Intel Core i7-6700K Processor - Our First 14nm Skylake CPU Review!

Intel today launched the 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K processors along with the Intel Z170 at Gamescom in Germany. Intel released these two new 14nm ‘Skylake’ unlocked K-Sku processors at Gamescom to show that Intel remains dedicated to PC gaming. Intel believes that this is the ideal gaming platform, offering the best all-around gaming experience. The ideal desktop gaming platform right now, according to Intel, would be a 6th Gen Core processor with a Z170 based board and an Intel 750 Series NVMe SSD to top it off. Many of the Intel Z170 boards will feature SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 3.0 and DDR4 memory and up to three M.2 PCIe SSD slots, so you are talking about the most feature rich mainstream PC platform to ever be released. Chances are if you consider yourself an enthusiast you’ve been waiting for the Intel Z170 boards with the new LGA1151 socket and DDR4 memory support to come out before you upgraded. There is a large number of Intel Sandy Bridge owners out there that haven’t felt the need to update, but that will likely change now that this new platform has been released and they see the performance numbers. Intel Core i7-6700K Highlights Intel is launching these two new Skylake processors and the Z170 PCH for the desktop market, but didn’t fully brief us on the new Skylake architecture as they wanted to save those details for unveiling at the Intel Developer Conference that takes place later this month on August 17th in San Francisco, California. This is a little unique as usually we get white papers and gobs of details ahead of Intel releasing a new processor architecture. What we do know is that this generation of processors has been in the works for six years and Intel has unleashed these two desktop overclocking-friendly, K-Sku processors first, with the full lineup of desktop and mobile iterations launching at a later date. The full top to bottom release of the rest of the 6th Gen Intel Core Processors and supporting chipsets will be announced sometime in Q3 2015. We also know that our Intel engineering friends and the board makers are much more excited about Skylake coming to market than Broadwell. In fact, you’ll likely be able to purchase a 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6700K before you can buy a 5th Gen Intel Core i7-5775C retail boxed processor, so that just goes to show how weird the move to the 14nm process node has been for Intel. Skylake Launch Pricing What we can tell you is that the Intel Core i7-6700K quad-core processor with Hyper-Threading as a 4.0 GHz base clock and a 4.2 GHz maximum turbo clock thanks to Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. This socket LGA1151 processor has 8MB of L3 Intel Smart Cache and no eDRAM with a 91W TDP. The integrated graphics included on this processor are Intel HD Graphics 530 and it features a dynamic clock that can run up to 1150 MHz. The Intel HD Graphics 530 solution supports DirectX 12 and Feature Level 12_1. The processor is obviously a ‘K’ Sku and is fully unlocked with new full range BCLK tuning options for overclocking. The recommended price on this flagship 14nm Skylake processor is $350. For those looking some something a little more affordable the other 6th Generation Core processor launching today is the Intel Core i5-6600K at $243. This processor utilizes the same core architecture, socket, memory support, number of PCIe 3.0 lanes and TDP as the 6700K, but has a lower base and turbo clock frequency, no Hyper-Threading and just 6MB of L3 cache. This part is still fully unlocked and should be popular amongst mainstream gamers that are looking to be a solid mainstream gaming PC with a single GPU. Intel Skylake Overclocking Improvements Intel is very happy with the overclocking capabilities of the Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K. In our very information limited briefing with Intel we were told that these processors should be good overclocking processors just like Sandy Bridge was back in the day. We’ve been told that 4.7-4.8 GHz should be possible on most all of the 6700K’s and that some will even be able to hit 5 GHz with very good aftermarket cooling (think custom cooling loops with triple rads) and some extra voltage (1.5V instead of the stock 1.3V). There are now 83 core ratio overrides available and the base clock is adjustable in 1MHz increments from 100MHz up to 200MHz. The motherboard makers can opt for either a discrete base clock or have it integrated (PCH) and there is no more PEG/DMI ratio to worry about as the PEG/DMI domain has been isolated. FIVR is also gone and the voltage regulation is being done on the motherboard again, so we expect to see increased differentiation between high-end boards that are aimed at overclockers. skylake memory support When it comes to memory performance the dual-channel DDR3L/DDR4 memory controller that is being used on Skylake is said to be stupid fast. Intel Skylake processors have a dual memory controller that supports both DDR3L (low voltage 1.35V DIMM support) and DDR4 memory, so there might be a handful of DDR3L boards running around out there although we haven't seen one yet.  Intel officially supports DDR4 overclocking up to 4133 MHz, but Corsair has already reached over 4200 MHz on pre-production boards. Corsair used a pre-production 3866MHz memory kit on the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 motherboard to hit this overclock. Many factors are involved in the higher clock speeds; for starters it’s only a dual-channel solution, but most importantly, the new memory controller and processor architecture have been designed to support higher clock speeds, thus providing a substantial increase to the the clock frequency ceiling over the Intel X99 platform. We've also heard a rumor that FIVR in Haswell E might have been causing the limitation and that now with the voltage regulation being moved back to the motherbaord that the clock frequency ceiling limitation has been removed. Corsair and G.Skill were the first to release 3600MHz and beyond memory kits and both are using Samsung ICs. We’ve talked with a couple memory companies and they believe that 4500 MHz to 4800 MHz DDR4 clock frequencies will be reached by the professional overclockers by the end of 2015.  It will be interesting to see what kind of bandwidth will be possible and if there are any real world applications that can utilize all that bandwidth. Intel Z170 Platform Diagram To get the most from the Intel Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K you'll need to use the new Intel Z170 chipset. This is the only new chipset for the initial LGA1151 platform launch and it has some pretty big changes under the hood. The first major change is that Intel has updated the Direct Media Interface (DMI) to DMI 3.0. The Intel Z87 and Z97 chipsets used for Haswell and Broadwell featured DMI 2.0, which had four 5 GT/s lanes routed between the CPU and the PCH using 8b/10b encoding. The new DMI 3.0 has four 8 GT/s lanes with 128b/130b encoding, which means that there is theoretically 60% more bandwidth (36 GT/s versus 20 GT/s) between the Skylake processor and Z170 PCH. Moving from PCIe Gen 2 to PCIe Gen 3 for these lanes is a big deal as it really opens the door for connecting more bandwidth hungry devices to the PCH. Since each PCIe Gen 3 lanes top out at 8 GT/s or 985MB/s you are looking at a theoretical speed cap at 3940 MB/s between the CPU and the Chipset and means that you'll be able to use a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 M.2 AHCI or NVMe storage drive on the chipset without being limited by anything. One interesting thing that we learned about the Intel Z170 chipset is that it is built using the same 32nm process as Z97 was done on, but the power is up from 4.1W on Z97 to 6.0W on Z170. We weren't expecting a 46% increase in the TDP for the chipset, but it's likely because of the move from PCIe Gen 2 to PCIe Gen 3 lanes. 6700K CPU-Z Details We got a single Intel Core i7-6700K processor to test and have spent the past week using and benchmarking the latest socketed desktop processor from Intel. This processor idles at 800 MHz when your system is not being used and then can run at up to 4200 MHz depending on the workload. The Intel Core i7-6700K is a 91W TDP processor, so ignore the 95W TDP value shown in CPU-Z as it is incorrect in this build of the program. Intel Core i7-6700K CPU Here is a look at the Intel Core i7-6700K 4.00GHz processor and on the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) it has the clock speed shown on it without much else. This particular Intel Core i7-6700K CPU has an S-spec of SR2BR and a batch number of L526B384. Intel Haswell versus Skylake Pins Flipping the processor we wanted to compare our Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell processor (LGA1150) to the new Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor (LGA1151) to show the pad arrangement and that the 'keys' in the processors are in different locations. As you can see, the Intel Core i7-6700K has the usual capacitors that reside in the middle around the pins needed to operate in an LGA1151 socket. Skylake IHS One of the things we noticed right away is that green PCB is about 33% thinner on Skylake, but the overall thickness of the processor is the same as the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) is thicker to ensure no heatsink change was needed. The package was able to be made thinner since FIVR has been removed from the CPU and the voltage regulation is being done again on the motherboard. We also believe this was done to allow for thinner mobile devices as many mobile processors don't have an IHS and this thinner processor will lead to thinner z-height design for tablets, laptops and so on. Intel refused to talk about specific architecture features, how many Execution Units (EU's) that the Intel HD Graphics 530 has and the thinner packaging of the processor. Intel said that 'more details regarding the 6th Gen Intel Core processor family will be available at the processors entire family introduction later this year'. 6700K in Z170 Board Let's take a look at the ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard that we'll be using to benchmark and test our 6700K processor on!

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!

Intel Z170 Test System For Skylake

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. These platforms are aimed at mainstream users and all feature integrated graphics, so it will be interesting to see how the systems compare. We will use an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti reference card for discrete gaming performance tests. Intel Z170 Test Platform:  Intel Z170 Test System   The Intel Z170 platform that we used to test the Intel 1151 processors was running the ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 0603 that came out on 07/30/2015. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2666 MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was set to XMP 2.0 memory profile settings, which is 1.20v with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M311 firmware. z170 settings Intel Z97 Test Platform:  Intel Z97 Test System The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 2401 that came out on 04/24/2015. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2133MHz memory kit was set to XMP 1.3 memory profile settings, which is 1.65v with 9-11-11-31 1T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M311 firmware.
system-settings
Here is a quick look at the CPU-Z information for our main test system that we'll be doing the testing on.
Intel LGA1150 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Pentium G3258

Motherboard

ASUS Z97-A Click Here

Memory

8GB Dominator 2133MHz Click Here

Video Card

N/A Click Here

Hard Drive

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H105 Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K95 Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M95 Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Operating System

Windows 8.1 64-Bit Click Here

Intel Core i7-6700K Processor Overclocking

6700K CPU-Z Details

Out of the retail box and installed into any Z170 motherboard the Intel Core i7-6700K is capable of hitting 4.2 GHz by default thanks to the Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 as shown above.

6700k-4600mhz-overclock

We overclocked the Intel Core i7-6700K processor by simply increasing the multiplier and raising the core voltage on the processor when needed. By just raising the multiplier we were able to get to 4.6 GHz at 1.350V on the core before the system would crash in very CPU intensive benchmarks or tasks. For example our 1080p Handbrake encode would lock up at 90-95% at 4.7 GHz at 1.5V, which is the highest we felt comfortable taking this processor as temperatures would reach 98C even with the Corsair H105 water cooler installed.

cinebenchoc

With the Intel Core i7-6700K processor running 4.6GHz we were able to score 1013 on the CPU test in Cinebench. We got a score of 931 stock, so this is a nice 8.8% performance gain from this 600MHz clock frequency boost over the base clock that equates to a 15% overclock. All of the performance charts in the review show the Intel Core i7-6700K at both stock and overclocked (4.6GHz), so please reference those in the pages ahead to see how the chip performs in a wider variety of benchmarks.

oc-load

With the Intel Core i7-6700K running at 4.6 GHz with 1.35V to the core we hit 83C on the Corsair Hydro Series H105 CPU Water Cooler that we were using on the test bench.

cinebench-oc-max

After talking to Intel and ASUS about our overclock they urged us to overclock with a discrete video card in our system as that should help remove some of the things running on the CPU to allow for higher frequency gains to be had. We found that we could get 4.7 GHz stable with a discrete video card in the system, but needed to set the core voltage to 1.45V.

handbrake-oc

In Handbrake we were able finish our 1080p workload on the Intel Core i7-6700K 8.9% faster with this overclock than at stock speeds, so it looks like you can get just shy of a 10% performance gain by overclocking this particular processor. No two processors are identical though, so just use these results as a rough estimate of what to expect.

6700k-hot

Running the Intel Core i7-6700K processor at 4.7 GHz was nice, but when running a heavy CPU load the temperatures were in the low 90C range and peaked at 96C. This is a little warmer than we'd want to run a 24/7 overclock on a water cooled system, but shows that an All-In-One water cooler like the Corsair Hydro H105 is able to keep Intel's new flagship cool and get you in the 4.6 to 4.7 GHz range without experiencing any throttling.

Let's see how the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor performs at both stock speeds and at 4.6GHz!

SiSoftware Sandra 2015 SP2

Sisoftware Sandra 2011 SP5

The Sisoft Sandra 2015 SP2 benchmark utility measures pretty much all of your system components, but we'll be using it to focus on memory and CPU performance!

sandra-mem-6700k

Results: As you can see from our memory testing chart above all the processors with dual channel memory kits perform roughly the same since we are using the same Corsair 2133MHz DDR3 memory kit. For the new Intel Core i7-6700K Processor and the Z170 platform we used a Corsair kit of DDR4 memory running at 2666MHz with CL15 timings and a 1T command rate. You can clearly see the improvements gained from the new memory controller combined with DDR4 memory. Memory bandwidth on the 6700K was 32 GB/s at default clock speeds and then 32.5 GB/s when overclocked to 4.6GHz. We didn't expect any change on the memory bandwidth when we overclocked this processor as we just raised the multiplier and didn't touch the base clock or memory divider to alter the effective memory clock frequency. UPDATE 08/06/2015: Check out our DDR4 memory scaling article on Z170 as we look at performance from DDR4-2133 all the way up to DDR4-3866 on this identical platform!

sandra-multi-6700k

Results: The Intel Core i7-5775C scored 353.82 MPixels/s in stock form and that jumped up by 8.1% to 382.31 MPixels/s when overclocked to 4.6 GHz on all cores. With the processor overclocked it was able to perform faster than a stock Intel Core i7-5960X and this was the only benchmark that we ran where the overclocked 6700K was able to beat the mighty 5960X! sandra-crypto-6700k Results: The Intel Core i7-6700K scored 10.0 GB/s for this AES benchmark test, which is really good and that score improved to 10.33 GB/s when the 6700K was overclocked.

sandra-arith-6700k

Results: In the Sandra 2015 SP2 CPU Arithmetic Benchmark the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor scored 140.88 GOPS in stock form and when overclocked we were able to get 155.62 GOPS. This is an improvement of 10.5% due to the overclock. It looks like the Intel Core i7-6700K is off to a strong start!

x264 HD Encoding

x264
Simply put, the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It's nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test.
x264 HD Encoding Benchmark
This application scales across many threads and is ideal for processors with Intel Hyper-Threading or a bunch of cores. x264-6700k Benchmark Results: The x264 HD v5.0.1 benchmark showed the Intel Core i7-6700K was able to average 76.71 FPS on pass 1 and 19.87 FPS on pass 2. With the processor overclocked up to 4.6GHz we were able to get 87.00 FPS on pass 1 and 22.39 FPS on pass 2, which is faster than a stock clocked Intel Core i7-4790K and almost as fast as the Intel Core i7-4960X on the X79 platform!

Euler3d CFD Benchmark

Next up is the STARS Euler3d CFD benchmark. The benchmark is intended to provide information about the relative speed of different processor, operating system, and compiler combinations for a multi-threaded, floating point, computationally intensive CFD code. The benchmark test case is the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing. The wing uses a NACA 65A004 airfoil section and has a panel aspect ratio of 1.65, a taper ratio of 0.66, and a 45 degree quarter-chord sweep angle. This AGARD wing was tested at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 16-foot Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and is a standard aeroelastic test case used for validation of unsteady, compressible CFD codes.
euler3d-benchmark
The benchmark CFD grid contains 1.23 million tetrahedral elements and 223 thousand nodes. The benchmark executable advances the Mach 0.50 AGARD flow solution. The Intel Fortran compiler (ifort 10.0) is used and all floating point variables are Fortran's double precision (8 bytes). Parallelization is through OpenMP. The benchmark score is reported as a CFD cycle frequency in Hertz and that is what we used to make out chart.
euler3d-6700k
Benchmark Results: We arranged these benchmark results differently this time and instead of arranging them by the highest overall score (giving the most threaded processors the lead) we arranged them by single threaded performance. As you can see the Intel Core i7-6700K has the highest single or dual threaded performance of any processor that we have ever tested in stock form. We were a bit shocked to see the Intel Core i7-5775C leading the 6700K with 4 and 8 threads, but it was thanks likely to the 128MB of eDRAM the 5775C Broadwell procesor has!

Handbrake

handbrake-gui HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded.
Big_buck_bunny
We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. The 1080P clip was used in the MP4 format and the workload is encoded into h.264 output format using the preset - high profile. This benchmark test was setup to give you an idea of how these processors can take a 1080p BD rip and turn it into a 1080p H.264. HandBrake version 0.9.9 was used for benchmarking and we highly encourage you to download this MP4 clip and compare your system to ours with Handbrake!

handbrake-6700k

Benchmark Results: HandBrake version 0.9.9 showed that the Intel Core i7-6700K is a very capable mainstream desktop processor as we were able to average 45.08 FPS on the render in stock form at 48.11 FPS when overclocked. That is a nice 6.7% improvement thanks to the overclock!

PCMark 8

pcmark8 We ran the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, which includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system. PCMark 8 Home Accelerated Test Results:
G3285 A8-7600 A10-7800 4770K 4790K 5775C 6700K
Overall Score 2555 3181 3322 3449 3597 4462 4032
Web Browsing - JunglePin 0.315s 0.353s 0.351s 0.310s 0.310s 0.305s 0.310s
Web Browsing - Amazonia 0.134s 0.139s 0.139s 0.134s 0.134s 0.133s 0.134s
Writing 3.95s 4.79s 4.72s 3.46s 3.14s 4.40s 3.10s
Photo Editing V2  0.704s 0.331s 0.304s 0.350s .321s 0.128s 0.236s
Video Chat Playback 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Video Chat Encoding 133.3ms 49.7ms 37.7ms 48.0ms 43.0ms 37.0ms 42.0ms
Casual Gaming 23.0 fps 34.8 fps 35.1 fps 35.9 fps 36.4 fps 67.1 fps 51.5 fps
Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-6700K has an overall score of 4,032 in the PCMark 8 Home Accelerated benchmark. The Intel Core i7-5775C had an overall score of 4,462 thanks to big performance leads due to the integrated graphics solutions used on each processor. If you look closely at the seven work traces, you'll see 5775C had a higher overall score due to the casual gaming benchmark and Photo Editing V2 test.

POV-Ray 3.7

Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7: The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own. The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which, in a nutshell, allows the renderer to run on as many CPU's as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend on purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 RC5, which is the most recent version available. The benchmark used all available cores to their fullest extent to complete the render.

Pov-Ray 3.7 RC3

Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the elapsed time from the dialog box, which indicates the exact time it took for the benchmark to finish the benchmark and a score in PPS. We are using the final CPU score for our benchmarks and a higher value indicates faster system performance.

povray-6700k

Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-6700K scores 1974.7 PPS in the POV-Ray multi-CPU benchmark, which is faster than the 1817.6 PPS score we got on the Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor. When we overclocked the Intel Core i7-6700K up to 4.6GHz we were able to best the stock 4960X CPU by about 23 points. 

Cinebench R15

MAXON; CINEBENCH R15:

MAXON CINEBENCH Release 15 is an advanced hardware testing suite that assesses a computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on the same powerful technology as MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. The new version of CINEBENCH includes the ability to more accurately test the industry’s latest hardware, including systems with up to 64 processor threads, and the testing environment better reflects the expectations of today’s production demands. A more streamlined interface makes testing systems and reading results incredibly straightforward. Again, higher Frames/Second and point score equal better performance.

cinebench benchmark

Cinebench R15 was able to put a 100% load across all the cores on all of the processors, which makes this a great benchmark to look at multi-core platforms.

opengl-6700k

Benchmark Results: When it comes to OpenGL graphics performance the Intel Core i7-5775C Broadwell processor with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 dominated the other processors in the OpenGL Benchmark by a mile. The 5775C has 128MB of eDRAM and it really does help the graphics performance. The Intel Core i7-6700K with Intel HD Graphics 530 is no slouch though as we got 54 FPS and that is faster than the AMD A10-7870K Kaveri Refresh processor that just came out this summer. It's also a big improvement over Haswell that was back in the 36-38 FPS range. For those that are wondering why we don't have Intel Core i7 2700K results, it is because the Intel HD 3000 graphics on that processor are not supported by the OpenGL benchmark. cinebench-6700k Benchmark Results: The sixth generation Intel Core i7-6700K processor scored 931 points when using all of the available cores and had a score of 183 on just one. With the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor overclocked the multi processor test score went up to 1013 and the single processor score jumped up to 199! This put the multi-CPU performance of the 6700K just below the 4960X!

TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is sort of discontinued, but it was once a widely available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or (under Microsoft Windows except Windows 8 with GPT) the entire storage device (pre-boot authentication). On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternate solutions. Since that announcement was made Thomas Bruderer and Joseph Doekbrijder have stepped forward with plans to revive the project through the truecrypt.ch site, which is offering downloads of TrueCrypt 7.1a – which can encrypt and decrypt data, and was the latest version prior to 7.2. truecrypt-71 We are using the benchmark built-in TrueCrypt 7.1a with default settings to figure out the mean AES speed for each of the processors being tested with a 50MB buffer size. truecrypt-6700k Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-6700K does well on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) benchmark test and scored 5.2 GB/s in stock form and 5.7 GB/s when overclocked up to 4.6GHz. Despite being having a 200MHz lower Turbo Clock speed we found the 6700K has the same level of performance as the Intel Core i7-4790K at stock speeds.

3DMark 2013 w/ Integrated Graphics

Futuremark 3DMark Tests

Futuremark 3DMark has three primary benchmark tests that you can run and which test you should be running depends on the system that you are benchmarking on.

Since all of the benchmarks can be run on desktop PCs, we will run each of them on our Intel and AMD processors to see how they stack up. Intel Core i7 6700K w/ Intel HD Graphics 530: 3dmark Let's take a closer look at 3DMark Cloud Gate as that is a best representative of the integrated graphics performance on these processors: cloudgate-6700k The Intel Core i7-5775C with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 and 128MB of eDRAM had the highest overall score in 3DMark Cloud Gate that we have ever gotten from a processor with integrated graphics. The default score of 13,005 was untouchable by the Intel Core i7-6700K, but the score of 10,384 was solid and a huge step up from the 8600-8800 range that you'll get with a stock Haswell processor! cloudgate-6700k-gt Benchmark Results: If you look at the game tests you'll see that the Core i7-6700K Skylake processor dominated all of the processors in the physics test and had very respectable scores in Game Test 1 & 2 with average frame rates around 45FPS!

Metro Last Light w/ Integrated Graphics

 

MetroLL-SS

Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013. metroll Metro: Last Light was benchmarked with low image quality settings with the SSAA set to off, Tesselation disabled and and 4x AF. We used the game titles built-in benchmark (seen above) and ran it 3 times at each screen resolution to ensure accurate results. metro-igp Benchmark Results: In Metro: Last Light at Metro Last Light at 1920x1080 with low image quality settings the Intel Core i7-6700K was 56.7% faster than the Intel Core i7-4790K with respect to the average frame rate. Overclocking the processor helped improve the average FPS by a single frame, but you can easily improve that by overclocking the GPU clock, which is something we didn't do in this review. 

Metro Last Light w/ GeForce GTX 780 Ti

 

MetroLL-SS

Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013. metro-settings Metro: Last Light was benchmarked with very high image quality settings with the SSAA set to off, Tesselation on normal and 4x AF. We used the game titles built-in benchmark (seen above) and ran it 3 times at each screen resolution to ensure accurate results. metro-ll Benchmark Results: In Metro: Last Light with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti discrete desktop graphics card installed in the system we found a rather small difference between the Intel Core i7-4770K, 4790K, 5775C and 6700K processors over the past three CPU generations from Intel.

Intel Core i7-6700K CPU Temperature Testing

Intel Z170 Test System Intel no longer comments on the Thermal Interface Material (TIM) material that they use on processors, but we are confident in saying that it would be safe to assume the Intel Core i7-6700K processors use Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM). The lid isn't soldered down like it once was, but at least Intel is using their best TIM on this processor! XTU Idle Temp We used the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility v6.0.2.1 to monitor the temperatures on our Z170 test system with the Corsair H105 water cooler along with Gelid Extreme Thermal Compound. The Intel Core i7-6700K processor sitting on the desktop had a package temperature of 26C and the voltage was set to 0.7580V. This is a great idle temperature as the room temperature was 24C. xtu-load When we ran a run of Handbrake and found that the processor temperature topped out at 65C and the voltage jumped up to 1.2240V during this workload. The recovery time after the workload finished was the fastest we've ever seen as we literally went from running at 63-64C for a period of 10 minutes down to 30C in just a couple seconds. core-2 The one oddity that we noticed is that Core 2 was running 10-14C hotter than the other cores when the processor was under load and it was also 1-3C hotter at idle. oc-load In stock form the Intel Core i7-6700K has different Voltages for each core and they are dynamic. When you overclock or manually set the voltage you override that parameter and all the cores are set to the same voltage. Even after manually setting the voltage to 1.35V on the core we were still seeing a 11-17C temperature difference between the core 2 and the others. We'll have to ask Intel if there is any reason to that!

Power Consumption

Intel Z170 Test System Power efficiency remains important to PC users and Intel and AMD have both made great strides to improve power efficiency. There are nearly a dozen processors in our power chart, but keep in mind some of the TDP's of the processors: power-consumption Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-6700K processor is rated at 91W TDP and at idle the entire system was pulling 43.3 Watts at the wall and when under full load we were pulling 124 Watts. All that efficiency is thrown out the window with the overclock though and our idle power draw increased to 59.4W and at load we were now hitting 161 Watts, which is more than any other processor with default settings. We used Handbrake to rip a full 1080P Blu-Ray as our load test, so this is representative of a real world scenario. These numbers are a little higher than we expected to see from Skylake and Z170, but keep in mind the chipset TDP went from 4.1W on Z97 to 6.0W on Z179, so we can attribute some of the increase at idle to that 2 Watt increase. ppw Benchmark Results: If you look at the Performance Per Watt on Handbrake that we used to get the load power results, you can see that the Intel Core i7-5775C (65W TDP) processor leads the way, but the Intel Core i7-6700K (91W TDP) isn't too far behind!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Intel Core i7-6700K CPU Enthusiasts have been waiting for Intel 6th Generation Core Skylake processors for years and it's hard to believe that it is finally here. There are a number of people out there with Sandy Bridge or older platforms that are getting the upgrade itch and have been waiting for the LGA1151 platform to come out with DDR4 memory support before upgrading all of their hardware. It also happens to be the perfect time to update as Windows 10 is out now and DirectX 12 should help bring noticeable improvements for game titles for years to come. We need to wait for DX12 game titles to come out before we can see just how big the differences are. Chances are also good if you are running a Sandy Bridge system that you aren't running an SSD and using a traditional hard drive. If you are still hanging onto an old system and went from that to an Intel Skylake processor with the Z170 chipset along with an SSD and Windows 10 you'll be seeing a dramatic difference in performance. Our benchmark tests showed our performance in Handbrake with a 1080p clip improved by 45% when we went from the Intel Core i7-2700K (3.5GHz base) to the Core i7-6700K (4.0GHz base), so when you start seeing performance changes like that you'll get some people wanting to update finally! UPDATE 08/06/2015: Check out our DDR4 memory scaling article on Z170 as we look at performance from DDR4-2133 all the way up to DDR4-3866 on this test platform! cinebench-oc-max   Weeks ago we started to hear rumors that you can get 5GHz with air cooling on Skylake and we were excited to hear that overclocking was back! Closer to launch we were told by the board makers that about 50% of the processors they got were 100% stable at 4.6-4.7GHz and that a handful of samples were capable of being overclocked to 4.8GHz with full stability. We feel that we got an average 6700K CPU as we were able to get 4600MHz stable with 1.35V on integrated graphics and hit a wall and could get 4700MHz stable even with an aggressive core voltage of 1.5V. With a discrete video card added to the system we were able to get the overclock up to 4700MHz with 1.45V. The beefy Corsair H105 did a great job keeping the 6700K temperatures under control, but at 4700MHz with 1.45V we were getting close to the 100C throttle temperature and we wouldn't want our load temps to be above 90C at load for a 24/7 overclock. You can overclock the cache, but there is a very limited performance gain from that. So, the Intel Skylake K-Sku processor looks like it has pretty good overclocking results, but expect something in the 4.6-4.7GHz range! GTAV-crash When it comes to gaming performance we saw nice performance gains over Haswell and wanted to include more gaming benchmarks for you. We installed several newer game titles like Grand Theft Auto V and ran into some issues straight away. For example GTAV with the latest Intel Skylake GPU drivers wouldn't run (10.18.15.4248) and would crash seconds after starting the game. Intel has been really beefing up their graphics core and gaming on the Intel integrated graphics has never been better, but it's becoming evident that they need to make improvements on the drivers and to ensure they are able to support game titles on launch day. Intel has been releasing quarterly graphics drivers for a number of years now, but quarterly drivers might prove to be not often enough. At the end of the day the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor and the Intel Z170 chipset appear to be pretty solid and the performance on most CPU intensive tasks. Gamers looking for huge gaming performance difference might find it disappointing that the discrete gaming performance on Haswell, Broadwell and Skylake is basically identical, but it's been like that for 3+ generations now. If you were looking to build a new mainstream PC today and wanted to go with latest platform to ensure the best future compatibility with upcoming devices this is certainly the platform to build on. The Intel Core i7-6700K at a suggested retail price of $350 also won't break the bank and the Intel Z170 motherboards should be priced around the same as Z97 when they were first introduced. We'll have more Skylake coverage in the days to come and hope to hear all the architecture details later this month at IDF 2015! It's very unusual for Intel to launch a processor and not give any specifics on the architecture or even just the number of Execution Units on the graphics processor! LR Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor is a very capable processor that has respectable performance at stock speeds and was able to overclock up to 4.7GHz and turn in some rather impressive benchmark numbers!