Intel Core i5-11400F Review

A great and affordable CPU for gaming.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a really good, affordable gaming CPU that’s actually available for purchase. AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X filled that gap admirably when it first launched in May last year, but the massive popularity of this $ 120 CPU has seen it practically sold out ever since. In fact, AMD does not yet have a successor to the Ryzen 5000 for it, and even Intel’s 11th generation of Rocket Lake, released earlier this year, did not leave a promising candidate for the Core i3 either, as this chipmaker focused on in the Core i5-11400 and in the i5-11400F: and it is precisely the last of these two that we will test today.

In essence, the Core i5-11400F is identical to the 11400 – only the F model does not incorporate internal graphics: That is, -if you want your monitor to reproduce an image when you turn it on- you must pair it with a graphics card: But otherwise they are exactly the same chip. And in the absence of other competitors today, this $ 230 CPU is probably the closest you’ll ever get to a great, affordable gaming CPU in 2021.

While it is not as powerful as Intel’s 11th Gen Core i5 – the Core i5-11600K. Anyway the 11400F has 6 cores, 12 threads, and a maximum clock speed of 4.4GHz, and this is only 500MHz less than the 11600K, and 200MHz less than its closest rival from AMD, the Ryzen 5 5600X. Although its clock speed is a bit more earthy, if you will, starting at a modest 2.5GHz, compared to the 3.9GHz and 3.7GHz speeds of its aforementioned colleagues. But despite everything, the 11400F still provides us with some important benefits: Because not only is it cheaper than the i5-11600K and AMD’s 5600X (currently both will cost you around $ 300, at least), but also allows much more efficient power consumption than its close relative, the i5-11600K; with a TDP of only 65W versus 125W for the 11600K. The package also includes acooler , allowing you to further reduce costs.

In any case, before you can use the Core i5-11400F anyway you will have to buy a new motherboard, since its LGA 1200 socket is only compatible with Intel 400 and 500 series motherboard chipsets. For accessible product builders, probably the best combination for this CPU is the B560 or H570 chipset: Especially if you want to have the always important PCIe 4.0 compatibility for SSDs and the like. On the other hand, thanks to the fact that this time Intel provides greater compatibility to overclock memory, with the B560 and H570 cards you can also get more out of the XMP profiles of your RAM memory, with which you will obtain better performance for your system.

Of course, the absence of the K at the end of the 11400F name means that you won’t be able to overclock the CPU itself to achieve higher gaming speeds. But if all you want is a fast and capable gaming CPU that you can simply plug into your computer without worrying about constantly tweaking it for the best, then the 11400F deserves consideration.

Intel Core i5-11400F

Test Computer:

Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero (Z590)

Cooler: Corsair iCue H150i RGB Pro XT

RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB, 2133MHz / 4000MHz

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE

PSU: CoolerMaster MasterWatt 750 TUF Gaming Edition

Indeed, when it comes to gaming speeds, when paired with the RTX 2080 Ti in our CPU gaming benchmarks, the Core i5-11400F was virtually indistinguishable from its cousin, the 11600K; both in the base speed of our RAM of 2133MHz, and in the maximum XMP speed of our Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro of 4000MHz.

We are still in the middle of testing to retest all of our CPUs with Nvidia’s most powerful card at the moment: the RTX 3080 . But since all RTX 30s are now completely lacking, we feel that our stalwart RTX 2080Ti will give us a more accurate picture of what can be done with this processor today, for the purposes of this review.

As is apparent from the graphics provided below, its 1080p speeds are almost on par with the Core i5-11600K in most cases, and are practically on par with the previous generation Core i5-10600K. AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X still has the upper hand in many of the games we’ve tested, although of course, it’s also a lot more expensive.

A great and affordable CPU for gaming.

Intel Core i5-11400F

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a really good, affordable gaming CPU that’s actually available for purchase. AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X filled that gap admirably when it first launched in May last year, but the massive popularity of this $ 120 CPU has seen it practically sold out ever since. In fact, AMD does not yet have a successor to the Ryzen 5000 for it, and even Intel’s 11th generation of Rocket Lake, released earlier this year, did not leave a promising candidate for the Core i3 either, as this chipmaker focused on in the Core i5-11400 and in the i5-11400F: and it is precisely the last of these two that we will test today.

In essence, the Core i5-11400F is identical to the 11400 – only the F model does not incorporate internal graphics: That is, -if you want your monitor to reproduce an image when you turn it on- you must pair it with a graphics card: But otherwise they are exactly the same chip. And in the absence of other competitors today, this $ 230 CPU is probably the closest you’ll ever get to a great, affordable gaming CPU in 2021.

While it is not as powerful as Intel’s 11th Gen Core i5 – the Core i5-11600K. Anyway the 11400F has 6 cores, 12 threads, and a maximum clock speed of 4.4GHz, and this is only 500MHz less than the 11600K, and 200MHz less than its closest rival from AMD, the Ryzen 5 5600X. Although its clock speed is a bit more earthy, if you will, starting at a modest 2.5GHz, compared to the 3.9GHz and 3.7GHz speeds of its aforementioned colleagues. But despite everything, the 11400F still provides us with some important benefits: Because not only is it cheaper than the i5-11600K and AMD’s 5600X (currently both will cost you around $ 300, at least), but also allows much more efficient power consumption than its close relative, the i5-11600K; with a TDP of only 65W versus 125W for the 11600K. The package also includes acooler , allowing you to further reduce costs.

In any case, before you can use the Core i5-11400F anyway you will have to buy a new motherboard, since its LGA 1200 socket is only compatible with Intel 400 and 500 series motherboard chipsets. For accessible product builders, probably the best combination for this CPU is the B560 or H570 chipset: Especially if you want to have the always important PCIe 4.0 compatibility for SSDs and the like. On the other hand, thanks to the fact that this time Intel provides greater compatibility to overclock memory, with the B560 and H570 cards you can also get more out of the XMP profiles of your RAM memory, with which you will obtain better performance for your system.

Of course, the absence of the K at the end of the 11400F name means that you won’t be able to overclock the CPU itself to achieve higher gaming speeds. But if all you want is a fast and capable gaming CPU that you can simply plug into your computer without worrying about constantly tweaking it for the best, then the 11400F deserves consideration.

Intel Core i5-11400F

Test Computer:

Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero (Z590)

Cooler: Corsair iCue H150i RGB Pro XT

RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB, 2133MHz / 4000MHz

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE

PSU: CoolerMaster MasterWatt 750 TUF Gaming Edition

Indeed, when it comes to gaming speeds, when paired with the RTX 2080 Ti in our CPU gaming benchmarks, the Core i5-11400F was virtually indistinguishable from its cousin, the 11600K; both in the base speed of our RAM of 2133MHz, and in the maximum XMP speed of our Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro of 4000MHz.

We are still in the middle of testing to retest all of our CPUs with Nvidia’s most powerful card at the moment: the RTX 3080 . But since all RTX 30s are now completely lacking, we feel that our stalwart RTX 2080Ti will give us a more accurate picture of what can be done with this processor today, for the purposes of this review.

As is apparent from the graphics provided below, its 1080p speeds are almost on par with the Core i5-11600K in most cases, and are practically on par with the previous generation Core i5-10600K. AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X still has the upper hand in many of the games we’ve tested, although of course, it’s also a lot more expensive.

Intel Core i5-11400F

Intel Core i5-11400F

When we boosted the RAM speed to 4000MHz, activating the XMP profile in the motherbard BIOS settings, we got similar results. Namely, the Core i5-11600K and Ryzen 5 5600X still hold the lead overall, but not by much. And the truth is that, considering the more accessible price of the Core i5-11400F, all these results were really satisfactory.

But also, if we increase the resolution scale, the gap becomes narrower, because the Core i5-11400F, the Core i5-11600K, and the Ryzen 5 5600X deliver almost identical speeds in all sections. This is because the GPU is still limited to 2560×1440 and 4K, which shows that the processor makes a surprisingly small difference in overall gaming speeds on your PC. And only at resolutions of 1920 × 1080, or below this register, is that the advantages of a faster processor can be perceived, although as you can see, not even the flagship processors of Intel and AMD will manage to deliver many more. frames in the general scheme of things.

On the other hand, the benefits of these faster processors are only really seen in everyday desktop tasks. For example, if you use your computer regularly to edit photos or videos, for streaming and also for gaming, you may get better results by investing a little more in something that is more powerful: how it can be seen in the Cinebench R20 comparisons that we show below. This application measures the speed with which your PC will be able to render a complex image, and it is a pretty good indicator of how long it will take your computer to complete all these tasks that are more demanding on the CPU. 

All in all, all things considered, the Core i5-11400F still manages to deliver really good performance. From the results obtained with a RAM speed of 4000MHz, the Core i5-11600K and Ryzen 5 5600X processors (which on the other hand are much more expensive) only delivered an average speed that exceeds the Core i5 by 10-11%. -11440F, and this includes both single and multi-core activities. Considering the more affordable price of the 11400F, this is a more than acceptable performance for our records, especially if the only use you will give your PC -outside games- will be for browsing the web or for light office work, such as compiling Word files, or working with spreadsheets and the like.

In the general framework of things, and considering all the included values, the Core i5-11400F is an affordable and great CPU. Because with a lower TDP, not only can it deliver gaming speeds that are comparable to its more expensive competitors, but its performance for everyday desktop tasks is also fantastic. On the other hand, it is compatible with all modern computer technologies that are used today: including SSD drives, PCIe 4.0 graphics cards, and also memory overclocking, which makes it the ideal base for any modern gaming computer.

With that being said, it’s important to remember that Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs will be with us soon, more precisely by the end of the year, so you probably want to wait a bit longer to see if you can get any better for Christmas. We don’t know much about Alder Lake yet , but all the available information seems to indicate that it will be much more powerful than Intel’s 11th Gen Gen Rocket Lake chips , because they will not only use Intel’s new improved SuperFin 10nm technology , but also the new hybrid core architecture. They will also use the new LGA socket, and this means that anyone who purchases a Rocket LaneRight now, you’ll definitely need to buy a new motherboard the next time you want to upgrade (but due to how long we tend to conserve CPUs, compared to graphics cards for example, this is probably the case for most of you. want to build a new computer today).

At most, if you want to make sure you have the best – and the latest – inside your computer, you might want to wait for the arrival of Alder Lake by the end of this year: or at least until we know a little more about the type of processors that Alder Lake will actually have : because due to the focus on high performance, low-budget chips – like the i5-11400F – could become in short supply. It’s too early to tell, but for those in need of a new CPU right now, the Core i5-11400F is hands down the best gaming CPU out there today, and it stands up convincingly with our formal seal of approval.

Read more:

How to Build a Gamer PC

How to make sure all your Computer Hardware is Compatible.

When we boosted the RAM speed to 4000MHz, activating the XMP profile in the motherbard BIOS settings, we got similar results. Namely, the Core i5-11600K and Ryzen 5 5600X still hold the lead overall, but not by much. And the truth is that, considering the more accessible price of the Core i5-11400F, all these results were really satisfactory.

But also, if we increase the resolution scale, the gap becomes narrower, because the Core i5-11400F, the Core i5-11600K, and the Ryzen 5 5600X deliver almost identical speeds in all sections. This is because the GPU is still limited to 2560×1440 and 4K, which shows that the processor makes a surprisingly small difference in overall gaming speeds on your PC. And only at resolutions of 1920 × 1080, or below this register, is that the advantages of a faster processor can be perceived, although as you can see, not even the flagship processors of Intel and AMD will manage to deliver many more. frames in the general scheme of things.

On the other hand, the benefits of these faster processors are only really seen in everyday desktop tasks. For example, if you use your computer regularly to edit photos or videos, for streaming and also for gaming, you may get better results by investing a little more in something that is more powerful: how it can be seen in the Cinebench R20 comparisons that we show below. This application measures the speed with which your PC will be able to render a complex image, and it is a pretty good indicator of how long it will take your computer to complete all these tasks that are more demanding on the CPU.

All in all, all things considered, the Core i5-11400F still manages to deliver really good performance. From the results obtained with a RAM speed of 4000MHz, the Core i5-11600K and Ryzen 5 5600X processors (which on the other hand are much more expensive) only delivered an average speed that exceeds the Core i5 by 10-11%. -11440F, and this includes both single and multi-core activities. Considering the more affordable price of the 11400F, this is a more than acceptable performance for our records, especially if the only use you will give your PC -outside games- will be for browsing the web or for light office work, such as compiling Word files, or working with spreadsheets and the like.

In the general framework of things, and considering all the included values, the Core i5-11400F is an affordable and great CPU. Because with a lower TDP, not only can it deliver gaming speeds that are comparable to its more expensive competitors, but its performance for everyday desktop tasks is also fantastic. On the other hand, it is compatible with all modern computer technologies that are used today: including SSD drives, PCIe 4.0 graphics cards, and also memory overclocking, which makes it the ideal base for any modern gaming computer.

With that being said, it’s important to remember that Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs will be with us soon, more precisely by the end of the year, so you probably want to wait a bit longer to see if you can get any better for Christmas. We don’t know much about Alder Lake yet , but all the available information seems to indicate that it will be much more powerful than Intel’s 11th Gen Gen Rocket Lake chips , because they will not only use Intel’s new improved SuperFin 10nm technology , but also the new hybrid core architecture. They will also use the new LGA socket, and this means that anyone who purchases a Rocket LaneRight now, you’ll definitely need to buy a new motherboard the next time you want to upgrade (but due to how long we tend to conserve CPUs, compared to graphics cards for example, this is probably the case for most of you. want to build a new computer today).

At most, if you want to make sure you have the best – and the latest – inside your computer, you might want to wait for the arrival of Alder Lake by the end of this year: or at least until we know a little more about the type of processors that Alder Lake will actually have : because due to the focus on high performance, low-budget chips – like the i5-11400F – could become in short supply. It’s too early to tell, but for those in need of a new CPU right now, the Core i5-11400F is hands down the best gaming CPU out there today, and it stands up convincingly with our formal seal of approval.

Read more:

How to Build a Gamer PC

How to make sure all your Computer Hardware is Compatible.

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