The Battle of Processors: Kaby Lake vs Skylake

The Battle of Processors: Kaby Lake vs Skylake

When it comes to computer processors, two heavyweights step into the ring: Kaby Lake and Skylake. But what makes these processors different from each other? Let’s find out.

Kaby Lake and Skylake are both part of Intel’s family of processors. These powerful chips act as the brains of your computer, handling all the complex calculations that make your device run smoothly. But the question on everyone’s mind is: which one is better?

Let’s start with Skylake. This processor made its debut in 2015 and quickly gained a reputation for its remarkable performance. With Skylake, you could say goodbye to laggy applications and hello to faster, more efficient computing. It was certainly a game-changer.

Now, let’s introduce Kaby Lake. This newer processor hit the market in 2016, following in Skylake’s footsteps. But Kaby Lake came packed with some notable improvements. It offered better clock speeds, meaning tasks could be completed even faster. It also boasted enhanced power efficiency, making for a more sustainable user experience.

But how do these two processors stack up against each other? Well, it’s a tough call. While Kaby Lake offers some notable improvements over Skylake, the performance difference might not be as significant as you’d expect. The truth is, both processors are incredibly powerful and can handle most computing tasks with ease.

So, what’s the verdict? If you’re an average user who mainly surfs the web, streams videos, or uses basic applications, Skylake will serve you just fine. However, if you’re a power user who demands lightning-fast performance and cutting-edge capabilities, Kaby Lake might be the right choice for you.

In conclusion, the battle between Kaby Lake and Skylake is a close one. Both processors have their strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately, they are two mighty contenders in the world of computer processing. It all comes down to your specific needs and preferences. The choice is yours!

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of these two processors, you can make an informed decision when it’s time to upgrade your machine. Happy computing!

Back in 2016, Intel brought us Kaby Lake as the successor to the widely popular Skylake processor.

Unlike previous generations, Kaby Lake broke away from Intel’s usual “tick-tock” cycle. In the past, they would release a new processor design on a “tick” and an optimized version on a “tock”. However, Kaby Lake was an improvement on Skylake, which itself was an enhancement of the 5th generation Broadwell processor.

Now, let’s compare Skylake and Kaby Lake and see how they measure up against each other. It’s time for a showdown!

4K Video

One of the key differences between Skylake and Kaby Lake is that Kaby Lake processors come with built-in support for the HEVC codec for 4K video. These processors also delegate most of the 4K video tasks to dedicated graphic cards, resulting in significant battery savings when playing 4K videos on your laptop.

Kaby Lake processors also support Google’s VP9 codec for 4K video and the HDCP 2.2 standard, which prevents unauthorized copying of digital content.

Moreover, Kaby Lake processors excel in delivering superior 3D graphics performance. This means higher frame rates, better resolution, and an overall improved gaming experience. In one test, Intel ran Overwatch on a Dell XPS 13 laptop with a Kaby Lake processor, achieving impressive results: 1280 x 720 resolution at 30fps and medium graphic settings.

Thunderbolt 3.0 and USB 3.1

Kaby Lake processors bring advancements in the realm of connectivity as well. They offer support for second-generation USB 3.1, enabling transfer speeds of up to 10GB/s (compared to the 5GB/s limit of Skylake processors). Additionally, Kaby Lake processors natively support Intel’s third-generation Thunderbolt technology.

A computer equipped with a Kaby Lake processor can have a generous number of USB ports (both 2.0 and 3.0) – up to 14 – as well as three PCIe 3.0 storage ports. Of course, you’ll need a compatible motherboard to fully benefit from these capabilities.

Higher Clock Speeds

As an optimized version of Skylake, Kaby Lake relies on tweaks and improvements to deliver better performance and higher CPU speeds. While the improvements may not be groundbreaking, they are still noteworthy. However, where Kaby Lake truly shines is in the realm of 3D graphics, especially on mobile devices.

Intel offers Kaby Lake processors in two main designations: Y and U. The Y models replace the m-designated models of Skylake, but only for i5 and i7 processors. The m designation still stands for i3 processors. This means you’ll have to read the full processor name to know if it’s an m/Y-class or a U-class i5 processor.

Speed Comparison

In terms of speed, let’s compare the processors. The m3-6Y30 Skylake processor has a base speed of 900MHz, with a turbo speed of 2.2GHz. On the other hand, the m3-7Y30 Kaby Lake processor operates at 1GHz base speed, with a turbo boost of 2.6GHz. The m5-6Y74 Skylake runs at 1.2GHz, reaching a turbo speed of 2.7GHz. Its Kaby Lake counterpart, the i5-6Y74, also runs at 1.2GHz but can turbo up to 3.2GHz. Moving up to the Skylake m7-6Y75, it starts at 1.2GHz with a turbo speed of 3.1GHz, while the Kaby Lake i7-7Y75 starts at 1.3GHz and can reach an impressive 3.6GHz.

For the i5 processors, the Skylake i5-6200U has a base speed of 2.3GHz, with a turbo speed of 2.8GHz. In comparison, the Kaby Lake i5-7200U runs at a base speed of 2.5GHz and can turbo up to 3.1GHz. As for the i7 processors, the Skylake i7-6500U operates at a base speed of 2.5GHz with a turbo boost of 3.1GHz. On the Kaby Lake side, the i7-7500U has a base speed of 2.7GHz, which can reach up to 3.5GHz with turbo boost.

Optane Support

Another major difference between Skylake and Kaby Lake processors is that the latter support Intel’s innovative Optane memory. Optane is a new take on SSD storage, directly plugged into the motherboard’s M.2 slots. However, it is not compatible with 100 series Sunrise Point chipsets. Likewise, installing a Skylake chip on a 200 Union Point series chipset will not grant you access to Optane.

PCIe Lanes

The number of PCIe lanes has also increased from Skylake to Kaby Lake. While both processors support up to 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU, Kaby Lake takes it a step further. Kaby Lake models can handle up to 24 lanes from the Platform Controller Hub (PCH), resulting in a total of 40 supported PCIe lanes.

Final Verdict

Although the seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors are certainly an improvement over their predecessors, they may not be compelling enough for casual users who already own Skylake-powered machines.

The native support for 4K video, enhanced 3D graphics, and higher clock speeds may be enticing for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts. However, these features may not hold much significance for the general public. The same goes for Optane support and the slightly increased number of PCIe lanes.

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