Intel Core i5-6600K 6M Skylake Quad-Core 3.5 GHz LGA 1151 91W BX80662I56600K Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 530
As with Haswell and Broadwell before, Skylake denotes an overall chip design that will be used in various forms to create a multitude of different processors covering everything from high-end desktop PCs to thin and light laptops.The full range will be extensive, but can essentially be broken down into four main families. Skylake-S are the desktop CPUs while Skylake-Y, U and H are all for mobile or embedded applications.The Core Core i5-6600K fall into the Skylake-S category, but are distinguished by a couple of key features. The K denotes that these chips have unlocked multipliers, which means they are far more open to being overclocked. They also lack the L4 cache of some of the lower chips, as the integrated graphics is less of a focus, with the assumption being that most users of these processors will have discrete graphics cards.Otherwise, the core improvements in Skylake benefit the whole range, and with this launch the improvements should be even greater than we’d normally expect.It all harks back to Intel’s traditional tick-tock release schedule where one year – the tick – the chip range is based on essentially the same design as the year before but with a smaller manufacturing process. Then the next year – the tock – is based on the same manufacturing process, but with a new design.
over two years since Intel last released a true update to its mainstream desktop CPU line, in the shape of its Haswell range. Due to a combination of changed priorities, lack of competition from AMD and issues with its new 14nm production process, last year’s Broadwell update never really made it to the conventional desktop arena, with it instead being prioritised for laptop and tablet form factors.Instead we got a refresh of Haswell that saw clock speeds tweaked across the board. There was also the introduction of the Devil’s Canyon range that included the Core i5-4690K and Core i7-4790K. However, these were again basically just a clock speed push. So, no new features, no power saving and overall a modest improvement in performance.A few desktop Broadwell chips were announced but few are available to buy and in fact some shops have simply not even bothered to stock them, instead waiting for the arrival of the company’s brand new line: Skylake.Sporting a new chip design, as well as a smaller manufacturing process, compared to Haswell, the new chips should bring significant performance and power saving improvements (depending on configuration). Also, combined with their new motherboard chipsets, they’ll support more features right out the box, such as Thunderbolt 3 and DDR4 memory.While the majority of the Skylake lineup will arrive later in the year, today sees the launch of the top of the line Core i5-6600K, which are aimed at enthusiast users that are particularly interested in overclocking. Let’s see if they’ve been worth the wait.9