The first of Intel’s 6th-gen Core family processors have arrived, and they’re here less than a year after the launch of the first 5th-gen chips. But Intel is taking a different approach with the new chips, code-named “Skylake,” than it did with 5th-gen “Broadwell” processors.
While the first Broadwell chips to hit the streets were low-power Intel Core M processors designed for portable notebooks and tablets with long battery life and fanless designs, the first Skylake chips are high-priced, high-performance processors designed for desktop computers.
We’ll have to wait a little longer for notebook and tablet chips based on Skylake architecture.
Here’s a quick overview of the first Skylake processors:
- Intel Core i5-6600K: 3.5 GHz quad-core processor, 6MB of cache, turbo speeds up to 3.9 GHz
- Intel Core i7-6700K: 4 GHz quad-core processor with hyperthreading (8 threads), 8MP cache, and burst speeds up to 4.2 GHz
Both are 14nm chips that have a TDP of 91 watts, support DDR3L-1600 or DDR4-2133 memory, and ave 16 PCI Express 3.0 lanes. The Core i5 chip has a suggested price of $243, while the Core i7 chip is priced at $350.
Intel says the chips are aimed at “gamers and overclockers,” support up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and are unlocked to let users overclock the chips to boost performance.
These are also the first chips to feature Intel HD 530 graphics with some new features including improvements to HEVC decoding as well as support for encoding HEVC video files using the Intel QuickSync encoder.
That’s good use for folks building media-centric PCs. But if you’re looking for a gaming system? AnandTech reports that if you’re using a discrete graphics card, you’d get slightly better gaming performance by picking up a 4th-gen Intel Haswell desktop chip instead. Meanwhile, Hexus notes integrated graphics performance for Skylake chips does appear to be a step up from earlier Intel chips.
Intel also plans to offer an unlocked, overclockable Skylake “K” chip for notebooks later this year. Up until now, “K” series chips have been desktop-only.