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Intel Core i5-9400F CPU Review: Cutting On-Die Graphics For A Slightly Lower Price

Test Setup

MEG Z390 Godlike

We're using MSI's MEG Z390 Godlike motherboard as our test platform for all Intel processors. It sells for $600, but has the power delivery subsystem to support aggressive overclocking.

MSI's motherboard imposes a 100.8 MHz base clock. We are waiting on a solution from MSI that should allow us to dial in an exact 100 MHz BCLK.

MSI MEG Z390 Godlike Motherboard. (Image credit: MSI)

The MEG Z390 Godlike sits at the top of MSI's motherboard hierarchy. It has a decked-out 18-phase power delivery subsystem that's designed to squeeze every drop of performance out of Intel's new processors. It also comes with a few nifty accessories like an M.2 PCIe riser card and an HDMI streaming card.

Comparison Products

Test System & Configuration
HardwareIntel LGA 1151 (Z390)Intel Core i7-9700K, i5-9600K, i7-8700K, i5-8600K, i5-9400F, i5-8400MSI MEG Z390 Godlike2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2667 & DDR4-3466AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 5 2600X, Ryzen 5 2600MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2933 DDR4-3466All SystemsEVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE 1TB Samsung PM863SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500WWindows 10 Pro (All Updates)
CoolingCorsair H115i


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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Still overpriced , waiting for new Ryzen.
    Reply
  • tennis2
    Would like to see some testing done to determine how core count affects games these days with the "core count race" going on. It still seems like 4-6 cores is where the cutoff is before frequency is the determining factor of frame rates.

    Also show if/how online multiplayer changes that conclusion.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Without a IGPU, this CPU makes barely any sense vs a 2600 or 2600X.
    Reply
  • R_1
    in the comparison chart you have the 9400f having graphics and the 9400 as not having graphics.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    9400f would be a good deal if it had a higher turbo or overclocking support. Z390 boards suitable for overclocking are expensive as well.
    Otherwise, Ryzen 5 2600x has 6 more threads, higher turbo, overclocking support, and cheap overclocking boards than negate the slightly higher chip price.
    Still waiting on Computex.
    Reply
  • Karadjgne
    I'm still wondering why there's even testing of single core performance. In the rendering test, multi-core, the Ryzens dominated Intel. Very next test was a single core performance test where as usual, Intel was stronger. Why? I can't think of any single core rendering, or games for that matter. It's kind of archaic to my mind. A multi-core test on software that that uses multiple cores makes perfect sense. It shows how well the software responds to the amount of threads. Saying an intel beats a Ryzen in single core rendering is.....
    (I'm not gonna use those words in polite company)
    Reply
  • pete_101
    I see the CPU has a base frequency of 2.9 and a turbo of 4.1 GHz, but this will be a single core maximum speed. Although it's locked, it should be possible in the mobo BIOS to set all 6 cores to run at this frequency.....if you have a good enough cooler.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Lol. Good commentary
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    There should be an 8 thread Cinebench test to compare CPUs. Most games only use around 8 threads or a little more (battlefield comes to mind). An 8 thread test would be the most accurate way to test gaming CPUs.
    Reply
  • Anubis666
    It's funny how prices are different in different countries.. In one thread ,a guy says 15-20$ less than Ryzen 2600 so just go with the i5 9400f..
    Here in India i5 9400f is 60$ cheaper than Ryzen 2600 and 95$ cheaper than 2600X..

    I'm still confused to go with i5 9400f over 2600 just for the multi thread.. As I wanted it for playing , recording Games,Edit and upload to YouTube and, probably streaming Dota 2 in near future.
    The price of i5 9400f is tempting but I'm not sure it can able to do stuff I mentioned above with close to ease..
    I'm sure coming Ryzen 3000 is even high price due to high demand in here.
    Reply