Intel has announced the availability of its entire 6th Gen Skylake portfolio aligned with the launch of Windows 10. What the silicon giant calls its “best processor range ever” will be divided into Y series for 2-in-1s, tablets and compute sticks, the U series aimed at thin notebooks and portable AIOs, H series for high performance mobile computing devices and workstations and the S series for desktops.
Introducing the new range to a select media gathering on the sidelines of IDF15 in San Francisco, Intel’s Senior Vice-President General Manager, Client Computing Group Kirk Skaugen said the company has been working on the 6th gen for over four years. “This is Intel’s best microprocessor ever. It is designed from the ground up for full scalability and has a new Skylake micro architecture,” he said, adding that there has never been a more exciting time to buy a PC.
Intel claims the 6th Gen is the “most scalable mobile processor ever” with 10x power scaling. It is also being touted as the most energy efficient Intel Core processors ever with up to 60 per cent lower active power and offering up to 40 per cent better graphics performance. The new devices powered by these processors can offer up to 10 hours of Full HD video playback.
The new processors when combined with the new range of Microsoft Windows 10 devices, expected to hit the market this quarter, will usher in new ways of computing by eliminating wires for charging, docking and displays. It will also power Windows Hello which tries to get rid of the password by recognising the face of the user on its own.
The new processors are about 33 per cent smaller in the lower end of the range. They will be half as thin, half the weight, offer 3x battery life, 2.5x performance and 30x graphics improvement. The 6th Gen will be available in Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 as well as the new Core M3, M5 and M7 range for mobile devices.
Later in the year, Intel will bring its vPro range to most of these processors and launch the first Intel Xeon processor for mobile.
A Skylake for everyone
This is an extremely large product launch. Intel has staggered its announcements in the past, often leading with either desktop or mobile only. With the fifth generation it led with Core M, and the few desktop chips that appeared did not arrive until more than half a year after that announcement.
Of course, it’s worth wondering how many of these chips will show up in production hardware in time for the holiday season. All the major PC manufacturers at IFA seem to be embracing the sixth generation, and availability dates seem to be landing in October and November. However, the launch of the Skylake K-Series for desktop burned some enthusiasts; though the reviews have been up for over a month, availability of the Core i5-6600K and Core i7-6600K remains iffy.
In any case, consumers looking to buy a computer sometime in the next two years should become familiar with this line-up. It will likely remain relevant for a very long time, as the successor to Skylake is said to be delayed until 2017 – or beyond.
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