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With four cores and 3.5 GHz maximum clock, the Core i5-7400 is the most basic CPU of the new Core i5 seventh-generation series, codenamed Kaby Lake. Let’s test it!

Recently, Intel launched the seventh generation Core i processors, codenamed Kaby Lake. At first, were launched the Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs, and soon after, the Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron models. Those processors bring small changes compared to the sixth-generation ones: new video decoder for 4K video, improved Speed Shift technology (that dynamically adjusts the CPU clock,) and support to Optane technology (which is a future kind of high performance SSDs.)

The Core i5-7400 features 3.0 GHz base clock, 3.5 GHz turbo clock, 6 MiB of L3 cache, TDP of 65 W, and locked multiplier. It is manufactured under 14 nm process.

In term of price, the direct competitor of the Core i5-7400 is the Ryzen 5 1500X, which we will be reviewing soon. In this test, we compared the tested CPU to the Core i5-6500, which is a similar model from the previous generation. We also included the Core i5-7600K and the Ryzen 5 1600X, which are CPUs from a higher price range.


Figure 1 shows the box of the Core i5-7400.

Core i5-7400Figure 1: Core i5-7400 package

In Figure 2 you see the box contents: the cooler, the CPU itself, a small manual, and a case sticker.

Core i5-7400Figure 2: box contents

In Figure 3 you see the Core i5-7400 processor.

Core i5-7400Figure 3: the Core i5-7400 CPU

In Figure 3 you see the underside of the processor.

Core i5-7400Figure 4: the bottom of the CPU

We used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card on all tests.

Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.

In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.

CPU Cores HT/SMT IGP Internal Clock Turbo Clock Core Tech. TDP Socket Price
Core i5-7400 4 No Yes 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz Kaby Lake 14 nm 65 W LGA1151 USD 190
Core i5-6500 4 No Yes 3.2 GHz 3.6 GHz Skylake 14 nm 65 W LGA1151 USD 205
Ryzen 5 1600X 6 Yes No 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz Summit Ridge 14 nm 95 W AM4 USD 250
Core i5-7600K 4 No Yes 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz Kaby Lake 14 nm 91 W LGA1151 USD 240

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory Support Memory Channels
Core i5-7400 4 x 256 kiB 6 MiB Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600 2
Core i5-6500 4 x 256 kiB 6 MiB Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600 2
Ryzen 5 1600X 6 x 512 kiB 2 x 8 MiB Up to DDR4-2667 2
Core i5-7600K 4 x 256 KiB 6 MiB Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600 2

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable devicand was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • NTFS
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • NVIDIA driver version: 381.65

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure the computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, that includes web surfing, video editing, group video chat, video conversion, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s see the results.

Core i5-7400

On the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, was 12% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 10% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Core i5-7400

On the Creative benchmark, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, was 12% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 13% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Core i5-7400

On the Work benchmark, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, being 10% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 6% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation. Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed on average computers. The Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance, and the Ice Storm Extreme measures DirectX 9 performance and is targeted to entry-level computers, so we don’t ran it.

Core i5-7400

On Fire Strike, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, was 10% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 15% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Core i5-7400

On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Core i5-7400 was similar to the Core i5-6500, and was 13% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 30% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Core i5-7400

On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, being 19% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 47% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

 Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It is very useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot, because usually this kind of software recognize several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).

We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.

Core i5-7400

On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the Core i5-7400 was on a tie with the Core i5-6500, being 21% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 55% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

CPU-Z

On its current version, the well-known hardware identification software CPU-Z comes with a benchmarking tool, which measures CPU performance for one core and for all available cores.

Core i5-7400

On the single thread benchmark, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, being 22% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 23% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Core i5-7400

On the multiple thread benchmark, the Core i5-7400 also performed the same way as the Core i5-6500, and was 22% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 34% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Handbrake

Handbrake is an open-source video converting tool. We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into an .MP4 file, using the “Fast 1080p30” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

Core i5-7400

On Handbrake, the Core i5-7400 also get a tie with the Core i5-6500, being 21% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 50% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

DivX Converter

We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using all available cores and the SSE4 instruction set.

We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into an .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

Core i5-7400

On DivX encoding, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500 and the Ryzen 5 1600X, being 19% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

 Media Espresso

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

Core i5-7400

Here the Core i5-7400 obtained the same performance of the Core i5-6500, being 21% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 7% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Photoshop CC

The best way to measure the performance of a CPU is by using real programs. The problem, of course, is to create a methodology that offers precise results. For Photoshop CC, we used a script named “Retouch Artist Speed Test,” which applies a series of filters to a standard image and gives the time Photoshop takes to run all of them. The results are given in seconds, so the less, the best.

Core i5-7400

In this test, the Core i5-7400 was 9% slower than the Core i5-6500, and 27% slower than the Core i5-7600K and the Ryzen 5 1600X.

WinRAR

Another task where the CPU is very demanded is on file compacting. We ran a test compacting a folder with 8 GiB on 6.813 files to a file, using WinRAR 4.2. The graph below shows the time taken on each test.

Core i5-7400

On WinRAR, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, being 16% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 26% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 (BF1) is a first person shooter launched in October 2016, base on the Frostbite engine. To benchmark using this game, we played the same misson on the campaign mode, in Full HD and graphic settings as “high”, measuring the framerate with FRAPS.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Core i5-7400

On Battlefield 1, the Core i5-7400 was 7% faster than the Core i5-6500, performed similarly to the Core i5-7600K, and was 10% faster than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or simply CS:GO) is a very popular FPS, launched in august 2012, that uses the Source engine, which is DirectX 9. We benchmarked it playing the “Inferno” map against bots, in Full HD and graphic settings as “high”, measuring the framerate with FRAPS.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Core i5-7400

On this game, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500 and the Ryzen 5 1600X, being 15% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with FPS elements, launched in August 2016, that uses the Dawn engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested it using the benchmark included in the game, with DirectX 12 enabled, Full HD, and graphic options as “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Core i5-7400

On this game, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, was 8% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 6% faster than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).

Core i5-7400

In this game, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500 and the Ryzen 5 1600X, being 18% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Doom

Doom is an FPS/horror/sci-fi game launched in May 2016, that used the id Tech 6 engine. We tested the performance in this game, with the API OpenGL with quality options “high” and FXAA on, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times.

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Core i5-7400

In this game, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500 and the Ryzen 5 1600X, and was 8% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with all image quality set as “high” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Core i5-7400

On GTA V, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, was 9% faster than the Core i5-7600K, and 8% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Hitman

Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “high”.

The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.

Core i5-7400

On Hitman, the Core i5-7400 also performed similarly to the Core i5-6500, was 15% slower than the Core i5-7600K, and 19% slower than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Mad Max

Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set as “high”.

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Core i5-7400

On Mad Max, all the CPUs performed similarly.

Rainbow Six Siege

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical FPS game launched in december 2015, using the AnvilNext engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its built-in benchmark, in Full HD and with image quality set as “high”.

The results below are expressed in fps.

Core i5-7400

On this game, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500 and the Ryzen 5 1600X, but and was 5% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Rise of the Tomb Rider

Rise of the Tomb Rider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using Full HD resolution and graphics quality set to “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Core i5-7400

Also on Rise of the Tomb Rider, the Core i5-7400 performed similarly to the Core i5-6500 and the Core i5-7600K, and was 55% faster than the Ryzen 5 1600X.

The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we walked around at the first scene of the game, measuring the frame rate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set to “ultra.”

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Core i5-7400

On Rise of the Tomb Raider, all the CPUs had similar performance.

When we tested the Core i5-6400 and the Core i5-6500, we concluded both them were great CPUs for a budget gaming computer, but the Core i5-6400, because of its low clock rate, had a lower cost/benefit ratio than the Core i3-6100.

This problem was solved in the Core i5-7400: even if there is no actual performance gain from the sixth to the seventh generation of Core i CPUs, the Core i5-7400 has a higher clock than the Core i5-6500, which makes it perform like the Core i5-6500, but costing less.

So, the Core i5-67400 is an excellent choice for a low-cost gaming computer because, in the gaming test, it was similar to the Ryzen 5 1600X (which is a more expensive CPU), losing only to the Core i5-7600K (which is also more expensive) only on some games.