Intel Core i7-6700: Skylake i7 at 65W

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Intel Core i7-6700: Skylake i7 at 65W

October 31, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Intel Core i7-6700
LGA1151 Processor
Manufacturer
Street Price
US$325

In our Skylake review, we determined that Intel's new flagship Core i7-6700K for mainstream desktops is a tremendous performer but does not offer much in the way of value compared to its Haswell-E predecessors. Not only is the chip itself fairly expensive (currently US$370) compared to the performance it delivers, but as it uses a different socket (LGA1151), a new motherboard is required, and switching to DDR4 memory is recommended for additional future-proofing. There's a small early adopter premium for each of these, making the price of this new platform higher than the move from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge and Ivy Bridge to Haswell. The i7-6700 (non-K) may be slightly better in this regard as it can be purchased for a US$45 less and its TDP is just 65W compared to the i7-6700K's 91W, suggesting that the vanilla version of the 6700 is more energy efficient. This is of great interest to us as the less power it consumes, the lower the thermal demands, and the greater potential for quiet operation. It's also a significant factor for compact builds which can't offer as much cooling as big towers.


i7-6700 CPU-Z screenshot.

Skylake Processor Comparison
Model
i5-6400
i5-6500
i5-6600
i5-6600K
i7-6700
i7-6700K
Cores / Threads
4 / 4
4 / 4
4 / 4
4 / 4
4 / 8
4 / 8
CPU Clock
2.7 ~ 3.3 GHz
3.2 ~ 3.6 GHz
3.3 ~ 3.9 GHz
3.5 ~ 3.9 GHz
3.4 ~ 4.0 GHz
4.0 ~ 4.2 GHz
L3 Cache
6MB
6MB
6MB
6MB
8MB
8MB
Max GPU Clock
950 MHz
1050 MHz
1150 MHz
1150 MHz
1150 MHz
1150 MHz
TDP
65W
65W
65W
95W
65W
91W
Street Price (USD)
$190
$200
$225
$260
$325
$370

The current crop of quad core Skylake processors on the market are split between Core i5's and the higher-end Core i7's with the main difference being support for Hyper-threading and a larger cache. The entire lineup is equipped with the same HD 530 integrated graphics chip with 24 execution units though the lower tier i5's have lower GPU clock speeds. The i7-6700 plays second fiddle only to the i7-6700K, which boasts higher clock speeds and an unlocked multiplier which explains its higher TDP. The "K" model is also missing some management features like vPro, SIPP, and TXT, none of which are valued by home/enthusiast users, so no big advantage there. Today we'll try to determine how much of power difference this makes in real life and whether the performance sacrifice is commensurate with the i7-6700's lower price.


Our sample is a retail box version which ships with a simple heatsink/fan. Skylake "K" models do not include a cooling solution.


The cooler is similar to those included with earlier generations of Intel CPUs, a small down-blowing model secured with pushpins and thermal compound pre-applied to the base. Constructed of aluminum, it weighs 160 grams and stands just 45 mm tall.


The processor, installed in our test board.


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