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.

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    Top Comments
  • vertexx
    Why no discrete graphics tests?
  • stairmand
    Quote:
    Still 4 cores.... Im sticking to my Q6600.


    Then you really are missing out, 4 cores or not a current i5 (let alone an i7) will simply destroy the old Q6600 C2Q. It was great in the day but it's very old hat now and the lack of features on the board worse still.
  • karab
    Quote:
    Still 4 cores.... Im sticking to my Q6600.


    This is a good joke. You are a funny person.
  • Other Comments
  • rantoc
    Yawn... its easy to see that intel have to little competition, they have stagnated in the cpu performance department!
  • daniel266
    Can we have comparisons of rendering software using win 8.1 and win 10 ??
  • cats_Paw
    Still 4 cores.... Im sticking to my Q6600.
  • Vlad Rose
    What the heck Intel? So, you provide great integrated graphics into Broadwell, then nerf it for Skylake? I guess you had to find a way to help sell your 'paper launch' of Broadwell. I really hope Xen makes you guys wake up; although it more than likely won't.
  • Bartendalot
    At least Skylake HEDT should be powerful. Unless DX12 pulls a rabbit out of a hat, this doesn't look promising for anyone who has Sandy or higher.
  • stairmand
    Quote:
    Still 4 cores.... Im sticking to my Q6600.


    Then you really are missing out, 4 cores or not a current i5 (let alone an i7) will simply destroy the old Q6600 C2Q. It was great in the day but it's very old hat now and the lack of features on the board worse still.
  • salgado18
    Quote:
    Still 4 cores.... Im sticking to my Q6600.

    You do know that your Q6600 is astronomically slower than Skylake in every single department, right? By your logic, the Phenom II X6 is better than the i7 6700K.

    I think you should consider upgrading. You won't regret, promise.
  • salgado18
    Quote:
    What the heck Intel? So, you provide great integrated graphics into Broadwell, then nerf it for Skylake? I guess you had to find a way to help sell your 'paper launch' of Broadwell. I really hope Xen makes you guys wake up; although it more than likely won't.

    Do you mean Shen, from LoL? Or Zen? XD

    I believe the cost of the integrated memory chips would make these processors too expensive and niche to be viable products.
  • Lmah
    Good upgrade for 1st Gen i5/i7 users. Though I think they targeted it at the 2nd Gen i5/i7 users, doesn't seem like a huge improvement for them though.
  • vertexx
    Why no discrete graphics tests?
  • Cryio
    Skylake, the 1st worthy upgrade for Sandy Bridge users. If average IPC improvements from Sandy to Broadwell are ~13%, Skylake should make this difference even higher. Lower power usage, same OC ability or higher and we have a winner.
  • Vlad Rose
    Anonymous said:
    Quote:
    What the heck Intel? So, you provide great integrated graphics into Broadwell, then nerf it for Skylake? I guess you had to find a way to help sell your 'paper launch' of Broadwell. I really hope Xen makes you guys wake up; although it more than likely won't.

    Do you mean Shen, from LoL? Or Zen? XD

    I believe the cost of the integrated memory chips would make these processors too expensive and niche to be viable products.


    Xen- AMD's next generation CPU.
  • logainofhades
    Anonymous said:

    Xen- AMD's next generation CPU.


    It is Zen, not Xen.

    I am not all that impressed, really. I see no real reason to upgrade from my 3570k. Taking a step backwards, on the IGP, makes 0 sense, also.
  • Yuka
    Quote:
    Anonymous said:

    Xen- AMD's next generation CPU.


    It is Zen, not Xen.

    I am not all that impressed, really. I see no real reason to upgrade from my 3570k. Taking a step backwards, on the IGP, makes 0 sense, also.


    I disagree completely in the iGPU part. You don't need every generation of mainstream CPUs to have performance improvements so massive in terms of iGPU. Intel still has a lot of work to do driver wise and pulling better and better hardware doesn't put them in a better position.

    Plus, a better iGPU means less actual CPU. If you ask me, I think this OC is possible because they held back on iGPU and process maturity helped a lot.

    Cheers!
  • karab
    Quote:
    Still 4 cores.... Im sticking to my Q6600.


    This is a good joke. You are a funny person.
  • ubercake
    Quote:
    Anonymous said:

    Xen- AMD's next generation CPU.


    It is Zen, not Xen.

    I am not all that impressed, really. I see no real reason to upgrade from my 3570k. Taking a step backwards, on the IGP, makes 0 sense, also.


    I know. I keep waiting for a reason to upgrade my 3930K setup and this is yet another gen I won't bother with. I thought they'd at least start giving us 6 cores standard with this gen. Not so.
  • Math Geek
    i like the pricing for the chips which is basically the same as current 5th gen i5/i7. too bad the new mobo and ddr4 ram will drive the total cost way skyward in the beginning. can't wait for those prices to drop and match current ddr3 and z97 mobo's. then we're talking a bit better.

    and why the hate on the igp? the AMD apu's have had a solid igp for a long time now yet all they get is hate since "no gamer uses an igp anyway" so now intel gets the igp hate as if folks will use it? so gamer will use the intel igp but not the amd one? come on folks can we at least be marginally consistent with the hate?? do gamers/enthusiasts care about igp or not?

    i'm more confused than a hungry baby in a strip club!!
  • royalcrown
    I do like the platform upgrades, specifically thunderbolt and new USB speeds. We just need more stuff that would use them. As far as the CPU, not so excited, like most of you.

    How many would upgrade if there was lots of thunderbolt and USB peripherals, and they weren't stupidly expensive ?
  • xenol
    I'm not bummed about the IGPU taken a step back because for the most part, most people who buy one of these aren't going to use it anyway. Unless Intel and others have finally implemented desktop switchable graphics.
  • wtfxxxgp
    I don't understand the negativity. It's brand new. Even the mobos and memory will be fresh and new. I honestly think that Intel still has a sucker-punch waiting to be revealed depending on what Zen is capable of. Why bring out your very best when mediocre is enough to beat your closest competitor, after all? It's far more lucrative to keep providing small incremental updates and charge a premium for every iteration than it is to say wham-bam and provide the masses with your very best effort and then have to charge a massive premium for it. I say be happy, every new bit of tech comes with advantages. I AM disappointed about the IGP though. These days I find myself playing MOBA games that don't require a lot of muscle - I'd love it if I could get a brilliant CPU and more than adequate IGP without having to shell out more money for a discrete GPU. I hope they do release something more top tier in both areas on the same CPU - I'll definitely purchase something like that.