Intel Core i5-12400F Review - The AMD Challenger 140

Intel Core i5-12400F Review - The AMD Challenger

Architecture »

Introduction

Intel Logo

The Intel Core i5-12400F is designed to be 12th Gen "Alder Lake" for the masses who game. At a retail price of just $180, this 6-core/12-thread processor has some pretty big shoes to fill as nearly all its predecessors sold in heaps, from the i5-8400 to the extremely popular i5-9400F, i5-10400F, and, to a lesser extent, i5-11400F. These SKUs have been characterized by a price well under $200, but with the hardware feature-set resembling the top $250–280 Core i5 part, albeit with lower clock speeds. With its 12th Gen Core family, however, Intel has fundamentally changed the Core i5 brand.

The new Core i5-12400F isn't just a locked, lower-clocked sibling of the i5-12600K we reviewed last year. In fact, we couldn't simulate this chip by underclocking that one. This is because the i5-12400, i5-12400F, i5-12500, and i5-12600 (non-K) have a different core-configuration from the i5-12600K and i5-12600KF. With "Alder Lake," Intel introduced its Hybrid CPU core architecture to the desktop segment. For the i5-12600K/KF, this meant four "Gracemont" Efficiency cores (or E-cores) besides the six "Golden Cove" Performance cores (or P-cores), along with 20 MB of L3 cache. It turns out that only the i5-12600K/KF feature E-cores in the 12th Gen Core i5 desktop series, while the other SKUs simply lack them.



There's another big difference between the i5-12400F/12400/12500/12600 compared to the i5-12600K. The newer chips are based on a physically different silicon, dubbed "H0." This die is smaller, and physically only features six "Golden Cove" P-cores, zero "Gracemont" E-core clusters, and a shared L3 cache that's only 18 MB. The i5-12600K and KF are carved out of the larger "C0" die, the same one the flagship i9-12900K is based on, by disabling two out of eight P-cores, and one of the two E-core clusters.

Intel's Hybrid core architecture comes with an interesting and essential piece of clockwork called Thread Director; a middleware that helps the OS send the right kind of processing workload to the right kind of CPU core, it also plays a big role in power management. With no E-cores on the silicon, and thus no Thread Director, the i5-12400F is a more traditional multi-core processor. It has six "Golden Cove" P-cores, with HyperThreading enabling 12 logical CPUs. There's a 50% generational increase in L3 cache, from 12 MB in the previous-generation i5-11400F to 18 MB.

The I/O capabilities of the "H0" silicon appears unchanged from "C0," it puts out 16 PCI-Express Gen 5 lanes for the PEG slot (the main x16 slot meant for your graphics card); four PCI-Express Gen 4 lanes for a CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot, and an 8-lane DMI 4.0 chipset-bus. It supports both DDR5 and DDR4 memory types. As an "F" SKU, the i5-12400F lacks onboard graphics. It's hence targeted squarely at gamers with a discrete graphics card. Unlike the i5-12600K, it lacks an unlocked base-clock multiplier, and Intel rated the chip's processor base power (PBP) at 65 W, with maximum turbo power (MTP) at 117 W. The processor has a nominal clock speed of 2.50 GHz, with maximum turbo boost frequency of 4.40 GHz. There's no fancy Turbo Boost Max 3.0 (and hence no preferred cores being exposed to the OS), but you get classic Turbo Boost 2.0.

Intel is pricing the Core i5-12400F at $180. If you absolutely want onboard graphics, you can pick its twin, the Core i5-12400, for around $195. We chose the i5-12400F for review because we wanted to test just how much processing muscle you get for $150 less than the i5-12600K, and whether it's all you need for gaming these days, so you could push the money saved toward graphics.

Intel Core i5-12400F Market Segment Analysis
 PriceCores /
Threads
Base
Clock
Max.
Boost
L3
Cache
TDPArchitectureProcessSocket
Core i3-9100F$1454 / 43.6 GHz4.2 GHz6 MB65 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Core i3-10100$1304 / 83.6 GHz4.3 GHz6 MB65 WComet Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Core i5-12100F$1004 / 83.3 GHz4.3 GHz12 MB58 WAlder Lake10 nmLGA 1700
Ryzen 3 3100$1504 / 83.6 GHz3.9 GHz16 MB65 WZen 27 nmAM4
Ryzen 3 3300X$2404 / 83.8 GHz4.3 GHz16 MB65 WZen 27 nmAM4
Core i3-10300$1754 / 83.7 GHz4.4 GHz8 MB65 WComet Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Core i3-12300$1554 / 83.5 GHz4.4 GHz12 MB60 WAlder Lake10 nmLGA 1700
Core i5-9400F$1706 / 62.9 GHz4.1 GHz9 MB65 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Core i5-10400F$1806 / 122.9 GHz4.3 GHz12 MB65 WComet Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Core i5-11400F$2156 / 122.6 GHz4.4 GHz12 MB65 WRocket Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Core i5-12400F$1806 / 122.5 GHz4.4 GHz18 MB65 WAlder Lake10 nmLGA 1700
Core i5-10500$2256 / 123.1 GHz4.5 GHz12 MB65 WComet Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Ryzen 5 3600$2306 / 123.6 GHz4.2 GHz32 MB65 WZen 27 nmAM4
Core i5-9600K$2106 / 63.7 GHz4.6 GHz9 MB95 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Core i5-10600K$2606 / 124.1 GHz4.8 GHz12 MB125 WComet Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Core i5-11600K$2606 / 123.9 GHz4.9 GHz12 MB125 WRocket Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Ryzen 5 3600X$2906 / 123.8 GHz4.4 GHz32 MB95 WZen 27 nmAM4
Ryzen 5 5600G$2506 / 123.9 GHz4.4 GHz16 MB65 WZen 3 + Vega7 nmAM4
Ryzen 5 5600X$3106 / 123.7 GHz4.6 GHz32 MB65 WZen 37 nmAM4
Core i5-12600K$3006+4 / 163.7 / 2.8 GHz4.9 / 3.6 GHz 20 MB125 WAlder Lake10 nmLGA 1700
Core i7-9700K$3108 / 83.6 GHz4.9 GHz12 MB95 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Core i7-10700K$3308 / 163.8 GHz5.1 GHz16 MB125 WComet Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Core i7-11700K$3508 / 163.6 GHz5.0 GHz16 MB125 WRocket Lake14 nmLGA 1200
Ryzen 7 3700X$3208 / 163.6 GHz4.4 GHz32 MB65 WZen 27 nmAM4
Ryzen 7 5700G$3508 / 163.8 GHz4.6 GHz16 MB65 WZen 3 + Vega7 nmAM4
Ryzen 7 3800XT$4008 / 163.9 GHz4.7 GHz32 MB105 WZen 27 nmAM4
Core i7-12700K$4208+4 / 203.6 / 2.7 GHz5.0 / 3.8 GHz 25 MB125 WAlder Lake10 nmLGA 1700
Ryzen 7 5800X$4008 / 163.8 GHz4.7 GHz32 MB105 WZen 37 nmAM4
Next Page »Architecture
View as single page
May 29th, 2022 04:34 EDT change timezone

New Forum Posts

Popular Reviews

Controversial News Posts