Intel launches the Skylake CPU generation
Just as promised earlier today Intel unveiled its Skylake CPU generation at Gamescom 2015. The new chip line includes two models as of now – the widely discussed and unlocked Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K processors.
Specs-wise there are no surprises – the two chips are manufactured on Intel’s finest and most advanced 14 nm FinFET process and they both require the new LGA 1151 socket. The processors come with support for DDR4-2133 memory and DDR3L-1600 memory and include a new graphics core that is known as Intel HD 530. This is a rather strange name since until now Intel’s integrated GPUs used four digits to represent their generation. Starting now, though, Intel will use just three digits to represent the GPUs built into the processor. Although it comes with the digit five inside, the new GPU belongs to the older GT2 generation and includes 24 execution units that run at 1150 MHz; both the Core i7 and Core i5 Skylake chips get the same integrated GPU. While it may seem that you are getting older technology here, the HD 530 GPU comes with several new features that include individual power and clock domains for more efficient use of resources, depending on the load, memory color stream compression, quick standard adjustments to images via hardware acceleration (Camera Pipe) Multi Plane Overlay technology which is similar to what AMD offers in its Carrizo chips in regards to video playback and more.
The computational cores inside Skylake also do not bring surprises – the Core i7-6700K is a quad core processor with support for Hyper-Threading technology that runs at 4.0 GHz by default, which goes up to 4.2 GHz in Turbo Mode. The processor has 8 MB of L3 cache, four chunks of 256 KB L2 cache (one per core) and an unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking. The Core i5-6600K is also a quad-core part but it does not support Hyper-Threading. The chip runs at 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo) and has 6 MB of L3 cache, four chunks of 256 KB L2 cache (one per core) and an unlocked multiplier for easier overlocking. Surprisingly enough Intel has not disclosed the architectural improvements in Skylake – the company will talk about them during Intel Developer Forum 2015, which opens on August 18.
As reported before the two new Skylake processors do not come with cooling solutions so you will have to obtain one on your own. Thanks to the peculiarities of the LGA 1151 socket, though, most LGA 775/1156/1155/1150 coolers should fit so don’t be too quick to buy a new CPU cooler. Speaking of this the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K come with TDP of 91 watts, which is a bit more compared to Haswell, which has TDP of 84 watts. The chips require the Intel Z170 chipset, which was launched along with them and a LGA 1151 motherboards – fortunately there are many models on the market now from MSI, ASUS, ASRock, EVGA and other manufacturers.
The Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K are available now for USD 350 and USD 243 in 1000-unit quantities.