Puget Systems print logo

https://www.pugetsystems.com

Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/641
Article Thumbnail

Haswell vs. Skylake-S: i7 4790K vs i7 6700K

Written on August 5, 2015 by Matt Bach
Share:

Introduction

If you are not familiar with Intel's CPU launch cycles, they operate on a "Tick-Tock" schedule that designates whether a new CPU launch either has a die shrink (with a smaller manufacturing process) or a completely new microarchitecture. Skylake-S is a "Tock" which means that it uses a new microarchitecture which in turn means a different physical socket from the previous generation. Because of the new socket, if you want to use a Skylake-S CPU you will require a new motherboard (with a compatible chipset). At launch, the only chipset available is the Intel Z170 although more models as expected in the future. 

Skylake-S introduces a number of changes compared to Haswell that makes it fairly attractive as a platform. Probably the biggest improvement is that both the CPU and Z170 chipset now support DDR4-2133 RAM. DDR4 is still more expensive than DDR3 but it is slightly faster and should allow for twice the density. This means that instead of being limited to 32GB of RAM, with Skylake-S you can now have 64GB of RAM. There are also a number of smaller changes in the Z170 chipset (more information can be found in our Z97 vs Z170: What is the Difference? article) but none are quite as significant as the move to DDR4.

In this article we want to go over the new Core i7 6700K CPU and look at how it is different from the Core i7 4790K. To do this, we will first examine the specifications of Haswell and Skylake-S CPUs in general then run a wide variety of benchmarks to find out what applications benefit from the move to DDR4 RAM and the other architecture changes.

If you do not want to read this entire article, we suggest reading through the CPU Specifications below then skipping to the Conclusion section.

CPU Specifications

Since only the K-series CPUs have been launched so far, there are some gaps in what we officially know about the specifications for all the Skylake-S CPUs. However, we can make a few reasonable assumptions about the non K-series CPUs such as all i5/i7 CPUs having 4 cores and only the i7 CPUs having Hyperthreading support. Other specifications like the TDP (or thermal output) we cannot make a reasonable assumption so we will simply leave those blank for now.

In addition, we are only going to compare the i5 and i7 CPUs. The Core i3 CPUs are simply so different in terms of specs that it is really better to think of them as an entirely different class of CPUs altogether.

  Haswell i5/i7 Skylake-S i5/i7
Socket: 1150 1151
Manufacturing Process: 22nm 14nm
Cores: 4 4
Hyperthreading: i7 only i7 only
Smart Cache: 6MB (i5)
8MB (i7)
6MB (i5)
8MB (i7)
Bus Type: DMI 2.0 (5GT/s) DMI 3.0 (8GT/s)
Integrated Graphics: HD Graphics 4600 HD Graphics 530
TDP: 84 W (Standard i5/i7)
88 W (K-series i5/i7)
? (Standard i5/i7)
95 W (K-series i5/i7)
Memory Type: DDR3/DDR3L 1333/1600 DDR4 2133 / DDR3L 1600
Max Memory: 32GB 64GB

As you can see, there is quite a bit different in the new Skylake-S CPUs. Starting from the top, the major changes are:

  • New Socket 1151 - Although the socket name is only one number higher than the Haswell Socket 1150, these two sockets are not cross-compatible. In other words, you cannot use a Haswell CPU in a socket 1151 motherboard or a Skylake-S CPU in a socket 1150 motherboard. However, the heatsink mounting is the same so any socket 1150 (or socket 1155/1156 for that matter) heatsink will work just fine on socket 1151.
  • Smaller manufacturing process (14nm) - Technically, the Broadwell CPUs were Intel's first 14nm CPUs, but Intel only ever released a handful of desktop Broadwell CPUs and they were honestly very underwhelming. However, this does mean that this manufacturing process is already a bit established which should help with both supply and reliability. 
  • Faster connection between the CPU and motherboard - With Skylake-S, the bus connection between the CPU and motherboard has been improved to DMI 3.0 which is theoretically about 40% faster than DMI 2.0. While this means that the CPU can communicate with the chipset (and all the USB, LAN, SATA, etc. ports that go through the chipset) faster, the main advantage it brings is simply in being able to put more devices on the chipset without creating a bottleneck. This is the main reason why the Z170 chipset has 20 PCI-E 3.0 lanes versus the 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes that are on Z97. More information on this is available in our Z97 vs Z170: What is the Difference? article.
  • Improved integrated graphics - If you don't need a discrete video card, the Skylake-S CPUs have much improved onboard graphics compared to Haswell. 530 may be a smaller number than 4600, but we saw more than a 25% increase in 3D performance when using the onboard graphics. In addition, the HD Graphics 530 supports newer feature sets such as DX12.
  • Higher TDP for K-series CPUs - While we don't know yet what the TDP will be for the standard Skylake-S CPUs, we do know that the K-series are rated to need 7W more than the Haswell K-series CPUs. This higher power draw should result in hotter CPU temperatures, although as we will show later we actually found that Skylake-S CPUs actually run cooler than Haswell CPUs. We have a few theories as to why which you can find in the Thermal Output section of this article.
  • DDR4 support - Probably one of the biggest changes in Skylake-S is the addition of DDR4 support. DDR4 memory is slightly faster and uses less power than DDR3, but probably the biggest advantage to DDR4 is that it support twice the capacity (or density) as DDR3. So while both Haswell and Skylake-S can only support four physical sticks of RAM, Skylake-S supports twice the amount of memory as Haswell (64GB vs 32GB).

Test Setup

In order to get an accurate comparison between Haswell and Skylake-S, we decided to test the top CPU from each family. The Core i7 4790K and the Core i7 6700K are very similar in terms of specifications although there are a few small differences:

  Core i7 4790K Core i7-6700K
Cores(Threads): 4(8) 4(8)
Base Frequency: 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz
Single Core Turbo Frequency: 4.4 GHz 4.2 GHz
All-Core Turbo Frequency: 4.2 GHz 4.0 GHz
Smart Cache: 8 MB 8 MB
Integrated Graphics: HD Graphics 4600 Graphics 530
TDP: 88 W 95 W

Technically, the Core i7 4790K Haswell CPU is faster in terms of frequency with a maximum Turbo frequency of either 4.4 or 4.2 GHz depending on if you only have a single core or all the cores active. This is only .2 GHz higher than the Core i7 6700K CPU but it is enough that in terms of frequency the i7 4790K should be about 4.5% faster than the i7 6700K. However, the addition of DDR4 support and other small changes to the CPU architecture (such as the smaller manufacturing process and DMI 3.0) may be enough to make the i7 6700K faster than its predecessor.

For the rest of our test systems, we used the following hardware:

This is a pretty standard setup that we use for a lot of our testing and should be great for showing the performance, thermal, and power draw differences between the two CPUs. You will notice, however, that we did not use the freshly launched Windows 10 as our test OS. We actually started our testing on Windows 10, but we saw some very strange performance inconsistencies (which we are attributing to minor software and driver bugs) that made us revert to the older, more established Windows 8.1 operating system. 

We will be doing limited testing using the onboard graphics to see how it performs but for the majority of our testing we will be using a GeForce GTX 980. However, we did find that for CPU intensive tasks using onboard graphics did not significantly change the performance, temperature, or power draw of the CPU.

Thermal Output

To start our testing, we decided to see how much hotter (or cooler) the i7 6700K run compared to the i7 4790K. We performed this testing in two ways: once with the CPU fan set to run at 100% and once with it set to Asus' Standard QFan profile which ramps the fan based on temperature.

 

 

Even though the i7 6700K is rated to use more power than the i7 4790K, we saw anywhere from a three to seven degree drop in temperature depending on the benchmark we ran. Honestly, this is exactly the opposite of what we expected. There has been some changes to how power is supplied to the CPU which may be what is causing the lower temperature (such as the majority of the voltage regulation being moved from the CPU onto the motherboard) but no matter the reason this is a great surprise.

Due to the lower temperature, we also saw a small - but measurable - drop in the CPU fan speed when using QFan. It was only a drop of 50-100 RPM, but if you want a silent system like our Serenity or Serenity Pro that small drop in fan speed is actually fairly significant.

Power Draw

Since the i7 6700K runs significantly cooler than the i7 4790K you may expect power draw to be lower as well but we found that not to be the case in all situations. Power draw at idle and during POV-Ray was indeed 4-10 watts lower but Prime95 was actually 2 watts higher. In 3D graphics such as Unigine Heaven, we saw lower power draw when using the GeForce GTX 980, but a very large 15 watt increase when using onboard graphics.

Overall, it appears that Skylake-S has a lower power draw compared to Haswell in most situations unless you are utilizing the onboard graphics. In that case, power draw can be significantly higher during 3D applications. 

CPU Performance - Unigine Heaven Pro 4.0

To start our performance comparison we are going to begin with Unigine Heaven Pro. Every game is different so if you are concerned about performance on a specific title you should try to find a benchmark for that title, but we have found Unigine Heaven Pro to be a great indicator of 3D graphical performance.

With a GeForce GTX 980 4GB video card, we saw absolutely no difference in performance between the i7 6700K and the i7 4790K. Most modern games are GPU limited, however, so this does not really mean that neither CPU is better - simply that both CPUs are fast enough to not be the bottleneck in our test system.

When we switched to onboard graphics, however, we saw over a 25% increase in performance. There are a number of different reasons for this, but it is mainly due to the new graphics architecture (HD 530 versus HD 4000) and the move to DDR4 memory. Since onboard graphics uses the system RAM instead of dedicated VRAM like you would find on a video card, using the faster DDR4 RAM results in an increase in onboard graphics performance.

If nothing else, this benchmark shows that onboard graphics is continuing to get better and better. It is still nowhere near the performance of most video cards, but if you were considering purchasing a <$100 video card to pair with Skylake-S you may opt to simply use onboard graphics instead.

CPU Performance - PCMark 8 Professional

PCMark is one of the standard benchmarks that is used in most reviews, but you need to keep in mind that no matter how realistic it tries to be, it is still a synthetic benchmark. With that said, PCMark shows some of the least exciting results from any of our testing. We did still see a small increase in performance with the i7 6700K, but never higher than a tiny .9% increase. 

CPU Performance - Geekbench 3

Geekbench 3 is another synthetic benchmark, although it focuses more on CPU-intensive benchmarks rather than full-system benchmarks. Overall, Geekbench 3 showed an increase in performance of almost 5% with the i7 6700K which is fairly good.

For the individual categories, integer performance saw about a 5% increase in performance while floating point performance only saw about a 3% increase. Memory performance, however, saw a huge 22.2% increase due to the move to DDR4 memory. Most applications are not limited by the speed of your memory, however, so don't expect to see a 20% increase in performance except in rare situations.

One interesting thing we found with Geekbench is that the single core integer and floating point performance of the i7 6700K was actually worse than the i7 4790K. It was not until we looked at the multi core benchmark results that we saw an increase in performance. This suggests that the i7 6700K is not actually any faster than the i7 4790K per clock, but is simply more efficient at multi-threading which results in higher performance in most applications.

CPU Performance - Cinebench R15


Similar to Geekbench, we saw very little increase in performance when only using a single core in CineBench R15. However, even with all the CPU cores active we only say about a 1% increase in performance which is similar to what we saw in PCMark 8. Interestingly, we actually saw about a 1.5% decrease in performance during the OpenGL portion of Cinebench R15. This isn't a very large decrease but it is outside of what we consider to be our margin of error.

CPU Performance - POV-RAY / Linpack

For the last of our synthetic benchmarks we ran POV-Ray and Linpack. Both of these benchmarks are widely used in the scientific community and are usually very good at showing raw CPU performance.

Starting with POV-RAY we saw a very large 7.7% increase in performance compared to the i7 4790K. This is a significant increase in performance and is an indicator that ray tracing in general should be much better with the i7 6700K.

Linpack, however, is a bit of an aberration and to be honest we almost didn't include it because we believe there to be a problem currently between Linpack and Skylake-S. Simply put, we saw a 20% drop in performance with the i7-6700K. We are still investigating why the i7 6700K is giving such low performance (we should be seeing at least 205 GFLOPs, not 173 GFLOPs) but for now all we can say is that the i7 6700K is giving very low performance in Linpack.

CPU Performance - Lightroom CC

Starting off our real-world benchmarks we tested a number of actions in Lightroom CC 2015. If you read our recent     
Adobe Lightroom CC/6 CPU Multi-threading Performance article these actions will be very familiar to you. For importing images, generating smart or 1:1 previews, and converting the images to DNG we saw about a 1.5-2% increase in performance. This isn't great, but it is still noteworthy. Where the i7-6700K really impressed us was when it came to exporting images where we saw a 15% increase in performance. This seemed way too high at first, but we tested and re-tested it and we are confident that the i7 6700K can indeed export images in Lightroom 15% faster than the i7 4790K.

In addition to basic image handling in Lightroom, we also tested the creation of HDR and panorama images. Neither was quite as exciting as the "Export as JPG" results, but we still saw a 1.7% increase in performance while creating panorama images and a 3.4% increase in performance when creating HDR images.

CPU Performance - Photoshop CC

Photoshop saw some of the largest increases in performance out of all the software we tested. Overall, we saw about a 8.5% increase in performance although the increase for each effect ranged from just .8% (Smart Blur) to 16.7% (Motion Blur). Even simple things like image resizing and rotation saw over a 7% increase in performance.

All-in-all, if you are a heavy Photoshop user Skylake is a very attractive platform. Not only does the i7 6700K have significant performance improvements over the i7 4790K, but the move to DDR4 RAM means that you do not need to use the slower (for Photoshop at least) socket 2011 CPUs if you need more than 32GB of system RAM.

CPU Performance - Premiere Pro CC

Unlike Lightroom and Photoshop where we developed our own benchmark scripts, for Premiere we used the popular PPBM9 benchmark. The only change we made was to run a modified version of the MPEG2 Hardware timeline where we copied and pasted the test clip three times to make the render three times as long.

Overall, the only two places we saw a significant increase in performance was with MPEG2 software encoding and H.264 encoding. Honestly, you should always be using MPEG2 hardware encoding (which uses the GPU) so the 7% improvement to MPEG2 software encoding doesn't mean much. The 6% increase in H.264 encoding, however, is very important as H.264 is one of the most popular codecs used today.

Most professional Premiere Pro uses will likely still want to use a socket 2011 CPU due to the higher core counts, but if you are only using Premiere Pro as a hobby or only use it intermittently, the 6% improvement in H.264 encoding time with the i7 6700K is very significant.

Conclusion

To summarize this article, here is what we found in terms of temperature, power draw, and performance of the i7 6700K compared to the i7 4790K:

  • Power Draw - in most situations, the i7 6700K uses about 4-10 less watts than the i7 4790K. The main exception is if you are using the onboard graphics - in which case expect a 10-12W increase in power draw
  • Temperature - Depending on what you are doing, the i7 6700K should run about 4-7 ºC cooler than the i7-4790K. Even when using onboard graphics (where we saw a 10W higher system power draw) the i7 6700K was still about 3 ºC cooler than the i7 4790K.
  • Performance - In most cases, the performance of the i7 6700K compared to the i7 4790K was either identical or significantly better. We did have a few times that we saw a drop in performance (most noteably a 20% decrease in Linpack) but overall Skylake-S is better than Haswell.
i7 6700K vs i7 4790K Performance Summary
Unigine Heaven Pro 4.0 No change with discrete GPU, >25% faster with onboard graphics.
PCMark 8 Pro .5-1% increase in performance.
Geekbench 3 5% increase in multi-core performance.
Cinebench R15 1% increase in CPU performance, 1.5% decrease in GPU performance.
POV-Ray 7.7% increase in performance.
Linpack 12.5% increase in performance. *Updated using Linpack 11.3
Lightroom CC 2015 1.5-2% increase in most image handling tasks, but a huge 15% increase in image export performance. ~2-3% increase in HDR/Panorama image creation performance.
Photoshop CC 2015 8.5% increase in overall performance. Varies anywhere from .8% to 16.7% depending on the effect.
Premiere Pro CC 2015 6% increase in H.264 encoding performance, marginal increase in MPEG2 encoding performance.

In most situations, the i7 6700K should be anywhere from 1% to 10% faster than the i7 4790K.  We saw some of the most significant performance improvements in Lightroom and Photoshop. Most of the Lightroom actions we tested saw a small 1.5-3% increase in performance, but the 15% increase in performance when exporting images is very significant. In Photoshop, some of the effects we tested saw even greater performance improvements - up to 16.7 percent! Even better, the move to DDR4 RAM means that you do not need to use the slower (for Photoshop at least) socket 2011 CPUs if you need more than 32GB of system RAM since the Skylake-S platform supports up to 64GB of RAM.

Overall, Skylake-S as a platform is very, very good. Most of the specification changes are pretty subtle (with the exception of the move to DDR4) but we were impressed with the lower power draw and temperature of the i7 6700K compared to the i7 4790K. Unless you are a professional Photoshop or Lightroom user, the performance improvements likely won't merit upgrading from Haswell to Skylake-S, but if you are in the market for a new system we see little reason to not use Skylake-S.

Probably the worst thing about Skylake-S is that Intel only has two CPUs (the high-end unlocked i5 6600K and i7 6700K) and one chipset (Z170) available at launch. That is expected to change in the near future but if you want to be an early adopter your choices will be limited to only the high-end options.

Tags: Skylake-S, Haswell, i7 4790K, i7 6700K
DisqusMan

What are your thoughts on Skylake vs Haswell-E. There isn't much of a price difference, both would likely require an upgrade to DDR4. Don't really need integrated gfx and the x99 chips have more cores. You've also got more lanes on x99 for m.2 etc. While I'd certainly take z170 over z97 it is the x99 platform that's the alternative option which it would be useful to have a comparison against.

Posted on 2015-08-05 17:15:26

It is basically still the same situation as Z97 vs X99 was. If your application doesn't need / use more than four cores and you don't need >32GB of RAM (soon to be 64GB) then Skylake / Z170 will save money and give options for slightly higher clock speeds. If you have any use for more cores or higher amounts of RAM, though, then Haswell-E / X99 will let you meet those needs while Z170 cannot.

Posted on 2015-08-05 17:29:34

I mean.. $124 for a z170

$200 for 32GB of DDR4

prices dropped so much, coming from z97 4690k 32gb ddr3L 980 Ti.. i always went i7 and thought i5 was ok deal as I just game but damn it stutters and lags at times in windows : (

was going 5775 but then saw z170 today

a conversion to DDR4 with 6700k would cost like $300-$400

I'm not sure if it would be worth it but by not using AC for the whole summer.. it's basically free, well 1 month of summer as there are 3-4 so

Posted on 2015-08-07 01:32:29
jason osborne

Who uses 32 gb for gayming? Why?

Posted on 2015-08-14 21:57:39

I had that much in my gaming rig for a couple years, as DDR3 memory was particularly cheap when I upgraded to a Core i5 4000-series. However, I found it was never even half used - so recently I moved 16GB to another system. Lesson: unless you also do other things besides gaming and general usage, there is no need for >16GB currently.

Posted on 2015-08-14 22:00:26
St Raven

16gb is now min requirement for some VR headsets(depends on the game, this setting for Elite Dangerous). Minimum. 32gb would be optimal or at least 24.

Posted on 2015-12-19 12:50:36

because a lot of stuff gets cached and it gets full fast but when I was on 3.7GB on 32-bit Windows 10 OS by accident it was ok but constant crashing in Dota 2 Reborn was getting bad : (

Posted on 2015-08-22 14:34:25
dude

Ramdisk for zero load screens

Posted on 2015-09-12 20:57:10
Cobra Commander

gayming? heehee

Posted on 2015-12-28 00:27:59
William Daniels

Not for gaming, for CAD

Posted on 2016-08-03 17:56:59
Geek Gamer

Go pound sand, doofus.

Posted on 2016-09-06 03:52:46
Mast3r Race

I was really hoping the 6700k was going to be better. I own a 4790k but always love upgrading. The problem is that there is literally no reason to upgrade whatsoever, besides the fact that Z170 can use DDR4 and Z97 can't. Now we have to wait two years for Cannonlake...F YOU Intel.

Posted on 2015-08-22 11:48:02
Michael MacDonald

Same, I was all excited to upgrade to the 6700k from my 4770k, and now I'm just kind of let down. I could probably stand to upgrade my motherboard from the Hero VI I have now, but there just isn't enough reason - even with the z170 chipset. Going to 2011 could help my physx scores a bit, but the cost is a lot more than I want to spend right now. There just isn't a good enough reason to change :/.

Posted on 2015-08-27 10:16:26

I'm not surprised, as it seems the last few generations of processors from Intel have usually just been incremental upgrades from the previous model. On the plus side though, this means you can get a lot more use out of the system before its really obsolete! And while performance doesn't always increase much, other things like efficiency, power usage, graphics, etcetera often see much bigger upgrades.

Posted on 2015-08-27 15:28:28
JoNaXKaY

And here I am with my old and trusty i7 920 d0 stepping, 4.1ghz
Around 6 years of duty now. I need to upgrade now.
Since i moved to 4k i think im losing about 20% of my sli 780 sc performance in some specific games.
But 90% of the time it runs so well... its borderline stupid. 6 years man.... 6 years.

Posted on 2015-08-30 01:24:18
FlukeLSX

920's were beast, I still have mine; But using an i7-3820 now @4.2. I want to upgrade but, I'm REALLY not impressed with intel's new gen processors to be honest.

I know my 980TI is choking on my 3820, but I can't justify a 4790k, Haswell or a 6700k the performance difference is minimal if at all noticeable.

Whatever happened to the i9's?

Posted on 2016-02-27 21:18:04
JoNaXKaY

Well... it has been 6 months since my post. Now i have a 980ti msi gaming. A beast of gpu. Got a new 4k monitor and a big 4k tv for some couch gaming... and the freaking i7 920 is still there pushing my vga at 99% usage. Amazing
Im really starting thinking that pascal maybe, maybe will be bottleneck by the pciE 2.0 and not the cpu. Crazy word we live in, when there is not competition on the market... everyone get f up

Posted on 2016-02-27 22:08:38
Zampa79

Stay with 4770. I have i7 3770 and i love it!

Posted on 2016-04-15 13:01:01
Ronnie Dean Davidson

You can always upgrade your graphics Card...that will give you a much better "bang for youe buck" then DDR4 or a newCPU!

Posted on 2016-01-08 19:14:19
goblin072 .

Yea some people like to upgrade for the sake of upgrading even if its 1 percent. Makes no sense to me but my wife will paint a perfectly good room another color simply because she wants to. Sometimes its worse than the old color and she will paint it again to a new color.

Me, I only upgrade when it makes sense not because I'm board with my system. Sorry Haswell to skylake is just going to give you less pocket money. It makes much more sense to upgrade the video card to the new new gtx 1070/1080 line. There you will actually get more than a 1 percent boost.

Posted on 2016-06-02 05:06:48
therock

I agree. I run my (idle) compiler suite (RAD Studio XE8), work VM w/ office apps idling, and games with a normal background load (I.E. Chrome with a couple dozen tabs, Outlook, et al.) while gaming and I am usually about 17GB into my 32GB. Probably 1% of workstations have that much crap running. Depending on when you buy your components, you're better off with higher-clocked RAM at a lower CAS timing... but the boost isn't significant and usually not worth worrying about.

Posted on 2015-09-19 17:32:57
Oracles

Well, at least they are shipping the 6700k without a cooler. I have a box in the junk room full of noisy, ineffective Intel coolers just waiting for someone to recycle the stupid things.

Posted on 2015-08-28 19:22:52
ayshf_m

Have a 2600K and still no point in upgrading!

I've had this forever, blown up a motherboard and replaced it, come on Intel the money is burning a hole in my pocket.

Posted on 2015-09-03 09:10:58
Ry

I wouldn't say there's no point..

Posted on 2015-09-18 08:57:24
Michael F

Not for processing performance. For other stuff like nVME M.2 SSDs, more PCIe bandwidth for CrossFire setups, and USB 3.1 it may be worth it.

Posted on 2015-11-03 05:39:12
Ry

Really?

http://www.anandtech.com/sh...

Actual results beg to differ. I'm assuming by processing you're not referring to GPU performance aye? Cos the 530 blows away the HD Graphics 3000.

Sure the processor isn't a HUGE jump up in most apps (30% or whatever) but it's still significant. The 2600K is old hat now. There most certainly is a point and sometimes that point is twice as fast.. *cough* Handbrake.. emulation..

People need to get off the 2600K boat.. It -WAS- a good chip, it's thoroughly outclassed now.

Let's hope Kaby Lake has some decent sized eDRAM options, because it's this that'll make people really want to ugprade from Sandy/Ivy/Haswell.

A Kaby with 128MB eDRAM and possibly no GPU would be quite exciting for many performance enthusiasts/gamers I think.

Posted on 2015-11-03 08:40:03
Stephen May

I am still running a 4-1/2 year old 2600K in a system with 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD and 4 TB of rotational storage and it does everything I need it to do. That said, I'll probably upgrade to the 6700K when the vendors quit charging prices over suggested retail for the chip and there are more chipset options available. In this case, waiting will pay off with lower prices for better stuff. Meanwhile, I am not suffering!

Posted on 2015-12-11 22:32:30

If your current computer is still working well then by all means - get as much time out of it as you can :)

The Skylake Core i7s are currently in shortage from Intel, which has definitely driven prices up a bit. That should relax in a month or two as Intel ramps up production, for those concerned about that.

Posted on 2015-12-11 22:42:05
Ry

There are benefits to holding on to working systems and there are benefits to upgrading. Regardless of what people think you certainly don't save much by holding on to old tech.. Time perhaps more than anything (building/troubleshooting/deciding etc) Price, performance and demand of new tech essentially decides what your old tech is worth. Oftentimes I've upgraded for little to nothing.. If you got the cash and the time and you see a benefit or even just have the itch.. no reason why you shouldn't upgrade.. you're going to eventually right?

Posted on 2015-12-12 05:54:56
John Boy

You save the money of NOT upgrading. What did you mean by "Often times I've upgraded for little to nothing"?

Posted on 2016-01-06 17:27:44
Ry

You don't necessarily save much, depends on the value you sell your old equipment for. The longer you hold on to it the less it's worth generally. Sometimes upgrading every year can actually save you money as well having better gear every year!

Posted on 2016-01-06 20:05:28
Jamie

I've got a 2600k and could easily afford an upgrade. But there is literally no point. Not for gaming anyway. I've got a stable 4.8Ghz overclock which has been running for over 4 years. It STILL outperforms most recent chips at stock speeds. I have no idea what happened to Moore's Law but it's getting ridiculous, Intel are asleep at the wheel.

Don't get me wrong, over the last 4.5 years I've upgraded other hardware (3 times in the case of my graphics card) but the 2600k is still chugging along at a quick pace, more than meeting every demand I throw at it. And I'm simply not prepared to go through the hassle of new motherboard, DDR4 RAM, and processor for marginal/non-existent performance increases. There. Is. No. Point.

Posted on 2016-01-09 16:37:09

Raw clock speeds haven't gone up in a few years, but performance per clock is up somewhat (not enough to outdo your 4.8GHz overclock, but still)... and the big thing that Intel has done is increase the number of cores per CPU. On the desktop side 4 cores is still common, as few applications the average person uses can benefit from more, but they've reached 18-core Xeon processors for servers and workstations... and even higher numbers in the more specialized Phi processors.

Posted on 2016-01-11 16:19:15
goblin072 .

Its all how they have programmed to you think. They have done a good job on most people. If the cpus went 2x the speed every generation you would get use to that and gripe if a new cpu was only 1.5x faster.

But they hit a wall and somehow convinced people to set sights so low that even a 1.1x speed increase is called significant. And is a good reason to spend hundreds or thousands on a upgrade.

The only thing they have done is decreased power usage and added USB 3.0. Not impressed with cpus in the past 7 years.

Posted on 2016-06-02 05:14:59
Ry

Yeah, I've got a i5 3570K 8GB with an 850 Evo for my Internet surfer which would be a bit fast in most situations and it's just fine..
Oftentimes people don't stretch the legs of the CPU that much at all.. so average so dual core or octa core things can feel the similar.
You should notice a decent increase in snappiness when you do upgrade, certainly if you rely on your integrated graphics at all this gains there will be significant. If possible wait until Zen is released, this is the only thing likely to shake up the price for performance ratio.

Posted on 2015-12-12 05:50:53
Ryan

You forget to mention that Cannonlake is said to bring consumer 6 - 8 cores onto the standard chipset, not extreme (E)
I also have an i7 2600k, and the real life benefits (not benchmarks) of moving from a 2600k to a 6700k are so minimal (I've tested it against a friends system). So you can use m.2, which is great, but performance in applications is nearly the same as on a standard SATA 3 SSD @ 550MB/s. I run multiple VMs and game at the same time (GTX970) and see maybe 2 - 8 FPS less and tiny performance decreases vs the 6700k. Spending £1500 on a Skylake system is a waste of time and money, because even if Cannonlake isn't what people expect, it's still going to be a lot more refined than the rushed Skylake stuff. (10nm too)

Posted on 2016-01-01 15:46:35
goblin072 .

Instead of spending 1500 on new skylake system spend 399 on a gtx 1070 and almost get 2x the graphics performance over the gtx 970. But for 1080p gaming the gtx 970 is about all you need.

Posted on 2016-06-02 05:24:22
Ron

I wouldn't say there is no difference, it's about a 25% difference. OC can only make up so much of that (especially considering the Skylakes easily OC themselves, and clock for clock the newer OCs function better because of increased IPC).

Whether it's worth it to upgrade is a question only you can answer.

Personally, I upgraded from a Phenom II, a good 6 year upgrade cycle. The 2500k was a tier above that, but in another generation or two I would expect most would want to upgrade as well.

Also, if you've never used a m.2 pcie 3.0x4 ssd, you have no idea what you're missing. DDR4 RAM as well is extremely impressive at the higher frequencies. I had very tight DDR3 timing, but DDR4 at double the timings at 3200 frequency blows it away. And that's at stock versus my careful overclocking of everything in the past.

I would however look to Zen and Kaby Lake for anything 2500k and above. i7 920s though are really not competitive and haven't been for awhile, the Phenom IIs were about the same as them.

Posted on 2016-06-04 22:35:35
goblin072 .

Ron, I have 3770k, I7920, Phenon II, WS3860 (Xeon), Haswell all in the same room. The phenon II x6 core is a total Dog vs the i7920. I am talking about actual use like gaming (yes same video cards in them)

The I7920 still hangs even in 2016 the X6 does not. Memory speed does not "Feel" any faster if its DDR3 or DDR4 just in bench marks. Unless you have a specific task like a few cpu intensive games the 920 is still fine for anyone. Example Doom4 With Gtx 970 on a Haswell is around 110-140fps (1080P) and on I7920 its like 95-125 fps. I could have 2 people game on both and unless I showed the FPS they would not know its a 920.

As far as general web surfing, running 4 displays etc. Again the I7 920 is all you need in 2016.

If you want USB3 get a card. There still is not a compelling reason to upgrade from one unless you need every last FPS out of a particular game.

Its "I want" to upgrade vs "I need it" you don't need it.

Posted on 2016-06-05 09:08:22
goblin072 .

Ryan, you can use M.2 on your Sandycore. Just need a 2x or 4x Pcix slot and a card. The cards actually might be better than using the built in MB m2 slot because of heat issues. Many of the m2 add on cards come with a large heat sink which will help avoid thermal throttling.

For a new system a skylake is a easy recommendation. That quad core can do everything well. But for a sandycore user hmm, unless you are maxed out of video cards I would keep the sandy and get a better video card.

Posted on 2016-06-05 16:37:54

its not JUST the CPU. the platform is ancient by now and a lot of the OTHER components cause bottlenecks.

Posted on 2016-12-30 01:33:35
David Dewis

Guess im sticking with my Overclocked FX8350 for the time being. It might be old, but in real world performance, its not falling behind enough to warrant the cost of upgrading just yet. When i start to see big jumps in import/export times of 5-10 mins, i'll consider it. but at the moment, all the research ive seen suggests i'll be spending nearly £500-£600 for a few seconds less waiting time. I miss the days where new gen CPUs had massive, real world, jumps in performance.

Posted on 2015-09-07 03:21:01
Hunter Dominic

Don't expect massive increases anytime in the near future. Until some space age, cheap technology is found, the performance increases will be minuscule.

Posted on 2015-10-10 11:07:41
Michael F

If TSMC, Glo Fo, or Micron would start licensing some of IBM's new 9nm tech, we could see some major improvements from AMD. If you can just throw an ungodly amount of transistors at the problem, you can make a faster chip than Intel. Or in the automotive world, a 2.6 liter Mazda GT3 racing engine is never going to make more power than a 12 liter Cummins turbo diesel no matter how optimized the design is.

Posted on 2015-11-03 05:48:22
Ry

Quantum tech apparently isn't that far off. Could be seeing this stuff in home PCs in twenty years?

Posted on 2015-12-12 05:55:46
ag

it would be great if you could show how skylake compares with this
https://www.pugetsystems.co...
and this
https://www.pugetsystems.co...

apparently i'd think the performance would likely be similar to haswell, but would it be more power efficient given that this is 14 nm vs 28 nm on haswell?

Posted on 2015-09-08 17:53:49

Don did a bit of testing with Skylake here: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Linpack performance is actually lower than Haswell - but it shouldn't be. We're still trying to figure that one out but it looks like there may have been new Intel compilers that were just released so we are going to give that shot. I'm sure Don will publish a new blog post once he gets a chance to try it out.

Posted on 2015-09-08 18:05:13
Ry

Any updates there?

Posted on 2015-12-12 05:56:29
ag

i'm curious about the comparison of skylake vs haswell for these in particular for power consumption
https://www.pugetsystems.com/l...
and this
https://www.pugetsystems.com/l...

because, if it turns out that performance is similar with no improvement in power efficiency, we have gone from 22 nm to a 14 nm a large reduction, it may prove the end of Dennard scaling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... and the end of Moore's law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Posted on 2015-09-08 18:00:08
Gotsumpnferya

Interesting . I'm probably going to build a Haswell machine , as I don't need much more than what the 4790K will do .

Posted on 2015-09-11 05:14:55
Paul

I have an Intel Core i7 920 and am already buying parts for my new box. My current PC is OC'd at 3.8GHz (2.67GHz stock) 6GB RAM, blah, blah, blah..... I dont know what the problem is with Intel in releasing the chips but it blows. This is what I bought so far.... Comments?

Cooler Master Storm 2
EVGA 220-G2-0850-XR 80 PLUS GOLD 850 W
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
WD BLACK 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
CORSAIR Hydro Series H50 120mm Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler – Intel Only

EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X Superclocked 12GB GDDR5 384bit

Posted on 2015-09-11 20:03:51
RLRaGE

Not bad specs for your new build, what CPU and mobo you looking at? maybe for your GPU go for a 980Ti, Titans cost is high as to only just being a bit faster than a Ti is not really worth it, plus u can get the better results though overclocking the Ti, then use the extra $$$ for a SSD for your os and decrease those load times.

Posted on 2015-10-16 13:34:41
swe3tdave

i would still prefer a 4790k when you calculate the real speed of the ddr4 memory, with the increase in cas latency you're actually loosing speed... its easier to find a low latency 2400mhz ddr3...

Posted on 2015-09-14 13:12:04
Ryan Snaca AniloHectycle

Its not as simple as that. My ram at cas 10 2200 is slower than it is at cas 11 2400 and if you do the math on these variables alone you would be misled as the 2200 ratio was more favorable on paper. Bandwidth is far more important than latency in programs like crisis 3 otherwise direct x 11 where ONE core is talking with the GPU and in a limited respect contributing to the geometry or at least how the already processed complexities are organized. I know this because ie overclocked my cpu to instability and it incorrectly demonstrated its role in geometry. This is a 3D task which CPUs are poor at partly because they have inferior bandwidth. Its such a bottleneck Ive had to resort to ordering an i7 and faster ddr3. Ive noticed ram clock is more important than 1T timings and low cas in applications where the CPU is struggling. DDR4 might have lose timings but they are good enough the bandwidth is more important than latency in real world performance.

Posted on 2015-12-20 12:29:56
siddham

If you are a general use and medium level gamer is there any reason to prefer Z170 over Z97?
Or vice versa?
I am researching my first self-build and was set on an Asus Z97 up to this. I am on a low to medium budget €700 ish.
Any advice and insight from veterans please
Thanks

Posted on 2015-09-18 18:22:45
Omnom Bacon

I'd stick with the Z97. General use and medium gaming will never see RAM usage over 32GB. Personally I'd get an i5 4690K, all in one water cooler, and just overclock it to around 4GHz. I can't justify €320+ just on the processor for a 6700K. You should be able to pick up the i5 for around €100 less, which is an extra €100 you can spend on a better graphics card. That extra money will cover the upgrade from a GTX 760 2GB to a GTX 960 4GB.

Posted on 2015-10-06 00:39:07
siddham

Good advice which tallies with my research. I will probably do as you recommend. Thanks

Posted on 2015-10-06 05:28:23
siddham

I was thinking of the Asus Z97-pro; which has a lot of nice features - good audio and fan controls etc. Would a Noctura heatsink cover me to OC an i5 4690K to ~4GHz ?

Posted on 2015-10-06 19:07:30
Omnom Bacon

Generally, yes. The NH-D14 is generally the best air cooler you can buy. However it's quite large (158x126x120mm) and weighs 1.24kg. If you're sticking to 4GHz for your goal I'd suggest the Hyper 212 Evo from CoolerMaster. You'll run only a couple degrees hotter, it's smaller and lighter, and costs less than half as much. Just make sure you have a case with decent airflow for either option.

Posted on 2015-10-07 01:37:59
siddham

I was thinking of the NH-U12S which is a smaller Noctua (581g vs 212 Evo 467g). The reason I was thinking of the Noctua was I understand the fans are very low-noise. But perhaps the CoolerMaster would be as good - and cheaper. Thanks

Posted on 2015-10-07 14:35:08
Sl

I have a 4690k with a corsair h100I gtx and I get 4.6ghz and it never goes above 60 degrees at full load. I also have 16gb of ddr3 2400 and a 980ti. I have yet to find a game it can't run cranked at 4k.

Posted on 2016-01-02 03:20:01
Bearmann

I was wondering if you have done any Photoshop comparisons between the
6700k and the 6600k? This review indicates that the i5 is as good, or
better, than the i7 for Photoshop:
http://www.tomshardware.com...
What about Skylake memory scaling in Photoshop? Is the new 530 IGP sufficient for Photshop without an additional graphics card?

Posted on 2015-09-29 13:28:12

Honestly, I wouldn't trust those results for anything more than a very general representation of performance in Photoshop. They were generated using PCMark which is a great benchmarking program but doesn't actually test anything in Photoshop that is very intensive. If the benchmark completes in ~.6-1.4 seconds, it can't be doing anything very difficult and honestly anything that completes that quickly is not going to be terribly accurate

We haven't tested the two CPUs against each other, but since Photoshop is primarily single threaded (that we have tested: https://www.pugetsystems.co... the 6700K should be about 7% faster under ideal conditions based on the maximum turbo frequency found on both CPUs. Nothing is ideal however, so I suspect the difference would be closer to 4-5% in the real world. That isn't very much and often won't even be noticeable, but it should be at least fairly accurate.

As for the onboard graphics, I would definitely recommend at least a mid-range discrete video card. A lot of Photoshop tasks are GPU accelerated right now and Adobe is constantly adding acceleration to more and more effects. This article is a bit dated now, but even assuming the new onboard graphics is 50% faster than the HD4000 graphics, you will still see a noticeable performance improvement on accelerated effects by using even a mid-range card like a GTX 960: https://www.pugetsystems.co....

A 6700K with a mid-range GPU should give you the best overall performance, but if you are on a tighter budget I would recommend getting a i5-6600K and use the savings to get a decent video card to go along with it.

Posted on 2015-09-29 17:44:04
Bearmann

Thank you so much for your response! I'm assuming that you haven't seen any scaling with higher frequency RAM in Photoshop since you are pairing your builds with DDR4 2133 RAM? Haswell seemed to show some scaling as shown here: http://www.xbitlabs.com/art...

Posted on 2015-09-29 17:57:54

We tested RAM speed in Photoshop a bit ago, but that was before DDR4 came out so we only went up to 2133MHz (https://www.pugetsystems.co.... Xbitlabs results line up with what I would expect based on our testing so I think what they are showing is accurate.

You are right that we are only selling DDR4-2133 with our systems. Assuming Xbitlabs' results are accurate, that means that technically we are losing at 1-2% performance compared toDDR4-2400 RAM. However, we have tried using higher frequency RAM plenty of times in the past, and it has never worked out well. The failure rate is simply much, much higher than we are comfortable with. DDR4-2133 RAM only has a .3% failure rate right now which I would estimate would jump to 3% or so (a 10x increase) with RAM that is a higher frequency. We value stability more than almost anything else here, so that increase in failure rate for a few percent increase in performance is something we tend to avoid.

Posted on 2015-09-29 18:29:15
Bearmann

I don't know if you noticed that the Xbitlabs test (from 3-28-14)was also using DDR3 RAM. So I wondered whether the Z170 DDR4 RAM combination would be different. A non-Photshop test that I saw (http://www.legitreviews.com... showed improvements in benchmarks, but no actual improvement in actual programs. Therefore I suspected that it wouldn't make a difference, but there is always the possibility of an unexpected result with an untested program. Even the Xbitlabs test showed only 3.2% improvement from 2133 DDR3 to 2933 DDR3. I agree that stability is more important than a couple of percent better performance.

Posted on 2015-09-29 19:15:52

DDR4 and DDR3 are not really all that different in terms of performance if they are running at the same frequency and timings, so I think Xbitlabs' results should be fairly accurate for DDR4 as well as DDR3. All-in-all, I would say that higher frequency RAM isn't worth it for a handful of percent performance gain. If it was like 10-15%, that would be a different story.

Posted on 2015-09-29 19:33:11
JDC

4790K = Devils Canyon

Posted on 2015-10-17 11:29:19
Sl

Still a haswell chip. Even if it is a refresh.

Posted on 2016-01-02 03:23:01
J.1

Do you use statistical algorithms to calculate the in/significant results or do you just read these numbers and conclude(may be ANOVA?)? Cuz even if there is a 15%increase in Photoshop, I think unless someone uses his computer only for Photoshop, this is a good choice. But for everyone else the skylake don't seem appealing for haswell users I would say.

Posted on 2015-11-09 07:38:54
NoMoLies

The conclusion in this article is a farce. The 4790K did much better than indicated if you study the real world test results. When you factor the cost of the 6th gen Intel CPU and DDR4 memory and an 1151 motherboard the i7-4790K setup is hands down the winner and every gamer in the world would choose this setup. For games the 4.4Ghz speed of the 4790K will hands down be better than the 6700K. All the smoke and mirrors in the world cannot sell us on the new CPU. OK, so the 6700K can utilize up to 64GB memory. I am as as hard core a PC user as anyone could be and I have NEVER used the 16GB memory in my PC's. I could go to 32GB, but I could never use it.

Posted on 2015-12-03 09:40:46

In gaming tests, the 4790K and 6700K are basically neck-and-neck. The trick is, though, that even a Core i5 from either of those generations (like the 4690K and 6600K) is *also* neck-and-neck with those i7s, despite a bit lower clock speed and lack of Hyperthreading. What this really points to is that most current video games don't need more than 4 cores and a mid 3GHz clock speed to perform at their maximum. For that reason, I personally use a Core i5 in most of my computers... and generally recommend that for budget-conscious gamers. For folks who just want the absolute best, going with a Core i7 may help in the future as games get more demanding, and can also benefit other applications. In such instances, it makes sense to go for the latest CPU tech as well, since it brings with it things like newer connectivity on the motherboard, the latest RAM tech / speeds, etc. It can also increase performance in non-gaming applications, as the article above demonstrates.

Posted on 2015-12-03 17:22:27
Ron

Eh, it cost me about $450 for an i7 6700k, 16GB of 3200 DDR4 RAM, and a z170 motherboard which included a 3.0x4 M.2 slot.

Sure I could have saved maybe $50 and gotten the 4790k, just re-using my DDR3 RAM, but it would be objectively inferior. If you're doing a new build it never makes sense to get older architecture.

If you already HAVE the 4790k of course sit tight. But let's not pretend that someone doing a new build (or upgrading from very old hardware) isn't better off paying the small premium for better hardware.

Also the i7s are objectively better than the i5s for gaming, due to increase cache and now hyperthreading is actually helping in games. But even more than that, they've always been better on minimum FPS with smoother (less stutter) gameplay. If your eyes are sensitive, it's kind of a big deal. If they're not, then i5s are usually the better bet.

Posted on 2016-06-04 22:42:34
Loren Rohrich

If you have the money go with X-99 don't under estimate the importance of a powerful gaming CPU I went from i5 4670 Haswell to i7 5820k the i7 Haswell-E is a real powerhouse my games run so nice.

Posted on 2016-01-05 17:47:12
Pete Farrow

Quote "the i7 6700K compared to the i7 4790K was either identical or significantly better", this is a strange conclusion given the benchmarks above that have just been published. The differences are, at best, marginal. The only offering the Skylake has is 64G RAM over 32G RAM. I see no reason to upgrade. "signifcant improvement" in my book means > 30% faster across the board. Not +10% in some cases and -10% in others. I can't really imagine anyone rushing out to buy a skylake system based on the rather meagre performance improvements demonstrated here. It is such a small difference it is hardly worth reviewing. The internal graphics might be considerably better, but does anyone actually use onboard graphics in a high end system likely to be hosting one of these CPUs? The onboard graphics are a bit like having a really fast super car that has a spare wheel with a better tread pattern on it than the previous models, allowing you to drive a bit faster on your space-saver spare when you have a puncture.

Posted on 2016-01-08 02:16:44
cat1092

Why not have a level playing field & use the DDR3L RAM modules that the 6700K will support, and some OEM's will do just this to purge old stock.

Make the RAM equal, then let's see the outcome of the benchmarks. I'm not impressed, the i7-4790K hold a slight advantage over the i7-6700K on the PassMark site, and nearly a year after release, it's not in the top 10 common CPU's yet.

Plus, the other issue going against it, come 18 months from now, tests running Windows 7 or 8.1 will be irrelevant, as one will need Windows 10 to 'access' all of the Broadwell's potential. This was not just a Intel issue, rather one from (strangely) also AMD & Qualcomm, they've joined forces with Microsoft to ensure that their newest products won't be fully utilized with OS's less than Windows 10. So the playing field will never be level again.

Posted on 2016-02-06 19:57:48
Adel Mandani

Thank you

Posted on 2016-03-08 00:12:54

I agree with most here regarding the "quality" of this article. And it might not be prudent to call a move from 4790k to 6700k an "upgrade." However, I can say that I have had the 6700k now for about 2 1/2 months and this processor is freaking awesome. I did a full build upgrade complete with Z170 mobo, 16GB DDR4, liquid cooler for cpu, R9 390, 750w psu, gaming case, the works. I have friends with various builds with 4790k and while I can't say that I "run circles" around them, I am confident in saying that I am faster in every task. The benches above don't really do it justice. Real world application, noticeable by a second or two in any given task.

Posted on 2016-04-22 07:08:35

So, is my only decision X99 at this point?

Posted on 2016-05-02 23:22:18

if you dont want z170, yes

Posted on 2016-05-09 04:26:07

ok

Posted on 2016-05-09 20:59:10
mwc1

by now there are many more motherboard options for the 1511 socket, I am looking at Skylake not as much for performance boost over Haswell but wanting to bypass that dreadful Haswell design hoping better thermal and with the regulator on the mother board to help with CPU temps.
Also looking to go with Xeon and forget the i core crap

Posted on 2016-05-19 00:08:33
Anonymous

Thanks a ton for this article. Definetely going for a 6700K, this article changed my mind. Planning to get a GTX 1080, and 32 gigs ram at 2133 aswell.

Posted on 2016-05-29 14:53:52
Daryl Davis

Prices for Skylake, Z170, and DDR4 now are low enough that 4790K (which hasn't come down in price) is no longer a value proposition.

Posted on 2016-05-30 06:34:17

Why broadwell (5th Gen) Intel core series processors did not make it to desktop PCs?

Posted on 2016-08-21 12:56:26

They did, but they were only actually available for a brief couple months before the 6th gen stuff came out. They also had a specific focus on higher integrated GPU performance - but were really no faster on the CPU side, and not available at as high of clock speeds.

Posted on 2016-08-21 17:50:47

ummm correct me if I'm wrong... what i get is 6700K has worse IPC than haswell... better IOs like thunderbolt and better graphic...
seems like team in Isreal is not beating it. GG

Posted on 2016-09-16 18:17:12

Hmm... to me it looks like the 6700K has better IPC. It runs at a lower turbo boost speed (by 200MHz) but consistently performs better than the 4790K. Not by much, but when you factor in the higher performance and the lower clock speed I'd say around a 5-10% higher IPC. And with all that, lower temperatures as well. I don't consider that enough of a difference to warrant an upgrade if you already have a 4000-series processor, but for those getting a new system it is a no-brainer to get the 6000 series :)

Posted on 2016-09-16 18:21:00

Thx for the reply. Yah I'm getting a i7-6700k GTX1070 custom laptop this week, just digging around and see how skylake is better than my age old 3770k@5.2Ghz lolol.
I agree it's probably 5-10% better IPC. Intel lowering boost clock than previous gen processor is a first...

Posted on 2016-09-16 18:34:53
Evan Cole

Did you guys put your data in backward for Photoshop? You keep saying you saw increases, but it looks like the i7-4790 did much better on your benchmarks than did the i7-6700 in your charts.

Posted on 2016-12-02 00:25:21

Unless I'm missing something, it looks right to me. The results are in seconds, so a lower number represents a faster result. Using "increase" to describe the results may not have been the most clear choice of wording since there is an increase in performance via a decrease in the time it took to complete each task. I'll keep that in mind for future articles.

Posted on 2016-12-02 00:33:45
Evan Cole

After you cleared that up for me I saw the unit at the bottom was seconds. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Matt.

Posted on 2016-12-02 03:28:23

need DDR4 bandwidth for higher resolution gaming. this might not necessarily show up in synthetic benchmarks but in real world testing, high end gaming computers running 100+ fps see a much better sustained framerate using the improved bandwidth of the Z170 platform.

Posted on 2016-12-30 01:31:02
5 Dog lover

What a stupid review ! The Haswell 4790K was limited by running 1600 ram. You should have ran 2133 ram, same as the 6700k ...
I have seen significant fps increases using the higher 2133 ram over my previous 1866 ram in my setup. Sometimes as much as 20fps in benches ...

Posted on 2018-01-12 18:28:43
5 Dog lover

Yet another flawed test of cpu's. WHY didn't you use the same frequency ram ? The performance edge that lower latency ddr3 offers is thrown out the window when you chose to run the lower frequency ram (1600). There was no issue with running both cpu's with 2133 ram. It was (2133 ram), and still is readily available. Had you chosen to run 2133 ram for both cpu's, and given the lower latency of ddr3 ram, there would have been some differences in scoring. While not all tests will show any change using different speed ram, there are those that do. It would have been truly interesting to see what is really different between the cpu platforms, with the same frequency ram. But no, you chose NOT to offer a test that shows each platform at it's full strength. Instead, you chose to give the newer platform a decided edge before testing anything. Way to miss the mark !!!

Posted on 2018-10-13 05:38:30

This is a three year old article, but one thing we always try to maintain in our testing is to stick to the manufacturer's specifications whenever possible. We don't overclock the workstations we sell, so it simply makes since for the testing we do to align with what we offer to our customers.

In the case of this testing, the i7 4790k's official maximum supported RAM speed is DDR3-1600 while the i7 6700k is DDR4-2133. While we could have used RAM that is outside spec for the i7 4790k, support for faster RAM is a very real benefit of newer CPUs like (in this case) the i7 6700k. Keep in mind that our goal with our testing is not to push the hardware to its limits, but to measure the performance in configurations that we are confident standing behind for our customers.

Posted on 2018-10-13 05:57:52
5 Dog lover

That's a total copout. There are plenty of reviews that show the benefit of faster ram, especially when OC'ing. Not choosing to show an apple to apple comparison, only negates any true real world differences . You are showing K series cpu's, and the reason to buy and use a K series cpu is to go beyond it's baselines. Not just cpu base clocks, but also higher frequency ram as well. Your choice to stick to baseline frequency's invalidates the reasons to purchase a K series CPU to begin with. You might as well have just reviewed non K series cpu's if that's your reasoning. And yes this is a three year old article, but we are YET to see the benefits that were promised with DDR4 ram. Latency is still terrible, and costs have yet to diminish. The main reason for most of the new platform changes has to do with lower energy consumption and heat, which only really benefits smaller portable devices, like laptops, phones, and tablets. These changes mean longer battery life, and lower heat, which means a smaller device. These improvements were mainly developed to promote hand held devices. These aren't really important features for desktop PC users, are they ? If cpu research had been directed at just improving CPU throughput, regardless of power and heat, we would be looking at a much higher performing CPU market today IMO.

Posted on 2018-10-13 07:22:30

There is plenty of reason to buy an Intel K or X series CPU, even if you aren't going to overclock. Those chips have higher frequencies right out of the box than non-K/X models. In fact, these days almost all the Intel processors we sell have one or the other of those designations, even though we don't offer overclocking on our workstations at all.

I'm also not sure what CPU market you are looking at, but the one I see has seen tremendous performance improvements - from the CPUs themselves - over the last several years. We've gone from having a max of 6 or 8 cores per physical CPU to 18 (Intel Core i9 7980XE), 28 (Intel Xeon Platinum 8180), and even 32 (AMD Threadripper 2990WX). Mainstream processors from Intel are about to hit 8 cores with the release of the i9 9900K, which is also the first CPU to hit 5GHz single-core boost speeds without overclocking. Even if you loaded up an older CPU with higher speed memory than it was rated for, and even overclocked it, you'd still get better performance with today's processors at stock speed. You do have to decide between high clock speeds and high core count, depending on what your application(s) need most, but I have no complaints about where processor technology has brought us :)

Posted on 2018-10-16 22:45:35