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Intel to offer unlocked ‘Skylake’ processors for overclockers in Q3 2015

Although Intel Corp. did not plan to offer central processing units featuring “Skylake” microarchitecture for overclockers along with the first wave of such chips, the company has changed its plans and will release unlocked versions of its “Skylake” CPUs in the third quarter of 2015.

As reported last week, Intel will delay introduction of its new desktop “Skylake-S” processors to the third quarter of the year due to unknown reasons. However, when the company finally releases its new breed of chips, the family will include a lot of different processors in LGA1151 form-factor with two or four cores as well as 65W or 35W thermal design power. The new chips will be compatible with the Z170 and the H170 core-logic sets. Different “Skylake-S” platforms will support DDR3, DDR3L or DDR4 memory.


The most intriguing thing about the “Skylake-S” family of products is that it will include quad-core “Skylake-K” chips with unlocked multiplier, according to an excerpt from a document that resembles those from Intel, which was published by Chinese VR-Zone web-site on Friday. The new CPUs will have 95W thermal design power and will be aimed at overclockers.


The decision to release “Skylake-K” microprocessors in the third quarter have both pros and cons. On the one hand, such chips will let makers of mainboards to introduce all-new models for enthusiasts and sell them at high profit margin. On the other hand, such motherboards will compete against motherboards for the “Broadwell-K” processors that are due in the second quarter.

As reported, co-existence of Intel’s “Broadwell” and “Skylake” microprocessors on the market this year will result in availability of five competing types of platforms for Intel’s desktop microprocessors. For makers of motherboards this means increased costs and internal competition. Since “Broadwell-K” and “Skylake-K” will be aimed at the same market segment, it will cause a lot of confusion on the market.

Since Intel’s “Skylake” platforms will offer all-new CPU micro-architecture (with AVX 3.2, 512-bit extensions and so on) with increased instructions per clock (IPC), native SATA Express support (which means they will support high-end SSDs with 2TB/s or even 4TB/s read speeds), optional Thunderbolt 3.0 (40Gb/s) and DDR4 memory, they will be Intel’s most technologically advanced desktop offerings this year. Moreover, unlocked multiplier will make them platforms of choice for many enthusiasts, provided that their overclocking potential is decent.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: 95W thermal design power of “Skylake-K” may indicate that it is not that easy for the microarchitecture and/or particular design to hit high clock-rates. By contrast, the “Broadwell-K” only has TDP of 65W. It is too early to make conclusions regarding overclocking potential of the two chips. However, what is absolutely clear is that this year Intel’s processors for overclockers will compete against each other.

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