CPU & Motherboards

Intel Core i5-10400 Gaming Performance Review

The compelling argument against Intel has always been upgrade path. Two or three years from now, you decide you wanna upgrade your CPU, and you need a new system. But let’s be honest, in a strictly gaming perspective how many times have you wanted to upgrade your CPU rather than your GPU? Chances are high you’re mostly leaning on the GPU. And that’s what we wanted to do here.

A lot of our readers are unsurprisingly still using older systems and I’ve asked them why they didn’t upgrade and reasoned they only use it for playing games. Their most common question, of course, is will they be bottlenecked if they used that with their current GPUs. Now that’s a topic for another discussion but focusing more on their situation, on sticking on what you have, it does make sense that you’ll probably going to stick to a single gaming machine if you’re strapped for cash.

So, the most common question we get is for a mainstreaming gaming machine. So before we jump to performance testing, let’s check out what we’re going to work with. In this article we’ll put together 3 machines and base on price and other factors, let’s how much value we’re getting our of our machine.


The Builds

In this test, we’ll be pitting 3 systems: the Core i5-10400, the Core i9-10900K, and the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X. These builds will be specced as below:

The Intel Core i5-10400 Budget Build

CPU Intel Core i5-10400
Motherboard MSI MAG B460M Mortar
RAM HyperX Fury DDR4-2666 16GB Single Stick
SSD Kingston A2000 500GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD

The Intel Core i9-10900K Performance Build

CPU Intel Core i9-10900K
RAM 32GB 4x8GB DDR4-3600
PSU Seasonic P1050 1000w PSU
Cooler Corsair H150i AIO Cooler

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X “Value” Build

CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
Motherboard ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula
RAM 16GB DDR4-3200 2x8GB
SSD Kingston A2000 500GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD
PSU Seasonic P1050 1000w PSU
Cooler Stock

Now let me explain the parts selection. For the Intel Core i5-10400, since we’re going to be restricted in memory regardless if we went with a H470, the B460 motherboard makes more sense especially for those saving up. This is further extended to our memory of choice as we opted to go with a single memory stick rather than a dual-channel 8GB setup primarily due to cost. Again, we’re building the Core i5-10400 as budget-constrained as we can.

For our Core i9-10900K build, this is pretty much our test bench designed to extract every single ounce of performance as reasonably possible from everything we test on it. Right now, our primary GPU testing platform is the Core i9-10900K hence why the need for extensively lavish parts. The motherboard has MCE enabled as well which boosts our Core i9-10900K to 4.9Ghz rather than the stock defaults from Intel.

For the the AMD build, we have the supposed value-based build for their end but market prices have not been very indicative of this. The Ryzen 3600X by itself is already Php12,000. Now for board selection, we just decided to go with an X570 board. Running a B450 motherboard will limit our memory to just DDR4-2933 but going to B550 will make it more expensive. So from just a pure performance sense, we’ll keep just go with an X570 to remove all performance limits. We’ll break down the actual real-world build by the conclusion of this article.

We’ll also be testing with an RTX 3070 for this review. Now my reasoning for this is that this is the upper echelon of what I would say is reasonable if you’re building a pure gaming rig on a budget. Remember, we’re looking at this from the Core i5-10400’s performance but we’re giving all the advantage to the other CPUs as we’re removing all of their bottlenecks.

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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

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