Intel Core i5-8400 Review - Is The Core i5-8400 Worth It?

The Core i5-8400 is a great mainstream gaming CPU

What Is the Intel Core i5-8400?

Following AMD’s 2017 launch of their Ryzen processors, Intel knew they had to match both the performance and pricing of its competitor. In response, Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs launched with 6 cores in both the i5’s and i7’s. The Core i5-8400 was the first i5 to ever have more than 4 cores, let’s take a deep dive and see how it lines up with it’s competitors.

Intel Core i5-8400 Specs and Price

The i5-8400 was launched in October 2017. It currently retails right around $200. It’s specifications are as follows.

  • Cores/Threads - 6/6
  • Socket - LGA-1151
  • Base Clock - 2.8GHz
  • Boost Clock - 4.0 GHz
  • Architecture - Coffee Lake
  • Process - 14nm
  • TDP - 65W

Intel Core i5-8400 Performance

Following the release of Ryzen, it was inevitable that Intel had to step up their game, even with the i5 CPUs. Adding two more cores really helped the i5 rival the Ryzen 5 CPUs, and the i5 8400K performs quite well in most gaming scenarios. Let’s look at some numbers.

  • Fallout 4 (1080p) - 136.3 FPS
  • Far Cry Primal (1080p) - 131.3 FPS
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 (1080p) - 130.7 FPS
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (1080p) - 130.1 FPS
  • The Witcher 3 (1080p) - 94.5 FPS

Given the data we looked at, the 8400 usually performs better in games than the previous gen i7-7700K as well as the Ryzen 7 1800X.

However, when it comes to application performance, the 8400 is not nearly as impressive. Looking at a Cinebench multi-threaded test and we can see that the 8400 is about on par with the Ryzen 5 1400. Typically Ryzen CPUs beat out the i5’s in all other areas besides gaming.

Here’s a link to a video testing the i5-8400 with 10 different games.

Intel Core i5-8400 Overclocking Capability

Since the Core i5-8400 is a non-K processor, it’s not an unlocked CPU, meaning it’s not as easy to overclock. Instead you must use the BCLK method to overclock this processor, in which you can watch a guide here.

Intel Core i5-8400 Alternatives

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

This 6 core CPU is a great AMD alternative. With a cheaper price than the i5-8400 and great all around performance, the Ryzen 5 2600 is one of the best deals you can get today in budget CPUs.

  • Retail - $165
  • 6 Cores/12 Threads
  • Better multimedia performance than Intel CPUs.

Intel Core i3-8350K

The i3-8350K is a solid entry level gaming CPU. At just 10-20 bucks less, this CPU has 2 less cores, however if you are on a tight budget and just gaming this might be a good alternative.

  • Retails around $180.
  • Performs great at 1080p gaming.
  • Same Coffee Lake architecture.

Intel Core i5-8400 Final Verdict

Overall, the Intel Core i5-8400 is a great choice for gamers specifically. Given the price point of around $200, someone looking to build a gaming PC will be very satisfied with this CPU. It provides near i7 performance in games, while nearly half the price. However, those who do more streaming/editing/multi-thread work, should either look into an i7 or AMD’s Ryzen CPUs.


  • Great Price to Performance Ratio
  • 6 cores on an i5
  • Runs cool with stock cooler
  • Beats Ryzen in gaming performance
  • Strong single-core performance


  • Doesn’t perform as good as Ryzen in applications
  • Must be overclocked by BCLK
  • No hyper-threading

Final Score: 9/10


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As a lifelong gamer, I have years of experience within different gaming genres in addition to content creation and expertise in PC hardware. A techie forever, always searching for what's next.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Rocket League
Top 3 Favorite Games:Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Grand Theft Auto V, The Sims 4

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