Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake Processor Review

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ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard

To review the Intel Core i7-6700K we will be using the ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard. This motherboard is regarded as one of the best Intel Z170 chipset and is one of the few that is said to be capable of running DDR4 memory kits at 3600MHz and beyond on launch day.

ASUS Z170 Deluxe

While ASUS doesn’t put a ton of flash on their mainstream board packaging, the ASUS Z170 Deluxe packaging has plenty of information right on the front of the box. Outside of the obvious chipset and socket change, the ASUS Z170 Deluxe is boasting a total of 6 USB 3.1 ports. That’s a key point that is high lighted on the front of the packaging. Along the bottom edge of the box for the ASUS Z170 Deluxe, there is a number of features listed, including but not limited to NVIDIA SLI, AMD CrossFire, dts surround sound, and of course support for the latest Windows 10 operating system.

z170-deluxe

ASUS introduced the current color scheme with the Intel X99 platform, ASUS has further refined the white and black scheme for the ASUS Z170 Deluxe. Overall it’s a slick looking piece of hardware, but looks will only take you so far if you can’t perform. Knowing and using a number of ASUS motherboards over the years, there’s a good chance that the ASUS Z170 Deluxe will have the performance to back up it’s looks. At first glance the ASUS Z170 Deluxe layout looks to be pretty typical and what one should expect to see.

z170-deluxe-block-diagram

Here is the block diagram for the ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard that shows how everything is connected to the Skylake-S CPU and the Z170 Chipset!

ASUS Z170 Deluxe Rear IO Panel

The I/O panel on the ASUS Z170 Deluxe has no shortage of USB ports as there are 16 on this board (Six USB 3.1 on the back, Four USB 3.0 internal, Four USB 2.0 internal and one there are also one USB 3.0 & 2.0 port on the back panel) Of the six SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 ports are back there, five are USB 3.1 Type-A ports and one is a USB 3.1 Type-C port. You won’t find any PS/2 port for a keyboard or mouse on this board, but you have DisplayPort/HDMI video outputs along with two Gigabit Ethernet (Intel I219-V and Intel I211-AT), WiFi Go! (802.11AC with Bluetooth 4.0), six 3.5mm audio jacks (Realtek ALC1150 with Crystal Sound 3) and the optical SPDIF out.

ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard Power Phases

The ASUS Z170 Deluxe features an impressive 16 + 4 phase digital power design, you can see the various chokes hiding under the edge of the heatsink assembly. The first 16 phases are for the Intel Skylake-S CPU while the  ‘+ 4’ are for the iGPU. Powering the DRAM is a two phase digital power design with the ASUS DRAM Power Utility.

z170-deluxe-dram

The ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard is rumored to be among the few that will support DDR4 memory speeds in excess of 3600MHz from day 1! Officially though, the ASUS Z170 is rated for as high as 3466MHz (O.C.). Off to the right of the DDR4 DIMM slots, there is a pair of 4pin fan headers (white) as well as another pair (black) just to the left of the memory latches (one above the DIMMs one below). Just to the left of the motherboard screw hole, you can see the MemOK! button, this will help to sort out any memory compatibility issue you may run into. Fortunately, ASUS has a pretty solid track record of memory compatibility. To the left of the 24-pin motherboard power is the first of two internal SuperSpeed USB 3.0 headers.

pcie-slots

The ASUS Z170 Deluxe has three PCIe X16 slots and is capable of running 3-way NVIDIA SLI or 3-way AMD rossFireX multi-GPU configurations. If one GPU is installed the primary x16 slot runs at x16, but with two installed the primary and secondary slot both run at x8 speeds. The third PCIe x16 slot runs off the Z170 PCH and is default set to run at x2 mode although it h as the ability to run at x4 mode if you wanted to enable that in the UEFI. If you enable that you’ll disable SATA 5/6 as that is that is what those lanes are being shared with. A properly setup triple video card setup will run at x8/x8/x4 and you’ll disable two of the eight SATA III ports to enable this. There are four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots also located on the board for accessory devices that run off a PCIe bridge chip that also runs the boards 802.11ac wireless card that is ultimately connected to the Z170 PCH as well.

sata-express

The ASUS Z170 deluxe has a total of eight SATA III ports which are all controlled by the Intel X99 chipset. Six are regular SATA ports and two make up part of the SATA Express port. All of the SATA ports are native to the Intel Z170 chipset.

ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard M.2 Slot

The ASUS Z170 Deluxe has one M.2 socket 3 with M Key located directly on the board and it supports supports type 2242/2260/2280/22110 drives and both SATA III (6G) as well as PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs. This is one of the few Z170 boards on the market today that support 110mm length M.2 solutions that are expected to become more popular in the months and years ahead with the introduction of higher capacity drives. ASUS Supports NVMe U.2 devices with an add-in module and the included ASUS Hyper M.2 Mini PCIe x4 add-in card.

We hope to have a review on this board shortly, but we just wanted to give you a quick overview of the board that we’ll be doing testing on.

Let’s take a closer look at the overall test system and move along to the benchmarks!

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  • Darius

    What kind of cooler do I need to overclock the i7 6700k to 4.4 – 4.6 GHz?

  • Deividas Zbarauskas

    30% proc faster than i5 3570k, are you kidding me, 50% at least, then we can think about it, and even then maybe, due to price

  • Marcus

    would it be possible to add some type of obs benchmark for people who are thinking of getting into streaming i know this is adding more work to your plate. I mean obviously you can get an idea of what would work but it would be nice to see solid number for some reassurance

  • vision33r

    Very disappointing numbers. One has to shell out a lot of premium $$ for new socket mobos and DDR4 just to get maybe 5-15% performance increase.

  • Stollie

    Definitely an improvement over my good ol’ 2600K!! It’s been trusty but it’s about time for an upgrade. Don’t know if I will go with the 6700 or the 6600 just yet, but really looking forward to playing with some DDR4!

    • Ry

      6600 is shit in comparison, get the 6700 if you want performance.

      • Stollie

        Well that’s the most in depth answer I’ve ever gotten…

        • Ry

          The depth is in the review and every other review online. Get the i7.

    • OMGWTFAIL

      Most DDR4 is actually slower than the highest clocked DDR3 due to the increased latency. I suggest hanging onto your 2600K for another year.

  • Etienne Boutet boucher

    i really don’t see any really good reason to change from 3 or 4nd gen to 6 gen anytime soon…

    • Ry

      All depends…

      • Nathan Kirsch

        It really depends on what you are doing and if you overclock or not!

      • Akemi Akamatsu

        depend is a very ambiguous word.

        • Ry

          No shit. Do you need the extra performance? No? Then don’t fucking upgrade. Simple shit, wizard.

    • OMGWTFAIL

      You are correct for desktop. Mobile platforms will see some nice new features however.

  • Victor L.

    Hey Nate,

    great review article — as always.

    I have a question regarding to the performance section with “Metro Last Light” with the GTX 780 Ti. The i7-6700K, at stock AND overclocked, performed lower than the “Devil’s Canyon” i7-4790K predecessor at stock frequency, particularly the minimum frame rates. There is a decrease of approximately 8 FPS. Personally, that seemed a little “odd.”

    If you have any time, out of your busy schedule, could please confirm those results again?

    We could further discuss this via PM, or on the Legit Reviews forums if that is more convenient / flexible — my forum username is “lordvic.”

    Thanks!

  • i am going to guess, this is a marketing target release, the performance of 14 is NOT unleashed, and that will come next step up, probably use the MB’s , but this is NO performance inspiration. and what is with the 100 MHz. bus? Please let us move beyond that 133 at least, if not 150 for a new PCIe 4, so Overdue.

  • BigGERM

    What kind of gaming boost
    should i see over a 4th gen i5?

    • Ry

      Depends on what card you got, what resolution you game at, what settings you’ve set…

    • OMGWTFAIL

      Maybe a few FPS. Not worth upgrading.

    • Akemi Akamatsu

      only few fps gain and some games like tomb raider doesn’t even show a good improvement. so if you have a 4th gen processor then keep it,don’t update now.

  • ααα

    Meh so much overhype for nothing i am not impressed. It is hardly 5% to 10% faster from the Core 4xxx series and still not in every benchmark. the Core i7 4770k and 4790k are running better with some game

    Because AMD is not competitive it seem Intel is not interested making something really faster from its previous gen

    • Ry

      Your lack of understanding here is laughable. AMD won’t be able to compete with this without whopping out some serious heat.. Zen won’t beat a 6700K.. no way in hell. Only larger processors can compete. If you want big performance gains you NEED to move to 6 or 8 cores with this sort of design. Skylake-E seems to be what you will want. Don’t expect miracles from 4 cores..

      • OMGWTFAIL

        Zen will be a FinFET design on 14/16nm process, likely Samsung/GloFo 14nm. AMD’s current Vishera chips are still on 32nm, which is why they produce so much heat. Your lack of understanding is ironic. Also, the top Zen chips will have a minimum of 8 cores.

        • Ry

          I know exactly why they put out the heat, Your lack of self humility shows your ignorance.. you actually think you know more than me, you don’t.

          OOOH 8 cores.. 8 shit cores that’ll lose to a Skylake guaranteed. Their latest can’t even compete with an Ivy bridge, let alone Haswell. AMD can’t beat the best processor engineers in the world. Go suck some more on the Zen teat.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          First, get out a dictionary and look up ignorance. It’s obvious that I know more than you. Are you saying that Mark Papermaster doesn’t know how to design? Do yourself and everyone else reading a favor, look him up. All you have shown is that you try to personally attack people who know more than you.

        • Ry

          You’re rebuttal is pathetic. Yeah companies hire people that can’t do the job they advertise.. I don’t need to look him up, I follow this religiously. Ain’t attacking, you just see it that way because you don’t know shit. 14nm brah.. AMD is at Intel’s throat! Whatever.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          I never said AMD is at their throat. They obviously aren’t. AMD has publicly said that they are not trying to compete with Intel at the high end. You don’t know a damn thing about the semi industry. Telling people they need to change platforms for negligible gains is telltale. This guy’s point was that we need competition and there is none. Your rambling attack on him about Intel vs AMD doesn’t even address it. Also, you’ve heard of the iPhone right? 500+ million sold. Mark Papermaster was the guy in charge of the hardware. Not exactly a guy that “can’t do the job they advertise”.

        • Akemi Akamatsu

          ignore him he is just an errand boy of intel.

        • Ry

          Fuck off. I’ve owned AMD before, show’s how little you know.

        • Akemi Akamatsu

          butthurt lol

        • Akemi

          OMG ,still your butt is sore even after 6 months later? wow

        • Ry

          Obviously clueless. Keep looking up at that night sky if you want to believe.

        • Ry

          Aren’t trying to compete.. Zen, Zen..Where for art thou ZEN!? Everyone knows AMD CAN’T compete with Intel at the high end.. saying they’re not targeting it is just a fucking cop out for not being able to address the market segment.

          The prices are fair considering, I don’t see any major complaints. There’s a market and people decide what they want to spend tor whatever product they wish to purchase, simple economics. If a product is shit it won’t sell.. People all like.. bring the competition! Yeah where? Everyone thinks AMD is going to pull some magic out of it’s ass and deliver just because people want it to. So best case scenario.. AMD delivers something equal to or possibly a bit faster than Skylake (multi-threaded performance I suspect is a possibility, but single threaded performance is going to be heard to beat) big deal.. how will that affect prices? Not much. i7 performance at half the price? Yeah.. NAH. A top end chip if competitive will have a similar asking price.. and Intel has all the ammo it needs with the six core and eight core SKU’s to deal with any multi-threaded advantage AMD delivers due to more cores. Drop the price a bit here and there a bit and boom.. the pressure is back on. Anyway the fact of the matter is this, people have no clue how well Intel is doing because they don’t have a reference.. just blind fucking hope that Zen will somehow free their minds. and their wallets.. I’ll laugh now all the way to Zen’s release and I’ll be back to say I told ya so to anyone that thought Intel was holding back performance or just wasn’t delivering..The clueless live in hope, I’ll wait for the Zen hammer to fall.

      • derp@history

        Lets see the 86 history channel :
        First chip @ 1GHz, AMD, first real dual core, AMD, first IMC, AMD… Desktop 64bit, AMD, first quad core AMD, first real APU, AMD…

        x86 microprocessor innovations, AMD has shown the way

        First superscalar RISC – K5

        First to use “Flip-Chip” technology – K6

        First on-chip L2 cache – K6-3

        First use of copper interconnects – K7

        First fully pipelined, superscalar floating point unit – K7

        First to extend x86 to 64-bits (AMD64) – K8

        First to release a Dual-Core – Athlon 64 x2

        First to release a Tri-Core – Phenom II

        First to release a Quad-Core – Phenom II

        First to release a 6-Core – Bulldozer

        First to release a 8-Core – Bulldozer

        When you try to teach people shit learn the history first.

        • Ry

          And this means WHAT exactly?
          Oh wait.. It’s THE PAST! That thing that has long gone and doesn’t mean shit today.

          Companies come and go in the blink of an eye. Toshiba! First consumer Laptop! First NAND flash! First DVD player! Oh wait.. where are they now!? Merging shit with fucking Vaio and Fujitsu!

        • MasterBlatter

          Lol bulldozer has modules not cores, it sucks in fpu domain.
          even a pentium dual core can beat the shit out of them.

    • Bill Hentschell

      A-men brotha, this is what happens without real competition. Unless you need a new PC I cannot see upgrading to this for the marginal improvements.

      • Ry

        Has nothing to do with “real competition” Intel put some real effort into this one.

        • shadowhedgehogz

          It’s literally only a little better, and only in some benchmarks.. most websites results show that it’s just equal to Haswell, only few show the 6700k having a small advantage.. I’d listen to the majority.

          Over x99 this doesn’t bring anything new, and actually has less performance in some instances.

    • shadowhedgehogz

      Cannon lake is not expected to bring any IPC gains, ZEN will be catching up to Haswell.. So any large IPC increase won’t be coming until at least 1-2 years after ZEN.. as that will give Intel a kick to make them develop something much quicker.

      If needing an upgrade today better off doing it now either 6700k or 5820k.

  • Sean Kumar Sinha

    Can’t wait to see the boards coming out for Skylake. I only wish Intel had improved efficiency a bit. Nice performance jumps over Sandy Bridge.

  • Bill Hentschell

    Seems like Intel is struggling to get much more performance out of the last few CPU’s. At least my will be happy I won’t be begging for an upgrade from my 4970K anytime soon.

    • Ry

      Struggling? Upgrade to a 6 or 8 core…

      • OMGWTFAIL

        You misread what he said or you’re trolling. He said that Intel is the one struggling to get more performance out of their new architecture.

        It’s either that or they don’t feel that they need to since Zen won’t arrive until 2016 and they can take advantage of the market until then.

        • Ry

          That’s not what he said at all troll. “Intel is struggling to get much more performance out of the last few CPU’s.” L 2 READ.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          He’s obviously talking about quad cores and not HEDT. You need to get your head out of your ass.

        • Ry

          Oh yeah obviously!? ‘Cos quad cores are all anyone gets right? And he actually said quad cores aye! (He didn’t durr) Fucking Enstein’s everywhere online, go find a fire.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          “6700K is 4 core, 4970K is four core. My point isn’t MORE cores it is that intel is not getting much more performance out of the cores they have, core to core.” You’re wrong. Grow up.

        • Ry

          Wrong about what? You know when your die keeps shrinking and the design stays more or less the same, you’re going to run into limitations… Surely bumping up the L1 or L2 would help a good bit.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          How dense are you? Seriously. He was talking about core performance in the context of quad core cpus. You can’t read apparently.

        • Ry

          How fucken thick ARE YOU? HE DIDN”T SAY QUAD COREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

        • OMGWTFAIL

          It was implied.

        • Ry

          No it wasn’t.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          Yeah, it was troll.

        • Ry

          You’re the only troll here.

        • Ry

          Seriously WTF do you expect when the cores drop in size and the core count remains the fuckin’ same? Do you know how hard it is to even raise the fuckin IPC while keeping heat down? There are fuckin’ limitations to this tech you know you dick wizard.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          What are you babbling about?

        • Ry

          Something you wouldn’t understand.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          You don’t know anything. Less than the average consumer.

        • Ry

          Yeah like I don’t sell this shit to people.. Show’s how little you know you retard. Duh. I sell to average consumers or plebs like yourself every day… What do you do? Sit on your fat ass more like likely. Talking to my cat is more fucking stimulating than reading your shit. Just fuck off.

        • Bill Hentschell

          6700K is 4 core, 4970K is four core. My point isn’t MORE cores it is that intel is not getting much more performance out of the cores they have, core to core. Further, since most apps still do not take advantage of multi-core it is moot. 5% bump in horsepower PER CORE does not make me say oohhh I need to drop $500+ on new mobo, ddr4 mem, and CPU and that makes my wife happy, which IS my point

        • Ry

          You’re not dropping $500, factor in your old hardware man.

        • Bill Hentschell

          Yeah smartguy, your correct, it would be more like $700.00

          Intel Core i7-6700K–$350.00
          EVGA Stinger Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard –$199.99
          G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory– $139.99

          Total before tax/shipping: $689.98

        • Ry

          Err, that’s still not factoring in his old hardware… SMART GUY.

        • Bill Hentschell

          6700 is 1151 socket, 4970 is 1150, so need new mobo, 6700 needs ddr4 so need new memory. The rest can move over. As I said, close to $700 to switch platforms unless you are talking about some other “old hardware” I am not factoring in.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          What exactly are you talking about? What old hardware? I think you’re a bit lost.

        • Ry

          Umm HIS old hardware??? You’re not spending $700 if you get $400 for your old kit now huh? Basic maths, c’mon.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          Right, because everyone sells their old hardware…

        • Ry

          Err.. YEAHHH you still got your first Mobo lying around? Collect all the old shit you use? What a fucking waste of money.

        • OMGWTFAIL

          Most motherboards and procs sold within the last 5 or 6 years can be used to build a computer that 90% of people could use as a daily driver, file server, HTPC, etc. What if he wants to re-purpose the machine? This thread is also 6 months old. Salty much?

  • John

    Looks like it might be time to finally upgrade from a z77 motherboard. Want to see some matx boards first though.

  • FZ1

    Looks like it might be time to retire my Sandy Bridge processor…though I expected Skylake to be a little more power efficient.

    • phinn

      Anand found Skylake responds well to a slight undervoltage when doing minor overclocks. Decent power savings that way at around 1.20V according to Anandtech.

      http://www.anandtech.com/show/9483/intel-skylake-review-6700k-6600k-ddr4-ddr3-ipc-6th-generation/6

    • OMGWTFAIL

      I don’t see a good reason to retire your Sandy. The gains will be minimal.

    • Batlorn

      Sandy Bridge is still strong, i don’t see any reason to upgrade for now. If there is a Skylake variant with 6 cores 12 threads then you could consider if not wait for the next step from Intel.