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

DTP, Office & Multimedia Performance

DTP and Presentation

Adobe’s Creative Cloud gives us a look at real-world single- and multi-threaded performance. As such, it's more interesting to us than synthetic benchmarks for productivity testing.

After Effects CC is the classic example of a workload that prizes parallelism, so core count trumps clock rates.

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As long as some cores go underutilized, though, Coffee Lake usually wins thanks to its higher frequencies.

Strangely, under InDesign CC, the Core i5-8400 repeatedly falls behind Intel's Core i5-7400. The same happens when we test the K-series SKUs. This is likely a result of lower Turbo Boost frequencies, handing the advantage over to Kaby Lake's higher base clock rates.

Encoding and Multimedia

The new Core i5-8400 keeps up with other processors in its class. However, the pricier Ryzen 5 1600X takes the lead once we overclock it.

Taxing high-quality settings allow AMD to close the gap, and Ryzen 5 1600X now beats the Core i5-8400 in stock form. Again, though, it's also more expensive. The difference, of course, is that AMD gives you freedom to overclock. A tuned 1600X better-justifies the price premium.


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Paul Alcorn

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