The Claims

As with any launch, there are numbers abound from Intel to explain how the performance and experience of Skylake is better than previous designs as well as the competition.

As with Haswell and Broadwell, Intel is implementing a mobile first design with Skylake. As with any processor development structure the primal idea is to focus on one power point as being the most efficient and extend that efficiency window as far in either direction as possible. During IDF, Intel stated that having an efficiency window from 4.5W to 91W is a significant challenge, to which we agree, as well as improving both performance and power consumption over Broadwell at each stage.

Starting at 4.5W, we spoke extensively with parts of Intel at IDF due to our Broadwell-Y coverage. From their perspective Broadwell-Y designs were almost too wide ranging, especially for what is Intel’s premium low-power high performance product, and for the vendors placing it in an ill-defined chassis far away from Intel’s recommended designs gave concern to the final performance and user experience. As a result, Intel’s guidelines to OEMs this generation are tightened so that the designers looking for the cheaper Core M plastic implementations can tune their design to get the best out of it. Intel has been working with a few of these (both entry Core M and premium models) to enact the user experience model.

Overall however, Intel is claiming 40% better graphics performance for Core M with the new Generation 9 (Gen9) implementation, along with battery saving and compatibility with new features such as RealSense. Because Core-M will find its way into products from tablets to 2-in-1s and clamshells, we’ve been told that the Skylake design should hit a home-run against the best-selling tablets in the market, along with an appropriate Windows 10 experience. When we get units in to review, we will see what the score is from our perspective on that one.

For the Skylake-Y to Skylake-U transition (and in part, Skylake-H), Intel is claiming a 60% gain in efficiency over Haswell-U. This means either 60% less active power during media consumption or 60% more CPU performance at the same power (measured by synthetics, specifically SPECint_base_rate2006). The power consumption metrics comes from updates relating to the Gen9 graphics, such as multi-plane overlay and fixed-function decoders, as well as additional power/frequency gating between the unslice and slices. We will cover this later in the review.  The GPU itself, due to the new functionality, is claiming 40% better graphics performance for Core M during 3DMark synthetic tests.

While not being launched today, Intel’s march on integrated graphics is also going to continue. With the previous eDRAM parts, Intel took the crown for absolute IGP performance from AMD, albeit being in a completely different price band. With Skylake, the introduction of a 4+4e model means that Intel’s modular graphics design will now extend from GT1 to GT4, where GT4e has 72 execution units with 128MB of eDRAM in tow. This leads to the claim that GT4e is set to match/beat a significant proportion of the graphics market today.

Back in our Skylake-K review, we were perhaps unimpressed with the generational gain in clock-for-clock performance, although improved multi-threading and frequency ranges helped push the out-of-the-box experience. The other side of that performance is the power draw, and because Skylake is another mobile-first processor, the power aspect becomes important down in mobile devices. We will go through some of these developments to improve power consumption in this article.

The Intel Skylake Launch The Skylake Package: High Level Core and Power Delivery


View All Comments

  • extide - Saturday, September 5, 2015 - link

    Well, a decrease in performance from cannonlake to skylake would be correct. However, I assume you mean haswell, not cannonlake, and that is probably be due to the L2/FMUL changes. However you are also looking at chips with different clockspeeds, with haswell having a faster clock so that also contributes to this result.

    It is somewhat disappointing that Intel has decided to make changes that significantly favor power consumption over performance.

    I have a feeling the Xeons will not have these same changes, so it will be interesting to see what the Skylake E5's are like...
  • shodanshok - Sunday, September 6, 2015 - link

    Mmm, I have the very opposite feeling: I think that these changes were done explicitly to the benefit of server and mobile chips. These two categories (server and mobile) are greatly limited by their power usage (and by their ability to effectively remove the generated heart), while are only marginally dependent on FPU performance.

    So trading some performance for improved power efficiency suddenly make a lot of sense, especially if Intel want to continually increase Xeon's for number (and it seems so).
  • SeanJ76 - Saturday, September 5, 2015 - link

    Not impressed... Reply
  • exmachiner - Monday, September 7, 2015 - link

    Why is there no Desktop SKU with GT4e/Iris Pro ? Will it launch at a later date ? There is an Iris Pro version in Broadwell IIRC. Reply
  • ZachSaw - Monday, September 7, 2015 - link

    I'd be interested to know what its relative performance is vs a discrete card like 750ti when it comes to the SM5.0 version of NNEDI3 with MPDN. Intel GPUs surprisingly run twice as fast with the shader version as compared to the OpenCL version (AMD loves shader too - the only exception here is NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture). It'll be interesting to see if Skylake is the perfect HTPC! Reply
  • janolsen - Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - link

    If I understand pg 3 slide correctly , eDRAM will only be for BGA - and thus no Iris iGPU for desktop, broadwell chips may be a bit faster for those not needing a GPU for gaming and similar. Reply
  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    Hm, is this a paper launch only? Only available parts until now are 6600K and 6700K (all czech big e-shops as well as ones like newegg). Awaiting 6100T eagerly (want to build mITX baby for my mom since her old (ancient) computer died 2 weeks ago)... and for obvious reasons I'd rather prefer new platform than the old one in case there was ever need to upgrade something (which I doubt but still...) Reply
  • qasdfdsaq - Thursday, September 10, 2015 - link

    I feel like there's something missing here. We get 15w dual-core parts with Iris GT3e, but quad-core parts are all 45w with no GT3e. Indeed, there's no quad-core mobile chips with Iris graphics although Broadwell and Haswell both had them in the 45w quad-core range. There's certainly no issue fitting it in the power envelope, given you can literally fit 3x 2-core chips with GT3e into the 45w TDP. Reply
  • LDW - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    I like to have a laptop for its portability and am not willing to buy a second system for my occasional gaming. In my experience, games like civ 5 , civ be and skyrim are happy with two processors but would like more graphics power than my current laptop. (i7-4700MQ with no additional graphics chips)...

    To my surprise, I find that the H series of processors have less graphics power than the U series. I suspect that the U series 2 processors, 4 threads would be just fine for the games I play and I know they would like the additional graphics power. So I'm likely to be looking at the U series as I look at replacements for my current laptop, not the H series as I expected.

    I'm curious if others reach that conclusion as well.... and am looking forward to anandtech's future comparisons between the H and U series graphics capabilities.

  • francisca euralia - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    hello, can u give me a sumary od this page with the most important definition? Reply

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