Review Index:
Feedback

Intel Launches Skylake: 6th Generation Core Processors

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

That is a lotta SKUs!

The slow, gradual release of information about Intel's Skylake-based product portfolio continues forward. We have already tested and benchmarked the desktop variant flagship Core i7-6700K processor and also have a better understanding of the microarchitectural changes the new design brings forth. But today Intel's 6th Generation Core processors get a major reveal, with all the mobile and desktop CPU variants from 4.5 watts up to 91 watts, getting detailed specifications. Not only that, but it also marks the first day that vendors can announce and begin selling Skylake-based notebooks and systems!

All indications are that vendors like Dell, Lenovo and ASUS are still some weeks away from having any product available, but expect to see your feeds and favorite tech sites flooded with new product announcements. And of course with a new Apple event coming up soon...there should be Skylake in the new MacBooks this month.

Since I have already talked about the architecture and the performance changes from Haswell/Broadwell to Skylake in our 6700K story, today's release is just a bucket of specifications and information surround 46 different 6th Generation Skylake processors.

Intel's 6th Generation Core Processors

View Full Size

At Intel's Developer Forum in August, the media learned quite a bit about the new 6th Generation Core processor family including Intel's stance on how Skylake changes the mobile landscape.

View Full Size

Skylake is being broken up into 4 different line of Intel processors: S-series for desktop DIY users, H-series for mobile gaming machines, U-series for your everyday Ultrabooks and all-in-ones, Y-series for tablets and 2-in-1 detachables. (Side note: Intel does not reference an "Ultrabook" anymore. Huh.)

View Full Size

As you would expect, Intel has some impressive gains to claim with the new 6th Generation processor. However, it is important to put them in context. All of the claims above, including 2.5x performance, 30x graphics improvement and 3x longer battery life, are comparing Skylake-based products to CPUs from 5 years ago. Specifically, Intel is comparing the new Core i5-6200U (a 15 watt part) against the Core i5-520UM (an 18 watt part) from mid-2010.

Continue reading our overview of the 46 new Intel Skylake 6th Generation Core processors!!

View Full Size

Though the new Intel HD Graphics implementation has gone back to a 3-digit naming scheme, make no mistake, the Skylake GPU is a significant jump over Haswell. We did some early testing with the Core i7-6700K and found impressive improvements but I am very interested to see  how the gains look on the 15-watt parts.

Let's dive into the guts: a table by table break down of all the Intel 6th Generation Core processors announced today! We'll start with the 45-watt mobile parts.

  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i7-6920HQ 4/8 2.9 3.8 HD 530 2133 1600 8MB 45w - $568
i7-6820HQ 4/8 2.7 3.6 HD 530 2133 1600 8MB 45w - $378
i7-6820HK 4/8 2.7 3.6 HD 530 2133 1600 8MB 45w - $378
i7-6700HQ 4/8 2.6 3.5 HD 530 2133 1600 6MB 45w - $378
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i5-6400HQ 4/4 2.6 3.5 HD 530 2133 1600 6MB 45w - $250
i5-6300HQ 4/4 2.3 3.2 HD 530 2133 1600 6MB 45w - $250
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i3-6100H 2/4 2.7 3.7 HD 530 2133 1600 3MB 35w - $225

These are the mobile CPUs that will find their way into gaming notebooks, mobile workstations and other configurations that require a lot of computing power in a mobile form factor. The top end Core i7-6920HQ is a quad-core, HyperThreaded part and has a base clock of 2.9 GHz and a maximum Tubo clock of 3.8 GHz. If you want that speed in your backpack be prepared to shell out for it - OEMs will put up $568 for one of them!

All of these CPUs use the Intel HD Graphics 530 implementation, the same that the desktop Core i7-6700K uses with 24 EUs (execution units).

Interestingly, three of the four Core i7 parts in the table have the same price - that is not a typo! Clock speeds are very similar, core counts are the same and all other specifications are the same.

  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i7-6567U 2/4 3.3 3.6 Iris 550 1866 2133 4MB 28w 23w $---
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i5-6287U 2/4 3.1 3.5 Iris 550 1866 2133 4MB 28w 23w $---
i5-6267U 2/4 2.9 3.3 Iris 550 1866 2133 4MB 28w 23w $---
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i3-6167U 2/4 2.7 2.7 Iris 550 1866 2133 4MB 28w 23w $---

A step down to the 28 watt parts puts us in the only set of processors that uses the Intel Iris 550 Graphics with 48 EUs and 64MB of eDRAM. That seems to be the differentiating feature here - we just don't yet know the pricing for ANY of the processors with Iris graphics implementations. The cTDP (configurable TDP) is 23 watts on these parts which allows OEMs to set lower thermal limits and lower clock speeds to help fit into different form factors and chassis.

  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i7-6650U 2/4 2.2 3.4 Iris 540 1866 2133 4MB 15w 9.5w $---
i7-6600U 2/4 2.6 3.4 HD 520 1866 2133 4MB 15w 7.5w $393
i7-6560U 2/4 2.2 3.2 Iris 540 1866 2133 4MB 15w 9.5w $---
i7-6500U 2/4 2.5 3.1 HD 520 1866 2133 4MB 15w 7.5w $393
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i5-6360U 2/4 2.0 3.1 Iris 540 1866 2133 4MB 15w 9.5w $---
i5-6300U 2/4 2.4 3.0 HD 520 1866 2133 3MB 15w 7.5w $281
i5-6260U 2/4 1.8 2.9 Iris 540 1866 2133 4MB 15w 9.5w $---
i5-6200U 2/4 2.3 2.8 HD 520 1866 2133 3MB 15w 7.5w $281
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
i3-6100U 2/4 2.3 2.3 HD 520 1866 2133 3MB 15w 7.5w $281
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
Pentium 4405U 2/4 2.1 2.1 HD 510 1866 2133 2MB 15w 10w $---

Now to the meat of the release - the 15 watt processors that will fill the majority of the notebooks that ship with Skylake CPUs. New to this series of parts is the optional Iris 540 graphics implementation with almost every SKU. The Iris 540 part also has 48 EUs and 64MB of eDRAM; we have no idea about the price difference between those options and those that ship with Intel HD 520 implementation but I am genuinely intrigued by the possible performance advantages of this as an L4 cache for general purpose computing.

The top end offering in this category is the Core i7-6600U, with a 2.6 GHz base clock and 3.4 GHz Turbo clock, 4MB of L3 cache and $393 price tag. The Core i7-6500U has the same price tag but runs at slightly lower base and Turbo clocks. Every other specification is identical - Intel is obviously planning on an availability shortages on some of these faster SKUs.

I'm not going to talk through each of these parts, but you can clearly see the Core i5 and even a single Core i3 SKU on the books. One of the more interesting aspects is the 9.5 watt and 7.5 watt cTDP options for these U-series processors - this should allow for some incredibly thin and light designs from notebook vendors if they work within the performance constraints correctly.

  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
Core m 6Y75 2/4 1.2 3.1 HD 515 1866 - 4MB 4.5w 7w/3.5w $393
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
Core m 6Y57 2/4 1.1 2.8 HD 515 1866 - 4MB 4.5w 7w/3.5w $281
Core m 6Y54 2/4 1.1 2.7 HD 515 1866 - 4MB 4.5w 7w/3.5w $281
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
Core m 6Y30 2/4 0.9 2.2 HD 515 1866 - 4MB 4.5w 7w/3.5w $281
  Cores / Threads Base Clock (GHz) Max Turbo Clock (GHz) Graphics LPDDR3 Mem Speed (MHz) DDR3L Mem Speed (MHz) L3 Cache TDP cTDP Price
Core m 4405Y 2/4 1.5 1.5 HD 1866 - 2MB 6w 4.5w $---

For the ultra low power Core m family we have CPUs priced as high as $393! That beast includes a dual-core, HyperThreaded design with a base clock of 1.2 GHz and a maximum Turbo clock of 3.1 GHz! That is a wide range, just don't expect the CPU to be running at the 3+ GHz range for very long. This kind of scaling is really just meant for usability improvements and short bursts when they are needed to make the user experience snappy.

All of the standard Core m parts can be configured at both a lower and a higher TDP, allowing higher performance when the OEM designs around a capable chassis or lower performance (with other positive tradeoffs) if designed for a tablet form factor.


September 1, 2015 | 11:37 PM - Posted by clarkkent999 (not verified)

Typo at the 2nd page last very last row i5-6600K not i7-6600K

September 1, 2015 | 11:44 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Fixed, thanks! If that's the only error from my table creation...I'll be happy!

September 2, 2015 | 02:04 AM - Posted by Klyde (not verified)

Shouldn't the tables on page one say DDR4 instead of LPDDR3?

September 5, 2015 | 08:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No.
Skylake supports both DDR3 and DDR4 so for mobile it will support simply phase out LPDDR3 and phase in LPDDR4 as pricing and availability merits.

September 1, 2015 | 11:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Typo in the last chart I7 vs I5-6600K

September 1, 2015 | 11:39 PM - Posted by djotter

That slide comparing a i5-6200U to a i5-520UM is just plain deceptive.

September 1, 2015 | 11:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hope there will be something equals 2500k 6.75GHZ before 2018.

September 2, 2015 | 12:25 AM - Posted by Keven Harvey (not verified)

If they made an unlocked i3 priced to where they make more money from it than a low end i5 (since it's cheaper to make dual cores than quad cores) they would make more money and it wouldn't matter if it hurt the low end i5 sales. The resulting OC i3 would probably a great gaming chip while not beating an i5 at multitasking. There would be use cases for both.

September 2, 2015 | 12:54 AM - Posted by BillDStrong

With the advent of Vulkan and DX12, more cores are the name of the game for Intel, as that will allow them to sell more gaming related CPUs, and compete in the GPU space to a better extent. Four cores may not be needed today, but it will be tomorrow. Intel knows this.

September 2, 2015 | 08:48 AM - Posted by Keven Harvey (not verified)

From the benchmarks we have where intel keeps their lead over AMD, only with higher numbers, and some slides from AMD, Each additionnal core will still have diminishing returns.

From what I've seen, i5s have about 50% more multicore performance than i3s at the same clock speed, so if you could have an i3 clocked 50% higher, you'd get similar multicore performance with a lot better single thread performance.

September 5, 2015 | 08:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel pays people to figure out how to make money and they seem to be doing a good job. Plus, they've already created CPU's like the G3258 (unlocked Pentium) so they do experiment to see what's worth it.

I don't follow the logic of simply allowing dual-cores to be overclocked thus they'll make more money. I'm quite sure the decision process of profitable is a lot more complex than that.

September 2, 2015 | 03:27 AM - Posted by Hakuren

Seriously, that's a looooot of numbers. I always wonder does Intel perform some in house lottery for winning SKUs? There is no logic whatsoever with naming each new "generation". In "" because not much changed since release of C2D & i7 920.

September 2, 2015 | 05:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous31276 (not verified)

"unfortunately there aren't plans for any Iris Pro or Iris implementations for desktop / LGA consumer."

No successor for the 5775c?

Balls.

That thing is a monster gaming chip.

September 2, 2015 | 06:23 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

Kabylake.... Will likely be skylake and edram.

September 2, 2015 | 06:27 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

Ryan - I assume the gain for hyperthreading gets better with every generation as internal CPU resources improve?

October 29, 2015 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I just saw this, but thought I'd comment.

I don't think HT will improve in hardware. In software, yes as more programs including games are designed for multithreading.

For hardware, remember that the way HT works is to run a separate thread during the WAIT time for the main thread to access and retrieve its data from System Memory. If anything, I'd expect local cache on the CPU to optimize towards minimizing the wait time for the main thread thus reducing the time HT can be utilized.

For example, if the CPU is spending 25% of its time retrieving data with HT off then running another thread during that time will boost performance by as much as 33%.

However, if the caching can be improved so that only 10% of the time is wasted retrieving new data then the max gain with HT is only 11%.

(I'm not sure where the bandwidth issue is. Clearly they can load the data in from main memory for TWO threads running on the core to run it near 100% of the time so then why can't they cache enough so the main thread isn't waiting for new data? Again, I think it will improve thus reducing HT's advantage perhaps to the point it makes no sense at all.)

September 2, 2015 | 10:41 AM - Posted by Freshie

On the first page you say

"Though the new Intel HD Graphics implementation has gone back to a 3-digit naming scheme, make no mistake, the Skylake GPU is a significant jump over Haswell. We did some early testing with the Core i7-6700K and found impressive improvements but I am very interested to see how the gains look on the 15-watt parts."

Did you test the Haswell top of the line part vs the skylake top of the line part?

It would be interesting to look at. If you have the review maybe putting a link there would help.

September 2, 2015 | 10:50 AM - Posted by dr.doom (not verified)

So what is the explanation of Iris Pro
not being released until 2016.

Iris Pro is Broadwell is shipping right now.
and it is 14 nm process.

So what is the delay.
Intel doing it deliberately?

September 2, 2015 | 08:57 PM - Posted by terminal addict

I was just thinking yesterday that the mobile parts would be coming soon. I was looking through newegg's selection of G-Sync laptops and noticed all of MSI's Broadwell models are discontinued. I figured it was either Skylake for mobile was just around the corner or a new Nvidia mobile part. The latter seemed far less likely.

September 3, 2015 | 02:36 PM - Posted by John5by5

Was this an announcement or a launch ?

September 9, 2015 | 11:44 AM - Posted by J. Merrill (not verified)

FYI, if you configure an HP desktop PC with either I7-6700 or I7-6700K, they say it will ship on 10/7 -- so they must have been promised a pile of them by Intel.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.