Intel has released details of its Skylake launch plan, confirming leaked specifications for the first two enthusiast-grade chips in the next-generation line-up: the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K.
Intel's Skylake represents the successor to its current-generation Broadwell processor family, using the same 14nm process node but with a tweaked microarchitecture which promises improved performance, power efficiency, and new wireless communication features. While a variety of chips aimed at everything from embedded systems to high-end servers will make up the range, Intel has taken the opportunity of the Gamescom event to show off two enthusiast-grade parts.
The Core i5-6600K is a quad-core chip supporting four threads, running at 3.5GHz with 3.9GHz Turbo Boost capability. The processor features 6MB of L3 cache and Intel's HD 530 integrated graphics, running at 350MHz stock and boosting to 1,200MHz when additional performance is required. For those who need more power, the Core i7-6700K has the same graphics chips but clocks the four CPU cores at 4GHz boosting to 4.2GHz, ups the L3 cache to 8MB and adds HyperThreading support for running eight threads simultaneously. Both feature a thermal design profile (TDP) of 91W, Intel has confirmed.
These chips are designed to be partnered with motherboards based on the Intel Z170 Express chipset, which will allow overclocking thanks to both parts' unlocked clock multipliers - denoted by the K suffix. The Z710 takes care of up to 20 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, up to 10 USB 3.0 and 14 USB 2.0 ports, an integrated gigabit Ethernet MAC, six SATA ports and an eSATA channel, and Intel's Rapid Storage Technology for PCIe storage devices including NVMe; the Core chips themselves, meanwhile, include 16 PCI Express 3.0 lanes for graphics use - which can be split into one 16-lane, two 8-lane, or one 8-lane and two 4-lane channels - and a memory controller supporting dual-channel DDR4 or DDR3L DRAM.
The unveiling at Gamescom does not, however, constitute a launch. While Intel has shown off the retail packaging for the parts, it has only confirmed OEM pricing - $350 and $243 per unit respectively, in 1,000-unit trays - and has not offered a formal release date. It has, however, indicated that more details will be forthcoming at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) later this month, including a full run-down of the changes made between the Broadwell and Skylake architecture.
As detailed in our thorough review
, UK availability for the new chips is slated for the end of the month priced at £263.99 and £199.99 respectively.