• CPU Type: Intel CPU
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1151
  • Chipset: AMD Skylake
  • Pros:
  • Good for overclocking
  • New features
  • Cons:
  • None

Welcome To Skylake

ntel’s processor release dates have been pretty haywire over the past couple of years, no thanks to delays in fabrication, the most obvious being Broadwell, which has had the misfortune of launching just months before Skylake was due to be out in our market. Intel has been kind enough to send us its latest Intel i7-6700K processor for us to take a look at its latest high-end desktop CPU to see what’s new.

A bit of a backstory about Intel’s Skylake processor. It was first announced at IDF 2014, amidst a time when Broadwell was still in release limbo. The “tock” to Broadwell’s “tick”, the Skylake processor is the second CPU to utilise Intel’s 14nm process node, providing it with more space to include even more features rather than just your typical speed boost.

Speaking of speed boosts, the i7-6700K processor comes with a base clock of 4.0GHz, with a Turbo frequency of 4.2GHz, with the former featuring a base 500MHz speed bump over Haswell’s 3.5GHz. An interesting thing to note while Skylake natively supports DDR4 memory, it also works with DDR3 RAM sticks, although this is highly dependant on the motherboard manufacturers on whether or not they want to use DDR4 or DDR3 memory on their motherboards.

As far as processor features go, the i7-6700K processor is stacked with Intel’s new HD Graphics 530, which shows some promising gaming quality at 720p resolution, even with most of the graphics options turned down to low.

Overclocking is yet another important feature here, as the i7-6700K provides some pretty interesting numbers. On air, we managed to stably overclock the processor to roughly around the 4.5GHz mark without disturbing the voltage numbers all that much. Based on some research, we also saw that with liquid cooling, that number can go up to 4.9GHz, so imagine the numbers if extreme overclockers managed to unlock the processor’s true potential.

That being said, what really wow’d us over is the fact that the Skylake processors come with native support for a number of other important features as well, such as NVMe, USB 3.1, additional PCI Express 3.0 lanes and DirectX 12.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Performance-wise, the benchmark numbers are just slightly above that of the likes of Haswell and Devil’s Canyon, but as it does come with a number of bells and whistles that we mentioned above, the processor is certainly one to consider if you’re building a PC that is both powerful and future-proof.

(previously published in issue October 2015)

Intel Core i7-6770K