Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake-K CPU Review With ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming


Intel Skylake-K Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K Processors

The first round of processors launched in the Skylake family are focused towards the gaming and enthusiast crowd. These include the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K processors. Intel has also launched several main stream chips in the lineup but our focus in today's review is the Core i7-6700K which is the flagship processor for the Skylake family.

Intel Core i7-6700K – The Flagship Skylake-K Processor

The Intel Core i7-6700K is the flagship processor of the Intel Skylake-S family. The Intel Core i7-6700K is a quad core processor with multi-threading that comes with a base clock speed of 4.0 GHz and boost clock of 4.2 GHz across all four cores. While 200 MHz slower than the Core i7-4790K, the architectural improvements made on Skylake will make up for the frequency difference. The Intel Core i7-6700K processor comes with 8 MB of L3 cache and supports DDR4-2133 MHz and DDR3L-1600 MHz (Native) while overclocked memory is fully supported since the chip is an unlocked model that is built for overclocking.
Intel Core i7-6700K Processor_1

Talking about OC, the Core i7-6700K has the ability to push clock speeds of up to 5.2 GHz on air cooling which will attract several enthusiasts to flock back to overclocking. Other specifications include a HD 530 graphics processor that comes with a base clock of 350 MHz and boost clock of 1150 MHz, fully supporting Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API. The chip comes with a 91W TDP which is higher than Haswell offerings but due to advanced circuitry, the chip reduced current leakage and makes up in terms of efficiency numbers and overall stability while overclocking. The chip retails at a price of $350 US.

Intel Core i5-6600K – Aimed Towards Gamers at $243 US

The Intel Core i5-6600K is the second chip of the launch lineup that will feature a quad core design but rids the silicon of multi-threading. The Core i5-6600K has a core clock of 3.5 GHz and boosts up to 3.9 GHz. The processors has 6 MB of L3 cache, 16 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes and supports DDR4-2133 MHz and DDR3L-1600 MHz memory. The chip is compatible with the latest LGA 1151 socket that could be found on several Z170 chip based motherboards. The processor also comes with a 91W TDP and features the HD 530 graphics core that has better performance compared to HD 4600 graphics found on Devil’s Canyon. As for the pricing, the chip will retail at $243 US. Now the surprising thing is that the chip is both price wise and specifications wise similar to the Core i5-4690K and comparison of these two chips will show a true comparison between the performance improvements of Skylake over Haswell.

Intel Skylake Recieves Full Range BCLK Improvements and Finer Grain Tuning For DDR4 Memory

As mentioned in the architecture preview, Intel is leveraging their overclock support on their Skylake CPU. Intel already added significant overclocking features on Haswell with real-time overclocking software, ration base clock overclocking and latest Intel XMP modes with their Intel Extreme Tuining utility. With Skylake, Intel adds full range BCLK tune options and improved DDR4 memory overclocking. With a fully unlocked turbo design that is controllable through software and BIOS, the full BCLK overclocking allows full range, 1 MHz increments over Haswell’s Ration-based tune in 100/125/166 MHz. The Skylake processors also fully support DDR4 overclocking with override capabilities of up to 4133 MT/s and DDR steps tuning in 100/133 MHz compared to 200/266 MHz with finer grain increments.

Intel Core i7-6700K Processor Gallery:

Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i7-2600K Comparisons:

Intel Skylake-K Processor Family:

 Intel Core i7-6700KIntel Core i5-6600KIntel Core i7-5775CIntel Core i5-5675CIntel Core i7-4790KIntel Core i5-4690K
CodenameSkylake-SSkylake-SBroadwellBroadwellDevil's CanyonDevil's Canyon
CPU Cores4/84/44/84/44/84/4
GraphicsIntel 530Intel 530Iris Pro 6200Iris Pro 6200HD 4600HD 4600
Base Clock4.0 GHz3.5 GHz3.3 GHz3.1 GHz4.0 GHz3.5 GHz
Turbo Boost4.2 GHz3.9 GHz3.7 GHz3.6 GHz4.4 GHz3.9 GHz
L3 Cache8 MB6 MB6 MB4 MB8 MB6 MB
L4 CacheN/AN/A128 MB eDRAM128 MB eDRAMN/AN/A
Unlocked DesignYesYesYesYesYesYes
Launch Price$350 US$243 US$377 US$277 US$339 US$242 US
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