Intel unveils its Skylake CPUs with performance & battery life improvements across the board

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While we already know much of what there is to know regarding Intel’s Skylake lineup of processors, the company tonight has officially taken the wraps off of the CPUs. As expected, the Skylake lineup consists of four different series, including the Y-Series that will power the 12-inch MacBook and the U-Series that will power the MacBook Air.

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The Y-Series, formally known as the Core M line, has seen the biggest changes this year. The chips have been redesigned to be even smaller and more dense than before. Intel is also splitting the Y-Series up into a whole family of processors, including the Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7. The biggest different between the Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7 come with the processor clocks and maximum graphics clocks for the Intel HD 515 GPU. Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7 have max graphics clocks of 850MHz, 900MHz, and 1GHz respectively. Intel further claims that the Y-Series processors offer up to ten hours of battery life and 40 percent greater performance than last year’s Core M.

Intel says that its U-Series chips will be 10 times faster than the previous generation Broadwell chips, with 34% faster graphics. The chips are also expected to offer up to 1.4 hours longer battery life than last year’s and use Intel 520 HD Graphics. There will be one i7, one i5, one i3, one Pentium, and two Celerons available, not including vPro chips. The chips are destined for MacBook Air models, with their strong combination of battery life and performance.

Intel says that its Xenon and Core platforms will offer new ports as part of the Skylake refresh. This means that more devices will feature Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C. The chips also all support powering 3 4K monitors simultaneously.

More specific details are available in the press release below and in this document. The processors will start to be available over the coming months.

Introducing 6th Generation Intel® Core™, Intel’s Best Processor Ever


  • 6th Gen Intel® Core™ processors set a new standard with new, sleek designs that are thinner than ever, are capable of starting in about half a second1, and offer up to two and a half times the performance and triple the battery life2 when compared to the computers many people currently own.
  • 6th Gen Intel Core processors have been optimized to best run Windows* 10, enabling new experiences, removing computing pain points and providing more secure computing.
  • 6th Gen Intel Core processor family is the most scalable ever for consumers and businesses, enabling the broadest range of designs from the smallest Intel® Compute Stick and All-in-One desktops, to 2 in 1s, notebooks and the first-ever Intel® Xeon® processor for mobile workstations.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 1, 2015 – Today Intel Corporation introduced the 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processor family, the company’s best processors ever. The launch marks a turning point in people’s relationship with computers. The 6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver enhanced performance and new immersive experiences at the lowest power levels ever and also support the broadest range of device designs – from the ultra-mobile compute stick, to 2 in 1s and huge high-definition All-in-One desktops, to new mobile workstations.

There are over 500 million computers in use today that are four to five years old or older. They are slow to wake, their batteries don’t last long, and they can’t take advantage of all the new experiences available today. Built on the new Skylake microarchitecture on Intel’s leading 14nm manufacturing process technology, 6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver up to two and a half times better performance3, triple the battery life4, and graphics that are 30 times better5 for seamless and smooth gaming and video experiences versus the average 5-year-old computer. They can also be half as thin and half the weight, have faster wake up time, and battery life that lasts virtually all day6.

“6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver some of the most significant advancements in computing that we’ve ever seen,” said Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group. “New 6th Gen Intel Core-based systems are more responsive than ever with enhanced performance, battery life and security. And they can enable amazing new PC experiences like logging into your computer with your face and having a personal assistant respond to your voice. The combination of 6th Gen Intel Core processors, Windows 10 and beautiful new systems from PC manufacturers make this the best time ever to buy a new computer.

6th Gen Intel Core Powers Range of New Devices
The new 6th Gen Intel Core processor family enables a broad range of designs to fit virtually every need. Intel® Core™ M processors, which can offer twice the performance of leading premium tablets7, will now include brand levels Intel Core m3, m5 and m7 processors to provide people with more clarity and choice in finding the Intel Core M processor-based device that best meets their specific needs. The Intel® Compute Stick lineup expands to include a version powered by the 6th Gen Intel Core M processor.

This new generation of Intel processors also includes several firsts for mobile designs: a mobile “K” SKU that is unlocked to enable overclocking with even more user control, a new quad-core Intel® Core™ i5 processor that offers up to 60 percent improved mobile multitasking8, and the Intel® Xeon® E3 processor family now powering mobile workstations. The 6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver significant improvements in graphics performance9 to offer stunning visuals for gaming as well as compelling 4K content creation and media playback. New Intel® Speed Shift technology improves the responsiveness of mobile systems so people can, for example, apply a photo filter up to 45 percent faster10.

In addition, the 6th Gen Intel Core and Intel Xeon platforms will offer a variety of new features and experiences. More devices will feature Thunderbolt™ 3 for USB Type-C, enabling one compact port that does it all. A user-facing or world-facing Intel® RealSense™ Camera will be available on a range of new 6th Gen Intel Core processor-based 2 in 1s, notebooks and All-in-One desktop systems, offering new depth-sensing capabilities and immersive experiences that allow people to do things like take and share lifelike 3-D selfies, scan objects and print in 3-D, and easily remove and change their background during a video chat.

The 6th Gen Intel Core platform will also advance Intel’s “no wires” initiative to deliver the best experience for wireless display available today with Intel® WiDi or Pro WiDi. This technology allows people to easily share from their computer to a TV, monitor or projector without the mess of wires and dongles.

The 6th Gen Intel Core processor family helps optimize Windows* 10 features such as Cortana* and Windows Hello* for more seamless and natural interaction with technology. Devices with the Intel RealSense Camera paired with Windows Hello let people securely log in using facial recognition. True Key™ technology by Intel Security is also available on many 6th Gen Intel Core processor-based systems to deliver a secure experience for logging into devices and websites without the need to remember each site’s password.

Coming Soon: Intel® Iris™ Graphics, Intel® vPro™ for business, and products for IoT

In the coming months, Intel plans to deliver more than 48 processors in the 6th Gen Intel Core processor family, featuring Intel® Iris™ and Iris Pro graphics, as well as Intel Xeon E3-1500M processor family for mobile workstations and 6th Gen Intel® vPro™ processors for business and enterprises. A variety of devices across a wide range of form factors will be available now and over the coming months from manufacturers around the world. In addition, Intel is offering more than 25 products for the Internet of Things (IoT) with up to 7-year long-life supply and error correcting code (ECC) at multiple TDP levels. Retail, medical, industrial, and digital surveillance and security industries will all benefit from the new 6th Gen Intel Core processor improvements and includes IoT designs from the edge to the cloud.

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  1. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    WiDi looks nice, on paper. But it’s only 1080, so no 4k, many people tell me they want.

    A 3D selfie seems awkward to me, but I’m sure many will love it.

    I wonder how TrueKey will work, and commend them on creating these on a 14nm manufacturing process.

  2. Can anyone explain to a novice (me), what this means for new iMacs?


  3. 10x faster? huh?

    • 10% faster

      • alexandereiden - 7 years ago

        *ahem* “Intel says that its U-Series chips will be 10 times faster than the previous generation Broadwell chips”

        But as mentioned below, 10x faster is awesome, but 10% makes more sense (but is almost to small of a difference)

  4. charilaosmulder - 7 years ago

    10x faster would be fun, 10% faster sounds more realistic

  5. macusercom - 7 years ago

    This article is saying that Skylake U will be 10 times faster. Well this would make it about 3 times faster than my work station. If battery life improves or stays the same, I’m OK with that. Happy to replace all my PC towers with MBAs.

  6. Piotr Kleina - 7 years ago

    do you know if and when MBP will be updated with these processors?


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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