Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Intel Skylake Core i7-6700K IPC & Overclocking Review

Today we finally get to share with you our Intel Skylake experiences. As we like to, we are going to focus on Instructions Per Clock / IPC and overclocking this new CPU architecture. We hope to give our readers a definitive answer to whether or not it is time to make the jump to a new desktop PC platform.

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Skylake Platorm Changes

The big changes out of the gate if you are considering a move to a new 14nm Skylake 6700K or 6600K processor, are likely no surprise. First and foremost Intel is moving to a new socket and chipset. An LGA 1151 motherboard with the new Z170 Intel Express Chipset are required. Second, on the desktop new DDR4 memory will be required as well. DDR3L will also be supported by the processors as well, which you are only likely to find in mobile devices.

This new LGA 1151 socket is backwards compatible with most air and water CPU coolers which is certainly welcomed.

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Stock speed of the DDR4 memory will be 2133MHz although you will see it scale far above that on the following pages. Support for video cards will be for one x16 lane PCIe 3.0 slot, or two x8 PCIe 3.0 slots. Three video cards can be utilized but PCIe configuration would be as follows; 1x8, 1x4, 1x4. Independent of the GPU PCIe lanes, the new Z170 chipset will support up to 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes with as many as 10 USB 3.0 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports.

Skylake Overclocking

Some welcomed changes will be that now the Base Clock (BCLK) is now not strapped to other processor clocks. While BCLK overclocking is a thing of the past to many running air or water cooling, some may find this useful.

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When it comes to tuning and overclocking your shiny new DDR4 however, the 6700K, 6600K, and new Z170 motherboards will surely shine. You will have many speeds to choose from in your BIOS. This will certainly make it easier for those of you to eek every bit of memory bandwidth out of your DDR4.

Other than that, overclocking on the Skylake / Z170 platform is basically unchanged from the previous Ivy Bridge. There are no new hoops to be jumped through. Overall overclocking is a lot simpler in fact, at least on the ASUS Z170-Deluxe.

Skylake Upgrade?

While we will certainly cover this on the following pages, this slide is worthy of posting as it outlines what Intel thinks when it comes to performance changes as you move up through its older processor architectures.

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Skylake Specifications & Pricing

The i7-6700K processor will support HyperThreading on it four cores and will benefit from 8MB of internal cache. The i5-6600K will not support HyperThreading on its 4 cores and will have 6MB of cache. Both processors are rated at 91 watts TDP.

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The Core i7-6700K will retail for around $350 and the 6600K will retail for $243.

Skylake Packaging

Skylake packaging certainly is a bit more flashy that it has been previously on K series processors.

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