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Intel "Skylake" Core i7-6700K CPU (Z170 Chipset and GT530) Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 5, 2015 12:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Intel

Intel Core i7-6700K CPU




The CPU looks pretty much like past socket LGA115X CPUs, and it is pretty safe to say that under the integrated heat spreader is thermal paste rather than solder. I have been playing around and overclocking the CPU for a short while and I can say that the TIM doesn't seem to hurt overclocking as much as it did on some previous platforms. I am still able to get overclocks like 4.8GHz at ~1.4v to stay under 80C with both a Noctua NH-D15 and a Corsair H110i GT.





Two things you will notice off the bat; the position of the mounting points has shifted to prevent the wrong CPU from being installed in the wrong socket, and the underside of the core where the capacitors and resistors are has become busier. With Skylake, Intel has dropped their FIVR, and the integrated voltage regulator has been replaced by multiple large and minor rails to the CPU. The major rails are CPU VCore, CPU GT (graphics), CPU SA (System Agent), and CPU IO.



Intel Z170 Chipset




Many had thought that the 6700K would have 20 PCI-E lanes, and this is one of those misconceptions that started as a misinterpreted fact from a leaked slide. The PCH has 26 I/O ports, a lot more than Z97, and even a considerable amount more than X99. Out of these 26 I/O ports, 6 are dedicated to USB 3.0 (max 10), leaving 20 ports which can be USB 3.0, SATA Revision 3, or PCI-E 3.0.


There is also a maximum of 6x SATA6Gb/s ports that can be used out of the 20 I/O ports left after subtracting the 6x USB 3.0. Many people don't know that every PCH has PCI-E lanes, and they are used for connections to other devices such as NICs and extra USB or SATA controllers, and so people assumed that because they saw 20x PCI-E 3.0 it must be referring to the CPU's PCI-E controller, but actually it's referring to the PCH's PCI-E controller.




For the first time all the PCI-E 2.0 has been replaced by PCI-E 3.0 in both the PCH and CPU. Intel did us one better than that, they have provided iRST over PCI-E lanes, meaning that manufacturers can have up to three M.2 slots at 4x PCI-E 3.0 each, and they can RAID them! That would make Z170 the storage king (for consumers of course), but also a speedster in general.


To facilitate this increase in PCI-E 3.0 bandwidth, the DMI bus has been updated to DMI 3.0 from DMI 2.0, it should be running at 8GT/s instead of 5GT/s of DMI 2.0. The only thing that the X99 PCH has over the Z170 is the number of SATA ports, but many Z170 motherboards will probably add them back using a single PCI-E lane and an additional SATA6Gb/s controller.

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