For the new LGA1151 platform are now available not only expensive quad-core Core i7 and Core i5 processors, but more affordable dual-core processors: Core i3-6320, i3-6100 and Pentium G4500. Has the new Skylake microarchitecture given some advantages to such CPU?
Every month a new platform LGA1151 and processors of Skylake generation gradually strengthen their market position, displacing the usual, but outdated systems based on Haswell processors. However, this substitution occurs clearly slower than Intel’s original plan. This is due in part to the fact that modernization of the transition from Haswell to Skylake is associated with the need to replace not only the CPUs, but also motherboards and memory, not all users are ready to do this, especially since not too significant advantages of the new processors. But there is another reason: production problems faced by Intel with the introduction of 14-nm technological process, continue to haunt the company, and as a result it did not manage to fully meet the demand for Skylake – ones or other modifications become in short supply.
Surprisingly, but even officially announced in early August quad-corers Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K still can not boast of universal accessibility. They now and then disappear from the market. Moreover, supply problems are global in nature and affect even the world largest marketplaces like Amazon or Newegg. Therefore there is nothing surprising in the fact that users had to wait longer than it was intended for the appearance of the cheaper Skylake in the stores. Officially, the dual-core and quad-core processors of the younger generation were announced in early September. But actually they were on sale for about a month and a half later. Today, however, it is not difficult to buy a dual-core Skylake, in contrast to the older Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K – different versions of the latest Core i3 and Pentium, produced according to 14-nm process technology, are represented in the stores.
And it is good news for many consumers who want to assemble a new system to avoid serious financial expenditures. Flagship overclocking processors Skylake are very expensive, and therefore can not be recommended for mass systems. Dual-core Skylake is much more democratic in its price and can serve as an excellent choice for PC medium price range.
According to the adopted Intel’s nomenclature, a desktop family Core i3 of processors includes dual-core CPUs, enhanced with Hyper-Threading technology, and the family of Pentium – dual-core processors without it. At the same time representatives of the two families have no support of automatic overclocking Turbo Boost available in the older CPUs, and the size of the cache in the third level is 3 or 4 MB. These were the Core i3 and Pentium of the Haswell generation, they are the same now, during the transition to next-generation microarchitecture. However, this does not mean that according to the characteristics the new Core i3 and Pentium are the same as their predecessors. Even if we ignore the fact that microarchitecture Skylake provides higher specific capacity, speed of novelties is improved by several improvements.
First, the dual-core Skylakes got a higher clock frequency. While the maximum frequency of dual-core Haswells reached 3.8 GHz, senior processor of the updated lineup of Core i3 runs at 100 MHz faster – at 3.9 GHz. Secondly, we should not forget that the new Core i3 and Pentium are quite complete solution for platform LGA1151. That is, unlike its predecessors, they support not only DDR3L SDRAM, but a faster DDR4 dual channel memory, and for interfacing with a set of system logic use the bus DMI 3.0 with increased up bandwidth to 3.93 Gb/s. This means that dual-core Skylakes, like their quad-core counterparts, fit perfectly into modern platforms based on chipsets of hundredth series, which differ in support of accelerated external buses and interfaces. And third, in the updated family of Pentium is finally added support for a set of AES-NI instructions, which increases the rate of a multiple cryptographic operations. However, instruction sets AVX support thus remained disabled in the Pentium.
In addition, the other improvements should be noted, too, which have no direct impact on performance, but nevertheless are still important. For example, in dual-core Core i3 processor and Pentium generation Skylake will appeared IO virtualization VT-d, and limit of the amount of memory that can address the controller built into the processor will be increased to 64 GB.