Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Skylake ushers in the next Intel generation

Skylake ushers in the next Intel generation

Marcom_3_033015_RGB

If you’ve been using PCs for any length of time, you’ve probably been through a few generations of Intel-based PCs, or at the very least, PCs that use architecture that’s very similar to Intel’s designs. Depending on your exact age, that could stretch all the way back to x86 (286/386/486) PCs (or even earlier), or perhaps the early Pentium designs. Pentium isn’t quite a dead brand for Intel, but these days it tends to concentrate on what it calls “core” processors, as well as its entry level low power Atom systems.

The latest generation of Core processors, which Intel typically differentiates on the desktop and laptop side as i3 (entry level), i5 (mid-range) and i7 (high performance and price) have just started launching into the market from makers such as Toshiba, Dell, MSI and Lenovo, to name just a few. From a branding/development perspective, they’re the family of “Skylake” processors. Skylake is the successor to last year’s “Broadwell” processors, and as you might expect, they’re (as per Intel), better and faster than last year’s offerings. What’s different apart from being a little faster this time around?

Firstly, Intel’s expanded its Core M range. Core M processors were the halfway house between Atom (low power consumption/low processing power) and Core i3/5/7 (power hunger, better performance), typically used in very thin and light systems such as Lenovo’s Yoga line of laptops. Skylake brings with it Core M differentiation, so there’s now Core m3, Core m5 and Core m7, covering mid, entry and high end within the Core range. This should be clearly differentiated on any laptop (which is where Core M entirely belongs) that you buy. If you’re after a desktop replacement type laptop, Core i is your better bet if you’re always plugged into wall power, but the more mobile types now have greater choice when it comes to making that tricky choice between processing power and lasting battery life. Pentium will still live on in the Skylake generation with a very low performance budget Pentium chip at the bottom of the Core M family.

Skylake will also update the integrated Intel GPU that’s been a feature of Intel processors for a number of years, although if you are the gaming type, you’ll still find the most premium performance with a separate GPU. If your needs are more modest, the processing power within the new Skylake generation should result in better video performance, faster boot times and support for connection technologies such as Thunderbolt and USB-C.

There will still be older (“Broadwell” and maybe even a few “Haswell” systems) on the market, but Intel’s also changing up its badging for processors, with a silver design for new Skylake systems that looks quite different to the older blue Intel badges. As such, if you do see the older badge on a system, expect it to be substantially cheaper than the equivalent rated Skylake system, because it’s now a somewhat superseded part.

Does it automatically follow that you should upgrade your PC to take advantage of Skylake? As always, it depends more on whether your existing PC is meeting your needs. If your laptop is on its last legs, or the apps you need to run regularly bring it to its knees, then a Skylake upgrade could bring some very solid benefits to your work or leisure activities. On the other hand, while they’re better than last year’s Broadwell PCs, if you’ve only upgraded recently, the differences will be less evident and you’re arguably better off eking out a year or more from your existing equipment.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

wallpapers

There’s a quick and easy way to make your computer your very own, as well as brightening it up and providing you inspiration every time you sit down in front of it. There are millions of computers worldwide, but it’s pretty likely that only one — or a handful — are yours. One of the… More 

mac-os-new

Apple’s revealed the future of macOS, and while it’s not merging with iOS, it’s going to come awfully close. Apple recently held its Worldwide Developer Conference (AKA WWDC) in San Jose California, outlining all of its software plans for its mobile and computing operating systems. It unveiled iOS 12, which will launch for iPhones from… More 

homepod-pair

Smart speakers are the new cool gadget in town, not that they’re actually all that “new” to speak of. Amazon and Google have been duking it out with their respective Echo and Home speakers for some time now. In 2018, we’ve also seen a wide variety of new smart speakers from the likes of Panasonic,… More 

chromeicon

If you’re a user of Google’s popular Chrome browser — and with anywhere between 60-80% of the web’s traffic delivered to Chrome, the chances are pretty good that you are — then come July, you’ll see a significant change in how the web pages you visit are presented. That’s because the version of Google Chrome… More