait to make the most of this chip. To the uninitiated, the addition of an F signifies
that this particular iteration of Intels 6-core
9000-series CPU lacks integrated graphics. Thankfully, its cheaper than the Core i5-9400 as a result, leaving you with change from £150.
Frequencies are fairly lowly, though, especially compared with the upper tiers of Intels 9th-generation CPUs. The peak
Turbo Boost frequency is just 4.1GHz and its base clock is 2.9GHz a long way back from the 3.7GHz of the likes of the 9600. It also lacks hyper-threading, so its six cores can only handle six threads at a time. You still get 9MB L3 cache, though, which is as much as the 9600K. What’s more, despite a 14nm manufacturing process, the Core i5-9400F has a TDP of just 65W, making it a potentially handy CPU for a low-power, low-heat and affordable gaming system.

Our game tests bore this out too, with Far Cry New Dawn’s 99th percentile minimum frame rate of 88fps bettering all the AMD CPUs on test, with a similar result in Metro Exodus too. However,once overclocked, only the Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 5 3600X were noticeably slower and even then just
by single digits, which was the same in Metro Exodus too. The problem for the Core i5-9400F and most of Intel’s CPUs in general, is that they get monstered in other benchmarks. The Core i5-9400F’s system score o129,805 was woeful, with the Ryzen 5 3600 managing 185,659, with huge leads in the multi-tasking and video encoding tests. Despite Intel’s dominance further up the scale in Adobe Premiere Pro, the fact the 6-core Intel CPU lacks Hyper-Threading meant it was vastly inferior to the AMD chips here too. It took nearly a minute and a half longer to complete our relatively short 4K video project export, meaning that budding content creators should avoid the Core i5-9400F. Cinebench offered a similar situation with the Ryzen 5 3600 outstripping it by over 1,000 points and offering far better single-threaded performance too.


Base frequency : 2.9GHz 

Turbo frequency : 4.1GHz 

Core :  Coffee Lake

Manufacturing process :  14nm 

Number of cores : 6 x physical 

IGP :  None

Hyper-Threading : No

Cache : 9MB L3 cache, 1.5MB L2 cache

Memory controller : Dual-channel
DDR4, up to 2400MHz

Packaging : Intel LGA1151-V2

Thermal design power (TDP) : 65W

Features : FMA3, F16C, SHA, BMI / BMI1 +
BMI2, AVX-512, AVX2, AVX, AES, SSE4a,

OVERCLOCKING                                       SILICON LOTTERY                           
+Good gaming performance                             -  Poor multi-threaded performance

+Modest cooling requirement                           Only worth it for gaming

+Cheap                                                               No overclocking 


If ever there was a clear case for Intel to add Hyper-Threading to its entire product stack, the likes of the Core i5-9400 are it. Below the Core i9-9900K, Intel is lacking in multi-threaded grunt, which means these CPUs are only worth considering for pure gaming systems. Admittedly, the Core i5-9400F is still worth considering as a budget gaming CPU and punches above its weight here, offering slight gains over AMD’s more expensive options too. However, AMD offers a huge amount more performance outside of games for similar cash and isn’t far behind in terms of frames per second either. The gap has closed considerably with Zen 2, and as the similarly priced Ryzen 5 3600 was only a little slower in games, but huge amounts quicker elsewhere, it’s a much better buy.


Without Hyper-Threading, this Intel CPU stands no chance outside of games, but it’s worth considering as an affordable gaming chip. 

(Article from Antony Leather reviews)

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