Though the i5 9400F is a relatively old processor, it still runs modern games and apps like a charm. But like any processor, it can only unleash its top performance if paired with a good motherboard. With dozens of options on the market, choosing the best motherboard for the i5 9400F can be a bit challenging.
In this article, we’ve reviewed the 8 top motherboards for the Intel core i5 9400F to help you find the right one for your setup. Plus, a detailed buying guide is in place to help you make an educated decision.
With that said, let’s dive in.
If you’re in a hurry, here are our top motherboards for i5 9400F:
|Best Overall: ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming||– High-end performance for overclocking and gaming
– 2.5Gbps ethernet for fast and reliable network connectivity
– WiFi 6 support for wireless connectivity
– 3 M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs
|Runner Up: ASUS Prime Z390-P||– Solid range of features and capabilities
– Mid-range price
– Enhanced power solution
– Fantastic audio
– Excellent cooling options
|Budget Pick: MSI Z390-A PRO||– Dual GbE LAN
– Three PCIe slots
– Six SATA ports
– One U.2 port
Here’s some more information about each of our top picks:
Best Overall: ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming
This motherboard offers high-end performance for overclocking and gaming. It packs 2.5Gbps ethernet, WiFi 6, 3 M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs, and a robust power delivery system to make it the best motherboard for Core i5 9400F.
Runner Up: ASUS Prime Z390-P
This motherboard offers a solid range of features and capabilities for a mid-range price. It has an enhanced power solution, fantastic audio, and excellent cooling options making it a runner-up for the i5 9400F.
Budget Pick: MSI Z390-A PRO
This motherboard offers high performance for gaming and overclocking. It features dual GbE LAN, WiFi 6, three PCIe slots, six SATA ports, and one U.2 port making it the best budget motherboard for the i5 9400F.
Reviewing the Best Motherboards for i5 9400F
1. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming – Best Overall
This motherboard is top-of-line due to its high performance for gaming and overclocking.
It has various connectivity options like 2.5Gbps Ethernet for faster data transfer speeds. Plus, it packs WiFi 6 to provide excellent online gaming experiences by supporting ultrafast wireless-networking speeds.
You also get three M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs. Plus, it supports up to 128 GB of DDR4 memory, ensuring your PC never runs out of RAM (memory).
Additionally, it features a robust power delivery system to provide reliable power even when pushing the CPU to its maximum speed.
While this motherboard offers impressive features, it comes at a premium price tag. After careful evaluation, it’s easy to say this motherboard is worth the price. Still, its cost may be steep for some users. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent choice for people seeking a high-quality motherboard for their powerful setups.
- Great performance
- Decent connectivity options
- Advanced overclocking support
- A bit pricey
2. ASUS Prime Z390-P – Runner Up
This motherboard is a great mid-end option with an excellent balance between features and price. Speaking of the features, it packs 4 SATA 3 ports for conventional storage drives and 2 M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs. It has two Type-C ports and a total of six USB 3.1 ports.
This motherboard also features a high-speed Intel 1219V Gigabit LAN for fast-speed Internet and a Realtek ALC892 7.1 channel audio codec for high-quality audio. Moreover, it packs multiple fan headers to ensure you can set up a great thermal system for consistent performance.
Another decent feature of this motherboard is its integrated RGB header that lets you add RGB lights to your build. It offers an enhanced power solution to provide better power efficiency.
Moreover, this motherboard also supports Intel’s Optane memory technology for high-speed data access and improved system performance.
However, this motherboard lacks a couple of premium features, like support for WiFi and thunderbolt ports. But if you don’t want to pay extra for these features, it might be the most suitable motherboard for your Core i5 9400F build.
- Value for money
- Amazing audio
- Great cooling options
- Supports RGB lighting
- Lacks WiFi
- No thunderbolt support
Also see our guide on the best motherboards for Core i5 10400F to explore some decent options for Intel Core i5 10th generation processors.
3. MSI Z390-A PRO – Budget Pick
This budget-friendly motherboard is ideal for someone wishing to build a system that can support future upgrades.
Despite the affordable price, it has all the features an enthusiast can ask for, like a lot of storage with RAID options and an integrated LAN connector. Moreover, its audio boost comes with an HD audio processor to provide premium sound output.
This motherboard supports the newest technologies like USB 3.1 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, dual GbE LAN, and WiFi 6 – ensuring maximum data transfer speeds. It also packs three PCIe slots, six SATA slots, and one U.2 port for SSDs.
Though it’s a fantastic motherboard for the price, it offers limited overclocking options, which makes it more suitable for beginners and everyday users. Overall, we believe it’s the best budget motherboard for Intel Core i5 9400F, thanks to its fast-speed WiFi, versatile connectivity options, and affordable price.
- Lots of modern-day features
- Supports WiFi 6 networking
- U.2 slot for SSD drives
- Limited overclocking options
4. ASRock B365 PHANTOM GAMING 4 – Gaming Pick
This is an affordable gaming motherboard for the Intel core i5 9400F. Its premium features make it ideal for gamers and power users.
This motherboard features Intel Gigabit LAN to provide fast-speed wired Internet. Plus, it supports 6 SATA 3 ports for conventional storage options. Thanks to its 7.1 channel HD audio and ELNA audio capacitors, it also provides an amazing audio solution.
Apart from that, this motherboard’s VRM section features an eight-phase power design with voltage regulators to provide smooth power delivery to the CPU. A single 8-Pin 12V connector powers the power design.
This board has plenty of USB 3 ports with a data transfer rate of 5 GBPS for connectivity. Plus, it supports USB Type-C ports for your Type-C accessories. You also get an M.2 slot for the WiFi module and another for your NVMe SSD drive.
The drawbacks of this board are it has limited overclocking and expansion options, so be considerate of your requirements when choosing this motherboard. Still, it’s one of the best motherboards to pair up with Intel Core i5 9400F for gaming.
- Multiple M.2 slots
- Decent performance
- Limited overclocking and expansion options
Also see our guide on the best motherboards for LGA1200 to find the right mobo for your LGA 1200 processor.
5. GIGABYTE Z390 UD – ATX Motherboard
This motherboard fits users who need more processing power than the core i5 9500F can provide. It has solid features and performance for its price.
You also get various USB ports, including USB 3.1 Gen2 & USB 3.0. The support for Thunderbolt 3, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0 is another significant addition. Moreover, its 7.1 surround sound audio enhances the audio experience.
It has 6 SATA III ports and 2 M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs that offer plenty of storage options. Furthermore, the motherboard includes a user-friendly BIOS with a modern interface that makes it simple to navigate and configure.
It also supports Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable technology, which includes features such as a 2-ounce copper PCB, solid-state capacitors, and corrosion-resistant connectors to ensure long-term stability and reliability.
This board also offers basic overclocking features, so if you’re seeking advanced overclocking, then this board is not for you. Concluding, this is a good choice for someone who wants a reliable and feature-packed ATX motherboard at an affordable rate.
- Value for money
- Great connectivity options
- Multiple USB ports
- Basic overclocking
6. ASRock B365M PRO4 – Micro-ATX Motherboard
This Micro-ATX motherboard is ideal for users looking to build a budget PC for everyday use. It has 4 DDR4 memory slots and can support up to 64GB of RAM at a maximum frequency of 2666 MHz.
For connectivity, it features Gigabit LAN, 7.1 CH HD Audio, and a variety of USB ports, including USB 3.1 Gen1 and USB 2.0. In terms of storage, you get 6 SATA III ports and an M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs.
As this board has multiple PCIe slots, you get expansion options for various components, such as graphics cards and storage drives. Many SATA slots are in place, too, for your traditional storage drives.
But on the flip side, the bad thing about this motherboard is its voltage regulators, and M.2 slots lack a heat sink. Still, it offers a decent cooling design to ensure your computer stays cool. Other than that, its B365 limits overclocking capabilities of its memory modules and processor.
Overall, it’s a decent Micro-ATX motherboard for Intel Core i5-9400f, thanks to its various connectivity options and low price.
- Reliable performance
- Ample expansion options
- Lots of USB ports
- No WiFi
- Limited overclocking
We’ve also reviewed the best motherboards with M.2 slots in case you’re seeking a motherboard that particularly supports this connectivity feature.
7. ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero – Most Premium
Packing high-end features, this motherboard is designed with enthusiasts and professional gamers in mind.
It packs 4 DDR4 RAM slots that support up to 64GB of memory, making it suitable for high-performance apps and processes. It also offers multiple PCIe and SATA slots, allowing for a wide range of expansion options.
Other than that, its advanced overclocking capabilities include support for 5-Way Optimization that lets you fine-tune your computer for optimal performance. It also offers wireless connectivity options like WiFi and Bluetooth, making it a complete package for Intel Core i5 9400F.
Moreover, this motherboard packs Aura Sync RGB lighting to let you personalize your system and give it an appealing look.
But note that compared to other high-end motherboards, its BIOS is a bit complex. It also has limited upgradeability options, which may be a disadvantage if you want to upgrade your system in the future.
Overall, if you want a top-performing motherboard for Intel Core i5 9400F with premium features at a reasonable price, this motherboard is a great way to go.
- High-end performance
- Advanced overclocking options
- Robust connectivity
- BIOS is a bit complex
8. GIGABYTE B365M DS3H – Mid-Range Pick
This motherboard is unquestionably a great option to consider for the i5 9400f, but it will not run this processor at full turbo, so keep that in mind before purchasing it for your build.
It has two USB 3.1 Gen1 ports on the front panel and four Type-A ports on the rear IO panel for connectivity. However, the lack of a USB Type-C port is disappointing. With multiple PCIe slots and SATA ports, this motherboard offers plenty of expansion options for various components.
This motherboard also has a user-friendly BIOS, making it simple for users to set up and configure their system. It also supports GIGABYTE’s Smart Fan 5 to give users advanced fan control options for keeping their system cool and quiet.
Although it lacks built-in WiFi and support for overclocking, it’s a great mid-range motherboard for Core i5 9400F thanks to its reliable performance, user-friendly BIOS, and affordable price.
- Value for money
- Supports GIGABYTE’s Smart Fan 5
- User-friendly BIOS
- Lacks USB Type-C port
Also see our guide on the best LGA1151 motherboards to find the right mobo for your LGA 1151 processor.
Which Motherboards Are Compatible With Core i5 9400F?
The Intel Core i5-9400F is a 6-core, 9th-generation processor with the LGA 1151 socket. Motherboards with an LGA 1151 socket and an appropriate chipset are compatible. The Intel B365, H310, H370, B360, Z370, and Z390 are popular chipsets that support the i5-9400F processor.
Intel 300-series chipsets are recommended with this processor for optimal performance and compatibility. But you can also get away with a motherboard with a supported 400-series chipset, provided it offers good enough performance and other features.
That said, carefully check your motherboard’s chipset before making a purchase to ensure it’s compatible with your processor. Let’s now explore the top i5 9400F motherboards.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Motherboard for i5 9400F
Socket and Chipset Compatibility
Compatibility between a motherboard and a processor is crucial because it determines whether the two components can work together. The socket and chipset are two critical factors that influence compatibility, and they must be considered before purchasing a motherboard for any processor.
The socket is the physical interface on the motherboard to which the processor is connected. As Intel Core i5-9400F packs the LGA 1151 socket, you must ensure that the motherboard you buy has the same socket.
Moreover, the chipset is the underlying electronics that control communication between the processor and other motherboard components. The i5-9400F processor is compatible with motherboards with Intel 300-series and some 400-series chipsets. When selecting a motherboard for i5-9400F, ensure it has one of these compatible chipsets.
The Intel Core i5-9400F processor supports DDR4 memory. When selecting a motherboard, make sure it’s based on the DDR4 memory standard. Also, ensure it has enough RAM slots and RAM limit to support the amount of RAM you want to install. Motherboards with 64-128GB memory limit are recommendable for most users.
Moreover, memory speed is another important thing to consider when choosing a Core i5-9400F motherboard. The Core i5-9400F supports a memory speed of up to 2666 MHz, though some motherboards support higher speeds. If you want to use faster memory, you should select a motherboard with support for that speed.
When selecting a motherboard, ensure it has the necessary interfaces to support the type of storage you plan to use. Since the Intel Core i5-9400F supports SATA and NVMe storage, you should select a motherboard that also supports these types of storage.
Most motherboards have at least one or two SATA ports, but you may require more depending on the number of storage devices you intend to use. If you want to use an NVMe SSD, ensure your motherboard has M.2 slots too.
Connectivity refers to your computer’s ability to connect with other devices and the Internet. The Intel core i5 9400F comes with integrated graphics, but you may want to install a dedicated graphics card for better graphics performance. In this case, we strongly recommend a motherboard with a PCIe x16 slot for the graphics card.
Moreover, ensure the motherboard you choose has a fast-speed Ethernet port or built-in WiFi (or both) to connect your computer to the Internet seamlessly.
Also, choose a motherboard with enough USB ports to support your devices. If you have USB Type-C peripherals, it’s preferable to opt for a motherboard with USB Type-C ports.
Be sure to see our guide on the best PCIe 4.0 slot motherboards to ensure you find a high-speed motherboard that supports this connectivity feature.
If you want to overclock your processor, invest in a motherboard that supports overclocking. Motherboards that support overclocking tend to have overclocking-friendly features like voltage control and multiple fan headers.
Before you get an overclocking-supported motherboard, note that i5-9400F is a locked processor and cannot be overclocked. You can still consider an overclocking-supported motherboard for future-proofing.
Note: Before overclocking your CPU, understand the ins and outs of overclocking and ensure your system has proper cooling.
Is Core i5 9400F a Good Processor?
Yes, the Intel Core i5-9400F is a good processor, as it offers decent performance for its price.
This 9th generation processor packs six cores and six threads to handle most every day and demanding tasks like a charm. Thanks to its fast base clock speed of 2.9GHz, it’s a good choice for gamers. Plus, it supports Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, which can further boost the clock speed to 4.1GHz.
The “F” in the i5-9400F indicates that this processor lacks integrated graphics, making it an excellent choice for budget gaming builds that rely on dedicated graphics cards.
To sum up, the Intel Core i5-9400F is an excellent mid-range processor for general computing, gaming, and even light content creation work.
FAQs on Intel Core i5-9400F Motherboards
No, it’s not essential to have an M.2 slot in the motherboard for an Intel Core i5-9400F processor. M.2 slots are mostly used to add high-speed storage devices to a computer, like SSD drives. You can also connect storage drives to your computer through SATA slots, so M.2 slots are not required for the i5-9400F processor to function.
The Intel Core i5-9400F supports motherboards with Intel 300-series and a few 400-series chipsets. The chipset will vary depending on the motherboard, but standard options include the H310, B360, H370, and Z390. When choosing a motherboard i5-9400F, ensure it has one of these chipsets to run this processor effortlessly.
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming is the best motherboard for i5 9400F, thanks to its incredible connectivity options, high-end performance, and decent cooling system. If you’re seeking a cheap motherboard for i5 9400F, ASUS Prime Z390-P may be a better choice as it provides the essential features for an affordable price.
Yes, the voltage regulator modules (VRMs) of both the H310 and B365 chipsets are sufficient for the Intel Core i5-9400F processor. The VRMs provide stable power to the CPU, and both the H310 and B365 chipsets have adequate VRM designs to support the i5-9400F.
Yes, the Intel Core i5-9400F is a good choice for gaming. As a 9th-generation Coffee Lake processor, it provides solid gaming performance and can handle the most demanding games at 1080p resolution with smooth FPS. However, the performance of the i5-9400F depends on other components in your system, such as the graphics card, memory, and storage.
Though the Intel Core i5-9400F is getting old, it’s still a good processor for gaming, content creation, and everyday tasks. We hope this guide helped you find the best motherboard for your Core i5-9400F processor. If you need clarification, feel free to ask away your queries in the comments below!