When we tested the Core i5-8400, we came away very impressed. It's not that it's the fastest processor on the block—the i7-8700K is faster for gaming purposes, and any number of Ryzen 7 and Core i7/i9 processors are faster in pure number crunching—but it manages to match the performance of last year's i7-7700K at about half the cost. We ended up giving it our Processor of the Year award. There was only one small problem: demand far outstripped supply, and it has been hard to find the i5-8400 in stock.
If you've been waiting for the chance to pick up Intel's sweet little 6-core/6-thread chip at close to MSRP, Newegg currently has it in stock for $200 (opens in new tab) (limit one per customer). Amazon also has it in stock at a slightly higher price of $212 (opens in new tab), or you can grab it from B&H for $210 (opens in new tab), or from OutletPC for $210.
What's great about the i5-8400 is that it's only a 65W (nominal) processor, it will run at 3.8-4.0GHz stock in Z370 boards (you can safely ignore the 2.8GHz base clockspeed), and it includes a cooler that's more than adequate for keeping the chip frosty. Basically, add the i5-8400 to any Z370 motherboard, add in an appropriate graphics card, and you've got yourself a highly capable gaming rig.
Just don't be surprised if inventories vanish again, as the chip remains one of the best overall values in gaming and processor performance.
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