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Is the Intel Core i5-13400 good for gaming?

Is the Core i5-13400 any good at gaming? Let's find out.

Updated: Jan 17, 2023 7:36 am
is the core i5 3400 good for gaming

Intel recently added the i5-13400 (with its F and K variants) to their Raptor lake CPU line-up. That, is all well and good but we’re here to answer the question “Is the Intel Core i5-13400 good for gaming?”

At first glance, the recently released i5 processor seems to be an amazing addition to what has already been a very successful 13th gen lineup. 

We’ve been hearing about this processor ever since news first broke out about its upcoming release in late 2022. Well, now that it’s finally out, does it live up to the hype?

The Intel Core i5-13400 – Processor Specifications

The i5-13400 builds on performance/efficiency core architecture introduced by Intel with Alder lake. The model’s exact specifications are as follows:

Core i5-13400 specifications

  • 10 Cores
  • 6 Performance Cores with Hyperthreading (12 Threads)
  • 4 Efficiency Cores (4 Threads)
  • P.Core Base Clock: 2.5 GHz
  • P.Core Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz
  • E.Core Base Clock: 1.8 GHz
  • E.Core Boost Clock: 3.3 GHz
  • Default TDP: 65 Watts
  • Maximum TDP: 154 Watts
  • Integrated Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 730

A considerable upgrade from its predecessor, the 12400, the i5-13400 features 4 efficiency cores for power-efficient operation during lighter workloads. It also has slightly higher clock speeds across its performance cores. 

Let’s find out how important that is in gaming. 

The i5-13400’s performance in gaming

The i5-13400 is shaping up to be an excellent mid-range processor for gamers who want to build a setup capable of running the best Triple-A titles today without having to break the bank. 

As long as you pair the CPU up with a strong enough Graphics card, you’ll be able to enjoy most games at their highest settings with a comfortable 60+ fps. 

Core/Thread Count

Let’s first talk about the core count. The i5-13400 has 10 cores, 6 of which are heavy-duty performance cores with hyperthreading enabled.

While the other 4 efficiency cores present certainly add to overall performance, it’s the 6 performance cores that determine how well the CPU can run demanding titles. 

Overall, the i5-13400 has a healthy core count that won’t leave much to be desired. You’ll be able to run CPU-centric games and multitask with ease. 

Clock Speed

Generally speaking, clock speed matters far more than core count when it comes to FPS. Games still can’t fully utilize all available threads, especially when you have a CPU with a thread count as high as 16. 

The i5-13400 has a max clock speed of 4.6 GHz across its performance cores. Not the best we’ve seen from the raptor lake lineup, but nothing to scoff at, either. 4.6 GHz is plenty of speed for most games. You’ll be fine as long as you stick with an equally strong GPU. 

If you’re looking for something to pair up with the 4090 Ti or the 7900 XTX, the i7 or i9 raptor lakes will probably serve you better with their 5GHz + clock speeds. 

The monstrous new GPUs from Nvidia and AMD might be a little too much for the humble i5-13400 to handle, leading to a bottleneck

Thermals and Power-Efficiency

The processor has a base TDP of 65, which has kind of become the industry standard for CPUs today. That’s only the base TDP, though, and you’ll likely see the CPU draw out more power under demanding workloads. 

A max TDP of 154 watts is noticeably higher than the i5 12400’s 117-watt TDP. You’ll have to use a stronger aftermarket cooler to keep up with the increased heat dissipation and prevent throttling. 

Overall, the i5-13400 is relatively power efficient. Especially when you compare it to something like the i7-12600K, which offers only slightly more performance at the expense of more than double the power consumption. 

Do I need to upgrade my motherboard for the i5 13400? 

The new 13th gen processor is compatible with the LGA 1700 socket. You don’t have to upgrade your motherboard if you’re currently on Alder lake hardware, which only adds to the i5-13400’s amazing budget-friendliness. 

The CPU supports both DDR4 and DDR5 memory, which means you can really just plug and play without having to alter your PC at all. If you have an older motherboard with the 11XX or 1200 sockets, you’ll have to make an upgrade to jump to Raptor Lake. I recommend a z790 motherboard.

We hope this article answered the question “Is the Intel Core i5-13400 good for gaming?”.

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