Coming right on the heels of Intel's Gamescom video game trade show in Germany.line of processors, the new 6th generation of Core i-series CPUs, known by the code name , has officially debuted at the
But before you toss your current-gen laptop, keep in mind that the first wave of new Skylake processors includes only a pair of very high-end chips for performance desktops, the Core i5-6600K and the Core i7-6700K. These K-series models are going to be found in expensive, high-end desktops from boutique PC makers such as Origin PC, Velocity Micro and Digital Storm. These companies are best known for making built-to-order desktops and laptops primarily for PC gamers.
Within the next couple of months, those initial Skylake chips should be joined by a wider range of options for mainstream desktops, laptop, tablets and hybrids. But for now, we've been able to benchmark a series of desktop gaming PCs with the both the new Core i5-6600K and Core i7-6700K processors, all paired with the new Intel Z170 chipset.
Intel claims you'll see about a 10 percent boost in overall performance over the previous generation of high-end desktop CPUs, along with easier overclocking, and native support for newer DDR4 RAM. More details on Skylake chips and the new features they offer can be found in our.
In our hands-on testing with three Skylake-powered gaming desktops, ranging in price from $1,799 to $4,500 in the US, we found excellent overall performance, even in our challenging new Multimedia Multitasking 3.0 test, which transcodes an HD video while both HD and 4K videos play in the background.
Gaming scores were excellent as well, although that relies primarily on the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 cards in these systems (in both single and double-card configurations).
Looking at the three Skylake desktops profiled here, consider these benchmark scores not as a head-to-head comparison, as each is configured differently and some of the CPUs are overclocked, but as a general idea of what the new high-end 6th-generation Core i-series CPUs are capable of. For comparison, we've included a previous-generation desktop from Maingear, with a high-end "Extreme Edition" Core i7-5690X, which is even higher in the CPU food chain than these new Skylake chips.
Skylake represents the "tock" of Intel's tick-tock update cycle. The "tick" represents a major physical, structural change, such as moving to a 14nm (which refers to the size of a transistor on the chip) manufacturing process, while the "tock" represents new features on top of the previous generation's size change, which is the case for this 6th generation of Core i-series processors.
More interesting will be the upcoming mainstream and mobile chips later in 2015, which will show whether this represents a major change despite the relatively short time period between the releases of Broadwell and Skylake, or if recent PC buyers can feel comfortable sticking with what they've got for now.
|Digital Storm Vanquish||Microsoft Windows 10 Home; 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-6600K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980; 250GB SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD|
|Maingear Shift||Microsoft Windows 8.1; 4.5GHz Intel Core i7-5690X (OC); 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2666MHz; (3) 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980; (2) 250GB SSD RAID 0 + 1TB 7200rpm HDD|
|Origin PC Millenium||Microsoft Windows 10 Home; 4.8GHz Intel Core i7-6700K (OC); 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2400MHz; (2) 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti (OC); 1TB SSD + 4TB 7200rpm HDD|
|Velocity Micro Raptor Z755||Microsoft Windows 10 Home; 4.0GHz Intel Core i7-6700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980; 400GB SSD + 2TB 7200rpm HDD|