INTEL Skylake Coming on the 5th of August, Awesome New Gigabyte Boards
Skylake’s been in the news for some time now. We’ve gotten to see some of the new features coming with the Z170 chipset, heard about INTEL aiming the high-end CPUs towards overclocking enthusiasts, and find out that everything was going to be releasing sometime towards the end of this year. Now, we have an official date for the launch of Skylake as well as some shots of some extremely impressive boards being released by GIGABYTE.
August 5th is the official release date for the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6500K. There’ll be some other SKUs that launch as well, but the K series chips are the ones with the unlocked multipliers making overclocking a breeze. These chips have an incredibly modest 95W TDP rating that hopefully translates into some huge amounts of overclocking headroom. Currently, 5 GHz is the magic number that is incredibly difficult to reach for everyday use. While silicon is ultimately the limiting factor, we can hope that with some new architecture, we might get to see some higher overclock ceilings with normal cooling setups. Time will tell, but if new motherboards have any sway in the matter, then GIGABYTE plans on destroying overclocking records if their initial features live up to their appearance.
I have to say, while GIGABYTE makes some good quality products, I feel like they got a little behind in the Z97 segment of motherboards. A lot of their boards didn’t seem to rank up as high as other boards. The VRM design hardly pushed past the 8 phase mark, their heatsink designs looked good, but not as great as others, and overall, it felt like they focused on functionality so much, that extras were considered a waste. To be fair, GIGABYTE boards performed on par with most others, but they didn’t stand out. It looks like that’s all in the past now with the Z170 boards showcased. The G1 is an absolutely gorgeous monster of a gaming board. GIGABYTE added water cooling support built in, some beautiful color schemes, and a pretty fantastic heatsink design that looks like it will have no trouble with heat dissipation. Of all the features included, the big one that stands out is a massive 16+4 power phase design. That may be overkill, but on the other hand, if Skylake offers huge overclocking potential, then that design will offer ample power to the processor while keeping the VRM heat levels pretty low. VRM cooling might be a null factor unless some extreme LN2 overclocking is being done.
Overall, INTEL Skylake is in my opinion, one of the most exciting releases since Sandybridge. Part of what will really make the i7-6700K worth it is if it overclocks better than it’s predecessors, but even then, the Z170 chipset is really opening up storage options with it’s upgraded PCIe 3.0 lanes. Combine all of that with minor features including DDR4 support, and it adds up to something that might very well be worth upgrading to. Owners of the i7-4790k and Z97 chipset might not see enough performance to justify the upgrade, but if you’ve been holding out with your 3770K for the right release from INTEL, then Skylake might be the perfect one. Eventually, we’ll see what the reviews uncover, but for now, we’ll keep an eye out for possible performance leaks as the release date comes closer.