Intel had their Q2 earnings today, and while we’ll get to that shortly, some news came out of the earnings call that was interesting. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated on their earnings call that Intel is now shipping their 7th Generation Core processor, code named Kaby Lake.

Kaby Lake was not even a product not that long ago, but with Intel coming up against the laws of physics with process shrinks, they made the announcement a year ago that they would be adding more architectures per process shrink. The delays in moving to 22 nm and then 14 nm meant that they were missing the anticipated product launches for their OEMs, which left the OEMs with quarters where they would have no new products to sell. In an attempt to smooth out the timelines to a more reasonable cadence, while at the same time coming to grips with the complexity of moving to smaller and smaller processes, Intel announced Kaby Lake as a successor to Skylake, which would build on Skylake and offer additional architectural improvements.

This was big news at the time mostly because Intel’s previous Tick Tock strategy was so successful. To abandon it was certainly an important step for the company, but with Kaby Lake seemingly on-time for a fall launch this year, just a year after Skylake launched, points to the investment being the correct one.

When Intel says they are shipping, they of course mean they are shipping to their device manufacturer partners, so we should start seeing Kaby Lake based computers this fall.

Another interesting point brought up during the call was on yields. Intel has found itself in a situation where it’s inventory levels are higher than they would like them to be, and the answer to this was yields. Intel’s yields improved in Q1, and to quote Stacy J. Smith, Intel’s CFO and EVP, “Frankly, they got a lot better in Q2 as well” which is likely another reason why Kaby Lake is being delivered on-time.

We should learn more about Kaby Lake at Intel’s IDF which is coming up in mid-August.

Source: Intel Investor Call

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  • eddman - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    That's quite something and good to know. I'm planning on getting a 1060 or 480. I suppose a Q9550 won't be much of a bottleneck for those cards after all.
  • abstraction - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Q9550, once overclocked good, will not be a perceptible bottleneck in games built on Vulkan and (probably) DirectX 12, if you use recent video card. Need to be noted, that you have to get your DDR2 memory run on high clock too, from 1.3 GHz, I think, and with good latencies.
  • Jimster480 - Sunday, July 24, 2016 - link

    I have a few friends still running core 2 quads and they are doing just fine!
    Hell I have a few friends running Phenom II's still and they are also doing just fine!
    Most games don't take advantage of new CPU technologies so its really irrelevant as these generational "gains" are mostly with specialized instruction sets such as AVX2 and AVX-512 or FMA, etc.
    The only useful CPU instruction in modern CPU's is honestly AES where it helps to speed up web browsing and other secure connections, but even then the gains are not that serious and make more of a difference when hosting.
  • Panoramix0903 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Not funny. I have an old DELL Optiplex 755 MT, bougt in Dec. 2007, with original configuration of Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 + 2x1 GB DDR2 666 MHz, 80GB Seagate S-ATA 7200 RPM HDD and AMD Radeon HD2400Pro PCI-E DDR2 + Windows XP Professional. Now, it the same case, same mainboard, I have Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650, 4x2GB DDR2 800 MHz, 240GB Intel SSD 535 + 1TB Seagate 7200 RPM HDD, Sapphire AMD Radeon HD7750 1GB DDR5 PCI-E and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, and everything works flawlessly.
  • Jimster480 - Sunday, July 24, 2016 - link

    Yep and I am sure you can upgrade that GPU to a RX480 and still be fine for a few more years or until the mobo craps out.
  • willis936 - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    if 1080p60 is what you're aiming for yeah it's enough. If you want 1440p120 even the high end today cuts it but not by a wide margain.
  • Jimster480 - Sunday, July 24, 2016 - link

    120FPS is harder to achieve but that is just due to single thread limitations since alot of rendering is still single thread.
    Vulkan and DX12 will eliminate those issues.

    I can do 4K 60 on a r9 285 and a i7 QED8 engineering sample (Haswell 2.7Ghz) with little to no issues. And that is running DDR3 1333mhz ram too!
    Ultra settings are just a joke made to force you to buy a new GPU by demanding 3-12x as much GPU power for ~5% increased visual experiences.
  • patel21 - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    My Q600 is still rocking too :-)
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Same here. After maxing out the ram, replacing the spinning rust with SSDs, and upgraded to Windows 10, my SB rig gives me no reason to upgrade.

    Anandtech did a nice comparison of Sandy Bridge with Skylake when it came out and I'm really hoping they do the same thing with Kaby Lake. With DX11 games only showing a few FPS difference, it wasn't even close to the death of SB they declared. It would be especially interesting now to see how the new generation of GPUs fare with SB in DX12 games. Just how well has DX12 removed the CPU bottleneck?
  • ikjadoon - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    TBH, if you game at 120Hz on CPU-intensive games, you need a very fast CPU. You need at least an 8-threaded CPU to output a full 1080p frame at under 8.3ms consistently, I've recently found out. :(

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