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Digital Foundry brings an extensive comparative performance of the two newly launched Intel Skylake CPUs, which are the Core i7-6700K (4.00 / 4.20 GHz) and the Core i5-6600K (3.50 / 3.90 GHz) to check that these two chips really worth for the price in terms of gaming?
When we started out testing with a few 1080p games, it was clear that the improvement in processor speed isn’t worth investing more money in an i7. In two of the most intensive video games, the difference between performance was only 10 to 15 frames per second; but when we overclocked both processors to maximize their potential and removed this deficit from the i5’s side, then the gap widened to 40 fps for Crysis 3 and 50 fps for Far Cry 4.
Looking at the current market prices, the Core i7-6700K is priced at 385 euros while the Core i5-6600K is priced at 269 euros. What do you think this means?
|1920 × 1080 / Titan X OC (Avg FPS)||Core i7 6700K||Core i7 6700K / 4.6GHz||Core i5 6600K preset||Core i5 6600K preset / 4.5GHz|
|The Witcher 3 Ultra, Hairworks Off||99.8||100.8||95.7||98.2|
|Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ultra High, FXAA||87.1||87.3||86.8||87.2|
|Battlefield 4, Ultra, 4x MSAA||130.2||131.4||127.8||130.6|
|Crysis 3, Very High, SMAA||119.5||121.9||109.4||117.0|
|COD Warfare Advanced, Extra, FSMAA||203.6||205.4||192.0||203.7|
|Grand Theft Auto 5, Ultra, no MSAA||81.7||88.7||70.2||80.6|
|Far Cry 4, Ultra, SMAA||115.4||121.5||89.9||115.4|
|Shadow of Mordor, Ultra High Textures||137.3||138.6||132.7||138.7|
|Ryse: Son of Rome, High, SMAA||116.1||116.5||112.9||116.1|
Now, we have a test which compares three generations of processors. Our test incorporated the Core i7-4790K, the Core i7-3770K and the Core i7-2600K. Breaking down the details, if you’re going from an old processor like the Core i7-2600K to a newer one like the new 6700k, it might not be worth it because there’s only about an increase of around 15 FPS in average performance. But when you go from say, 4740K to 6700k (or even 6700k to 7700k), this jump is quite dramatic – a much more worth investment!
Now we have something interesting – comparing the performance of older generations of Core processors with newer ones. Testing included both the Core i7-4790K, the Core i7-3770K, and the Core i7-2600K; giving us an idea of which is best when going from an old chip like the 2600k to a new one like 6700k. In short, even though you’ll lose about 15 frames per second when going from an old model to a new one, it’s still not worth it considering how much newer versions cost.
|1920 × 1080 / Titan X OC (Avg FPS)||Core i7 6700K||Core i7 6700K / 4.6GHz||Core i7 4790K||Core i7 3770K||Core i7 2600K|
|The Witcher 3 Ultra, Hairworks Off||99.8||100.8||92.4||91.9||87.1|
|Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ultra High, FXAA||87.1||87.3||86.9||85.0||82.9|
|Battlefield 4, Ultra, 4x MSAA||130.2||131.4||126.1||124.5||118.3|
|Crysis 3, Very High, SMAA||119.5||121.9||116.4||112.0||106.8|
|COD Warfare Advanced, Extra, FSMAA||203.6||205.4||187.5||178.4||169.9|
|Grand Theft Auto 5, Ultra, no MSAA||81.7||88.7||67.9||60.9||58.9|
|Far Cry 4, Ultra, SMAA||115.4||121.5||98.6||82.6||80.6|
|Shadow of Mordor, Ultra High Textures||137.3||138.6||133.7||130.0||126.7|
|Ryse: Son of Rome, High, SMAA||116.1||116.5||111.3||108.9||106.4|
If the previous CPUs are Overclocked to 4.40 GHz to suppress the advantage of a higher frequency in the top models, then these differences in performance are significantly shorter from generation to generation.
|1920 × 1080 / Titan X OC (Average FPS)||Core i7 6700K 4.4GHz||Core i7 4790K 4.4GHz||Core i7 3770K 4.4GHz||Core i7 2600K 4.4GHz|
|The Witcher 3 Ultra, Hairworks Off||100.3||94.9||91.9||89.6|
|Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ultra High, FXAA||86.8||86.8||86.1||83.8|
|Battlefield 4, Ultra, 4x MSAA||131.1||126.5||126.7||120.8|
|Crysis 3, Very High, SMAA||120.5||117.9||116.7||112.0|
|COD Warfare Advanced, Extra, FSMAA||204.5||191.5||190.8||175.2|
|Grand Theft Auto 5, Ultra, no MSAA||86.1||73.6||66.7||66.5|
|Far Cry 4, Ultra, SMAA||120.3||102.6||91.4||91.1|
|Shadow of Mordor, Ultra High Textures||136.9||137.8||135.4||130.4|
|Ryse: Son of Rome, High, SMAA||116.1||113.8||112.4||108.3|
If you’re still rocking an Intel Sandy Bridge, Core i7-6700K’s are not worth it. With the release of all-new Intel Skylake Processors coming out soon; investing in an up-to-date Graphic Card is much more worth your time than upgrading anything else that would require some serious spending.
When deciding which CPU to buy, consider whether or not you are willing to pay for the Core i7-4790K. It is comparable in price but substantially outperforms the competition because of increased cache size and higher clock rate. If you are on a budget or want to save money then go with the lower-end options such as the Core i5-6600K or even lower if needed.
Our review starts with the Core i7-5820K, which has a lower price tag than the 6600K. It also supports DDR4 memory and would be worth checking out even if DirectX 12 didn’t exist since it has six cores. We’ll let you know what this CPU offers when we take a look at its performance numbers in our benchmark section later on.