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

Civilization VI, Battlefield 1 & Dawn of War III

Civilization VI AI Test

The Civilization VI AI test tends to favor a mixture of physical cores, clock rate, and IPC throughput.

Core i5-8400 essentially ties the Kaby Lake-based -7600K and easily rocks the Core i5-7400. AMD's Ryzen processors trail due to their lower frequencies.

Civilization VI Graphics Test

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AMD's unlocked ratio multipliers bring great value to the desktop. The 4C/8T Ryzen 5 1500X trails the -8400 by quite a ways in stock form. However, overclocking makes it competitive. The 6C/12T Ryzen 5 1600X fares much better out of the box, and then jumps into a commanding lead after some tuning.

This workload again demonstrates the -8400's generational improvement over Kaby Lake-based chips with fewer cores at lower clock rates.

Battlefield 1 (DX11)

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Both the Core i5-8600K and -8400 appear graphics-bound in our 1920x1080 benchmark. There's more of a delta between the other contenders, though.

Core i5-8400 offers 17% more performance than the -7400. That's a significant outcome, given the two chips' similar price points.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

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The Warhammer 40,000: DoW III benchmark scales well with increased execution resources, but aggressive clock rates also provide a big benefit.

Strangely, Core i5-8400 beats the more expensive Core i5-8600K. This outcome doesn't make much sense, given the specifications in front of us. Clock rates and dissimilar TDPs are the only differences between them, and Core i5-8600K has the advantage in both.


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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.