The Intel Core i5 9400f and AMD Ryzen 5 2600 were some of the best-selling processors of their time for the low prices and the exceptional performance they offered. They both feature six cores, but one comes with hyperthreading enabled, while the other doesn't. Even though that decision of an Intel is somewhat good as four cores were the sole spec for the i5 series until the seventh generation, it isn't enough for today.
There are some of the best motherboard for i5 9400f that will be a worthwhile consideration for this processor in 2021. This processor has a small bump in clock speed compared to the previous generation since it is only 100 MHz faster, but all of its specifications are the same. Although it is a non-K processor, you cannot overclock it, but if you have some Z series motherboards, you can lock all cores to be run at 4.1 GHz, also known as turbo speed.
You may already know that this processor is an F series processor, so it lacks integrated graphics. There is also a non-F processor that costs a little more but has integrated graphics. It is up to you whether you are saving money or looking for a CPU with integrated graphics. For those who wish to use it for turbo boost, a good aftermarket cooler is needed. The bundled cooler is good for stock clocks, and as mentioned above, this CPU doesn't support overclocking, so we don't have to spend a lot of money on coolers.
We recommend using the H310 series or B365 as they are cheap and have everything you need in a budget gaming build. The Z390 motherboards are also good for these processors, but as this CPU does not support overclocking, they are not recommended to those with a limited budget. They are good to consider for the i9 9900K since at least you'll get some performance boost from them.
Our Recommendation for Best Motherboard For i5 9400f
A frequently asked question is what motherboard would be best for this processor as there are hundreds of different options in the market. As we all know, it’s a budget processor, and its multiplier is not unlocked, so it’s not good to go with some premium options. Taking care of this, I’ve only picked some budget and affordable options that give all of the features, and you don’t have to spend much money on them. There are motherboards from different categories so that you can get the one according to your budget.
Best bang for buck motherboard? Yes, this award goes to the ASRock B36M HDV because this board is very budget-friendly and a perfect option for Intel i5 9400f. One great thing that users like the most in ASRock motherboards are they use high-density fiber in their motherboards and in both budget and expensive options, which prevents the boards from humidity.
Also, you’ve noticed that ASRock motherboards don’t come with extra features and utility software; instead, the company focused on providing the best value products for a very affordable price. The motherboard we have there is one step ahead of entry-level boards, but the price difference between them is not that much, and it’s good to consider this one.
Previously we’ve seen four SATA slots, but this one got six, and for high-speed NVMe drives, it has an M.2 slot that supports transfer speed up to 64 GBPS. The two DIMMs on this motherboard allow the users to install memory up to 32 GB, but as we’ve seen in competitors, they offer 64 GB of memory, so it will be better if this one supports that too.
We don’t need multiple graphics cards for this build, nor its support as it comes with a single full-length PCIe slot and two PCIe x1 slots for expansion cards. You can nearly install any graphics card on this motherboard, but with some large cards, you may have to face some problems as it lacks the PCI Steel Armor, which provides support to the PCIe slot for large-sized graphics cards.
The rear side of this motherboard has a couple of USB3 ports and some USB 2.0 ports, too, but the disappointing thing is that it lacks the USB Type-C port. The audio and network controllers on this motherboard are from Realtek; they are reasonably priced and don’t affect the cost of a budget gaming motherboard and get their job done without any sweat.
There are a couple of things in this motherboard that might disappoint you, and you need to know them before buying this board. First of all, two memory DIMMs are not enough these days, and it would be much better if you consider a four DIMMs slot board. The M.2 slot runs on the warmer side just right on the graphics card. Also, the space between the M.2 slot and the PCIe x16 slot is narrow; however, they don’t block each other.
Very affordable price for its features.
Have everything a gaming build needs.
Great connectivity options.
The Ultra M.2 slot gives double bandwidth (64 GBPS).
Same as the entry-level entries in this list, there we've got an option that's slightly better than the previously mentioned motherboard, and you can get it by spending some additional money. Gigabyte motherboards are good to consider, especially when you have a low budget and looking for great features set, but I would not recommend you to go with the cheapest options if you are getting them for the next two or three years.
Gigabyte B365M DS3H is undoubtedly a great option to consider for i5 9400f, but this motherboard will not run this processor on max turbo, so take care of it before buying it for your build. Like any other budget motherboard, it also looks straightforward because there is not premium stuff on it, lacks RGB lights but the black color scheme with some grey circuit print looks decent.
This motherboard's overall specifications are no different from the previous one, but the thing that makes it different is the four DIMMs slots. You can install memory up to 64 GB on this motherboard rated at a clock speed of 2666 MHz. The memory support of this board is way better than any other entry-level or budget model in the market, which attracts the users towards it.
A single M.2 slot fulfills the storage needs for NVMe SSDs, and six SATA slots, and all of them are top angled. For connectivity, there are two USB 3.1 Gen1 ports for the front panel and four Type-A ports on the rear IO panel; however, the missing USB Type-C port disappoints me a bit. We are not expecting a 2.5G NIC on this board, but still, it has high-speed Ethernet and excellent quality audio controllers and ports.
One of the great features you will see in most of the Gigabyte motherboards is the Dual BIOS, so in case if you are accidentally corrupt the BIOS, you can recover it with the other one. We all know a power cut while updating BIOS can corrupt the previous one, and then the motherboard needs to go to the factory to work again. Still, with Gigabyte motherboards, the case becomes different.
The missing USB Type-C doesn't seem reasonable to me, and it would be much better if this board comes with it. Also, one M.2 slot is not enough for future expansion, while there are some competitors of this motherboard that are offering two M.2 slots. If you make a little compromise on these things, I would recommend you get this motherboard because of its budget-friendly price.
Impressive build quality.
4+2 Phase Digi+ voltage regulators.
32 GBPS transfer rate M.2 slot.
Attractive color scheme.
Four DIMMS and 6x SATA for future expansion.
It would be much better if it comes with USB Type-C and Wi-Fi.
We are done with some budget-friendly B365 motherboard options for Intel Core i5 9400F, but if you are looking for something premium in this category there, we've got something great for you. ASRock B365 Phantom Gaming 4, expensive in its class, premium features but still affordable, and if you prefer looks and performance at the same place, you can consider this option for your gaming build.
The VRM section of this motherboard has eight-phase power design voltage regulators, which give smooth power delivery to the CPU. At the same time, it's fed by a single 8-Pins 12V connector. The black and red colored PCB with RGB lights gives appealing looks and makes this motherboard a little more premium, but it's still affordable for a mainstream processor when it comes to the price.
There are four DIMMs on the board, which allows you to install 64 GB of memory, while if you consider buying some premium chipset board like Z370 or Z390, they offer up to 128 GB and support OCing. Connectivity options are a thing that users look at the most in the motherboards, and this one comes with plenty of USB3 ports with a data transfer rate of 5 GBPS, including USB Type-A and Type-C ports.
The storage options on it are better than other low-priced B365 boards as it has six SATA3 slots and two M.2 slots with an additional key slot for Wi-Fi modules. In addition, both of the M.2 slots have dedicated heatsinks for them, which are colored the same as the PCB and follow the diagonal red lines. As a result, this motherboard's connectivity and storage options are much better than what we've seen before.
There are six SATA slots on this board for storage, and there are two M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs and one for Wi-Fi modules. The audio and network controllers on this motherboard are from Realtek, and they are slightly expensive, which affects the overall price of the board, but they do their job perfectly. Overall it's the best motherboard for i5 9400F that you can consider buying in 2021 and beyond.
The bad and this motherboard is its price, as we can get an entry-level Z390 chipset motherboard for its price, but in some way, it's good as those motherboards don't have these premium features and look. Also, I've noticed that 40% of the VRM lacks a heatsink, but that's not a big issue, especially with the processor we have because we will not do overclocking with this motherboard.
When it comes to Intel Coffee Lake processors, we have got a B365 chipset that is budget-friendly. At the same time, the premium option is Z-series motherboards offering overclocking support for unlocked CPUs and some premium set of features. You can get any motherboard with this chipset, and they all allow you to run the processor at its turbo boost, including the one we’ve on this list, MSI Z390-A ProSeries.
With a budget processor like Intel Core i5 9400F, I would not recommend getting some expensive Z series motherboard as they are not worth considering unless you have some unlocked CPU. Entry-Level Z390 motherboard is good to consider as they allow us to run the processor at its boost clock, but as you know, they come at a reasonable price and offer a great set of features’ nothing bad in them.
The ProSeries motherboard has a black PCB with Coffee colored accent on it, while there is some grey circuit printed on it too. The overall aesthetics of this motherboard are straightforward, and we can’t expect anything much from a budget motherboard, but still, it doesn’t look bad in modern builds. It lacks the integrated IO cover, and there are no RGB lights on this board.
The memory slots on this motherboard accept 128 GB of DDR4 memory across four slots, and it supports memory overclocking up to 4600 MHz. The features on this motherboard are way better than any B365 as it offers two M.2 slots where both lack the heat spreader and six SATA3 slots. When it comes to other chipsets for Coffee Lake CPUs, they offer a very slim set of features for their price.
The MSI Z390-A ProSeries is compatible with both AMD Crossfire and Nvidia SLI and supports multiple graphics cards, while the top one PCIe full-length slot has Steel Armor for the latest RTX graphics cards. When it comes to expansion cards like Wi-Fi, there are four PCIe x1 slots, but you may already know that if you are installing some dedicated graphics card, you may not be able to use some PCIe x1 slots.
The rear panel has a couple of ports, including the USB 3.1 Gen2 10GBPS Type-A and Type-C ports. Also, there are audio, Ethernet, and other ports, but it would be much better if it comes with Wi-Fi. This motherboard is missing the RGB lights and fancy looks, while most of the games consider them a major thing in their build.
Budget processor with an entry-level motherboard, undoubtedly an excellent combo for those who don’t want to spend much on the motherboard. MSI H310M Pro-VDH Plus comes with all of the basic features that a gaming machine needs and this micro-ATX motherboard comes compatible with Intel 9th generation processors out of the box. Not sure if you already know or not, but H310 is the most affordable chipset among the three. The good thing about this motherboard is installing the Intel i5 9400f processor on it, as we don’t have to mess with BIOS updates.
While comparing this chipset with others, the only difference you will find is the low number of slots and ports, but you can save a big for other components. The PCB of this motherboard has a coffee color with some grey and black circuit printed on it. As it’s a cheap motherboard, you will not see integrated RGB lights on it, but even without them, it looks attractive. The power to the processor is provided through six-phase voltage regulators configured in 4+2 mode and fed by a single 8-Pin 12V power connector.
Those users who don’t want to hit the max turbo with this processor and don’t want to spend much money on the motherboard will find it an excellent option to consider. With a low number of slots and ports, this motherboard also has only two DIMMs slots that accept 32 GB of memory at base clock speed. While reviewing it, one thing that disappoints me a bit is the missing M.2 slot, which you know is a basic need for every gaming machine.
You can install a single, dual-slot graphics card on this motherboard as it has one PCIe x16 slot and two PCIe x1 slots for expansion cards. Overall this motherboard is great if you own a low budget, but if you can spend more money, I recommend getting some B365 chipset board, which is slightly more expensive than this one.
Gives great value for its price.
Comes with all entry-level features.
Have great connectivity options.
A few headers for fans.
32 GB memory support is not enough.
Missing M.2 slots might be disappointing for some users.
Another great ATX motherboard though it is no different than the previous one in features but little straightforward in looks, and for that, you can save some money for other components. ASROCK MB B365 PRO4 has all of the features you need for your gaming build, and it’s another best motherboard for i5 9400f that we can consider.
This motherboard has four RAM slots in which you can install memory up to 64 GB clocked at 2666 MHz. You might like the most in this motherboard is the connectivity options as it has eight USB 3.1 Gen1 ports from which two are for front panels, and the rest are for rear IO panel, including the Type-A and Type-C ports.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, this motherboard’s aesthetics are a bit straightforward, but it has two RGB lights headers, which allows you to install RGB lights in your build and make it look attractive. This motherboard has nine phase power design VRM, which has an extended heat sink over it and gives a great performance in overclocking.
There are two PCIe x16 slots with Steel Armor on the primary slot, which gives support to big graphics cards, and you can install multiple AMD or Nvidia graphics cards on this board. For storage, there are six SATA3 slots and two M.2 slots for high-speed NVMe drives and one for Wi-Fi modules, as this board doesn’t have any integrated Wi-Fi controller.
The bad in this motherboard is that many voltage regulators and the MOSFETs don’t have heat sink over it. The secondary M.2 slot doesn’t have a heat sink over it, and it would be much better if it comes with one. There is a B365 chipset limitation on overclocking the memory modules and the processor.
Overall this motherboard is good as far as you don’t want to spend much money and looking for an ATX B365 motherboard. If you have some more budget, I would recommend getting a Z390 chipset board or the ASRock B365 Phantom 4.
Comes at a very affordable price.
Much better than entry level B365 motherboards.
Pair of M.2 slots is good for future expansion.
Supports AMD Crossfire technology.
Gives decent performance.
Doesn’t give much overclocking options.
Slightly inexpensive than Z390 chipset motherboards.
Ending this list with another great Z390 chipset motherboard is slightly cheaper than the above mentioned, though it offers the same features and value for a low price. This motherboard’s looks are pretty straightforward, but the black and grey color combination looks attractive, especially in RGB builds.
You can pair this motherboard with Intel i5 9400f out of the box while some high-end processors might need a BIOS update. This motherboard’s goodness starts with the ten phase design voltage regulators, which can easily overclock any unlocked processor, and you can get a performance boost with it.
This motherboard is best because it allows you to run your processor at 4.3 GHz turbo boost speed. This motherboard has more slots and ports than all motherboards mentioned above, so it provides a better storage and connectivity interface. Simply, it’s a great alternative to the Msi Z390-A Pro.
The four DIMMs of this motherboard accept 128 GB memory at base clock speed while you can install 4300+ overclocked modules too. For graphics cards, it has two PCIe x16 slots, and it supports AMD Crossfire technology. Though the missing Steel Armor disappoints me a bit, it would be much better if it comes with it.
The rear panel of this motherboard has great connectivity options, and personally, I like to have such a number of USB ports. This motherboard has two USB 3.1 Gen2 10GBPS ports, two USB 3.1 Gen1 5GBPS ports on the rear side and two USB 2.0, including Type-A and Type-C ports.
This motherboard’s storage interface is also impressive as it has six SATA slots for storage drives, two M.2 slots for NVMe high-speed SSDs and one M.2 for Wi-Fi module. All these features make this motherboard a compelling option to consider.
With all of its greatness, this is one of the best motherboard for i5 9400f we can consider for this processor, and I would recommend you consider it if you can afford it. You have to invest some additional money if you are planning to get a B365 chipset board, but you will get a great set of features for that.
Previously we’ve reviewed a budget best motherboard for i5 9400f, but if you are looking for the same thing but need all of the missing features too for a little more money there, we’ve got the Gigabyte H310M A 2.0. We can say that both of these motherboards are entry-level, but this one is one step ahead.
When it comes to the best value in an entry-level motherboard I would say Gigabyte H310M is the excellent option. The goodness of this motherboard starts from the four SATA ports and one M.2 slot which you know is rarely available in entry-level boards. There are a couple of USB 3.1 Gen1 ports but the thing that makes it different from their entry-level motherboards are the presence of USB Type-C ports on the I/O panel.
Both of these motherboards are good to consider because they don’t limit the performance but features, and for this price, it makes sense. The PCB of this motherboard is colored in black, and it has some white diagonal lines on it that look good. Gigabyte H310M A 2.0 doesn’t have RGB lights integrated but has an RGB header which you can use to control RGB lights in your build.
The two DIMMs of this board allows you to install memory up to 32 GB at 2333 MHz and it’s okay, but the 64 GB memory support would be much better. Like the previous one, it also has four Phase Design voltage regulators, but they don’t matter a lot because we are not going to overclock our processor with this motherboard.
There are two PCIe x1 and one PCIe 16 expansion slot on this motherboard, and you can install any AMD or Nvidia graphics card on it. With i5 9400f, you are most probably going to use some mid-range graphics card, and most of the models are compatible with this motherboard.
Overall it’s a good motherboard to consider especially when you own a tight budget for your budget but still better than other entry-level boards because they lack M.2, Type-C ports and other features too.
It comes with an M.2 slot, which was missing in most of the H310 boards.
Gives great value for its price.
Excellent motherboard for entry-level gaming and side work.
Doesn’t have two USB 2.0 headers.
The fan control is limited in BIOS.
Not recommended for gaming, get some B365 chipset board.
These are the best motherboard for i5 9400f you can get in 2021. If you prefer aesthetics with the performance I would recommend you to get B365 Phantom Gaming 4. This motherboard is affordable and looks good but limits upgrade options. For performance, MSI Z390 is best but a bit expensive and doesn’t look so good. There are some other Z390 chipset motherboards too but they are expensive and I would not recommend you to get a $300 board with Intel i5 9400f.