Best motherboards for i5 8400 processor in 2020

The Intel Core i5 8400 offers the users the best value for their investments. Being one of the best gaming processors of recent times, people are curious to know the best fitting motherboard. As there are several motherboards available for this CPU, confusion arises as to which one will be a perfect match. Below are some of the best motherboards for i5 8400 that will provide you the maximum benefits.

What to look for in the best motherboard for i5 8400?

best motherboard for i5 8400

It is crucial that you buy the right motherboard for your PC build as a motherboard can be considered the foundation that holds the entire PC together. Your motherboard will ensure that all the other components that you have bought for your build go hand in hand and work effectively and collectively to provide you with the best performance possible.

In this article, we list and review some of the best motherboards for i5 8400, but before we head on to reviewing the best motherboards for the Intel i5 8400 processor let us discuss what you should look for in your motherboard before you purchase one. 

Size or Form Factor

Perhaps the single most important aspect of a motherboard is its size or form factor. A larger sized motherboard will have more ports and expansion slots for installing multiple cards and components than smaller motherboards, but all that it boils down to is your personal preference.

Do you want a portable PC? Then you need to opt for a smaller motherboard that can fit in a portable mini ITX case. What if you just want a personal PC to get your office work done at home? In that case, you can go for a standard-sized motherboard for an ATX case that you can keep on your desk.

Nowadays, motherboards come in 3 standard form factors that are commercially available.

  • ATX
  • Micro-ATX
  • Mini-ITX

Socket Type

The rear part of the processor chip consists of an array of pins laid out in a particular order that fits into a motherboard’s socket. A single motherboard is not compatible with all types of

processors from different manufacturers of different series. Hence, you must choose a motherboard with a socket that is compatible with the processor you have. There used to be several types of socket types, but in this current generation, there are only two that are used the most- LGA sockets (used by Intel) and PGA sockets (Used by AMD). The Intel i5 8400 processor has an LGA1151 socket and will only fit a motherboard socket compatible with it.

DIMM slots or RAM slots

RAM is an essential component for almost everything, whether it be gaming or productivity work. The more RAM you have, the better you will be multitasking with multiple software and programs. It is quite important to look for a motherboard with just the right number of slots to fit your RAM modules. For gamers out there, we recommend a motherboard with at least 4 DIMM slots to ensure that you can install more RAM modules in case you plan to upgrade your PC in the future.

Expansion Slots

These slots on the motherboard allow you to install things like Wi-Fi cards, sound cards, and other expansion devices. The standard expansion slot used in motherboards is the PCI express slot, which is found in different sizes. If you are building a PC for gaming that has a full-size PCI-e x16 slot so that you can install a gaming graphics card or GPU to run your graphically demanding games. 

Chipset and Features

Motherboards are available in different chipsets even if you have the same processor. A motherboard with a newer and updated chipset will offer you more flexibility and the option to overclock your processor.

Let’s talk about features. Some high-end motherboards come with bundled Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features that allow you to use them without installing any cards that save PCI slots. Also, most motherboards come with onboard audio, which is great for most speakers.

Let us now review the motherboards for i5-8400.

My Top Choices for Best Motherboards for i5 8400

Best Overall Motherboard for i5 8400 – Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi

If this is not your first PC build, then it is highly likely that you have come across Gigabyte who pride themselves for manufacturing top-notch PC components and motherboards that not only provide the best in class features but also are quite affordable.

The motherboard comes in a standard ATX form factor and will fit perfectly in a mid-tower or a dual tower ATX case. Featuring four DIMM slots that support up to a total of 128 GB of high-speed 4266 MHz DDR4 RAM and an LGA socket, you can be sure of gaining terrific performance when you pair it up with your i5 8400.

Even with the low price, the motherboard sports a stylish and aesthetic look with brushed aluminum heatsinks and input/output panel cover. To give the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi an even more awesome look, it is fitted with multiple RGB LED lights in multiple locations, including the RAM slots, heatsinks, and on the side.

The AORUS PRO leaves the other competitors in the dust with its trio of PCI-e x16 slots out of which one works at full speed that is just right for your graphics card. The other two cards support 8x speed and 4x speed respectively. Apart from this, you also have three PCI-e x1 slots for installing other expansion cards.

This has everything you would except from a i5 8400 motherboard. For your storage solutions, you have six SATA ports and a pair of M.2 slots with RGB-lit heatsinks to install your SSDs and HDDs.The AORUS PRO features Realtek ALC1220 chipset for your audio and the generic Gigabit Ethernet.

Even with all these, the best thing about the motherboard is the fact that it comes equipped with onboard Intel CNVi 802.11ac 2×2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi which eliminates the requirement of installing a Wi-Fi card to connect to the internet. Just below the DIMM slots, you can find a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C header.

Moving on to the back panel, you have the I/O section with tons of ports integrated with a pre-installed shield. The ports include 4 x USB 2.0, 3 x USB 3.0 port, 5 x USB 3.1 port, a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, multiple audio ports (line-in, line out, mic, speakers, C/sub). The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi is our personal choice and personally the best motherboard for i5-8400.

Key Features:

  • ATX form factor.
  • Supports 9th and 8th Generation Intel Core Processors.
  • Four DIMM slots supporting up to 128 GB DDR4 RAM.
  • RGB FUSION 2.0 with multiple RGB LED strips

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Best Alternative Z390 Motherboard for i5 8400 – MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151

MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151

MSI is another great manufacturer of robust motherboards that pack dozens of features for your ease of use.

The product is compatible with Intel processors with LGA1151 socket as it is already specified in the product name and supports the 9th and 8th Generation Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors and also the i5 8400. To push your computer’s performance to the maximum, the motherboard comes with four DIMM slots that support memory modules of speed up to 4400 MHz that are equipped with MSI DDR4 boost to allow seamless multitasking with minimal crashing.

The ATX form factor is perfect for dual-tower chassis, and the board has multiple Turbo M.2 ports that run on PCI-e x4 Gen3 for installing NVMe Solid-State Drives. The ports provide speeds up to 32 GB per second.

Featuring the Z390 chipset, the MSI Z390-A PRO allows you to overclock your Intel processors to work at a higher frequency and thereby enhancing the overall performance of your PC.

The rear input and output panel incle a pair of USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.1(Gen2 Type-C, Gen2 Type-A, Gen1 Type-A), audio ports with Realtek ALC892 Chipset, and all the necessary display ports. The front consists of four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A USB port, four USB 2.0 ports, and a serial port.

The i5 8400 motherboard sports an all-black color scheme with grey lines and markings here and there and some accents, including an MSI logo on the heatsinks. The board even has a multi-GPU design allowing you to install multiple graphics cards (Supports AMD Crossfire) in the PCI-e slots that are protected with the Steel Armor technology. You also get two full-size PCI-e x16 slots and four PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. 

Key Features:

  • Four DIMM memory slots that support dual-channel mode and Intel XMP can hold up to 128 GB of 4400MHz DDR4 memory.
  • Equipped with AMD’s 2-Way CrossFire Technology, allowing you to install multiple GPU for enhanced graphics performance.
  • Features audio boost and an Extended Heatsink Design that delivers you high-grade audio quality and a super-cool performance.
  • Compatible with LGA1151 socket processors and the Z390 the chipset allows you to overclock your processor for max performance.

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Best Z370 Motherboard for i5 8400 – ASUS Prime Z370-A-II

If you are looking for a mid-range motherboard with the best in class features then ASUS has a lot to offer you with its Prime Z370-A-II motherboard. The ATX sized motherboard is well equipped with all the things you will need starting from M.2 slots, in-built M.2 heatsinks, Type-C USB ports, multiple DIMM memory slots, and to top it all off, the board even supports Intel Optane memory.

The mainboard is completely black with grey accents and squares and white heatsink, chipset, and ASUS fan holders.

The board support all 9th generation and 8th generation lineup of Intel processors from the Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron series that have an LGA1151 socket. Build from premium components, the board offers great efficiency in terms of power and performance with its enhanced power solutions such as the Digi+ Power Control and five-way optimization the feature allows you to tune and optimize your processor or graphics card by overclocking them with just a single click.

If you are planning to build a super-powerful PC with the i5 8400 motherboard that will require cooling solutions, then the ASUS Prime Z370-A-II has got you all covered with its cooling options that give you full control over your water coolers and fans with its on UEFI and the Fan Xpert 4 software. Right from the beginning, you have dual M.2 ports with 32 GB/sec speed for installing NVMe SSDs. The ports are all Intel Optane Memory ready that offer faster boot and load speed. The M.2 heatsinks are highly efficient in driving away heat for faster transfer speeds. The board also has the Thunderbolt 3 expansion card slot for even faster transfer speeds.

The inbuilt RGB lights, as well as the ones connected to the RGB headers can be controlled using ASUS’ Aura Sync that allows you to obtain a variety of light functions. The board features four RAM slots for installing DDR4 memory with up to 4000 MHz speed and multiple PCI-e slots including two x16 slots.

Key Features:

  • Dual M.2 ports with M.2 heatsinks for faster transfer speeds, and efficient cooling.
  • Equipped with ASUS Aura-Sync technology to customize the in-built RGB LED lights and strips that are connected to the headers.
  • Supports Intel Optane Memory, Thunderbolt 3, and Crystal sound 3.
  • Features multiple PCI-e slots that support 2-way Nvidia SLI and 3-way AMD CrossFireX.

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Best B360 Motherboard for i5 8400 – MSI B360M Gaming Plus

MSI B360M Gaming Plus

Another great gaming i5 8400 motherboard from MSI that combines both performance and affordability is the B360M that supports processors with LGA 1151 sockets. The board is available in two different color options- a black variant with red accents on the board and chipset, stripes, and MSI logo on the heatsink and a white variant which is the MSI B360M Gaming Arctic with light grey stripes and zig-zag designs.

We will be reviewing the red MSI B360M Gaming Plus that comes with a pair of DDR4 DIMM memory slots that support up to 32 GB of high-speed memory modules with up to 2666 MHz. The board supports the Intel 9th generation and 8th generation Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors.

The MSI B360M Gaming Plus serves as a great alternative option for i5 8400 gamers who want a cheaper yet powerful motherboard with tons of features and facilities. The board features multiple integrated features such as the Core Boost technology, DDR4 boost, X-Boost, and Voice boost. The power design delivers optimal performance with great power efficiency.

The Intel Optane Memory ready Turbo M.2 slots offer lightning-fast transfer rates and reduce boot time and load time to a great extent. The full-size Steel Armor integrated PCI-e x16 slot allows you to install your powerful graphics card while there are the other PCI-e slots for other expansion cards. The B360M Gaming Plus is hands down the best i5 8400 motherboard if you are on a budget.

Key Features:

  • Supports up to 32 GB of DDR4 Memory of speeds up to 2666 MHz with its pair of DIMM slots.
  • Comes in a micro-ATX form factor to fit in your mATX build.
  • Intel-powered MSI Gaming LAN offers an unmatched online gaming experience.
  • MYSTIC LIGHT and Sync technology allow you to control all your LED lighting strips that are connected to the RGB headers with just a single software.

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Best Alternative B360 Motherboard for i5 8400 – ASRock B360 PRO4

Best Motherboard for i5 8400

ASRock is popular among the people for producing some of the most efficient motherboards that are available at the best prices. ASRock B360 PRO4 is a motherboard that is designed to take the most advantage of the latest processors. And Intel core i5 8400 is one of the latest gaming processors; this motherboard becomes a perfect fit. ASRock B360 PRO4, being one of the best B360 motherboards. The pricing of this motherboard is also effective to suit the needs of the users.

VRM

As ASRock offers a solid VRM system, it provides the highest stability as compared to all other manufacturers of motherboards. VRM is the main specialty of ASRock B360 PRO4. The VRM has double components that offer higher stability. It also offers a good heatsink capability that makes the handling of the heating issues easier.

ASRock B360 PRO4 offers a motherboard that has all the key features needed for i5 8400 and offers a great look also. All these features are made available at a reasonable price to the users. If any user chooses to purchase a motherboard with the same features from Asus, he has to pay much more. This makes it a wise decision to avail ASRock B360 PRO4 at a much lesser price.

RAM

Another added advantage of this i5 8400 motherboard is that the board offers 4 DIMM slots that help in easy updating of memory. This feature of the motherboard allows the user to upgrade the memory as per the requirement without having to spend any more.

The use of B360 chipset in ASRock B360 PRO4 is yet another benefit of the motherboard. B360 offers more slots and ports to the users that can be used to support multiple components. Having a RAM capacity of more than 64GB but available at a reasonable price is one of the best offerings of ASRock B360 PRO4.

The motherboard is so designed to function flawlessly. Having a very large capacity of data handling, the motherboard can function best. Having all the advanced components, ASRock B360 PRO4 is the most suitable board for i5 8400.  The high quality and effective price point cannot be underrated.

(Have an i7? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Check this guide to find the Best Motherboard for i7 8700k, or the best mobo for i7 9700k.)

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Best H370 motherboard for i5 8400 – GIGABYTE H370 HD3

Gigabyte H370 HD3 is another mother that proves to be a great motherboard for i5 8400. The H370 is even proved to be better than the B360 chipset.H370 is one of the ultra-durable motherboards.  This chipset offers multiple slots and ports. These ports and slots can be used to connect multiple components as well as the peripherals. This feature helps the users to expand the storage devices easily and quickly. It also helps the user to expand their collection of peripherals.

Connectivity

The Gigabyte H370 HD3 also has several PCI lanes as compared to the ASRock B360 PRO4. While ASRock B360 PRO4 has only 12 PCI lanes, the Gigabyte H370 HD3 has 20 PCI lanes. This helps in better distribution of the PCI lane among the various components. This feature is the reason behind the fast performance of this motherboard.

Temperature

The Gigabyte H370 HD3 also utilizes multiple temperature sensors that make it easy to handle the heating issues. With the smart fans, the users can ensure high performance while keeping their gaming PC cool. With the use of this motherboard, it becomes easy to save power.

Graphics

The use of multi-graphics configuration helps in proving enhanced graphics performance for gaming PCs. This feature doesn’t allow compromising with the resolution of the graphics. The audio noise guard of Gigabyte’s motherboards helps in preventing potential noise pollution and ensures high-quality audio effects.

RGB

The use of RGB light strips allows users to personalize the appearance of their PCs. The user can make their own choice to have a unique look for their system.

VRM 

But one area where the Gigabyte H370 HD3 remains behind the ASRock B360 PRO4 is in the VRM section. However, this does not pose any problem for i5 8400 unless it upgraded to a higher processor in the future. Having 4x DIMM slots, this motherboard can support the upgrading of memory smoothly. It also has additional USB ports that allow the users to connect several peripherals.

BIOS Protection

The use of Gigabyte H370 HD3 motherboards helps in protecting the important components of the BIOS. It prevents the failure of BIOS due to any virus or hardware malfunctioning or power failure during the process of updating.  This proves the Gigabyte motherboard to be ultra-durable.

Final verdict of Gigabyte H370 HD3

The advanced features protect the motherboard from the potential damage. Gigabyte H370 HD3 offers the best features to give the users an excellent VR experience. Gigabyte H370 HD3 is another most recommendable processor that meets the requirement for i5 8400. This motherboard also provides better value for the investment of the users.

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Final words on choosing a motherboard for i5 8400

Having a complete review of the two motherboards, it can be concluded that ASRock B360 PRO4 and Gigabyte H370 HD3 are indeed the two best mobo for i5-8400. Each of the motherboards is well equipped with all the advanced features to offer a perfect fit for the Intel Core i5 8400. Their high memory capacity is one of the best features of the motherboards. With such high memory capacity, expanding the memory in the future becomes very easy for the users without any additional cost. This proves to be cost-effective in every way. Both the motherboards are reviewed to provide better value for the money spent by the users. These are among the motherboards that are available at a low price but offer maximum benefits to the users. This makes them a perfect fit for the Intel Core i5 8400.

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