Skylake Processor

What is Skylake Processor?

The term Skylake processor actually refers to the codename given by Intel to the microarchitecture which was launched as the successor to Broadwell and Haswell processors, that are nicknamed ‘tick’ and ‘tock’ respectively.

Understanding Skylake Processor

What is Skylake Processor

The term ‘Skylake’ refers to the code name given to the microarchitecture by the R&D center of Intel in Haifa, Israel.

These code names are different for different types of Intel processors which makes it easy for the users to find out which particular type of CPU is available on the market as of now.

The Intel Skylake processors are designed with an improved microarchitecture built on 14 nm+ process, making it suitable to use in laptop computers, desktop computers, and even in servers.

It is designed for definite purposes such as to keep up with the ever-changing technology.

Brands Available

Typically, for desktop computers and enthusiasts, the Skylake processors belong to the Core i7 and Core i9 family of processors and for scalable server class it is branded differently such as:

Here is the complete list of the different brands of Intel Skylake processors available along with their respective number of cores and descriptions:

The design of the Skylake processors allows it to be used with higher memory.

This helps the systems to run much faster and perform at a much higher level overall.

The ability of this particular type of processor to work equally well on either 2 or 4 cores makes it possible to use it in both desktop computers and mobile devices.

There are several reasons that the Intel Skylake processors can offer a high level performance irrespective of the number of cores used.

One of the most significant reasons is the new cache architecture called eDRAM.

This helps in making a much faster transition by the processor between applications which is very helpful to users who run multiple apps at the same time.

The other reason is the LGA 1151 socket or Socket H4 used in its design.

Variants Available

The Intel Skylake processors are available in 4 distinct variants such as:

The U and Y variants of the Intel Skylake processors are considered to be low-end and low-power CPUs and support only one Dual In-line Memory Module or DIMM slot in each channel.

On the other hand, the high-end S and H variants of them support a couple of these slots in each channel.

The H, U and Y variants of the Intel Skylake processors are usually manufactured in BGA or Ball Grid Array BGA packaging but the S variant is manufactured in LGA or Land Grid Array packaging using a new LGA 1151 socket.

Add to that, it also consists of an overclockable ‘K’ variant that comes with unlocked multipliers.

Ideally, the S series Skylake processors are good to use in desktop computers. It is due to the useful upgrades that include:

Ports Supported

Talking about ports, there are several of them supported by the Intel Skylake processors. These include:

Technologies Supported

The Intel Skylake processors also support a lot of new technologies and some of them include:

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Die Size

Depending on the specific model, the Intel Skylake processors come in three different die types with varying features. These are:

Low Core Count or LCC with features such as:

High Core Count or HCC with features such as:

Extreme Core Count or XCC with features such as:

Architecture Modifications

The Intel Skylake processors have also undergone some significant architectural modifications which make them quite superior to their predecessor, Haswell. These are:

And, when compared with the architecture of Broadwell, the significant changes made in the Skylake architecture include:

The CPU also comes with a lot of additional new instructions such as:

All these developments show that the Intel Skylake has quite a few attributes and development vectors shared with its predecessor but the overall goals are different. These are:

One of the most significant objectives of designing the Skylake processors by Intel is to offer configurability and higher scalability with 2-way, 4-way, and 8-way multiprocessing support.

For this, Intel has used more than a couple of its new UPI or Ultra Path Interconnect links.

And, the high-end models also offer node controller support that allows even higher configuration through 32-way multiprocessing.

Additional Features

The Intel Skylake processors also come with quite a few additional and useful features such as:

All these added features in it allow the users to work with more complicated and sophisticated software and still make their system perform at a higher level.

Operating Systems Supported

The Intel Skylake processors support different operating systems such as Kernel 3.19 version of Linux as well as 10.12.3 of Apple macOS.

As for the Microsoft Windows operating systems it supports different versions of it that include:

Speed in Performance

The speed in performance of the Intel Skylake processors is good news for those users who want faster processing as compared to other processors. For example:

While performing at a higher speed, these processors tend to remain pretty cool because the thermal power is 22% less as compared to its predecessor, Haswell.

As for the battery life, the U and Y series Skylake processors used in mobile devices can offer anywhere up to 1.4 hours of additional life while playing videos.

Graphics Performance

One of the best aspects of the Skylake processors is that they offer next-gen graphics performance with better graphics technologies and Intel Gen 9 500-series integrated graphics system.

This is split into four configurations used for specific purposes such as:

In spite of being only HD, the graphics chips of the 500 series deliver some of the most appreciable features such as:

Though these abilities may not offer a remarkable improvement while playing games, for standalone and basic computing, you probably cannot ask for anything more or better.

Continuing with the graphics performance of the Intel Skylake processors, it also supports other graphics technologies which are typically used in the Windows 10 operating system such as:

In addition to the above, the integrated GPU of the S variant of the Intel Skylake processors also supports several video formats such as:

Typically, with all these features included in graphics processing it seems that the primary idea of Intel behind designing the Skylake processors is to offer the users a more practical solution to the use of 4K.

This is because these days 1080p is not good enough anymore and single 4K processing is old school.

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With the improved graphics features of the Intel Skylake processors, you will be able to drive as many as three 4K monitors at the same time and transcode a 4K video in about 20% less time than you would do by using a Broadwell chip.

This 4K adoption is really a boon for the laptop computers though it is found to be a bit struggling when it comes to the desktop computers.

What CPU Generation is Skylake?

There are different generations of Intel Skylake processors available on the market.

Some of the processors designed on the Skylake microarchitecture are referred to as 6th generation cores and some of the refreshed versions are termed as 7th and 8th generation cores.

For example, the 6th generation of the core microarchitecture made its official debut in August, 2015 at Gamescom.

The mid-generation Intel Skylake processors also got refreshed in the form of the new Kaby Lake processors.

It is therefore said that the 7th generation core branding under the name of Kaby Lake is nothing but a revamped version of the 14 nanometer Skylake micro architecture.

It typically comes with a little bit of power and efficiency improvements in it.

And, the 8th generation Skylake processors have been available since 2017.

This particular refreshed generation came with about 40% enhanced processing speed.

Here is the list of different models of Intel Skylake processors of different generations that are used in different devices.

Here are some of the mainstream desktop processors:

Here are a few high-end desktop 7th generation Intel Skylake X processors:

Here are a few high-end desktop 9th generation Intel Skylake X processors:

Here are some of the Intel Skylake mobile processors:

Here are some of the Intel Skylake mobile processors:

Here are some of the Intel Skylake mobile processors:

Here are some of the Intel Skylake Xeon Bronze and Silver dual processors:

Here are some of the Intel Skylake Xeon Gold quad processors:

And finally, here are some of the Intel Skylake Xeon Platinum octal processors:

Remember, all these processors are different from one another in multiple respects such as:

Therefore, make sure you check for these aspects before you finally choose a Skylake processor for your computer.

And, also do not forget to check the official website of Intel for their availability because several processors, especially desktop processors, have been discontinued by Intel.

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However, whether you perform basic computing functions or high-performing hardware and applications for advanced computing tasks such as programming or video editing, the Intel Skylake processors are good to go for.

It will provide all the power that you need to get the job done quietly on your computer.

Is a Skylake Processor Good?

Yes, the Skylake processors are quite good because these offer much better power efficiency.

The design of the micro architecture and the functionality of the Intel Skylake processors allow all types of computer systems including the towering gaming desktops to the tiny devices such as tablets to organize the exceptionally varying amounts of power much more efficiently.

The superior power efficiency of Intel Skylake is one thing that the users love in it.

Even the low-end models use less than 5 watts of power and the high end Xeon workstation processors use only around 90 watts of power.

Also, the ability of these processors to offer much enhanced performance especially on mobile devices is also a reason to use Skylake processors.

The cores are adequate in number and can take advantage of hyper threading technology.

The advanced technologies supported by this processor allow a higher chipset I/O throughput and its DDR4 memory and PCI Express 3.0 support on the other hand adds to its performance level and speed as well.

Add to that, the eDRAM or embedded Dynamic Random Access Memory is made wholly coherent with the new cache architecture called the ‘memory side cache.’

This feature specifically helps in speedier C-state transitions.

This particular feature makes the Intel Skylake processors so useful for sophisticated systems.

In fact, the Skylake mobile CPUs deliver 2.5 times quicker and better processing performance and 30 times enhanced graphics performance apart from 3 times enhanced battery life.

Most importantly, it allows overclocking due to the unlocked multipliers in some models.

However, the desktop CPUs are also not left behind.

These processors offer 60% better processing performance, 11 times better graphics performance, and 6 times faster 4K video transcoding, which is certainly not bad by any measurements.

Why is Skylake Good?

As said earlier, it is the features and functionalities of the Intel Skylake processors that make them so good in comparison to the other processors.

Some of these differential and useful features are:

In addition to that, depending on the specific model of the Intel Skylake processor you use, you will have a lot of benefits and a much higher user experience. The reasons to say so include:

It is all due to the design and features of the Skylake processors that make them so good and different from the predecessors.

How Do You Know If Your CPU is Skylake?

Typically, the Intel processors, whether it is sold as a separate hardware or bundled with the computer system, are not sold by their different code names.

Instead, you will know these processors by their common and widely used names such as Core i3, or Core i5, or Core i7.

You may even know the particular generation of the processor in your system but seldom will you come across the code names to know whether your system is equipped with a Skylake CPU or a Haswell.

However, there is an easy way to check the code name of the CPU in your system.

Simply download a free third-party app such as CPU Z.

Apps like these will list all the information that you need about a particular CPU and even the other hardware components in the system.

Among all its features, the most significant one is that it will identify and inform you about the code name of your processor.

All you need to do is download and install the app, run it and go to the CPU tab to find the value in the code name field.

What is the Release Date of Skylake?

Ideally, the Skylake processors are designed and marketed by Intel and were launched in August 5, 2015, as said earlier.

However, this was refreshed later and different versions were released at different dates.

For example, the 8th generation Skylake processors have been available since 2017.

The Skylake Core X was released in May 2017 and the Skylake SP was launched in July 2017.

However, as said earlier, not all of the models that have been released by Intel with the code name Skylake are available now.

For example, the desktop processors have been discontinued by Intel since March 4, 2019.

Therefore, do check the availability before you choose any Skylake processor.


Intel has the knack of coming up with new technologies and one such is the Skylake CPUs with improved performance but most users are not aware of the improvements made.

Through this article you know now a lot about Skylake CPU and whether or not it will be suitable to upgrade your system with it.