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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz Phenom II X4 B97
Red Dead Redemption 2 0% 103%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 26% 50%
Halo: Reach 59% 16%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 11% 124%
FIFA 20 28% 45%
Borderlands 3 0% 103%
Cyberpunk 2077 15% 72%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 0% 103%
Halo: The Master Chief Collection 0% 103%
eFootball PES 2020 18% 67%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz is massively better than the AMD Phenom II X4 B97 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 Core i5-9400F 6-Core was released over three years more recently than the Phenom II X4, and so the Core i5-9400F 6-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Phenom II X4 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 has 2 more cores than the Phenom II X4. 6 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Phenom II X4 is more than enough for gaming purposes.

The Core i5-9400F 6-Core has 2 more threads than the Phenom II X4. Both CPUs have one thread 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 Phenom II X4 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 Phenom II X4 has a 0.3 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 enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core i5-9400F 6-Core.

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 Phenom II X4, and was created with a 31 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i5-9400F 6-Core will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCoffee LakeDeneb
MoBo SocketLGA 1151Socket AM3
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date31 Jan 201901 Oct 2010
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores6vs4
CPU Threads6vs4
Clock Speed2.9 GHzvs3.2 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.1 GHzvs-
Max TDP65 Wvs95 W
Lithography14 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs512 KB
L2 Cache Size-vs2048 KB
L3 Cache Size9 MBvs6 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
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.Phenom II X4 B97 is a business-class processor based on the 45nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.2GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.

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