Intel Core i5-6400 Review

October 2, 2019

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In this Intel Core i5-6400 review, this is a processor that is the cheapest Core i5 chip available with solid multi-threaded performance. It has decent temperatures and power consumption and sits in the middle of the Intel’s mainstream desktop processor order. It is based on the Skylake architecture featuring 14nm manufacturing process and looks similar in build with the Intel Core i7 6700K. It is considered to be slower than its previous versions and the 7th generation Intel processors but still performs well.


Being the most affordable standard chip from the Skylake Core i5 range, the Intel Core i5-6400 review shows that its performance is not in the same line with its competitors. The Intel Core i5-6400 processor features four physical cores, 1 MB of L2 cache and 6 MB of L3 cache. The main difference of its high rated competitors is when it comes to clock speed which makes it greatly the cheapest model so far.

When compared to other processors, the i5-6400 runs a standard 2.7 GHz and is able to use Turbo Boost to improve its two cores up to a clock speed of 3.5 GHz. It also features a Turbo peak of 3.9 GHz. Another slight difference between its other competitors is when we compare their power consumption. The Intel Core i5-6400 is rated at 65 W the same as other i5 Skylake parts. However, the i5-6600K has a higher speed and is well unlocked for overlocking with a peak of 91 W from the PSU. The clock speed of the i5-6600K begins at 3.5 GHz and peaks at 3.9 GHz which is a very big difference between the two.

Features and chipset

The features and chipset review of the Intel Core i5-6400 features the Z170 chipset that has more PCle 3.0 lanes than previous chipsets. This means there is more bandwidth available for graphics cards, PCle-based storage gadgets and peripherals. There is more support for USB 3.0, better networking options as well as thunderbolt 3.0 debuts and overlocking options.

The Intel Core i5-6400 reviewed features 4 cores and 4 threads, 3.3 GHz maximum speed, 3.3 GHz maximum turbo frequency and FCLGA 1151 socket. Considering that it has 4 cores, it performs better than the i3 processors. As the clock speed differentiates it from its competitors, the if-6400 gives a decent multi-core performance with a poor single core result in a benchmark result. The i5-6400 barely manages 142 in the Cinebench R15 single core test which is poor. It falls behind Core i3 Skylake processors which have higher speeds. It only matches with the i3 from the 2 generations.

In terms of video encoding, it completes the test under six minutes which is better than the i3 competitors with one minute. In terms of gaming reviews, it has a decent performance on GPU with Battlefield but falls behind by a few frames on Bioshock. This is because of the poor single core performance that can’t even match the single performance of Core i3 6100.

Overlocking and heat

The Intel Core i5-6400 features a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 65 W and includes thermal solution of PCG 2015C (65 W). The processor runs a standard of 2.7 GHz and is able to utilize Turbo boost for further improvements on its two cores to a top speed of 3.3 GHz. Its power consumption is almost similar to other standard Core i5 Skylake parts but lower to i5-6600k which is well unlocked for overclocking which requires a peak of 91 W from the PSU.

Unfortunately, the i5-6400 processor is not a K-edition chip unlocked for overlocking. This limits it a chance to tweak on certain boards with the right BIOS. It however has better power requirements hence it fits well beneath the Intel’s stock cooler.

Pricing and availability

The Intel Core i5-6400 is the cheapest processor compared to other models because it has low clock speed. The i5-6600K is higher in price as it has a higher clock speed than the i5-6400. The review price of i5-6400 is about $159.00 and is the cheapest of all Skylake processors with four cores on-board but doesn’t perform well in certain areas.


The Intel core i5 6400 is a cheap and good performer and being a single core makes it a slow performer. If demands you to have a faster processor above it then the Intel Core i3-7100 could be the better option.