The Intel Core i5-12400F chip burst into the mainstream processor market and crushed the overwhelming majority of competitors from the current processor lines of both manufacturers. And it is not surprising at all: this CPU has the newest Alder Lake architecture, quite good frequencies and support for cheap DDR4@3200-3600MHz RAM with GEAR1 memory controller mode.

Until recently, thrifty gamers and enthusiasts opted for cheap platforms with multi-core processors. Of course, it was rather a forced measure. Budget chips of previous generations like Intel Comet Lake-Rocket Lake or AMD Zen 2-3 were relatively expensive and at the same time, as practice showed, they could not boast of comparable multi-threaded performance with 12-14 core CPU Xeon for LGA 2011 v3 platform. But the situation changed dramatically after the release of the Alder Lake architecture.

In this review we will find out if it is rational to replace the multi-core monster from the past with a budget 6-core processor based on a new microarchitecture.


The marking of our test specimen is SRL5Z, the rated frequency of the chip is 2500MHz and TDP is set at 65 watts. This is a very modest figure, so almost any mid-priced CPU cooler can handle the cooling of this CPU.

Besides, by the marking on the CPU heat spreading cover we can find out that we have the actual revision of CPU with hardware AVX512 instruction blocking. Thus even if you have an option in your BIOS to enable this add-on it will not work. We checked it.

At the base of the i5-12400F is a 6-core, 10nm die based on the Intel Alder Lake architecture. It has 1.25MB of L2 cache per core and a shared high capacity L3 cache of 18MB. This CPU is designed to be installed into LGA 1700 socket motherboard, its nominal frequency is 2500MHz, but it can significantly increase with Turbo Boost technology: 4400MHz for one core and 4000MHz for all 6 cores, 12 threads.

One core of i5-12400F is capable of reaching a frequency of 4400MHz.

The 12400F’s processor-integrated memory controller speed is not tied to the RAM frequency and depends entirely on the dividers, called “GEAR” by Intel. The maximum efficiency of the CPU is achieved in GEAR1 mode. In this case, chips with locked overclocking capability (and as a consequence, voltage increase on some CPU blocks) are limited to DDR4 frequencies between 3600-3733MHz (rarely 3800MHz).

Officially, the maximum memory frequency of the Core i5-12400F processor is limited to dual-channel DDR4-3200MHz. However, we have managed to run Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO test modules at DDR4-3600 without much effort.

Besides all the aforementioned features, we should mention the presence of SSE4.2, FMA3, AVX and AVX2 instructions which are so necessary in the realities of 2023. This feature will help avid gamers to run any novelty of this year without any problems, and, as practice shows, even with activated ray tracing.

Test setup and software

Test setup

  • Intel CPUs — Core i5-12400F, Xeon X5660, Xeon E5-2667, Xeon E5-2620 v3, и Xeon E5-2670 v3;
  • AMD CPUs — FX-8350;
  • CPUs cooling — Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition (RR-212S-20PK-R1);
  • LGA 1366 — 3 x 8GB HyperX Genesis Na’Vi Edition (KHX16C9C2K2/8);
  • LGA 1700 RAM — 2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO (CMW16GX4M2C3600C18);
  • LGA 2011 RAM — 4 x 8GB Micron MT36JSF1G72PZ-1G4M1HF;
  • LGA 2011 v3 RAM — 4 x 4GB G.SKILL DDR4 F4-2400C15S-4GNT;
  • AM3+ RAM — 2 x 8GB HyperX Genesis Na’Vi Edition (KHX16C9C2K2/8);
  • LGA 1366 Motherboard — DELL T3500 (09KPNV);
  • LGA 1700 Motherboard — MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 (MS-7D25);
  • LGA 2011 Motherboard — DELL T3610 (09M8Y8);
  • LGA 2011 v3 Motherboard — Qiyida X99-H9 with a modified BIOS from Huananzhi x99-8m-f (Unlock Turbo Boost, as well as unlocked the ability to control the timings);
  • AM3+ Motherboard — ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0;
  • Videocard — PALIT GAMEROCK GeForce RTX 3090 24GB (~1850/19000MHz, Power Limit 115%);
  • SSD – KINGSTON SUV400S37120G 120.0 GB (Windows 10), KINGSTON SUV400S37240G 240.0 GB + KINGSTON SUV400S37400G 400.0 GB (Games);
  • PSU — Chieftec GPS-1250C.


  • Operating system: Windows 10 x64 with the latest updates as of January 2023;
  • Videocard drivers: NVIDIA GeForce 528.02 WHQL;
  • Additional software for FPS measuring: MSI Afterburner 4.6.4;
  • Games: Testing was conducted on current versions of games as of January 2023;
  • Game settings: testing was performed at the highest possible graphics settings at 1080p resolution.

Setting up the processors under test

  • Intel Processors:
    • Core i5-12400F@4000MHz, Dual Chanel DDR4@3600MHz (16-19-19-36)
    • Xeon X5660@3066MHz, Triple-Channel DDR3@1333MHz (9-9-9-24);
    • Xeon E5-2667@3200MHz, Quad-Channel DDR3@1333MHz (9-9-9-24);
    • Xeon E5-2620 v3@3200MHz, Quad-Channel DDR4@1866MHz (10-10-10-24);
    • Xeon E5-2670 v3@3100MHz, Quad-Channel DDR4@2133MHz (12-12-12-35).
  • AMD Processors:
    • FX-8350@4200MHz, CPU-NB@2200MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@1866MHz (11-11-11-28);
    • FX-8350@4434MHz, CPU-NB@2608MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@2086MHz (11-12-12-30, CPU Core voltage — 1.416v, CPU-NB voltage — 1.375v, DDR3 voltage — 1.660v).

You can find out more about almost all tested processors from our full-fledged materials, or by checking out our blogs section, where small articles are posted.

Separately, let us remind the methodology of CPU testing: each game was run five times, then the average frame rate among the five runs was chosen and it was written in the final results. All games were installed on SSDs.

Test results



In free 7-Zip archiver, the i5-12400F chip failed to outperform the 12-core E5-2670 v3, which isn’t particularly surprising overall. In such heavy software, 24 threads with 4-channel DDR4 RAM is a weighty argument against the actual Alder Lake architecture.

Of course, the 6-core 12400F is not so far behind – only 6%, nevertheless, it is worth considering the price difference: the Core i5-12400F chip is 11.5 times more expensive than the Xeon E5-2670 v3.


However, i5-12400F rehabilitated itself pretty fast. In the final rendering of the 3D-editor Blender 3.4, the 6-core has managed to slightly beat the E5-2670 v3. Moreover, in sculpting and modeling 3D objects Alder Lake is able to show double the performance compared to the 12-core Haswell.

If we compare the audacious newcomer with six-core units on old architectures like Haswell, Sandy Bridge and Westmere, the rendering speed on 12400F is higher from 100% in case of E5-2620 v3 and up to 300% in case of X5660.

Blender Open Data Benchmark

The results speak for themselves: if you are involved in 3D modeling in Blender, and for some reason you are stuck on the old 6-core CPU – an upgrade to Intel Alder Lake will bring you significant dividends.

Corona Render Benchmark

Corona Render Benchmark has not been updated for a long time, and as a consequence, it does not support the set of current instructions of modern processors. Nevertheless, even in this case 6-core Alder Lake is able to fight on equal terms with 12-core monster on Haswell architecture.

Thus, it is safe to say that using obsolete versions of some programs in no way prevent you from getting a significant acceleration from moving from an old CPU like Xeon X5660 or FX-8350 to Core i5-12400F

Cinebench R23

In the current version of the Cinebench R23 benchmark the i5-12400F chip was able to beat the E5-2670 v3 by 18%, E5-2620 v3 by 132%, E5-2667 by 179%, and X5660 by an amazing 236%! This test suite supports almost all modern instructions, which in the end allowed the 6-core Alder Lake to significantly outperform the 12-core Haswell.

xNormal, AO & NM Map render

The xNormal program has not received an update since 2017 and by definition cannot use all the power of the new Intel architecture, however, it is the Core i5-12400F chip that bakes textures fastest.

CPU-z Benchmark

In a synthetic benchmark CPU-z, the 12400F’s single threaded performance is twice that of the E5-2670 v3. In fact, for this reason the 6-core Alder Lake shows the same multi-threaded performance as the 12-core Haswell.

Geekbench 5

Exactly the same situation is in Geekbench 5, except that the Core i5, albeit slightly, but still managed to overtake the 2670 v3 in multithreading.

HandBrake, AV1, 2160p, 60FPS

In video conversion to AV1 codec with HandBrake utility, 12400F turned out to be the sole leader. Owing to more advanced architecture and increased clock frequency, the budget six-core was able to demonstrate a significant advantage over the older twelve-core.

If we “compare head-to-head” only 6-core CPUs, Core i5-12400F looks even more impressive.

HandBrake, H265, 2160p, 60FPS

For H265 video encoding the balance of positions does not change much. Six-core Alder Lake is still in the first place, dominating the 12-core Haswell.

Difference between Core i5-12400F and Xeon E5-2670 v3 in 10 applications

Application:Core i5-12400FXeon E5-2670 v3
Blender Open Data Benchmark+2.76%
Corona Render Benchmark+2.63%
Cinebench R23+18.44%
xNormal NM+12.73%
xNormal AO+8.11%
CPU-z Benchmark (ST)+95.76%
CPU-z Benchmark (MT)+1.93%
Geekbench 5 (ST)+117.52%
Geekbench 5 (MT)+4.24%
HandBrake, AV1+32.57%
HandBrake, H265+30.28%

In single-threaded tests, i5-12400F chip outperforms E5-2670 v3 by between 95 and 117%. In multithreading tests situation is slightly different: 6-core Alder Lake boasts 2-32% advantage, and overall looks much more favorable.


3DMark Time Spy

3DMark Time Spy gaming benchmark reports sole leadership of Core i5-12400F in all sub-tests. Outperformance of the modern 6-core over the server 12-core in the multi-threaded CPU benchmark reaches an impressive 12%.

Assassins Creed Valhalla

Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

In the first real gaming project, Assassins Creed Valhalla, Core i5-12400F chip was 38% faster than E5-2670 v3. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the frame rendering speed on the old 12-core Haswell is more than acceptable.

Battlefield 2042

Ray Tracing – ON
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. EXPOSURE map.

In Battlefield 2042 with Ray Tracing activated 12400F outperforms E5-2670 v3 by 41%, but the situation doesn’t change much: 12-core copes perfectly with the game on ultra graphics settings.

At the same time, it should be noted that for owners of 144Hz monitors, Core i5-12400F processor will be the best choice.

Ray Tracing – OFF
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. EXPOSURE map..

With RT turned off in Battlefield 2042, the gap between the Core i5 and the 2670 v3 drops to 36%. Quite a modest result. However, if we move on to a comparison with the rest of the processors, the 12400F’s lead over the rest of the 6-core comes to 77%, 122% and 198% for the 2620 v3, 2667 and X5660 respectively.

Cyberpunk 2077

Ray Tracing – ON
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

We got +58% FPS relative to E5-2670 v3 in Cyberpunk 2077 with RT activated. Core i5-12400F is able to provide impressive 108 FPS with rare drops to 72. Quite a good result and obvious performance reserve for the future.

Ray Tracing – OFF
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

Without ray-tracing, the 6-core Alder Lake shows 143FPS and is the same 58% faster than the 12-core Haswell.

Far Cry 6

Ray Tracing – ON
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

Far Cry series has the unpleasant feature to inherit the “diseases” of each previous part of this franchise. Dunia Engine, that is the basis of Ubisoft’s shooter, is able to use no more than 8 threads, so more advanced and high-frequency processors are much faster than multi-core solutions of the past. Thus, Core i5-12400F has managed to beat Xeon E5-2670 v3 by surprising 77% in the sixth part of the Far Cry series.

Moreover, only 6-core Alder Lake can provide really stable and high FPS around 96 with rare drops to 77 fps.

Ray Tracing – OFF
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

Without ray tracing all test samples are doing much better. However, the E5-2670 v3’s rare drops to 44 FPS leave it no chance to be a worthy choice for this game. The Core i5 outperforms its competitor by 78%, showing about 114 FPS with rare drops to 81.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Ray Tracing – ON
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Flying through the city on the web.

We see a similar, rather impressive 64% advantage in the PlayStation 4’s former exclusive, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered with RT activated. Here, the 12400F is able to render 84 FPS with occasional drops to 57.

And again, E5-2670 v3 is not able to produce 60 FPS, which seriously compromised its position.

Ray Tracing – OFF
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Flying through the city on the web.

Deactivating RT gives the 12-core some air and now, though with difficulty, it produces 60+ frames per second, however, at the same time, the 6-core Alder Lake in the same situation produces 120 FPS, beating its opponent by 83%.

RPCS3 – PlayStation 3 emulator. Red Dead Redemption

Settings: SPU block size – Mega, ZCULL accuracy – Relaxed, Write color buffers – On, Sleep timers accuracy –
As Host, RSX FIFO accuracy – Atomic, resolution1080p.

In real-time gameplay, RPCS3 emulator is able to adequately load 6-8 cores, so the main factor of CPU performance is its frequency, instruction set and architecture efficiency, and only Core i5-12400F can boast of such a factor among all tested ones.

Thanks to the aforementioned features, the gap between the 6-core Alder Lake and the 12-core E5-2670 v3 is at 130%.

Along with the sole leadership, 12400F was the only one of the tested CPUs who able to offer a comfortable frame rate in the region of 30 FPS.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

RDR 2 is pretty good optimized for multicore processors, so the gap between Core i5-12400F and Xeon E5-2670 v3 is only 29%. Moreover, 12-core Haswell processor gives more than acceptable frame rate and its performance is enough to pass Rockstar’s project.

The Riftbreaker

Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

The same cannot be said about Riftbreaker strategy. Here optimization for large number of CPU cores is not so good and i5-12400F beats E5-2670 v3 by a whopping 90%. However, this is not the most important thing. The really important factor is that only 6-core Alder Lake will allow to relatively comfortably play this strategy, because it shows a relatively stable minimum FPS around 40. Other chips are not able to overcome the bar of 16 frames per second.

The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update 4.00 (Complete Edition)

Max graphic settings, 1080p resolution. Running through Novigrad.
Ray Tracing – ON

In The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update the advantage of i5-12400F over E5-2670 v3 is an amazing 96%.

Core i5-12400F is one of the few budget CPUs that will make it through the Third Witcher remaster with ray tracing activated. In one of the game’s toughest locations, the new 6-core manages to give an average of 51 FPS with occasional drops to 35. Considering the disgusting optimization of the updated version of The Witcher 3, this is an excellent result!

Ray Tracing – OFF
Max graphic settings, 1080p resolution. Running through Novigrad.

Without ray-tracing Next-Gen Update works much better, but even so, only 12400F is able to show really acceptable performance. The gap to the 2670 v3 is 89%.

Watch Dogs Legion

Ray Tracing – ON
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

As strange as it may sound, Watch Dogs Legion is optimized quite well. The game is able to utilize a little more than 12 threads.

In RT mode Ubisoft’s project also runs acceptably on the 12-core, but the 6-core Alder Lake shows much better results, and its superiority reaches 42%.

Ray Tracing – OFF
Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. Built-in in-game benchmark.

Without ray tracing the 39% advantage of the 12400F does not look so impressive anymore and the same 2670 v3 “pulls” the Legion quite decently.

Difference between Core i5-12400F and Xeon E5-2670 v3 in 11 games

Game:Core i5-12400FXeon E5-2670 v3
3DMark Time Spy CPU+11.91%
Assassins Creed Valhalla+37.27%
Battlefield 2042 RT+41.18%
Battlefield 2042+36.43%
Cyberpunk 2077 RT+58.82%
Cyberpunk 2077+58.89%
Far Cry 6 RT+77.78%
Far Cry 6+78.13%
Marvel’s Spider-Man RT+64.71%
Marvel’s Spider-Man+83.33%
RPCS3 – эмулятор+130.77%
Red Dead Redemption 2+29.46%
The Riftbreaker+90.28%
The Witcher 3 Next-Gen RT+96.15%
The Witcher 3 Next-Gen+89.36%
Watch Dogs Legion RT+42.62%
Watch Dogs Legion+39.24%

In almost all games the gaps between the Core i5-12400F and the Xeon E5-2670 v3 are monstrously large. Not a single project (except 3DMark, but that’s mostly synthetics) has allowed 12-core Haswell to come close to 6-core Alder Lake, which hints mildly at still weak optimization of game engines for multicore CPUs.


Evaluating the results obtained only in terms of rough performance, Core i5-12400F chip looks amazing. With rather modest performance relative to the more productive CPUs of its LGA 1700 socket, it is able to outperform the old server 12-core in most professional packages and applications. As for gaming projects, the 6-core Alder Lake turns out to be an ultimative solution at all.

So, replacing a powerful, 12-core/24-threaded Xeon E5-2670 v3 with a 6-core/12-threaded Core i5 12400F (or its bigger brothers), you will lose nothing in either single-threaded or multithreaded performance. On the contrary, according to our tests, even in software well optimized for a huge number of threads, the performance gain can be up to 30%.

Of course, Core i5-12400F processor is priced much higher than E5-2670 v3, but considering all the above factors – the overpayment is worth it.

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