Intel’s Skylake Platform – Is it enough?

Intel’s release of the new 6xx0-series Core i5 and i7 processors has finally occurred after some delay due to the inherent challenges of stepping from a 22nm to a 14nm manufacturing process.  A new socket, the latest-and-greatest DDR4 memory, greater IPC, and so much more are prevalent.  Anandtech and [H]ardOCP both went in slightly different directions with the evaluation criteria for evaluating the platform and compute capabilities.  While the conclusions that each site reached will help the potential target audience decide if the upgrade is worthwhile, the deals that can be had on Haswell (LGA1150) processors and motherboards (Z97) shouldn’t be overlooked simply due to the fact that it’s not leading edge technology.

The LGA1150 socket’s “end-game” remains with Broadwell-based processors, which have a very heavy focus on integrated graphical capabilities and power efficiency.  In select benchmarks, the Core i7-5775C beats the top of the line, enthusiast-class desktop processor.  The caveats relating to these processors involves a lack of volume production and general availability.  Stepping back to the last revisions of Haswell-based processors, the Core i7-4790 and 4790K can be had for less than the Skylake-based i7-6700K.

The price discrepancy between DDR3 and DDR4 will eventually shift in favor of DDR4, which will reduce the costs of constructing a Haswell-E (LGA 2011) or Skylake (LGA 1151) system.  In the interim, the deals that can be had on DDR3, LGA 1150 processors, and Z97-based motherboards make this launch a win-win from the consumer perspective.  As inventory shrinks, so will the remaining discounts on the prior generation of Intel processors and corresponding motherboards.  If you’re in the market for a past-due computing upgrade, make haste and maximize the power of your money!

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