Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400: Which is the best value-for-money gaming CPU?

Picture of The Intel Core i5 12400F
The Intel Core i5 12400F is a great value-for-money gaming CPU (Image via TechYesCIty/YouTube)

With the release of Intel's 14th generation of CPUs, gamers are now debating whether to get the Intel Core i5-14400 or the Core i5-12400. The tech community is now putting their heads together to figure out which CPU is better. The new Core i5-14400 has more cores than the 12th-generation model, delivering better performance. So which is the best value-for-money gaming CPU?

The Core i5-12400 is definitely the better deal. This article tells you why this CPU provides more value for your money.

Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.


Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400: Specs

The Intel Core i5-12400F's retail box (Imghe via TecghYesCity/YouTube)
The Intel Core i5-12400F's retail box (Imghe via TecghYesCity/YouTube)

The Intel Core i5-14400 is based on Raptor Lake Refresh architecture, whereas the Intel Core i5-12400 is based on Alder Lake architecture. The two are not too different from each other, with Raptor Lake Refresh being an upgraded version of the original Alder Lake architecture. Here are the specs of Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400:

Intel Core i5-14400Intel Core i5-12400
P-Cores/Threads6/126/12
E-Cores/Threads4/4-
Total Cores/Threads10/166/12
Max Frequency4.7 GHz4.4 GHz
L1 cache80K (per core)80K (per core)
L2 cache2MB (per core)1.25 (per core)
L3 cache20MB (shared)18MB (shared)
RAM support
DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200
Max RAM capacity192 GB

128 GB

TDP
148W
117W
Price$209.99$162.99

In the specs chart above, it is clear that there are major differences in core count and cache size. There are four more cores/threads in the Intel Core i5-14400 compared to the Intel Core i5-12400. Both L2 and L3 cache sizes have also been increased, which should further boost memory-sensitive applications. But how much of a difference does this make in games?


Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400: Difference in gaming performance

Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400 in games (Image via BENCHMARK FOR GAMERS/YouTube)
Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400 in games (Image via BENCHMARK FOR GAMERS/YouTube)

YouTube creator BENCHMARK FOR GAMERS did a test between the two CPUs to see how much of a difference there is between the Intel Core i5-14400 and the Core i5-12400 in popular games. To keep the test fair, all other specifications remained the same between the two systems, including the RAM and GPU. Both systems used an RTX 4090 as the graphics card.

The only difference was that the Intel Core i5-14400 iswasin one system and the Intel Core i5-12400 was in the other.

Here's what both CPUs managed to score in multiple games:

Intel Core i5-14400Intel Core i5-12400
Microsoft Flight Simulator70 FPS68 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 - RT99 FPS92 FPS
Starfield85 FPS76 FPS
Witcher 3 - RT75 FPS69 FPS
Call of Duty: Warzone 3168 FPS163 FPS
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora175 FPS167 FPS
Robocop: Rogue City - RT112 FPS104 FPS
Rachet & Clack - RT106 FPS103 FPS
Spider-Man: Miles Morales RT90 FPS85 FPS

Also, check out RTX 4070 vs AMD Radeon 7700 XT.


Intel Core i5-14400 vs Core i5-12400: Which is the best value-for-money gaming CPU?

The FPS comparison in multiple games shows that the Intel Core i5-14400 is 5.7% faster than the Intel Core i5-12400 while costing 28.8% higher. The price is where the Intel Core i5-14400 loses against the Intel Core i5-12400. If you are paying 20% more, you will likely be expecting at least 20% more performance, but that's not the case here.

This makes the Intel Core i5-12400 a better value-for-money gaming CPU, even though the Intel Core i5-14400 is faster. However, it is important to remember that applications other than gaming will see a bigger performance difference, especially memory-intensive applications. If you want even more value, you can get the "F" variant of the CPUs, which are Intel Core i5-14400F and Core i5-12400F. The "F" variants don't have the integrated GPU in them, making them cheaper. You won't need the integrated GPU anyway if you are building a gaming PC with a dedicated GPU.

In this case, the price of the Intel Core i5-14400F is 65% higher than the Intel Core i5-12400F. This makes the older Intel Core i5- 12400F an even better deal.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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