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Posts Tagged ‘Skylake’

Is INTEL Stalling Out?

A while back, I posted an article talking about what looked to be impressive performance gains coming from Kaby Lake. Performance leaks had been good to me up till that point, but now you can see my shame here. Today, a Chinese review of the i5-7600K has released ahead of NDA and the results aren’t looking good. Even though Kaby Lake has some minor improvements, the IPC performance is running the same as Skylake. Granted, this review is ahead of NDA which also means any tweaks INTEL planned before released aren’t being considered yet, but it’s really feeling like INTEL is stalling out when it comes to pushing the limits of performance. Honestly, releasing a new chip series that essentially has no performance improvement is probably worse than holding back performance for the sake of sales. Technically, Kaby Lake has almost a 10% performance increase, but that number is so minuscule that the average user will never notice it. If this was coming to the professional market, it would make a bit more sense since 10% increases can actually translate to added dollars. As it is, IPC improvements are the things that really make a computer feel faster, as proven by comparing the current FX series to anything INTEL has had in the past couple of years. The FX chip can get it done, but the INTEL one makes it feel a lot smoother while doing it, while pulling better actual performance numbers. IPC for the 7600K is showing the same performance as Skylake and even if som...


INTEL’s Profit Drops, but are we Really Surprised?

It seems like every other day, there is another story surfacing that’s letting us know PC sales are slipping and the latest iteration of this is that INTEL’s profits are down. I can’t say that any of us would be surprised about this, but the fun part is trying to place our finger on exactly what’s going on. The most obvious reason is that no matter how anybody wants to slice it, the world economies have been doing terribly in the recent months. Economy will certainly hurt the ability of a company to grow, but at the same time, said companies can’t just sit there and point the proverbial finger at government regulations without noticing the three pointing back at them. I’m not going to analyze every fiscal decision INTEL has made, but I do believe that their design process on their architecture is not helping with their current woes. Many of us know about the Tick, Tock cycle that INTEL uses. One cycle brings out a new manufacturing process, then the next improves on that process via architecture. This concept in and of itself is a bit lame for consumers. It essentially guarantees that you’re out of date with in a year of purchasing a new product. Now most of us know that performance will hold up for a quite a bit longer, but it always leaves consumers feeling slightly afraid of pulling the trigger on a new product because something better could be just around the corner. This leaves us with the feeling that INTEL is trying to sq...

Intel Skylake

Not Upgrading to Skylake could be Worth the Wait

Some people out there don’t understand what waiting to upgrade means. The rest of us know that once we sink a few hundred dollars into a nice upgrade, we aren’t putting anything new in our computers for a while, possibly even years. Skylake has been a great release with the return to good overclocking and some amazing chipset features on the Z170 boards, but if you’re still on the fence about whether to upgrade or not, there could be one good reason to hold out for just another year. In case you haven’t noticed, memory is in a state of flux. You may be thinking that DDR4 isn’t that big of a deal, and you’d sort of be right. Where memory is making huge improvements is in graphics cards, storage and caches in CPUs. The ability to 3D stack memory chips on top of one another is revolutionizing the way typical computing handles various memory work loads by exponentially increasing bandwidth. In the case of Skylake, the architecture is doing a great job, but the CPU cache is made up of the same ole’ same ole’. Broadwell didn’t get as much attention as Skylake because on an enthusiast level, it was pretty difficult to overclock. However, Broadwell introduced us to 128 MB of eDram in the L4 cache. If the number doesn’t blow you away on it’s own (128 MB of L4 cache!!!), the fact that the i7 5775C outperforms the 6770K in gaming performance should be enough to get your attention and I’m not talking about the int...


Does Skylake Interest You? Here’s a Round-up of Z170 Motherboards

Introduction Do you remember back in the good ole days when a new processor would release, there would only be maybe 2-3 high end motherboards you’d have to choose from? Well those days are so far gone that now there is a figurative ocean of great motherboards to wade through in order to find the right one, and that’s a great thing. Even I’ve been a tad shocked at the shear number of new releases that have come out with Skylake and the Z170 chipset. Unfortunately, life isn’t going to permit me to bring you an exhaustive list of every Z170 motherboard that’s out or coming soon, but I will give you a pretty comprehensive list of the boards that you should be looking out for. The way I worked through this is I decided to pick out the top of the line boards that I feel are doing things right. The competition is looking great and while I can’t make a decision for anyone, I can help pool some of the info I’ve been gathering to try and help you make a good choice. What’s nice is even if these top tier boards are out of your budget range, there are plenty of other options abroad that will most likely suit you. Generally, if a high tier board is performing well and breaking records, you have a pretty good bet that others are going to come pretty close to the same performance. The one manufacturer I couldn’t bring myself to add to this list is EVGA. They just seem to pale in comparison to what the other companies are doing. So ...

Intel Skylake

INTEL Core i7-6700K Overclocked to 5.2 GHz on Air

Monday morning brings some pretty awesome news to the world of overclocking. The Chief Reporter at HKEPC recently posted on Facebook that Skylake was much funner to overclock than Broadwell after reaching 5.2 GHz with the flagship chip. The even more impressive news is that he did this on air. There’s a couple of considerations to take in with all of this but at the moment, this looks like some incredibly exciting news for overclocking enthusiasts who are considering the upgrade. This sounds pretty huge, but we need to consider a couple of factors before we take this as a guarantee of what’s to come. First of all, while the source seems like someone who’s very trusted in the hardware industry, it’s important to note that we don’t have any word on the specific cooling used or verification of stability. While an NH-D15 is considered air cooling, it isn’t the kind of accessible solution that everyone has. Also, we all know that while you may be able to boot into the OS, it doesn’t mean you can pass a stress test or even load a reasonably heavy application. The other bit of info missing is the core temp. While the temperature is said to be within specification, that doesn’t mean we want to see our core temps raising up above the 70’s all the time. However, these are just some considerations to keep in mind and since the source seems like a credible one, let’s get back to what makes this exciting. This is a 5.2 GHz...

Intel Skylake

What to Make of the Leaked Skylake Performance Scores

INTEL’s new CPU lineup is getting closer and closer by the day, but some performance numbers have released to give us a early glimpse of what to expect performance wise. The Core i7 6700K will be the successor to the i7 4790K and it looks like the gains are following the trend we’ve been seeing from INTEL as of late. The gains on the CPU side of the architecture are pretty nominal with some of the more impressive gains coming form the built in graphics architecture. For PC enthusiasts, this isn’t good news considering built-in graphics isn’t a selling point for high-end systems, but there are a couple of considerations to ponder in determining how good Skylake will end up. The first important thing to realize is the i7 6700K is targeting multi-threaded applications more so than previous generations. This may not be a huge thing to many of us outside of the server market, but if things like DirectX 12 make good use of multi-threading in games, then the 6700K could be a more tempting offer to upgrade to. The other important factor is overclocking. This will be the first standard consumer chip (by standard consumer, I’m basically saying CPUs that aren’t Xeons or included in the X79 and X99 chipsets) that doesn’t include a stock heatsink. It looks like INTEL is marketing this chip more specifically to overclocking enthusiasts and as such, knows that after market cooling is a must. Since the new architecture design isn’t offering...


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 pas...


No Stock Cooler with Skylake? No Problem!

INTEL is deciding that their K-Series of Skylake chips will be shipping without any kind of cooling solution. I’m sure there are going to be some complaints because regardless, somebody will open the box and be upset that the stock cooler isn’t there. Overall, this is a good move and gives further nods to the idea that Skylake is being designed for overclockers. Currently, the two primary SKUs with unlocked multipliers launching are the Core i7 6700K and the Core i5 6600K. Both are rated at 95W TDP with the 6700 having 4 more threads and 2MB more Cache than the 6600K. With the low power rating, it’s possible that these chips will have quite a bit of overhead for enthusiasts to take advantage of. Considering that stock coolers are barely sufficient at factory clocks to begin with, INTEL is making it very clear that these are truly enthusiast level parts and that we have no right to expect insufficient cooling solutions just to get by. Honestly, this sounds like a good move on INTEL’s part. The only question that remains is if this will reflect in pricing. My best guess is it probably won’t, but it would be nice to see the i7 and i5 flagships release at an even $300 and $200 respectively. I’m not holding my breath and most enthusiasts plan on spending extra for good cooling anyways. On the other hand, with the new PCIe 3.0 lanes coming to the Z170 chipset, there could be some pretty intriguing performance increases once Skylake releases. ...


INTEL Skylake De-lidded, Bad Wolf

It’s time to give ourselves a message through space and time so that we can head over to INTEL and save overclocking (Doctor Who reference for those who have no idea what I’m talking about). Maybe the dilemma isn’t that serious, but if a fuzzy photo is to be believed, then the Skylake processors might be continuing some of the overclocking problems from the past. KitGuru revlealed a shot of a de-lidded Skylake CPU and it looks like INTEL is going to keep using thermal compound instead of soldering. The photo is pretty fuzzy so it’s impossible to verify this claim. The other problem is we’re still a couple months out from the release of Skylake so there could be a couple of possible explanations for this that could be resolved by the time of the official releases. In case you don’t remember, INTEL began using thermal paste with both the i7-3770K and i7-4770K. Of course, overclockers justifiably pointed out that the thermal paste would not be as effective at heat transfer as a soldered lid. The thermal paste was slightly improved with the i7-4790K, but Skylake has already been provisioned to be a good overclocking CPU. Enthusiast hoped that at least the high-end chips would be soldered to the lid again in order to have the best thermal transfer, which would help unlock the highest overclocks. Take this all with a grain of salt for right now but at the moment, this doesn’t look very promising. Overall, this isn’t going to be...

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