Intel launches Skylake processor family with pair of enthusiast desktop CPUs

The first successors to Broadwell are quad-core chips that are unlocked to make overclocking easier.


With the tech world readying itself for the upcoming Intel Developer Conference, the company has decided to give an early present to its desktop processor customers in the form of a pair of brand-new CPUs that are the first Skylake or sixth-generation Core chips to be released.

While Intel started its Broadwell roll-out with lower-end mobile processors, Skylake -- which shares the same 14nm manufacturing process -- bows with high-end desktop CPUs that will appeal to gamers and overclockers. (Not coincidentally, their release was timed to coincide with the Gamescom event in Germany this week.) Both the Core i7-6700K and i5-6600K are quad-core processors that possess the telltale "K" in their name that indicates they are unlocked, making it easier to overclock them.

As its i7 classification suggests, the 6700K is more powerful thanks to a faster clock speed (4GHz and 4.2GHz in Turbo Boost mode), 8MB of cache, and hyper-threading that offers eight threads. In comparison, the i5-6600K features a core clock speed of 3.5GHz (3.9GHz in Turbo Boost), includes 6MB of cache, and lacks hyper-threading. They can operate with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and come with HD Graphics 530, Intel's latest integrated graphics technology that promises major improvements over its predecessorsp;. Unlike some recent unlocked Intel chips, these new Skylake processors make it easier for you to adjust BCLK frequencies for more precise overclocking control.

The i7-6700K will be priced at $350 and the i5-6600K at $243, though they are already been incorporated into various gaming desktops, such as the new Acer Predator G6. Our sister site CNET has already brought in a couple of desktops using the Skylake chips and says they provide about a 10-percent performance boost over high-end previous-generation processors, though as with all benchmarks, your mileage may vary.

It's an encouraging start for Skylake, with much more information about the new processor line expected out of IDF in a couple of weeks. Make sure to come back to ZDNet later this month for full coverage of the event.