Intel has released its 6th Generation iCore processor. You can read all the Intel® hype here: Our Best Processor Ever. I just cover the interesting stuff for Second Life™ users .
They say this CPU “…brings an immersive computing experience that will forever change our relationship with technology.” That sounds like Virtual Reality (VR).
This CPU is to be used across a wide range of devices, from phones to televisions and desktops. Intel has made various versions of the basic chip for the different devices. While the basic architecture of the chip is the same across all versions, the chips are modified for the device they target.
They are adding RealSense™ as a part of the CPU to do away with passwords by using facial recognition. Don’t expect to give up your passwords this year.
The claim is the graphics processing is designed to handle 4k HD video and games. They are not being clear about what the graphics will actually support.
The reviews are pointing out the 6th gen chip is not about the chip. It is about the chip and motherboard combination. Rumors are it is 40% faster. But, that depends on many factors and how you calculate.
The CPU itself is no bigger than the previous iCore generations. But, it uses a different chip socket: LGA1151. So, you will need a new motherboard to use the new chip. It also is designed to work with DDR4 memory, so you’ll need new memory chips too. The good thing here is this will drive down the price of 5th generation parts. Eventually…
On memory, you may see it advertised to run with DDR3 memory chips. Well… it can… just not the chips you have now. It needs DDR3L, which runs at a lower voltage. It is going to be technically and economically impractical to use DDR3L with the 6th Gen CPU. I say technically because everyone doubts any motherboard manufacture is going to support DDR3. So, using DDR3 would likely require manually tweaking memory voltage.
If you are running water cooled, your heat sink will fit. You can move our cooling system to the new unit. If you have a nice big copper, heat tube, air cooled, heat sink it can be moved to the new unit.
This chip is also designed to move past the 32gb of RAM limit. The new limit is 64gb.
Earlier generations catered ore to laptops by placing the sped and voltage controls in the CPU. That limited overclocking for desktops. That has changed. Those controls move back to the motherboard. Good news for overclockers. The 6th generation allows finer tuning of CPU speeds. And includes tuning of memory speeds.
This chip can run at 4+ghz, so it is faster than most of the previous version. Memory on a good motherboard can be pushed to DDR4-3600. Otherwise, the default recommendation is DDR4-2666, which is still faster than anything most of us are using. Memory speed is often THE forgotten performance bottle neck for SL users.
The 6th Gen CPU will initially come out as a 4GHz Core i7-6700K and the 3.5GHz, Core i5-6600K. The Core i7 is $350, while the Core i5 is $243. Expect find different street prices. I just saw a new i7-6700k Quad-Core for US$520. A i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.3GHz for $390. A i7-4790K Devil’s Canyon Quad-Core 4.0GHz for $340.
The new CPU’s will work with the Z170 chipset, this chip set deals with communications between the CPU and the various data busses. The CPU provides 16 PCIe-3 channels. Additional channels will come from the Z170 chip. These channels are needed for high speed disk storage devices, GPU video channels, and USB-3 devices. In previous systems cycles were stolen from the GPU when these channels overloaded, which apparently was a common problem.
As an SL user you would see less than expected performance from you GPU and SSD storage devices when these channels got busy. Now when using the new CPU and motherboard chipset both your data storage and graphics can run full speed without interfering with each other. So, the Z170 chipset is probably as important an improvement as the 6th Gen CPU.
The graphics processing built into the CPU is the Skylake HD Graphics 530, which is a decent step above the previous generation’s HD4600. While this will help laptop users, most of us still want a dedicated video card. But, the HD530 is giving AMD APU’s a run for their money. The same is true of the nVidia cards, including the GTZ980… wow…
Reviewers are reporting the chip is actually 5 to 10% faster than 5th Gen CPU’s in gaming benchmarks. You have to salt that pretty heavily because the CPU and supporting chips and memory have a significant impact on performance. The 6th Gens are 30% faster than 3rd Gen CPU’s.
The graphics capability is markedly better. Because of the new chipset users on 2nd and 3rd Gen iCore CPU’s and Core 2 Quads should upgrade. They will get SIGNIFICANT performance improvements.
Those running 4th and 5th Gen iCore CPU’s will need to flip a coin. The new motherboard needed for 6th Gen CPU’s will likely support the next 3 to 5 generations of new chips.