Items tagged with Skylake

Update 4/26/2016: We've refreshed our battery life test suite for this review and have new, more real-world metrics to share on page 8. When Dell launched its updated XPS 13 notebook with an Infinity Edge display that squeezes a 13 inch IPS panel into essentially a 12-inch frame, it was met with universal praise for its unique mechanical design advantages and premium build quality. In fact, it was so well-received that many of you, upon seeing our review, almost immediately started asking if Dell would follow-up with the same sort of revamp for their 15-inch XPS 15 line as well. Dell apparently already had the same idea in mind and clearly the new XPS 15, with its 15-inch Infinity Edge display,... Read more...
Maingear has a new high-powered notebook making the rounds today, and it’s called the Pulse 15 Pro. As its names implies, the Pulse 15 Pro has a 15-inch frame, and brings with its an all metal alloy construction to help keep down the weight an exude quality throughout. The Pulse Pro is available in two basic configurations: a gaming notebook or a mobile workstation. In gaming form, the Pulse 15 Pro can be equipped with either a 1080p or 4K UHD display, and comes standard with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU with 6GB GDDR5 memory and 16GB of unbuffered 2133MHz DDR4 memory. For those that want to go the pro route, you’ll be greeted with an Intel Xeon E3-1505M... Read more...
Apple views its 12-inch MacBook as "the future of the notebook," and if that's the marketing pitch, you can't go around selling the thing with old hardware, right? Of course not, though up until now that's exactly what Apple was doing. Not anymore—Apple went and updated the MacBook with Skylake processors, while also giving it longer battery life and a new rose gold option.The MacBook now rocks Intel's sixth-generation Core M processors ranging in speed from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.1GHz. These chips bring burlier integrated graphics to the table that Apple says increases graphics performance by 25 percent. Apple also used the opportunity to upgrade the RAM from 1600MHz... Read more...
The Asus Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard is the latest in Asus' flagship line of enthusiast-class motherboards for gamers. It’s a top-end premium solution with a dizzying array of tuning options to supercharge your next build and tweak overall performance in games, networking and more. Our previous motherboard eval featured the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable, which was a budget-friendly Z170 motherboard that offered strong performance, without a ton of superfluous bells and whistles. Yet the Gigabyte board was quite the performer, holding its own in most tests and even coming out ahead of a couple of competing Z170 boards in others.The Asus Z170 ROG Maximus VIII ExtremeThe Asus Z170... Read more...
Microsoft caused a huge uproar in January when it announced that Skylake systems running “legacy” Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems would no longer be supported come July 17th, 2017. In its ever-increasing campaign to migrate as many customers as possible over to Windows 10, Microsoft also said that it would only provide critical security updates to these affected customers “if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.” Microsoft did, however, create an exemption (meaning full support from Microsoft including critical updates) for its valued hardware partners and provided a list of Skylake-based systems from Dell, Hewlett-Packard... Read more...
We first learned about Intel's Skull Canyon NUC at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but Intel is now ready to give this bodacious mini-PC its official debut. The Skull Canyon NUC manages to cram plenty of high-end Intel silicon within an enclosure that measures just 8.5” x 4.6” x 0.9” and has a volume of just 0.69 liters. Inside, you’ll find a sixth-generation Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor with a 45W TDP and integrated Iris Pro Graphics 580. On the memory front, up to 32GB of 2133MHz DDR4 is supported, while storage duties are covered by two M.2 slots that support all of the latest NVMe SSDs. Networking duties are handled by Intel-supplied (of course) 802.11ac... Read more...
Dell recently refreshed its popular XPS 13 with new hardware to bring it up to date with current CPU and storage offerings.  The updated model now sports a Skylake-based Intel processor and a Samsung PM951 NVMe solid state drive, plus a few minor tweaks to its already impressive design.  When the current iteration of the Dell XPS 13 debuted back in January of last year, it was nearly unrivaled in terms of its power to size ratio, and overall value in the space. The ultrabook market has heated-up a lot since then though, and the XPS 13 has some stiff competition at the moment. In addition to checking out Dell's tiny powerhouse, we should also mention Intel's SpeedShift technology, available... Read more...
While discussions about the best desktop gaming PCs tend to be divided between do-it-yourselfers and fans of pre-built PCs, gaming laptops spark a different debate, typically between large system builders versus, smaller boutique system integrators. Many of the industry behemoths kick-started or bolstered their gaming system lines by acquiring boutique SIs (think of Voodoo, which was swallowed by HP, and Alienware, which is now a part of Dell), but some niche builders are still going solo, including well-known players like Falcon Northwest and Maingear. Mythlogic is another custom builder providing an alternative to mainstream brands, and we're going to show you one of their machines here --... Read more...
By now you're probably burned out on smartphone and VR buzz. We don't blame you, Mobile World Congress week has been a whirlwind akin to only that sort of frenzied pace we experience at CES. Of course we agree, mobile computing isn't just about smartphones and other pocketable devices, even if what's coming is finally breaking the mold with modularity and even possibly someday complete end user repairability and upgradability. Well, even though HP joined the MWC 2016 party with a smartphone of their own (Windows 10 Mobile no less and with impressive scalability), they also decided to drop in a photobomb of sorts, with their Spectre X360 15-inch bad boy (or girl) ultralight arriving to our test... Read more...
Are you ready for today's 'Aw shucks' moment? Intel is working with its hardware partners to roll out BIOS updates that will effectively prevent users from being able to overclock non-K Skylake processors. Of course, that's how it was always meant to be, but motherboard makers discovered a way to allow making BCLK adjustments to cheaper Skylake CPUs and quickly began flaunting that ability. Perhaps that was their collective mistake. If you want to overclock, Intel charges a premium for unlocked processors labeled with a "K" (Intel Core i7-6700K, for example) that allow users to make BCLK adjustments to boost base clock frequencies. Less expensive non-K, or locked processors don't offer the same... Read more...
Intel's latest generation of processors built on the Skylake architecture are seriously efficient as well as seriously fast. The flagship, Core i7-6700K, is an interesting chip as it's clocked at a base 4GHz, and can peak at 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost. Overall, it's a really solid chip, as we discovered back in November after some in-depth testing. Of course, as fast as the 6700K is, overclocking can always help take things to the next level, or at least temporarily explore future potential. In Chi-Kui Lam's case, he did just that, and managed to break a world record in the process. Chi-Kui Lam's record-breaking Intel platform Equipped with an ASRock motherboard, G.SKILL memory, and a beefy 1.3KW... Read more...
To expand on our coverage of Intel’s Z170-chipset, we now turn our focus to another Gigabyte motherboard for Intel Skylake CPUs. The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable motherboard is up at the plate and has the budget-builder firmly in its sights. Conversely, the company’s pricey Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard, which we previously reviewed, is loaded with premium features that enthusiast gamers crave. Features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 4-way CrossFire and SLI support, baked-in liquid cooling accommodations, and the like, are all absent on this more svelte GB product. With much of the fat trimmed, Gigabyte is able to offer a formidable platform for Skylake at a more aggressive price point. Gigabyte... Read more...
CybertronPC, a company that has had the pulse of the PC community for nearly two decades, is unleashing a new line of enthusiast PCs under the CybertronPC Luxury Experience (CLX) label, which was inspired by ancient Egypt. The CLX family consists of three desktop computers and two notebooks that put performance at the forefront. Starting with the desktop range, there are three distinct models that were announced today: the Scarab, Horus and RA. All three desktops come out of the box with liquid cooling and plenty overclocking potential complete with onboard Intel Core i7 Skylake processors, but each is different in their approach. Starting off with the smallest member, the Scarab is a Mini-ITX... Read more...
Microsoft caused a lot of confusion and anger in the enthusiast community when it was announced that customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on Skylake hardware would no longer be officially supported after July 17th, 2017. That means critical security updates will no longer be delivered to these systems, and even if they are provided, Microsoft will do so only “if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.” Although it wasn’t entirely clear at the time (because we couldn’t fathom that Microsoft would take this drastic of an action mid-stream), if you’re running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 with on a Skylake-based computer, you’ve... Read more...
Dell has some enticing new hardware on tap for its newest Inspiron 7000 series laptops, including the latest and most powerful Intel Skylake processors and NVIDIA GPUs, but the computer maker sent us a decidedly modest version for this evaluation. PC makers usually load their review systems to the hilt, in an effort to make them perform well in commonly used benchmarks, but Dell is confident that its Inspiron 15 7000 delivers solid, real-world performance for the money, even at base specifications, so we gave it a look. Before we dig into the system we tested, let’s take discuss where it falls in Dell’s current family of laptops. If you’re looking for the most powerful and stylish of Dell’s offerings,... Read more...
In case you haven’t already figured it out, Microsoft is hell-bent on getting those running older versions of Windows — namely Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users — to upgrade to Windows 10. We won’t get into all the incessant nagging and peculiar tricks that Microsoft has used to persuade users to upgrade in this piece, but we did want to bring to attention one new trick that the folks in Redmond have up their sleeves to invoke a Windows 10 upgrade. In a blog posted yesterday, Microsoft revealed that it will no longer support its older operating systems on newer hardware platforms. Despite the fact that Extended Support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 doesn’t end until January 14th, 2020 and January... Read more...
You could almost hear the collective groan from the enthusiast community when Dell announced it had purchased Alienware, in what now feels like 100 years ago. It has actually been just shy of a decade since Dell took ownership, and rather than let the Alienware brand wither into irrelevance like some other boutique vendors that were later absorbed by major OEMs (Voodoo who?), Dell's gaming gear division has continued to thrive and innovate with the help of the company's deeper resources. If we're being totally honest (as we always are), passionate consumers come out of the woodwork whenever the Alienware name is invoked. Some are rational and offer up observational criticism or praise, as well... Read more...
We had a chance to visit Gigabyte this week at CES, and as always, the company had plenty to showcase for our eager eyes. On tap were new Skylake BRIX mini-PCs, new WINDFORCE graphics cards, a new gaming laptop and a familiar 34-inch curved AIO machine. First up, however, is Gigabyte’s refreshed BRIX mini-PCs which feature a high-quality, brushed aluminum finish to class things up a bit. Customers can choose from three Skylake processor, all with a TDP of 15W and all with Intel HD Graphics 520 onboard: the Core i3-6100U, Core i5-6200U or Core i7-6500U. Gigabyte's Skylake BRIX Mini-PC Two M.2 slots are included in the BRIX machines, with one already occupied by a combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module,... Read more...
If you’re a fan of Intel’s NUC series of mini PCs, the chip giant is back at it again with a refresh built on its Skylake processor platform. The big news of course comes under the hood in the form of two ultrabook-class processors: the dual-core U-Series Core i3-6100U and Core i5-6260U. The Core i3-6100U comes with Intel’s HD 520 graphics, while the Core i5-6260U brings a bit more to the table with Iris Graphics 540 (complete with 4K support). The NUC refresh includes support for DDR4 memory (up from DDR3) via two SO-DIMM slots. The Skylake architecture also means that you’ll receive additional enhancements including Speed Shift (which allows the processor to change P... Read more...
EVGA decided to branch out this year. No, not with AMD graphics; the company's GPU offerings are still very much based on reference cards from Team Green. Yet, in an effort to expand their product lines, the largest North American vendor of NVIDIA graphics cards now offers their own branded memory modules in both DDR3 and DDR4 flavors, spanning 10 different SKUs. Today, we’re checking out the burliest DRAM module set on offer—the High Performance 2800 SuperSC DDR4 Series 16GB kit (4x4GB). Many DIY builders still using older platforms and DDR3 are wondering if they'll see concrete benefits from a move to a newer platform and DDR4. Newer DDR4 memory is indeed more efficient, faster and made with... Read more...
New processor architectures inevitably lead to a flurry of refreshed product lines from PC makers. That's how things have been playing out with Skylake, a "tock" in Intel's tick-tock design cadence and its 6th generation Core processor family. As usual, ASUS is on the bleeding edge with new Skylake systems ready to go, one of which is the ROG G752VT. The specific model ASUS sent us is the ROG G752VT-DH72, a slightly toned down update to the ROG G751JY-DB72 we reviewed back in September. Like that laptop, the G752VT falls into the desktop replacement category and takes aim at gamers with high-end hardware and, the coup de grâce, a 17.3-inch IPS panel supporting NVIDIA's G-Sync technology. If this... Read more...
It's been discovered that some third-party heat sinks can physically damage Intel's new Skylake CPUs, along with the pins in the accompanying motherboard socket. The problem has prompted at least one cooler maker to change the design of its Socket 1151 heat sinks and it wouldn't be surprising if others soon followed suit. The apparent issue is the substrate Intel used for its Skylake chips. A close-up shot of a Skylake CPU sitting side-by-side with a Broadwell processor shows that the substrate is noticeably thinner on Skylake, and thus prone to bending from the force that some third-party heat sinks exert. It also poses a problem for the tiny pins in the socket area of Skylake motherboards.... Read more...
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