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Intel Core i5 11400F: performance analysis

The unexpected highlight of Intel's 11th-gen lineup.

Before we get into the results, it's worth noting that ours are presented a little differently than you might be used to. On mobile, you'll get a basic overview, with the video capture of each GPU being translated into simple bar charts with average frame-rate and lowest one per cent measurements for easy comparisons.

On a desktop-class browser, you'll get the full-fat experience with embedded YouTube videos of each test scene. Click play to see how each CPU performs throughout the test scene, and feel free to add or remove CPUs and resolutions using the tick boxes on the right. Below the real-time metrics is a bar chart, which you can mouse over to see different measurements and click to switch between frame-rates and percentage differences. As always, all of the data here is generated based on the real video captured directly from the GPU of our test rig, ensuring an accurate replay of real-life performance.

We'll start with three recent additions to our CPU test suite: Flight Simulator 2020, Hitman 3 and Total War Three Kingdoms.

Flight Simulator 2020

Flight Sim is up first, with a low-flying London flight path created by my friend and colleague Alex Battaglia. This night-time run requires a lot of data to be streamed in and out, making for a test that puts all of the onus on CPU performance at 1080p and 1440p. Amazingly, the 11400F performs really well here, outperforming even the 10900K by a small margin - around 38fps versus 36fps over the course of a six-minute flight. However, the 11600K and 11900K do even better, with the 11600K being around 10 percent faster and the 11900K nearly 20 percent faster. The 11400F also effectively ties the 5600X, but falls a little behind the other Ryzen 5000 processors we've tested here.

At 1440p, normality is restored somewhat, as the 10900K slots in between the 11600K and 11900K, but the 11400F still turns in a decent result of around 33fps. Note that Ryzen does a bit better at 1440p also, with equivalent performance to the high-end 11900K.

Flight Simulator 2020: DX11, Ultra, TAA

  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X

Hitman 3

Hitman 3 comes next. We see the largest differences at 1080p, as expected, with the 'best' simulation quality enforcing a CPU bottleneck. The 11400F manages 222fps here, which is faster than the 10600K at 203fps but slower than the 10900K at 235fps. There's very little separating the 11400F and 11600K, making our new CPU the best value candidate for this particular title. Meanwhile, Ryzen 5000 processors do prove faster overall, with even the Ryzen 5600X pipping the 11900K by three frames per second and the 5900X managing a seven percent advantage over Intel's flagship. All of these frame-rates are high, of course, but that's to be expected on low settings. If we keep best simulation quality engaged and turn up the graphics, expect to see a similar hierarchy at lower frame-rates overall. At 1440p, there's not much of a difference between different CPUs, with the 10600K proving the only CPU we tested to score much below the 210fps mark.

Hitman 3: DX12, Low, Best Simulation Quality, TAA

  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X

Total War Three: Kingdoms

We're using the Battle benchmark in Total War: Three Kingdoms, as the campaign benchmark included in the game doesn't seem to run correctly on our test rig - it just begins a standard campaign mission which must be a bug of some kind. That means we expect to see smaller gen-on-gen improvements as we're in a less CPU-bound scenario, but the results are still interesting. The 11400F manages to deliver 335fps at 1080p, with the 11600K just four percent faster and the 11900K a more substantial 10 percent faster. The Ryzen 5000 processors also perform well here, beating out all but the 11900K which retains the top spot.

Total War Three Kingdoms: DX11, Low

  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X

It's interesting stuff so far with some strong results for the 11400F given its price point, so let's take a look at the next set of games - which include three popular competitive FPS titles, spanning from 2012 to 2020.

Intel Core i5 11400F analysis

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About the author

Will Judd

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry  |  wsjudd

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DealsFoundry.

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