Intel Core i5-9400H vs Intel Core i5-8257U
Intel Core i5-9400H► remove
The Intel Core i5-9400H is a high-end processor for laptops with four cores based on the Coffee Lake architecture (2019 refresh, CFL-HR). The processor clocks at between 2.5 and 4.3 GHz (4.1 with 4 cores) and can execute up to eight threads simultaneously thanks to Hyper-Threading. According to Intel, the CPU is manufactured in an improved 14nm (14nm++) process. Compared to the predecessor, the Core i5-8400H from 2018, the 9300H is only clocked slightly higher (+100 MHz CPU Turbo, +50 MHz GPU).
The Coffee Lake architecture is similar to Kaby Lake and differs only in the amount of cores (now six cores for the high end versions) and the improved 14nm process (14nm++ according to Intel).
The Intel Core i5-9400H should perform similar as the older Core i7-7920HQ (3.1 - 4.1 GHz). The faster Coffee Lake CPUs, like the Core i7-9750H offers two additional cores and is therefore up to 50% faster in multithreaded benchmarks. Still, the performance of the i5-9400H should be sufficient for even demanding applications and games.
The integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 iGPU is supposed to offer a slightly higher performance as its clock rate has been increased by 50 MHz. The architecture is identical to that of the Intel HD Graphics 630. We do expect a performance improvement, but as a low-end solution it will probably only display current games smoothly at reduced details - if at all.
Intel specifies the TDP with 45 watts and therefore the i5 is only suited for big laptops with good cooling solutions. Using cTDP-down, the CPU can also be configured to 35 Watt resulting in a reduced performance.
Intel Core i5-8257U► remove
The Intel Core i5-8257U is a quad-core SoC for notebooks based on the Coffee Lake architecture that was announced in the new entry level MacBook Pro 13 in mid 2019. Compared to its predecessor, the CPU is now a quad-core with Hyperthreading support for the execution of up to 8 threads simultaneously. The base frequency is only 1.4 GHz, but the Turbo goes all the way up to 3.9 GHz. It is also equipped with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 GPU with 128 MB eDRAM, a dual-channel memory controller (DDR4) as well as VP9 and H.265 video decoding as well as encoding. The chip is still manufactured in a 14nm process with FinFET transistors.
Compared to faster Core i7-8557U model with eDRAM and 15 Watts, the i5-8257U only features 6 MB smart cache and the slowest clock of the Iris Plus GPU.
Intel basically uses the same micro architecture compared to Kaby Lake, so the per-MHz performance does not differ. The manufacturer only reworked the Speed Shift technology for faster dynamic adjustments of voltages and clocks, and the improved 14nm process allows much higher frequencies combined with better efficiency than before.
Thanks to the relative high Turbo Boost clock, the single thread performance should be very good, but still behind the faster i7 model. The short burst all core performance is clearly better compared to the old dual core predecessors thanks to the additional cores. In sustained workloads, the performance is usually limited by the TDP and cooling. In these workloads the difference to the Core i7 should be also smaller.
The integrated Intel Iris Plus 645 Graphics is the GT3e model of the Coffee Lake GPU (Intel Gen. 9.5). It has 48 Execution Units running at 300-1050 MHz and the performance is comparable to a GeForce 930M or 940MX thanks to fast eDRAM cache. However, there aren't any significant improvements compared to the old Iris Plus 650, so modern games can often not be played smoothly or only at the lowest or medium settings, respectively.
Contrary to Skylake, Kaby lake now also supports H.265/HEVC Main 10 with a 10-bit color depth as well as Google's VP9 codec. The dual-core Kaby Lake processors announced in January should also support HDCP 2.2.
The chip is manufactured in an improved 14nm++ process with FinFET transistors, which improves the efficiency even further. Intel specifies the TDP with 15 Watts and therefore suited for thin and light laptops.
|Intel Core i5-9400H||Intel Core i5-8257U|
|Intel Core i5||Intel Core i5|
|Coffee Lake||Coffee Lake|
|: Core i5 Coffee Lake|
|2500 - 4300 MHz||1400 - 3900 MHz|
|256 KB||256 KB|
|1 MB||1 MB|
|8 MB||6 MB|
|4 / 8||4 / 8|
|Dual-Channel DDR4 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI||Dual-Channel DDR4 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI, Intel SSE4.1, Intel SSE 4.2|
|iGPU||Intel UHD Graphics 630 (350 - 1100 MHz)||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 (300 - 1050 MHz)|
|Intel Core i5 8257U|