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What is Intel Skylake?

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Intel Skylake

What is Intel’s new processor?

Intel launched its new micro-architecture processor in August 2015. Codenamed Skylake, this is a successor to it’s well-known processors Broadwell and Haswell (nicknamed “tick” and “tock”). This is a 6th generation Core family of processors that has been optimized for 14nm process node.

Computer systems with the Skylake processor are well accepted by both gamers and computer enthusiasts alike. Intel states that redesign has greatly improved the performance of the CPU and GPU, wire-free capabilities, and has drastically reduced power consumption.

What are the features of Skylake?

Skylake is available in four variants. These variants are "S" (SKL-S), "H" (SKL-H), "U" (SKL-U), and "Y" (SKL-Y). Skylake combines with Intel 100 Series chipsets to form Sunrise Point. Variants U and Y support one DIMM slot per channel and Variants S and H support two DIMM slots per channel.

SKL-S comprises an overclockable "K" variant with unlocked multipliers. H, U and Y variants are manufactured in ball grid array (BGA) packaging, while the S variant is manufactured in land grid array (LGA) packaging using a new socket, LGA 1151.

Skylake architecture has undergone some modifications that gives it an edge over its predecessor Haswell. The fully-integrated voltage regulator (FIVR) found in Haswell has been removed. There is also an integration of the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) with Skylake’s H, U, and Y variants which follows a System-on-chip (SoC) design layout.

The S variant remains a two-chip design. Variants that use separate PCH, the Direct Media Interface (DMI) 2.0 has been replaced by DMI 3.0, which increases speed up to 8 GT/s. Skylake is compatible with both DDR3 SDRAM and DDR4 SDRAM memory.

Extra Features:

  • Other features of Skylake include, Thunderbolt 3.0 (provides 40 Gbps of bandwidth and supports two 4K monitors simultaneously), SATA Express and Iris Pro graphics with Direct3D feature.
  • Skylake boasts a new USB connector type named USB-C. This connector is smaller, is reversible and also supports USB 3.1 protocol.
  • Skylake supports up to five monitors via HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or Embedded Display Port (eDP) interfaces.
  • “Rezence” is a wireless feature that allows users to charge their Skylake based laptops, and wireless technologies for communication with various other peripherals.
  • Skylake’s S variant supports integrated GPU with DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, and OpenCL 2.0, as well as video formats like VP9, VP8, and HEVC.

How fast is Skylake?

There is good news for speed lovers. Skylake CPU processor speed will be 10% to 17% faster and its GPU performance up to 16% to 41% faster.

CPU processing speed would be 11% faster in Skylake S Series Desktops. Skylake’s CPU thermal power is 22% less than its predecessor, Haswell.

Skylake’s U and Y Series for mobile have improved battery life, where you can have 1.4 hours extra to play videos.

Which are the laptops that have Skylake processor?

Ever dreamt of owning a high-end laptop? Your search ends here! With features such as DDR4, Thunderbolt 3, optional 4K display resolution, 64 GB RAM, Nvidia GPU, and USB 3.1 in the latest Lenovo Thinkpad P50 and P70, you can totally take your gaming to a whole new level.

Thinkpad P Series, are power packed with Intel’s Xeon E3-1500M v5 CPU’s which are based on Skylake microarchitecture.

Which Series is good for desktop users?

Skylake’s S series targets desktop PC users. It features the next generation desktop processors with the trendy IA and graphics microarchitecture built on a 14 nm process node. The new Chipset - Z170 replaces the existing Z97. The upgrade adds features such as extra PCI-e lanes, around 10 USB ports, compared to the existing 6 USB ports found in current motherboards, faster USB ports, and so on.

What is unique about Skylake compared to its predecessors?

There are many differences between Skylake and its predecessors.

  • Longer battery life: There are numerous power-saving capabilities in Skylake CPUs that provide longer battery life. With its integrated Intel 500 graphics chips, it uses less power and provides better performance. The new Speed Shift technology also saves power. It doesn’t matter what task is running, it simply switches power states in a fraction of a second, which is 30 times faster than other CPUs which relied on software to make the change.
  • 4K Video: Love to watch videos in ultra-HD quality? All Skylake chips come with 4K video decoding. You can play ultra-HD movies and videos without straining the GPU. You can also play RAW and uncompressed 4K files.
  • Overclockable Laptops: Tried overclocking your CPUs to get high speed? With Skylake, there is an Overclockable Core i7 processor for laptops – “Core i7-6820HK”. This is designed to run at around 3.2 GHz in turbo mode.

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