Intel Core i5-12400F

INTEL CORE i5-12400F Alder Lake CPU Review

In previous CPU generations, Intel’s Core i5 CPUs have usually had the same underpinnings, just with different frequencies and cache amounts, but the Core i5-12400F is a very different CPU to the Core i5-12600K. The 12400F sticks to the familiar 6-core design, while the more expensive Core i5-12600K adds four E-Cores into the mix for a total of ten cores and 16 threads, compared to six cores and 12 threads for the CPU on review here.

Thankfully, the Core i5-12400F is also significantly cheaper, retailing for just $160, which is $100 less than its Core i5 sibling. The F in its name denotes the fact it has no on-board GPU, and it costs a little less than the standard model as a result. This price also makes it around $20 cheaper than AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600, which is its main competitor.

Its peak boost frequency is significantly lower than its sibling this month, at just 4.4GHz, while the Core i5-12600K can hit 4.9GHz. The latter can also hit 4.5GHz on its P-Cores under full load too, while the Core i5-12400F falls back to just 4GHz. Still, with plenty of change from $200 and some affordable LGA1700 motherboards available now, the 12400F is still a potential winner if you’re on a budget.

Benchmarks Intel Core i5 Core 12400F

Its image editing score of 69,757 was a match for that of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600 but a long way off the 76,451 scored by the Core i5-12600K. It was a little slower than the AMD CPU in our heavily multi-threaded video encoding test, but a huge amount off the pace of the more expensive Core i5. It also posted the lowest system score on test, although its result wasn’t far behind the Ryzen 5 5600.

However, Cinebench saw the Intel CPU beat the Ryzen 5 5600 convincingly, and not even a massive overclock could help the AMD chip here, although it did cement the Ryzen 5 5600’s lead in our image editing, video encoding and multitasking tests. This is a benefit of the AMD chip, as the Core i5-12400F’s locked multiplier prevents overclocking.

Likewise, the Core i5-12400F was much faster than the Ryzen 5 5600 in Far Cry 6, but the AMD CPU matched it once overclocked. The Intel CPU took the lead in Watch Dogs: Legion, though, even when the AMD chip was overclocked. It fared well against the Core i5-12600K in games too, but the latter did manage a noticeably higher average frame rate in Far Cry 6.

Finally, with a 180W peak power draw for our system as a whole, our Core i5-12400F test system was barely any more power hungry than our Ryzen 5 5600 setup at stock speed, while the AMD rig drew a further 31W from the mains when it was overclocked.


Base frequency 2.9GHz
Max boost frequency 4.4GHz
Core Alder Lake
Manufacturing process 10nm
Number of cores 6 x P-Cores (12 threads)
IGP None
Hyper-Threading Yes
Cache 18MB L3, 7.5MB L2 
Memory controller Dual-channel DDR4 up to 
3200MHz, dual-channel DDR5 up to 4800MHz 
Packaging LGA1700
Thermal design power (TDP) 65W 
Features Turbo Boost 2, FMA3, F16C, SHA, 
BMI / BMI1 + BMI2, AVX-512, AVX2, AVX, AES, 


With its ability to keep pace with AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600 at stock speed, and with better performance in our game tests, the Core i5-12400F makes a strong case as a budget CPU. The AMD CPU claws back ground once it’s overclocked in a number of tests, though, so it’s far from an outright win for Intel. If you can afford a bit of extra slack in your budget, the Core i5-12600K is also much more powerful, thanks to its extra cores, threads and higher boosting frequencies. However, if you won’t be overclocking, and you want the best gaming CPU possible on a tight budget, the Core i5-12400F is the chip to buy.

+ Great value
+ Faster than equivalent AMD CPUs in games
+ Reasonable content creation performance

- No overclocking
- Lowly boost frequencies
- No E-Cores

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.