Unveiling the Dark Horse of Gaming CPUs: The Intel Core i5 11400F Review

In the rapidly evolving landscape of gaming hardware, the Intel Core i5 11400F has surfaced with a compelling narrative, establishing itself as a dark horse in the race of performance and value. Amidst Intel's recent Rocket Lake S series debut, it’s the lower to mid-range segments that have captivated consumers and critics alike. Intel’s generational leap in performance, coupled with the enriched feature set of B560 motherboards, positions the 11400F in an enviable spot, especially for gamers on a budget. This article delves into the intricacies of the Core i5 11400F, showcasing why it might be the champion of mainstream gaming CPUs in today’s market.

A Compelling Proposition

At its core—pun intended—the 11400F shines with its affordability and robust performance matrix. Priced around £150/$175, it packs six cores and twelve threads, aligning seamlessly with the contemporary demands of gaming and occasional creative ventures. Despite a modest lag behind its sibling, the i5 11600K, in max turbo frequency, the 11400F’s architecture promises compelling power. The enticing prospect of commanding performance close to AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series, but at a marked-down price, fuels its narrative as a potential market disruptor.

Testing Setup and Methodology

Our review adopts a streamlined approach, pairing the 11400F with a budget-conscious MSI MAG B560M Mortar WiFi motherboard. This combination not only reflects a real-world assembly but also takes advantage of PCIe 4.0 and memory overclocking features. Accompanying this setup is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, high-speed G.Skill RAM, and a robust Gamer Storm power supply. Employing Cooler Master's MasterFrame 700 for a test bench, we veer towards a blend of practicality and performance in our evaluation process.

Performance Unleashed


Before diving into the benchmarks, it’s noteworthy to mention the default use of 1:1 memory ratios and the removal of power limits for an unfettered evaluation. Through a lens of content creation and gaming prowess, the 11400F demonstrates its mettle. Our tests with Cinebench R20 and Handbrake encoding reveal a CPU that not only holds its ground but often outpaces its direct predecessors and rivals, offering a glimpse into its efficient throughput and potential for multitasking endeavors.

Content Creation Capabilities

Analyzing the 11400F’s performance under content-related workloads highlights an optimal balance between power and productivity. Whether rendering 3D scenes or transcoding video formats, the CPU’s scores—both in constrained and unconstrained power scenarios—reflect a competitive edge against higher-priced alternatives. The consistency in single-core performance, alongside notable gains in multi-core scenarios, positions the 11400F as a compelling choice for creative professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Gaming Glory

Transitioning to the gaming landscape, the 11400F’s prowess is further solidified. With tests across a cadre of contemporary titles, the CPU showcases the dexterity to handle diverse gaming demands. From high frame rates in competitive scenarios to steadfast performance in graphically intensive environments, the 11400F provides a cost-effective gateway to high-quality gaming experiences, challenging the value proposition of its higher-tier competitors.

Conclusion: The Value Champion?

In summation, the Intel Core i5 11400F emerges as a formidable contender in the realm of mainstream gaming CPUs. Striking a harmonious balance between cost-efficiency, performance, and future-ready features, it stands out as a rational choice for gamers and content creators. While not without its competition, the 11400F undeniably presents a strong case for itself, making it a worthy consideration for those seeking optimal performance per pound spent. Its narrative in the market is not just about raw power, but about delivering real-world value, cementing its status as a potentially disruptive force in the current CPU landscape.

Leave a comment