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Intel Core i5 11400F: performance analysis

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

As we mentioned earlier, these results are all with 3600MHz CL16 RAM and a 240mm AiO water cooler in place. If you pair one of these CPUs with slower RAM or weaker cooling, then you are likely to see slightly worse performance - see page five for a look at RAM scaling works with the 11400F. It's also worth noting that our Intel results (apart from those marked '65W') have Multi Core Enhancement enabled, which is the default on many high-end motherboards but may not be available on absolutely ever motherboard out there. This setting goes by different names, but it essentially trades power usage and heat for increased performance. That means Intel's turbo boost targets are ignored, but it makes a big difference in CPU-bound scenarios. It's worth testing with this enabled and disabled in the games you play most often to see whether it's worthwhile, as you may discover that turning it off only costs a few frames per second but reduces your energy costs and diminishes fan noise considerably.

In these tests, we'll examine how the 11400F compares against its 11th-gen chums and Ryzen 5000 competitors in Cyberpunk 2077 with RT enabled, single-core-heavy Far Cry 5 and DF staple Crysis 3. We've opted for highly repeatable scenes here from a variety of sources here - an in-game cutscene, a brief open gameplay segment along a fixed route and an in-game benchmark.

Remember that you can mouse over the results in the tables below (as long as you're using a desktop browser rather than a phone) to get dynamically generated performance readouts for all processors we've tested. Meanwhile, clicking the graph swaps you into percentages, making it a bit easier to judge relative performance at a glance.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is our second RT benchmark, showing how RT performance can add even more load to the CPU and cause CPU bottlenecking in some scenarios. (We'd have liked to have placed even more emphasis on the CPU by using an RTX 3090 here instead of an RTX 2080 Ti, so perhaps we'll revisit this in the future.) In the here and now, the 11400F is notably off-pace the rest of its 11th-gen comrades, but still faster than the 10600K by around five percent. The 11600K is 11 percent faster than the star of this review, while the 11900K is 15 per cent faster. Moving up the flagship also improves the worse one percent frame-rates substantially, from 37fps on the 11400F to a more comfortable 50fps on the 11900K. The frame-rate advantage in these moments where performance dip can really make a difference to playability, especially if you have a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor that operates from 48fps and up - a common VRR threshold on 144Hz monitors. AMD does comparatively far worse here, with the 11400F actually outperforming even the Ryzen 9 5900X by a tiny margin and holding a 4 percent lead over the Ryzen 5 5600X.

Cyberpunk 2077: DX12, RT

  • 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

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 is the first 'classic' CPU bench in this review, so you'll notice we have far more CPUs in our database. That means I'm able to tell you that the 11400F absolutely destroys anything from Ryzen 3000 and above, with the cheap Intel chip slaughtering even the Ryzen 9 3900XT by 23 percent. Even against Ryzen 5000 opposition, the 11400F's hefty single-core grunt means that it ties the 5900X, the fastest AMD CPU we've recorded in this benchmark. Compared to Intel CPUs, the 11400F is no less impressive, effectively tying the 10900K and the 11600K. It's only the 11900K that manages any kind of consistent advantage, with the 11th-gen flagship holding a six percent lead over a CPU that costs £400 less.

Far Cry 5: Ultra, TAA

  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F [255W]
  • Core i5 11400F [65W]
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 9 3900XT
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3800XT
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Ryzen 3 3100
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ryzen 5 2600
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 9 3900XT
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3800XT
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Ryzen 3 3100
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ryzen 5 2600
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 9 3900XT
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3800XT
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Ryzen 3 3100
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ryzen 5 2600

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is a game that scales well with additional cores, so it's not surprising to see the 10900K leading the Intel side of the charts with its 12 high-speed cores. The 11400F remains competitive though, with an 185fps average at 1080p that is just two percent behind the 11600K and seven percent behind the 11900K. AMD holds the overall lead here though, with the 5600X proving 10 percent faster and the 5800X stretching that to around 13 percent. Once again, there's very little difference between our 65W and 255W results, suggesting that the CPU is operating well within its power budget most of the time.

Crysis 3: Very High, SMAA T2X

  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F [255W]
  • Core i5 11400F [65W]
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 9 3900XT
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3800XT
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Ryzen 3 3100
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ryzen 5 2600
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i9 10900K
  • Core i5 10600K
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 9 3900XT
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3800XT
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Ryzen 3 3100
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ryzen 5 2600
  • Core i9 11900K
  • Core i5 11600K
  • Core i5 11400F
  • Core i5 10900K
  • Core i9 10600K
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 9 3900XT
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3800XT
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Ryzen 3 3100
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ryzen 5 2600

Now let's move onto something quite interesting - memory bandwidth analysis. What happens when you pair the 11400F with slower RAM than the 3600MHz CL16 set we're using?

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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