Intel is officially launching its sixth-generation of desktop processors today and builders all over the world will soon be upgrading their PCs. And while the out-of-the-box specs don’t seem too impressive when compared to what you’re currently using, these CPUs are the first truly dedicated chipset for gamers and have the potential to catapult PC gaming to new heights.
The Skylake CPU is available in two variants: a 3.5GHz i5-6600K and a 4.0 GHz i7-6700K. Both are quad-core models (just like their predecessor) but feature brand new 14-nanometer chips that are unlocked for maximum overclocking performance. This is huge news for gamers because these chips are expected to be a lot more powerful than 14-nanometer Broadwell CPUs.
These redesigned nanometer transistors will allow overclockers to push CPU speeds up to 5GHz and will definitely help gamers get the most performance out of their systems.
But overclocking isn’t the only reason a gamer should seriously consider installing a new Skylake CPU. Intel has also unveiled a brand new Z170 chipset which will require a Skylake-compatible motherboard. And unlike previous X-99 motherboards, the Z170 chipset will support both DDR4 and DDR3 RAM thanks to its dual memory controller.
As an added bonus, the combination of a Skylake motherboard and Skylake CPU will improve graphics up to 40 percent and feature 16 PCI Express 3.0 lanes which deliver read speeds up to 2,200 Mbps to Intel’s performance-packed 750 series SSDs.
Skylake also promises a 20% overall performance gain and 30% improved battery life over Broadwell CPUs.
Is Skylake for Gamers?
There’s a reason why Intel chose Gamescom to show off their new Skylake CPUs to over 300,000 visitors in attendance: PC gaming has never been this huge.
“The PC remains the number one platform for gaming from a volume, revenue, and growth perspective and Intel takes the segment seriously. Such a big gaming show is a great venue to announce availability of the unlocked Intel Core i7-6700K and Intel Core i5-6600K desktop processors and supporting Intel Z170 chipset. These products start laying the foundation for our 6th generation Intel Core processor family and Intel 100 Series chipset coming later this year.”
The fact that Intel is releasing a CPU specifically targeted to gamers proves that the best is yet to come for the PC gaming community. Couple this with Microsoft jumping into eSports and it’s pretty safe to say that PC gaming is just getting started.
The only question is, are you willing to pay for it?
Should You Upgrade to Skylake?
Skylake CPUs are priced modestly at $243 for the i5-6600K and $350 for the i7-6700K. And while motherboards will be available at a variety of different price points, DDR4 RAM and PCIe SSDs are much more expensive than previous technologies. However, the beauty of building a PC is that you don’t have to buy all of this at once – or ever.
Backwards compatibility makes Skylake worth the money for any gamer who wants the latest hardware and wants an edge over the competition. Sure, this edge may not be drastic, but as all gamers know, every little bit helps!
So will you be upgrading to Skylake or will you be sticking with your Broadwell (or even Haswell) CPUs? Perhaps you’re waiting for the upcoming (and delayed) 10-nanometer Cannonlake? Let us know in the comments below!