Recently, Intel has released two new processors to their new Skylake platform, the Core i7-6700K and the Core i5-6600K. The processors use an entirely new Intel chipset platform so if you’re thinking of upgrading to these new processors, you’ll have to look at the rest of your system.
So here at Respawn Ninja, we had a play with the new Skylake platform. We’ve built a computer to test out the platform while also noting down some helpful pointers. There are a few things you have to know before upgrading or committing to a new Skylake build and we’ve listed them below:
New Platform, New Motherboard
The Intel Skylake processors support the new Intel Z170 Chipset platform so it means that any old motherboard even the last series like the Z97 etc. DO NOT support the new processors. This means you’ll need to buy an entirely new motherboard.
The Z170 chipsets start from roughly $209+ AUD for the entry level models all the way to $800 AUD. These aren’t cheap for ‘entry-level’ motherboards when compared to the previous series but with the weak Aussie dollar and new features packed into these boards – it’s not a bad price point.
You’ll also have to look at getting new memory as well; unless you’ve some spare DDR4 lying around as the Z170 chipset only supports DDR4 sticks. Some boards support DDR3 but you may as well upgrade your memory while you’re here.
After picking out the motherboard, you’ll have to look at grabbing some DDR4 memory as well. DDR4 only provides slightly better performance but it consumes less power than DDR3. Pricing for DDR4 kits are quite affordable recently with 8GB kits starting from $99 AUD.
Previously, Intel has opted to include a basic CPU cooler out of the box with their processors but the new K-series Skylake don’t come with any. Intel knows that these enthusiast gaming processors will be overclocked at some stage so have decided to let the buyer’s choose their own aftermarket one. Basic supported entry level CPU coolers start from around $30 AUD.
The above three topics cover all the important points a buyer should know before jumping into the new Intel Skylake platform. Buyers should also note that there are currently only two new processors which target gamers and enthusiasts as they’re unlocked – ready for overclocking. If you’re not looking to overclock the processor (or a gamer) then you might want to wait for the next Skylake release which is around the corner which targets more mainstream users.