The 5th and 6th Generation Canyon
A somewhat camouflaged difference in CPU’s and motherboards is the need for either a LGA-1150 (released: 2013) or LGA-1151 (released 2015) socket. That last ‘1’ can be easily overlooked. But, it is a crucial difference and places a canyon between 5th gen and 6th gen hardware that blocks our upgrade path.
Note: Avoid thinking that increasing socket numbers mean newer boards. The LGA-1155 is 2011 tech. LGA 2011 is also 2011 tech. My point here is don’t assume things based on reasonable thinking, check.
The CPU and motherboard have to match. The new gen motherboards support the new 6th CPU architecture named Skylake. These boards usually have a z170 designation. The big advantage in these is the increased PCIe pathways and DDR4 memory pathways. More on those when I write about other parts of the computer.
The Intel chips up to 5th generation use the 1150 socket. The motherboards have designators like x97, z97, or x99. 6th generation i3, i5, and i7 CPU’s require the 1151 socket. So, for future proofing go with the 1151 boards referenced as z170.
This difference forces us to make an irreversible decision for 5th or 6th gen tech. If we decide on 5th gen, the CPU, motherboard, and memory chips we buy won’t transfer up to the newer tech. We are stuck. A change to 6th gen tech means a new CPU, motherboard, and memory.
All 3 Intel ‘i’ CPU’s will run Second Life. In gaming the 6th gen i5 is considered the best performance for dollar spent. Some consider the i7 overkill and a waste of money. Considering that my O L D Core2 Quad 2.6ghz carries SL at a 25 to 50% load on the CPU, it isn’t a CPU bottleneck that limited my performance. It is the combination of CPU, motherboard, memory, and disk drives. Or… the whole freaking old computer.
A huge difference in z170/LGA-1151 boards and 6th gen CPU’s is they support faster DDR4 memory. I’ll cover memory in another article. This one is already too long.
More pages, links below…