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Reviewed: Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K (Skylake)

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Shawn Baker

Page 1: Reviewed: Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K (Skylake)

logo i7 skylakeIt feels like we’ve been talking about Intel’s newest Skylake CPU for years. Well the time is here and today we’re taking the time to see just how it performs with Intels new Z170 (Sunrise Point) chipset. With the new Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K in hand, we’ll tell you today what’s going on with the latest platform from Intel.

With both the Intel Core i7-6700K and lower end Core i5-6600K in hand today we’ll be testing both processors against a number of other offerings that we’ve got on hand. Outside of the testing, we’ll also take the time to talk about the architecture and what makes the latest Skylake CPU tick while also covering what the new Z170 chipset brings with it.

We’ll know what Skylake is all about with the i7-6700K and i5 6600K:

The K-CPUs, there are, as always, two versions at launch

Highlights of Intel’s new Skylake platform consists of:

  • The new 1151 socket which isn’t backwards compatible
  • DDR4 support
  • A significantly reamed and better tailed Chipset (Z170)
  • Several architectural changes in the CPU due to its “Tock” update from Intel’s tick-tock model, ie an architecture update

Intel sees the new line up of K-CPUs as the best option for gamers. Therefore we’re seeing it show up at Gamescom in Cologne. Being a K SKU CPU means that overclocking is also a big part of the processors with Intel highlighting “new” overclocking features. While looked at today, a more detail look will come in the next few weeks.

Below is a detailed look comparing a number of Intel CPUs:

Intel's new Skylake-CPUs Compared
 Core i7-6700KCore i5-6600KCore i7-5775CCore i5-5675CCore i7-4790KCore i7-4770K
Skylake Skylake Broadwell-H Broadwell-H Haswell
(Devils Canyon)
Manufacturing Process Technology 14 nm 14 nm 14 nm 14 nm 22 nm 22nm
socket 1151 1151 1150 1150 1150 1150
Memory 2 Channel DDR4 / DDR3L 2 Channel
2 Channel
2 Channel
2 Channel
2 Channel
Cores / Threads 4/8 4/4 4/8 4/4 4/8 4/8
L3 cache size 8 MB 6 MB 6 MB 4 MB 8 MB 8 MB
Graphics Core HD Graphics 530 HD Graphics 530 Iris Pro Graphics 6200 Iris Pro Graphics 6200 HD Graphics 4600 HD Graphics 4600
GPU frequency 1.15 GHz 1.15 GHz 1.15 GHz 1.10 GHz 1.25 GHz 1.25 GHz
Base Frequency 4.0 GHz 3.5GHz 3.3GHz 3.1GHz 4.0 GHz 3.5GHz
max. Turbo (1 Core) 4.2 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.6GHz 4.4 GHz 3.9 GHz
max. Turbo (4 Core) 4.1 GHz 3.6GHz 3.6GHz 3.5GHz 4.2 GHz 3.6GHz
TDP 91 W 91 W 65 W 65 W 88 W 84 W
PCIe Lanes 16x PCIe 3.0 16x PCIe 3.0 16x PCIe 3.0 16x PCIe 3.0 16x PCIe 3.0 16x PCIe 3.0
Price $350 $249.99 401 Euro 285 Euro $339.99 299 Euro

Looking at the clock speeds we can see that the new i7-6700k comes in 200MHz lower when compared to the i7 4790K. What really grabs our attention is the increased TDP when compared to Haswell. Most would’ve thought the move to 14nm would bring with it a drop in power, not an increase. Intel has upgraded the Graphics Core and moved to a new naming system in the HD Graphics 530. We’ll dive into the new Intel HD Graphics 530 in a separate article.

The distinction between the Core i7-6500K and Core i5-6600K remains clear. The higher-end option brings with it Hyper-Threading and thus brings with it four virtual cores, also seen is a larger 8MB L3 cache (verse 6MB on the i5) and a slightly higher clock speed.