Intel logos at CES 2015

5 things you need to know about Intel's new Skylake processors

Intel’s brand new Skylake desktop processors have been earning a lot of headlines lately, and information about the new sixth-generation processors is coming fast and furious. Do you need to upgrade? What's so great about the new hardware anyway? And what are the benefits of Skylake? 

If you’re confused and want the facts, here are the five most important things you need to know about Skylake.

#1 Skylake is for PC gamers

Previously, Intel released new CPUs for just about every platform before they paid attention to PC builders. This includes tablets, laptops, and even business solutions. But for the first time ever, Intel is releasing Skylake for the PC platform before anything else, and claims it is the first CPU they’ve ever made with “gamers and overclockers” in mind.

#2 Skylake is cheaper than you think

A brand new i7-5820K Haswell processor will set you back about $350. Can you guess what a brand new i7-6700K Skylake processor costs? If you guessed $350 you are correct! That’s surprisingly cheap when you consider the Haswell variant was hovering over $400 when it was first released in late 2014.

#3 Intel CPUs beyond Skylake are expected in two years

Despite being a brand new CPU, PC builders (and especially gamers) are anxiously awaiting the next update: Cannonlake. Expected to be released sometime in 2017, this CPU is based off of a new architecture of 10nm transistors. And while Skylake is quad-core, Cannonlake is expected to double that number to a whopping eight cores.

#4 Skylake will improve performance, and you will notice it

The list of performance upgrades with Skylake is vast so I’ll get straight to the point. Install an i7-6700 CPU in your PC and you should notice the following improvements right away, according to Intel:

  • 10% better performance on a one-year-old PC (i7-4790K)
  • 20% better performance on a two-year-old PC (i7-4770K)
  • 30% better performance on a three-year-old PC (i7 3770K)

If those numbers don’t convince you, maybe the 20-40% Intel HD Graphics performance improvement will.

#5 Skylake will make your Intel 750 Series SSDs even faster

If you’re fortunate enough to have an Intel 750 Series SSD installed on your motherboard, you’re in for a treat. Skylake uses 40% more high speed I/O lanes and supports new PCIe storage technologies. Not sure what that means? Simply put: this makes the Z170 chipset perfect for gamers who prioritize speed.

Visit Intel's newsroom for more info on the new processors, check out my Skylake PC build on Twitch, and stay tuned for full Skylake benchmarks here on GameCrate in the coming weeks.