Intel Skylake release dates, price and specs: Skylake chip bug makes it freeze under heavy workloads

Intel is working to deliver a patch

Skylake price

Intel is targeting the lucrative PC gaming market with many of its top-end chips, and as such they command steep price-tags.

The 4GHz Core i7-6700K model, for example, retails for around 320. Cheaper i7 models like the 6700 are also available for about 50 less.

The Core-i5 range is often seen as an affordable middle-ground between price and performance. 200 will get you a Core i5-6600K, while the more modest 6400 is only 150.

At the bottom of Intel's Core range is the i3 family, which starts with the Core i3-6100T at just under 100, and tops out at a mere 130 for the i3-6320.

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If you're seriously strapped for cash, however, the humble Pentium range is here to help the dual-core G4400 is under 55.

Unlike most desktop PCs, you can't install or upgrade the processors in the vast majority of laptops. For this reason, mobile CPUs don't retail individually, and are instead baked into notebooks at the manufacturer's discretion.

As a general rule of thumb, users can expect to see a 100-200 price difference between Core-i3 and Core-i5 models, although this will vary based on make and model.

Skylake release date

All of Intel's 6th generation desktop processors have now been launched, although availability may vary. For example, some of the most common models currently available are the dual core, comparatively power hungry 28W Core i7-6567U and 15W i7-6560U models.

While all the chips have been released by the company, the rate at which Skylake mobile chips are being integrated into laptops is down to individual OEMs.

Microsoft

As is to be expected, Microsoft's flagship hardware is fully outfitted with the latest and greatest offerings from Intel. Both its Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book products are fitted with 6th gen CPUs, available in a range of specs.

Apple

Apple tends to be a little unpredictable when it comes to adopting the latest iterations of Intel's hardware. The MacBook range has not yet had an update to Skylake, but rumours suggest that the chips will be integrated at some point in 2016.

HP

Unsurprisingly, ultrabook stalwart HP has wasted no time in beefing up its offering with Intel's processors. HP's Spectre, Pavilion and Envy ranges have all been refreshed to include Skylake chips, with business-class models set to follow.

Dell

Dell has been one of the quickest to integrate the new Skylake CPUs into its lineup, and has announced updated versions of the most of its major lines.The XPS 12, 13 and 15 are all carrying the new processors, as are models in the Inspiron, Precision and Alienware ranges.

Lenovo

One of the most prolific manufacturers when it comes to Skylake-enabled notebooks, Lenovo has packed Intel's latest chips into a whole slew of products. Along with a handful of new 6th gen IdeaPads, there's also two new Yoga devices with Skylake options.

Fujitsu

Fujitsu's Lifebook E-series has received several Skylake upgrades. The E546, E556, E736, E746, and E756 all come with 6th generation processors, as will the Stylistic R726 tablet, coming February 2016.

Toshiba

Toshiba's Satellite Radius 12 has a Skylake chipto power a 4K beast of a screen, as does its stablemate the Radius 14. Also outfitted with the new component is the Tecra A50-C business workstation.

Skylake specs

Breaking down the specs for processors isn't as simple as the specs for, say, a smartphone. The Skylake' codename covers a whole huge family of Intel chips, often with vast variations between them.

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We're not going to go into every single detail here, or list each individual Skylake processor model. Instead, we're going to give an overview of how the most common Skylake stack up, breaking them, down by family, number of cores, clock speed and TDP.

Desktop
Model numberNo. of coresHyperthreaded?Base/Turbo-Boosted clock speedTDP
i7-6700K4Yes4GHz/4.2GHz91W
i7-67004Yes3.4GHz/4GHz65W
i5-6600K4No3.5GHz/3.9GHz91W
i5-64004No2.7GHz/3.3GHz65W
i3-63202Yes3.9GHz/NA51W
i3-6100T2Yes3.2GHz/NA35W
PentiumG44002No3.3GHZ/NA54W

New chips are included in computers at the manufacturers' discretion, so not all mobile Skylake chips will be appearing in the wild that often. These are the key specs for some of the processors you're most likely to see in laptops from major vendors.

Mobile
Model numberNo. of coresHyperthreaded?Base/Turbo-Boosted clock speedTDP
i7-6700HQ4Yes2.6GHz/3.5GHz45W
i7-6500U2Yes2.5GHz/3.1GHz15W
i5-6300HQ4No2.3GHz/3.2GHz45W
i7-6500U2Yes2.3GHz/2.8GHz15W
i3-6100U2Yes2.3GHz/NA15W

Skylake features

One of the major headlines of Intel's new chip series is the ability to support fine-tuned overclocking for PC gamers. Unlocked variants of several 6th gen processors allow users to tweak the clock speed by increments as small as 1MHz at a time.

The new Skylake architecture also supports the latest DDR4 RAM, which should lead to some performance improvements over older versions of the technology.The new Z170 chipset now supports up to 10 USB 3.0 ports.Along with that, it also includes PCIe 4.0 and SATA Express support.

Intel is continuing to push Thunderbolt 3 which is not only faster than previous versions of Thunderbolt but also now shares the USB-C connector. Skylake will also support the second generation of RealSense cameras andWi-Gig for wirelessly connecting peripherals such as docks and projectors.

Battery life should apparently be longer, even when compared to the already power efficient Haswell and Broadwell processors, thanks to a number of new technologies. Speed Shift ramps up performance to quickly complete demanding tasks and then shuts everything down once it's done to save as much power as possible. Duty Cycle Control reduces power leakage during very low power usage scenarios.

Iris-class integrated graphics will be available as part of the 15W U-series Core processors for the first time, promising faster graphics performance. All Skylake integrated graphics chips are able to play 4K video at 60fps and work with up to three separate 4K displays connected simultaneously with built-in support for the H.265/HEVC codec.

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