The new Intel Core i5 13400F seems to be a powerful processor for the money. With 10 cores and 16 threads, I actually wonder why I should spend more on my next CPU upgrade than the relatively paltry $196 Intel is asking for this chip. Based on the specs announced at CES 2023 alone, this could be a budget gamer’s dream.
Let’s take a look at the more than impressive specs of this chip. As I mentioned, the Core i5 13400 comes with 10 cores, and those 10 cores consist of six Performance cores (P-cores) and four Efficient cores (E-cores).
Those six P-cores are a fast kind, designed to speed up your gaming experience. They can run up to 4.6GHz Max Turbo on the Core i5 13400F, which, while low next to, say, the 5.8GHz Max Turbo speed of the Core i9 13900K, is definitely fast enough for fast-paced gaming.
That’s also a big P-core clock speed compared to the last generation Core i5 12400F. The 12th generation chip runs at a more modest 4.4 GHz, although even that kind of speed was enough to win over Dave in his Core i5 12400 review (opens in new tab).
The four E-cores of the Core i5 13400F are more focused on background tasks and relieve the P-cores. There are only a handful here, but their inclusion alone is cause for celebration – the Core i5 12400F was not shipped.
That makes for a total of 16-thread chip in the Core i5 13400. That’s a lot for this kind of money, and should come in handy for even more CPU-intensive workloads than gaming.
In terms of cache, the Core i5 13400F comes with 20 MB L3 and 9.5 MB L2 – another improvement over its 12th generation counterpart. It supports both DDR4 and DDR5 on both the 600 series and 700 series motherboards, meaning you should be able to buy a cheap board and be off to a good start. You could even go as cheap as ASRock’s B660M Pro RS, that’s on your own $120 on Newegg (opens in new tab) now.
What all that means is that the Core i5 13400F arrives at a similar recommended price tag to the Core i5 12400F, but with four additional cores, all the benefits of Intel’s hybrid architecture, and runs up to 200MHz faster. Not to mention the other Raptor Lake based upgrades I’ve talked about in my more in-depth Core i9 13900K review (opens in new tab). The only downside is that it consumes a bit more power.
However, the ‘F’ at the end of the Core i5 13400F indicates that this chip does not have an integrated graphics card. You won’t really miss the Intel UHD Graphics 730 chip found on the Core i5 13400, but if that processor is more readily available, it’s only a tad more expensive at $221.
Please note that these are Intel’s recommended customer prices. While we tend to see chips hovering around these sorts of prices once the fervor of the first day of launch has sunk in, the 13th Gen is currently a bit more expensive than we’d like. These chips can take a while to hit the market, so keep an eye out for the best price as they come in.
Neither the Core i5 13400 or 13400F are overclockable in the traditional way. There’s a slim chance that some motherboard manufacturers will allow some stealthy BCLK overclocking with these locked chips, as was the case with some of Intel’s 12th Gen processors (and we loved the Core i5 12400 for that). But so far it seems BCLK overclocking this way doesn’t work well with 13th gen, so we’ll have to wait and test for ourselves to be sure either way.
|processor||Cores (P+E)||Wires||Maximum P-core Turbo (GHz)||Base Processor Power/Maximum Turbo Power (W)||Price|
|Core i5 13400||6+4||16||4.6||65/148||$221|
|Core i5 13400F||6+4||16||4.6||65/148||$196|
|Core i5 12400||6+0||12||4.4||65/117||$211-221|
|Core i5 12400F||6+0||12||4.4||65/117||$184-194|
For any PC gamer still rocking an Intel Core i7 6700K or chip with a similar four-core design (I’ve got a build with such a chip in it to this day), it’s hard to beat the Core i5 13400F as a huge upgrade to deny . Heck, it’s a pretty awesome upgrade even if you have a more recent CPU, but then again, I’m not a big fan of changing CPUs unnecessarily for the sake of it.
There’s no denying that CPUs have really taken off lately, and it’s that stiff competition between Intel and AMD that’s fueling the fire. In my mind there’s no better example of that than the impressive specs of the Core i5 13400F – a big improvement on what was already a mighty mid-range offering in the Core i5 12400.
In terms of competition, the Core i5 13400F should be quite a bit cheaper than AMD’s latest Ryzen 5 7600X, which retails for around $299, meaning there’s no real counter number from the red team just yet. However, AMD has a keynote at CES 2023 tomorrow, and rumor has it that we could hear more about its more entry-level desktop CPUs then or sometime this month.
In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to get this chip into the PC Gamer test bench and see what it can really deliver. Although I don’t expect it to be anything but great.