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Skylake: Intel's Core i7-6700K And i5-6600K

HD Graphics 530: Gaming

Bioshock Infinite @ 1920x1080 (DirectX 11)

Bioshock Infinite is no heavyweight when it comes to graphics load. Still, even after we picked the game's low settings, the integrated graphics engine (and not the IA cores), limited performance.

We are disappointed to see Intel take a big step backward here. After enabling stellar frame rates from the 65W C-series Broadwell processors, the company neuters its enthusiast-oriented 95W Skylake CPUs with HD Graphics 530, based on the GT2 configuration. Consequently, the results we measure are a lot worse than what we saw a couple of months ago:

In spite of this, and partly due to its much faster x86 cores, Intel’s new offerings keep pace with AMD’s best APUs, if just barely. Then again, AMD enjoys a substantial price advantage. To be sure, you won't want Core i7-6700K or Core i5-6600K for their 3D capabilities.

Half Life 2: Lost Coast @ 1920x1080 (DirectX 9)

Half Life may be old, but it does represent a challenge for most IGPs, giving us the opportunity to evaluate playable games on entry-level graphics hardware. We’re using 2x MSAA, so the host processing complex isn’t stressed too much.

There’s a marked increase in performance compared to the Core i7-4790K’s HD Graphics 4600. The new processors also narrow the performance gap between Iris Pro 6200 seen in our Bioshock Infinite benchmark.

Grand Theft Auto V — Welcome To The Entry Level

This chart compares a system with an inexpensive CPU and entry-level or older graphics cards to AMD’s current APUs and Intel’s two Skylake CPUs running integrated graphics.

Broadwell’s Iris Pro 6200 had us flying high, and the two Skylake CPUs have us crashing back to the ground. The reason that AMD’s APUs are still within reach is that their x86 cores are much weaker, get overwhelmed by GTA V and severely bottleneck the integrated graphics.

Intel's decision to step back (and down) on graphics compared to Broadwell certainly leaves a noticeable mark on the results. Then again, most enthusiasts aren't going to buy one of these unlocked processors and use its graphics engine for anything other than its Quick Sync functionality. Instead, they'll drop in a more powerful discrete card.

Although we certainly enjoyed seeing what the Core i7-5770C could do without the help of an add-in board, most of our readers correctly countered that dedicating a lot of transistors to integrated graphics would be a waste in a gaming PC.