Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core 3.8GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 0% 41%
Halo: Reach 59% 76%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 26% 56%
Borderlands 3 0% 41%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 11% 35%
FIFA 20 28% 58%
Cyberpunk 2077 15% 50%
Halo: The Master Chief Collection 0% 41%
eFootball PES 2020 18% 51%
Fortnite: Chapter 2 45% 67%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core 3.8GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Ryzen 5 3600X was released less than a year after the Core i5-9400F 6-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i5-9400F 6-Core and the Ryzen 5 3600X both have 6 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

The Ryzen 5 3600X has 6 more threads than the Core i5-9400F 6-Core. The Core i5-9400F 6-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Ryzen 5 3600X uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i5-9400F 6-Core and Ryzen 5 3600X are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Ryzen 5 3600X has a 0.9 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i5-9400F 6-Core has a 30 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Ryzen 5 3600X. However, the Ryzen 5 3600X was created with a 7 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i5-9400F 6-Core is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by a small amount.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCoffee LakeZen 2
MoBo SocketLGA 1151Socket AM4
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date31 Jan 201907 Jul 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores6vs6
CPU Threads6vs12
Clock Speed2.9 GHzvs3.8 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.1 GHzvs4.3 GHz
Max TDP65 Wvs95 W
Lithography14 nmvs7 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs512 KB
L2 Cache Size-vs3072 KB
L3 Cache Size9 MBvs32 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs4
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphicsno
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5mm x 37.5mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz is a mid-range CPU based on Intel's 9th Gen 14nm, Coffee Lake refresh microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (6 logical) initially clocked at 2.9GHz, which may go up to 4.1GHz using Turbo Boost. It does not have an unlocked multiplier and therefore cannot be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 9MB of SmartCache. Intel SmartCache refers to the architecture that allows all cores to dynamically share access to the last level cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. The Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 65W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many advanced features are Intel Optane Memory support, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization technology. It Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz features no onboard integrated graphics. This CPU is likely to offer decent computational performance and will not be a bottleneck in all but the most CPU-intensive AAA games in 2019.The Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core 3.8GHz is a mid to high-range CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (12 logical), initially clocked at 3.8GHz, which may go up to 4.4GHz using Precision Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can be overclocked using traditional methods. As an AMD 'X' CPU, the Ryzen 5 3600X can use eXtended Frequency Range (XFR) for automated overclocking. It has 32MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 95W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features are Simultaneous Multithreading, Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFR), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled.

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