Since the overwhelming successes of Intel’s Skylake architecture last year, the word on everyone’s lips has been ‘What’s next?’ for Intel. We caught only small snippets of information throughout the latter half of 2016, which kept us holding our breath in suspense, until the new Kaby Lake CPU line-up was finally officially introduced at CES 2017.
So what’s the big deal about Kaby Lake?
Like its predecessors, Broadwell and Skylake, Kaby Lake is also built on 14nm technology, and on the surface doesn’t really seem altogether that different to these previous architectures. However, what it has done is dialled its clock-speed up to eleven, making overclocking easy, and has so far demonstrated some really impressive results. Its flagship processor, the i7 7700K is now capable of a base speed of 4.2 GHz and a Turbo Boost speed of 4.5 GHz, even known to comfortably reach new heights of 5 GHz, and beyond. This is driving far greater speed and efficiency across the board thanks to Intel’s Speed Shift technology, even though its performance has stayed still at x86.
Despite its largely unchanged architecture, there is a lot to look forward to from the advanced features offered by the Kaby Lake line-up.
Compatible with 6th gen
Important to note is that Kaby Lake follows Intel’s new Process, Architecture, Optimisation design model, although the processors will be backwards-compatible with their 6th gen ancestors.
Video media engine
This new addition to Intel’s processor makes 10-bit content look like a piece of cake. Not only that, but it can also decode Ultra HD video on-chip without affecting battery life – in fact, Intel is claiming a 3x improvement on battery life when decoding 4K on Kaby Lake.
Intel® Iris Plus 640/650 graphics
The updated graphics core allows users to stream 4K services with ease, and edit 4K video in real-time. It’s even been suggested by Intel that the 650 will show up to 65% improved graphics performance than the 630, which is great news for those in rich media creation.
Intel® Optane Ready
Following the excitement surrounding Intel’s new Optane memory, their next-gen CPUs have an M.2 slot on each board ready for Optane technology, which will act similarly to Intel Smart Response Technology, using Optane as either traditional storage or else to accelerate system performance.
Support for Windows 10
As expected, the CPUs are compatible with Windows 10. Following Skylake’s lead, Kaby Lake’s LGA 1151 socket also makes it pin compatible for seamless integration with legacy boards.
Intel’s Kaby Lake processors have begun shipping, and because of its compatibility with Skylake motherboards we are already integrating them into our own range of Rack and Mini PCs. If you would like to know more about Intel’s new line-up or which of our products will feature it first, just get in touch.