Budget gaming is a dream of every gamer because hardware prices are not affordable for everyone. Usually, while building a budget gaming machine, we consider AMD processors because they are cheap and comes with a bundled cooler. However, Intel has some great options to consider as an alternative to the AMD budget processor. There I’ve got such an option, and a guide on the best motherboard for i5 9400f, which you know is a great gaming processor. I’ve spent some time comparing different models and picking all these motherboards on this list.
Starting with the general specifications of this processor, it comes with six cores and six threads. You might be thinking why these cores and threads are equal? Intel cut off hyper threading from some of their mainstream and flagship processors, and that’s the same case with this one. However, they’ve added two additional cores and threads in i5 series processors, so these additional cores and threads will be enough for gaming or any other application.
This processor can easily handle any modern AAA title, and you don’t have to worry about its performance. When you compare it with the last generation, you will see that it only gets a generation difference and a 100 MHz boost in the clock speed while all other specifications are the same. This processor’s multiplier has not unlocked means you can’t overclock it, but with any Z390 chipset motherboard, you can run it on boost or max turbo, which is 4.3 GHz, and that’s pretty good.
There is a non-f version of this processor that comes with some integrated graphics cards, but if you are going with some dedicated graphics card, I would not recommend you to get that one. Also, most of the Intel processors don’t come with a stock cooler, but this one has an Intel cooler in the box, and it works well as long as you stick with the stock clock speed. Those who are willing to run this processor on a turbo boost might need some aftermarket cooler to prevent thermal throttling.
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.
|Product Image||Product Title||Product Description||Check Price|
|MSI H310M PRO-VDH PLUS||Best Affordable Entry Level||CHECK PRICE|
|GIGABYTE H310M A 2.0||Best Entry Level Motherboard||CHECK PRICE|
|ASRock B365M-HDV||Best Bang For Buck Motherboard||CHECK PRICE|
|Gigabyte B365M DS3H||Best Budget Motherboard For i5 9400f||CHECK PRICE|
|ASRock B365 Phantom Gaming 4||Best Premium B365 Motherboard||CHECK PRICE|
|ASROCK MB B365 PRO4||Budget ATX B365 Motherboard||CHECK PRICE|
|MSI Z390-A PRO||Best Budget Z390 Motherboard||CHECK PRICE|
|ASRock Z390 PRO4||Affordable Z390 Motherboard||CHECK PRICE|
MSI H310M PRO-VDH PLUS
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.
|Motherboard||MSI H310M PRO-VDH PLUS|
|Maximum Memory||32 GB / 2 DIMMs|
|USB Ports||2x USB 3.1 Gen1|
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.
GIGABYTE H310M A 2.0
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.
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE H310M A 2.0|
|Maximum Memory||2x / 32 GB|
|USB Ports||2x USB 3.1 Gen1|
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.
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 thing I like the most in ASRock motherboard is the build quality as they use high-quality glass fibre which prevents the motherboard from humidity and extends its life of use.
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 from 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 which supports transfer speed up to 64 GBPS. The two DIMMs on this board allows you to install memory up to 32 GB and that’s good, but if it got 64 GB memory support then it would be much better.
The two PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16 slots allow you to install graphics card and expansion cards and we don’t need multiple cards setup in this build, nor this motherboard supports. However, it will enable you to install any graphics card you want, and it’s compatible with most of the models available in the market.
|Maximum Memory||64 GB / 2x|
|USB Ports||4x USB 3.1 Gen1|
|SATA Slots||6x SATA3|
|M.2 Slots||1x Ultra M.2|
The back IO panel has plenty of ports for connectivity including USB 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen1 ports including Type-A but it lacks USB Type-C port. The audio and network controllers on this motherboard are from Realtek, and they are very budget-friendly and don’t put much effect on the price of this motherboard.
There are a couple of things in this motherboard that might disappoint you, and you must 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).
- Two DIMMs are not enough.
- M.2 runs on the warmer side.
- Space between M.2 and PCIe x16 is narrow.
- Doesn't have a USB Type-C port.
Gigabyte B365M DS3H – Budget i5 9400f Motherboard
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 enough, and as per my experience, they can be used up to two or three years but don’t consider the cheapest models.
Gigabyte B365M DS3H is no doubt a great option to consider for i5 9400f, but this motherboard will not be able to run this processor on max turbo so take care of it before buying it for your build. Starting with the looks, this motherboard has black painted PCB with some white diagonal circuit lines printed that look appealing.
The overall specifications of this motherboard are no different than 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, and that attracts the users towards it.
A single M.2 slot fulfils 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. There are also high-speed Ethernet and audio ports on the back panel.
|Motherboard||Gigabyte B365M DS3H|
|Maximum Memory||64 GB / 4x|
|USB Ports||4x USB 3.1 Gen1|
|SATA Slots||6x SATA 6GBPS|
One of the great features that you will see in most of the Gigabyte motherboards is the Dual BIOS so in case if you 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. Except that there is nothing bad in this board and I’m sure it will not disappoint you at all.
- 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.
- Only one M.2 while competitors are offering two.
ASRock B365 Phantom Gaming 4
We’ve reviewed a couple of entry-level or budget B365 chipset motherboards but what about a premium motherboard that’s not too expensive but offers great features? There goes the ASRock B365 Phantom Gaming 4 which is not too costly but packed with a premium set of features that you like to have in your gaming build.
This motherboard has eight-phase power design voltage regulators which get most of the power from an 8-Pin 12V power connector and gives excellent power delivery to the processor. Looks-wise I like this motherboard the most in B365 chipsets because of its premium looks and black and red color combination.
This motherboard has four DIMMs which allows you to install memory up to 64 GB at a base clock of 2666 MHz and that’s good for any budget build. Connectivity options are one of the essential things in any gaming motherboard, and this one has plenty of USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, including Type-A and Type-C.
For storage, there are six SATA slots on this board, 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. Overall we can say it’s one of the best motherboards for i5 9400f to consider.
|Motherboard||ASRock B365 Phantom Gaming 4|
|Voltage Regulators||9 Phase|
|Color Category||Black / White|
|Maximum Memory||64 GB / 4x|
|USB Ports||6x USB 3.1 Gen1|
|SATA Slots||6x SATA 6GBPS|
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 heatsink, but that’s not a big issue, especially with the processor we have.
The other great features of this motherboard are the IO cover for the back panel which has RGB lights and gives excellent looks. There are two PCIe x16 slots, one PCIe x1 and one PCIe x4 slot and it supports multiple graphics cards. The primary and secondary M.2 slots have heat sinks over them which makes them cool down and allows them to give better performance.
- Premium motherboard for a wallet-friendly price.
- Works excellent with i5 9400f.
- Steel Armour on PCI slot to support big GPUs.
- Three M.2 slots for NVMe and Wi-Fi modules.
- The voltage Regulators cooling system is great.
- I found nothing to mention.
ASROCK MB B365 PRO4
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.
|Motherboard||ASROCK MB B365 PRO4|
|Maximum Memory||64 GB|
|USB Ports||5x, 1x Type-C|
|SATA Slots||6x SATA3|
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.
MSI Z390-A PRO
We are done with the B365 chipset motherboards and heading towards the Z390 chipset, which is quite better than the previous one and is designed for high-end use. Most of the motherboards from this chipset will allow you to run this processor at max turbo, including the one we are reviewing there, MSI Z390-A Pro.
The reason for going with an entry-level Z390 chipset motherboard is we’ve got a budget processor to pair with this board. It’s also good as it has all of the features we need in our build, so I found no reason to consider premium motherboards for i5 9400f. However, this chipset is also compatible with high-end processors, so if you have any plan to upgrade the CPU in the future, you can get some premium motherboard.
Starting with the aesthetics, this motherboard has a coffee-colored base with some black components and slots, which looks good, especially if you own some RGB lights in your build. The overall specifications of this motherboard are no different than any B365 chipset bard except a few things.
Firstly four RAM slots allow you to install 128 GB of DDR4 memory at a base speed of 2333 MHz while it also allows you to install highly overclocked modules, i.e. 4600 MHz There are two high-speed M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs and six SATA 3GBPS slots for storage devices.
|Motherboard||MSI Z390-A PRO|
|Maximum Memory||128 GB / 4x|
|USB Ports||4x Type-A, Type-C|
There are two PCIe x16 slots for graphics cards, and you can install multiple AMD or Nvidia graphics cards on it while the primary slot has MSI Steel Armor. For expansion cards, this motherboard has four PCIe x1 slots. Overall this motherboard is great because of its features and the affordable price.
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.
- Very easy to install.
- Available for the great price point.
- Built-in USB Type-C port.
- Dual M.2 slots with a high transfer rate.
- 4200Mhz memory support.
- No Wi-Fi and other premium features.
- Lacks RGB Lights and fancy looks.
ASRock Z390 PRO4
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.
|Motherboard||ASRock Z390 PRO4|
|Voltage Regulators||10 Phase|
|Maximum Memory||4x / 128 GB|
|USB Ports||2x USB 3.1 Gen2, 2x USB 3.1 Gen1|
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.
- Works with all 9th generation out of the box.
- Affordable price with all required features.
- Comes with pre-configured BIOS.
- Decent quality and performance.
- Doesn’t have an RGB header.
- ASRock BIOS is a bit confusing to navigate.
- A lot of competitors for the same price.
These are the best motherboard for i5 9400f you can get in 2020. 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.