Intel Roadmap Confirms High-End Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X Processors in Q2 2017 – Mainstream Kaby Lake-S Desktop Chips in Q4 2016

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Jun 1, 2016

A leaked Intel roadmap has confirmed the next-generation high-end Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X chips. Leaked by Benchlife, the roadmap suggests that Intel will have two enthusiast families ready for launch in second quarter of 2017. Both families will be based on the 14nm process node and while Skylake-X series would feature current architecture, the Kaby Lake-X series will be getting a more optimized chip design.

Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X Processors Leaked – Launching in Q2 2017 For High-End Desktop PCs

The leak is quite is major since it confirms not only the launch time frame of upcoming Intel processors but also confirms the branding scheme of the upcoming family of processors. A few days ago, Intel launched their HEDT (High-End Desktop) family known as Broadwell-E. Intel is almost done releasing Broadwell on all platforms such as high-end desktops, mainstream PCs, low-power mobility markets and server/workstations devices. Skylake is the next update that Intel will be bringing to the high-end desktop and HPC market.

Intel’s leaked roadmap highlights their enthusiasts and mainstream processor families. (Image Credits: Benchlife)

Previously known as Skylake-E, Intel would rename their Skylake-E family to Skylake-X to represent their market positioning at the high-end desktop PCs. Intel’s Skylake-X family would be launching in Q2 2017. Along with the Skylake-X family, Intel would also launch Kaby Lake-X. The Kaby Lake-X chips are also aimed at the enthusiast PC market but these are actually the Kaby Lake-K (Unlocked) processors which will be hitting the LGA 1151 sockets. More details on these families are listed below:

Intel Skylake-X Family of Enthusiast Processors – Launching in Q2 2017

The Intel Skylake-X family is a new name for Skylake-E which is built for high-end desktop PCs. The family will be aimed at enthusiasts and will be launching in Q2 2017. So we can expect a launch close to Computex 2017 that is highly possible. The Skylake-X processors will be replacing the Broadwell-E family which launched a few days ago. Information suggests that Skylake-X processors will be available in same core configuration as Broadwell-E with 10, 8 and 6 core variants and TDP’s adjusted around 140W while delivering better IPC with the new Skylake architecture.

Intel’s 10 core Enthusiast Processors are aimed for mega-tasking, content creation and extreme gaming!

It looks like Skylake-X family won’t be compatible with the new Socket P (LGA 3647) which we saw earlier. That socket is being built for 2S, 4S and 8S+ configurations so 1S processors will still feature support on Socket R that is LGA 2011-3. Intel will be however making a new PCH known as Kaby Lake PCH which will allow compatibility for the Skylake-X and Skylake-W chips.

Intel HEDT Processor Families:

Intel HEDT Family Gulftown Sandy Bridge-E Ivy Bridge-E Haswell-E Broadwell-E Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Cascade Lake-X
Process Node 32nm 32nm 22nm 22nm 14nm 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm++
Flagship SKU Core i7-980X Core i7-3960X Core i7-4960X Core i7-5960X Core i7-6950X Core i9-7980XE Core i9-9980XE Xeon W-3175X TBD
Max Cores/Threads 6/12 6/12 6/12 8/16 10/20 18/36 18/36 28/56 18/36?
Clock Speeds 3.33/3,60 GHz 3.30/3.90 GHz 3.60/4.00 GHz 3.00/3.50 GHz 3.00/3.50 GHz 2.60/4.20 GHz 3.00/4.50 GHz 3.10/4.30 GHz TBD
Max Cache 12 MB L3 15 MB L3 15 MB L3 20 MB L3 25 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 38.5 MB L3 24.75 MB L3?
Max PCI-Express Lanes (CPU) 32 Gen2 40 Gen2 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3?
Chipset Compatiblity X58 Chipset X79 Chipset X79 Chipset X99 Chipset X99 Chipset X299 X299 C612E X399?
Socket Compatiblity LGA 1366 LGA 2011 LGA 2011 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 3647 LGA 2066?
Memory Compatiblity DDR3-1066 DDR3-1600 DDR3-1866 DDR4-2133 DDR4-2400 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2800 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2933
Max TDP 130W 130W 130W 140W 140W 165W 165W 255W 165W?
Launch Q1 2010 Q4 2011 Q3 2013 Q3 2014 Q2 2016 Q3 2017 Q4 2018 Q4 2018 2H 2019
Launch Price $999 US $999 US $999 US $1059 US $1700 US $1999 US $1979 US ~$4000 US TBD

Intel Kaby Lake-X Family of Unlocked Processors – LGA 1151 “K” Series Processors, Launching in Q2 2017

The Intel Kaby Lake-X family will be part of the Kaby Lake desktop family of processors. While the Kaby Lake-S series will be aimed at the mainstream desktop audience, those who want unlocked chips will have to wait till Q2 2017 to get hands on Kaby Lake-X series. These processors will be unlocked, fast and deliver better designs to support overclocking. Since Kaby Lake is a architecture optimization on the same node as Intel’s new PAO ( Process / Architecture / Optimization) roadmap puts it, we will be looking at quad core designs with TDPs set around 95W.

MSI has already shown off a next-gen Z270 series motherboard at Computex with LGA 1151 socket.

The Kaby Lake-X family will feature support on LGA 1151 socket motherboards. Intel will have a new chipset known as Z270 (200-Series chipset) which will allow support for both Kaby Lake-X and Kaby Lake-S processors. These unlocked, overclock capable chips will have prices similar to Skylake-K series (Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K) processors.

Intel Skylake-W Family of Workstation Processors – Basin Falls Platform To Support 1S Configurations

The Skylake-W or Skylake workstation family configured for 1S platforms will also be launching in 2017. This family will feature support on the Basin Falls platform which was confirmed in a previous leak. These chips have a lot in common with Skylake-X as they share the same socket (Socket R LGA 2011-3) and the same chipset. The chipset will be known as Kaby Lake PCH which means it will allow extended support for Kaby Lake-E and also 10 nm Cannonlake-X and Cannonlake-W processors.

Intel Basin Falls platform feature list, supports Intel Skylake-W processors. (Image Credits: Benchlife)

The Skylake-W “Basin Falls” platform will house high-end chips based on the Skylake architecture. These chips will feature 140W TDP and will be available in both LCC and HCC die variants so we can expect high core count reaching up to 28 on these processors. The processors will be able to support quad channel DDR4 memory with rated speeds of 2667 MHz and will deliver up to 48 PCI-E Gen 3 lanes. Some of the features of the Kaby Lake PCH are that it delivers 10 USB 3.0 ports, up to 8 SATA Gen 3 ports and up to 20 PCI-E Gen 3 lanes. This delivers up to 68 PCI-e Gen 3 lanes on Basin Falls platform. There’s also of course future compatibility with Cannonlake-W chips.

Intel Purley and Basin Falls Platform Roadmap:


Product Family Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V4 Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V4 Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V5 Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V5 Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V6 Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V6
Family Branding Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EX Skylake-EP Skylake-EX Cannonlake-EP Cannonlake-EX
Process Node 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 10nm 10nm
Xeon Platform Intel Grantley Intel Brickland Intel Purely Intel Purely Intel Purley Intel Purley
PCH C610 Series C602J Series Lewisburg PCH Lewisburg PCH Lewisburg PCH Lewisburg PCH
Socket Socket R3 Socket R1 Socket P Socket P Socket P Socket P
Omni-Path (Interconnect) N/A N/A Storm Lake Gen1 Storm Lake Gen1 Storm Lake Gen1 Storm Lake Gen1
Max Core Count 22 24 26 28 30-32? 32-34?
Max Thread Count 44 48 52 56 60-64? 64-68?
Max L3 Cache 55 MB 60 MB 65 MB 70 MB 75-80? 80-85?
Max PCI-Express Lanes 40 PCI-E Gen3 32 PCI-E Gen3 48 PCI-E Gen3 48 PCI-E Gen3 >48 PCI-E Gen3 >48 PCI-E Gen3
DDR4 Memory Support 4-Channel DDR4 4-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4
TDP Range 55-145W 115-165W 45-160W 110-160W 45-160W 110-160W
Launch Expected Q1 2016 Q2 2016 1H 2017 2017 2018 2018

Intel Kaby Lake Mainstream Family Launches in Q3 2016 – U/Y Series First, Desktop Kaby Lake-S Series in Q4

Finally, we come to the mainstream side of things. Intel will be launching their Kaby Lake-S series processors for the mainstream desktop segment in Q4 2016. These processors will be compatible with LGA 1151 socket boards that feature the new 200-Series chipset. Intel so far hasn’t updated their Broadwell-C series lineup and that will be expected to remain the case up till 2017.

While desktop mainstream processors come in Q4, Kaby Lake will initially kick off release in Q3 2016 with Kaby Lake-U and Kaby Lake-Y series lineup. ASUS already mentioned that their Transformer 3 which will be available soon features a next generation Kaby Lake-Y (Core M7) processor under its hood so we can expect even more OEM devices in the upcoming months. Both U and Y series chips will be aimed at AIOs and Ultrabooks while the high-end mobile stuff (Kaby Lake-H) series will make its debut along with the Kaby Lake-S desktop processors. In Q2 2017, we can expect to see some unlocked models to replace the Core i7-6700K for enthusiast grade laptop.

Yesterday at Computex, AMD announced that their Zen based Summit Ridge processors are well on their way to hit the retail shelves so we can expect to see them around end of 2016. AMD is developing a new AM4 platform that will house their new processors and for the first time, AMD feels confident that they have achieved overall performance parity with Intel’s existing processors. It looks like we will have some decent competition in the enthusiast market from AMD against Intel after a very long time.