Intel Core i5-8400
AT LAST, WE’VE SEEN it come to fruition. Intel has finally thrown off the shackles of those fourcore limitations, and added an additional two cores to the vast majority of chips in its arsenal of mainstream processors. It is, in essence, an effective way of combatting AMD’s Ryzen eight-core parts, without having to redevelop an entire architecture to do so.
The Core i5-8400 is the absolute sweet spot in the lineup, and for those looking for a mid-range, no fuss chip, that gets the job done, it’s the new king of the hill. Although it still lacks the Hyper-Threading of its Core i7 superior, the inclusion of those two Coffee Lake cores on top of the usual four provides a raft of additional processing prowess, capable of demolishing the older Core i7-7700K. It is, by far, the best value processor you can buy to date, coming in at a faintly ridiculous $190.
That’s not to say there aren’t any limitations with Coffee Lake, the big one being temperature. Intel is still refusing to invest in any form of decent thermal interface material between the die and the IHS, and because of that, temperatures are toasty, even on this locked Core i5. Plus, although the socket may be the same, there’s no backward compatibility at all, meaning you’ll be investing in a new motherboard as well.