Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Intel unveils new Skylake Core i7 and i5 processors, overclockers welcome

Broadwell's reign was short, especially on the desktop where the fifth-gen Core processor barely launched before getting succeeded by Skylake. The first two new Core i7 and i5 processors were unveiled - the overclock-friendly 6700K and 6600K, along with a new chipset and socket for them to work on.

Intel Core i7 6700K

Intel has significantly updated the microarchitecture for the Skylake processors and has worked to make maximum multi-core performance easier for app developers to extract. This is a quad-core processor running at 4GHz base clock speed, going up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost.
That's 0.2GHz slower than the Core i7 4790K (and also uses 3W more), but the new architecture promises a 10% speed increase. This boost goes up to 20% compared to the 4770K and to 30% against the 3770K. If that's too slow for you, you can push the chip up to 5.2GHz on air cooling.
The Core i7 6700K also comes with a new graphics core, HD 530, which runs at 350MHz and boost up to 1.15GHz. It supports DirectX 12 so it's ready for Windows 10. You also get 8MB of L3 cache and support for DDR4-2133MHz and DDR3L-1600MHz.
The 6700K is priced at $350.

Intel Core i5 6600K

Another quad-core, but without the virtual doubling of cores (the i7 is Hyper-Threading enabled, the i5 is not). It's clocked lower – 3.5GHz base, 3.9GHz Turbo boost – and has less L3 cache, 6MB. It brings the same GPU, which should outperform the HD 4600 Graphics of older generation processors.
The 6600K will set you back $243.
By the way, Skylake pricing has leaked pointing to a number of 65W Core i7 and i5 processors and even low-power 35W ones (clock speeds and price scales down accordingly). The Core i7 6700T, for example, should run at 2.8GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) at 35W. There's nothing on Skylake Core i3s yet.

Intel Z170 and LGA 1151 socket

The LGA 1150 socket is on its way out, you'll need an LG 1151 motherboard to accomodate a Skylake processor (not to be confused with LGA 1155, which were from the Sandy/Ivy Bridge era). This comes with a new chipset too – the Z170.
It allows the Skylake-K processors to be overclocked with megahertz precision (instead of the preset steps that Haswell processors allowed). The chipset supports DDR4 overclocking, NVMe Express for fast SSDs, support for PCI-E storage solutions and additional PCI-E and USB 3.0 lanes.

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