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Intel Core i5-8400 Review: Six Cores On A Budget

VRMark, 3DMark & AotS: Escalation

VRMark & 3DMark

We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure game performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.

Futuremark's VRMark test lets you gauge your system's suitability for use with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, even if you don't currently own an HMD. The Orange Room test is based on the suggested system requirements for current-generation HTC Vive and Oculus Rift HMDs. Futuremark defines a passing score as anything above 109 FPS.

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The Core i5-8400 performs well in VRMark, even besting overclocked Ryzen 5 CPUs. Intel's previous-gen Core i5-7400 trails quite a ways back, helping illustrate the -8400's Turbo Boost binning and core count advantage. The -8400 also competes well against the pricier Core i5-8600K, particularly in light of its substantial base frequency deficit. Then again, the -8600K isn't overclocked, and that's what it was designed for.

The -8400 also challenges Core i5-8600K in the DX11 and DX12 CPU tests. Not surprisingly, it easily trounces the Core i5-7400 with up to 60% more performance. More interesting, perhaps, is that Core i5-8400 beats the Core i5-7600K by a fair margin. 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation also scales well with core count. Although many enthusiasts associate this game with AMD (Mantle, anyone?), remember that it didn't run well on Ryzen processors at first. A series of patches subsequently rectified the most glaring issues we identified in our early reviews.

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Given the strong performance of AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X, we might surmise that it's AMD's simultaneous multi-threading technology allowing the chip to shine.

Again, Core i5-8400 is within striking range of its more expensive K-series counterpart, and it easily outmaneuvers its predecessor.


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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.