The Core i5-13400F didn’t originally receive the warmest of welcomes, despite anticipation. The issue is that this chip is much more like a Core i5-12600K at a lower price than a Core i5-13600K, and despite its 13th-gen branding, it lacks some of the key upgrades associated with Raptor Lake.
At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest CPUs since 2003, and we’ve tested and overclocked hundreds of CPUs, going right back to the Pentium 4 and Athlon XP era. We’ve developed an expert testing methodology that covers all the key areas of performance, including single-threaded and multi-threaded performance, as well as gaming.
Our benchmarks include our very own RealBench suite, which had a GIMP image editing test that stresses single-threaded performance, and a Handbrake H.264 video encoding test to gauge multi-threaded performance, as well as multi-tasking tests.
We also use the single and multi-threaded tests in Cinebench, Far Cry 6 and Watch Dogs: Legion. For our game tests, we record the 99th percentile and average frame rates, and finally, we also measure the idle and load total system power consumption at the wall, while running Prime95’s smallest FFT test with AVX disabled.
Back to the Core i5-13400F, this new budget-friendly CPU hasn’t received the doubling of L2 cache found in some other 13th-gen CPUs, languishing at the same 9.5MB as the Core i5-12600K, and it also has the same number of P-Cores and E-Cores at six and four respectively, while the Core i5-13600K has eight E-Cores.
That said, the Core i5-12400F also had a four E-core deficit compared to the Core i5-12600K, in that it had none at all, so the Core i5-13400F is certainly a step up from its predecessor in more than a few ways.
In case you’re unfamiliar with all of Intel’s suffixes, the ‘F’ at the end of the name means this CPU has no integrated graphics, which means it’s a little cheaper than a non-F chip, but it lacks that backup facility in the event your graphics card is out of action, or if you just don’t need a discrete GPU for your needs.
At a price of $210, it doesn’t really have a competitor in the current CPU lineup, with the Ryzen 5 7600X sitting at $249 and the Ryzen 5 5600X at $159. Needless to say, it needs to try to keep up with the former and beat the latter in every test to be worth considering.
Out of the box, the Core i5-13400F will hit an all-core boost on its P-Cores of 4.1GHz, which is 1GHz below the Core i5-13600K’s figures, and it’s also slower than the Core i5-12600K, while its peak lightly-threaded boost of 4.6GHz also trails both CPUs by a wide margin. However, it does have a lower TDP than the Core i5-12600K, at 65W compared to 125W, with the peak turbo power being about the same at 148W.
Core i5-13400F application performance
The Core i5-12600K certainly had the measure of the Core i5-13400F in our RealBench tests, but not by the margin its price suggests with a system score of 288,414 compared to 271,519 for the new CPU. The margin was slightly wider in Cinebench’s multi-threaded test, at 17,383 vs 15,378.
The Core i5-13400F also managed to beat the Ryzen 5 5600X in our RealBench overall system score and was miles ahead in Cinebench too, where it also beat the Ryzen 5 7600X.
Core i5-13400F gaming performance
The Core i5-13400F lagged behind the other CPUs we’ve recently tested in our Far Cry 6 benchmark, with an average frame rate of 125 fps and 99th percentile frame rate of 93 fps. This latter figure was quicker than the result from the Core i5-12600K, although the older CPU’s average of 134 fps shows quicker performance overall.
On the plus side, the Core i5-13400F is quicker than the aging Ryzen 5 5600X in our game tests, and it’s not far off the performance of the Ryzen 9 7900 either.
Core i5-13400F power draw
When it comes to power draw, the Core i5-13400F is one of the most power-frugal CPUs we’ve tested recently. Our system drew just 211 W from the mains with this CPU running at full load, compared with 233 W for the Ryzen 5 7600X. However, AMD’s non-X CPUs are even more power-efficient here, partly thanks to their smaller manufacturing process.
Core i5-13400F pros and cons
- Good performance for the price
- Doesn’t need lavish cooling
- Low clock frequencies
- No L2 cache upgrade
- Only four E-Cores
Core i5-13400F specs
The Intel Core i5-13400F specs list is:
|Base frequency||P-Core 2.5GHz, E-Core 1.8GHz|
|Max boost frequency||P-Core 4.6GHz, E-Core 3.3GHz|
|Manufacturing process||10 nm|
|Number of P-Cores||6|
|Number of E-Cores||4|
|Number of threads||16|
|L2 cache||9.5 MB|
|L3 cache||20 MB|
|Memory controller||Dual-channel DDR4 and DDR5|
|Thermal design power (TDP)||148 W|
|Features||Turbo Boost 2, FMA3, F16C, SHA, BMI / BMI1 + BMI2, AVX-512, AVX2, AVX, AES, SSE4a, SSE4, SSSE3, SSE3, SSE2, SSE, MMX|
Core i5-13400F price
The 13400F is one of the lowest-tier CPUs in Intel’s 13th range so can readily be bought for just over $200.
Price: Expect to pay $210 USD / £210 GBP
Core i5-13400F review conclusion
There are a few points to consider with the Core i5-13400F, with the first being its performance. This is solid, sticking close to the Core i5-12600K and costing a lot less money, while outpacing the cheaper Ryzen 5 5600X and even bettering the Ryzen 5 7600X in a few tests too.
Critically, Intel has much cheaper motherboards available for its latest chips than AMD, with some B660 models retailing for under $120, and they also support cheap DDR4 memory, while with Socket AM5, you need DDR5 memory that still demands a price premium.
For now at least, the Core i5-13400F offers excellent value when paired with the right components, and is a much better bet for a mid-range system than AMD’s cheapest Socket AM5 options. The 13400F’s combination of great value and decent performance is enough for it to make it into our best CPU for gaming list.
Intel Core i5-13400F rating
Decent performance for the price, and it also benefits from compatibility with cheap motherboards and DDR4 memory.