In the aftermath of Intel’s Rocket Lake S launch, the Core i5 11400F has emerged as an unlikely champion. The upper end of Intel’s new lineup is certainly performant, but the value simply isn’t there for many buyers while discounted 10th-gen equivalents are still available (especially when the 10900K’s extra cores give it an outright lead over its successor for content creation workloads). So far, the low and mid-range parts of the stack have gotten the most attention, where Intel’s roughly 20% gen-on-gen performance gains and more feature-rich B560 motherboards have created some pretty incredible value.
The pitch is straightforward: the Core i5 11400F costs around £150/$175, but its six core and twelve thread design remains in the current sweet spot for gaming and occasional content creation. It’s only 400MHz slower than the Core i5 11600K (4.2GHz vs 4.6GHz for max all-core turbo), and given its modern Cypress Cove design, each of its cores should be quite powerful. In the best-case scenario, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect performance comparable to the Ryzen 5000 series – but at a much lower price than AMD’s £260/$300 entry-level Ryzen 5 5600X. That sounded like the recipe for a value champion, so we were eager to put it to the test.
We’ll keep this introductory page brief because we’re only adding one CPU to our charts; after all, you can read our full 11900K and 11600K review for a more detailed write-up of the new features arriving with Intel’s 11th-generation desktop chips and 500-series motherboards.