Intel begins shipping Kaby Lake CPUs to manufacturers

On Intel's earnings call yesterday, CEO Brian Krzanich confirmed that the company is shipping its seventh-generation Core processors, code-named Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake CPUs will be the first product of Intel's new "process-architecture-optimization" product-development model, where at least three major families of chips will be produced on a process node.

Though "shipping" is a rather exciting word, Intel clarified that it's moving chips out to its "customers and OEMs," not retail channels. The company also says Kaby Lake chips are poised to deliver "meaningful" performance increases compared to Skylake CPUs.

Krzanich also noted that Intel is on track to ship Optane SSDs this year. In a response to an investor question, the CEO said those SSDs will begin shipping at the end of this year, while Optane DIMMs will follow in 2017. Optane products will use Intel's 3D Xpoint memory technology, and they could deliver huge speed-ups in storage performance compared to today's NAND flash.

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    • odizzido
    • 3 years ago

    I never expected…or wanted…to keep my old 45nm lynnfield until zen released. Hopefully either zen or kaby will be good enough for me to upgrade.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Time to work overtime, AMD.

    • DrCR
    • 3 years ago

    The bit about Win7 not supporting this — is it really the CPU, or is it the presumably new chipset it will be paired with?

    I keep holding out on springing for a new build, simply because I can, but I’m still very much less than enthusiastic about the present state of Win10, so it’s a bit of a catch-22 for me.

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      Jeepers. For a stand alone user Windows 10 is awesome. I see no reason why you would hesitate provided that all your hardware is compatible with Windows 10. If you are building a new system then all the better. I’m running Windows 10 on a 2012 era system and it has been amazeballs.

      I recommend Pro over Home.

        • ChicagoDave
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah I really don’t get the continued avoidance of W10…I have it running on two desktops and a laptop at home and they all run flawlessly. There’s literally not a single thing that I miss from Windows 7. I use W7 at work and while it’s fine, I don’t come home and go “oh man, now I have to deal with W10”.

        What exactly are you holding out for? Is there some feature missing, is it the negligible interface changes? The privacy settings that are easily reset in under 2 minutes? I honestly don’t get it…

          • GrimDanfango
          • 3 years ago

          The privacy settings they *allow* you to reset are easily reset. What about the hidden ones they don’t even give you option to turn off unless you’re using the enterprise version?

          As ever – there’s a reason MS have so aggressively pushed for everyone to upgrade for free as soon as possible… and the reason isn’t because they’re really generous and only interested in your convenience.
          The real reason they’re so desperate to push the upgrade is the exact same reason I’m determined to avoid it, even after the inevitable point where Win 7 becomes plagued with obsolescence issues and Win 10 is clearly better supported.

            • NovusBogus
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]The privacy settings they *allow* you to reset are easily reset. What about the hidden ones they don't even give you option to turn off unless you're using the enterprise version?[/quote<] Even on the enterprise version, the code itself is still in the OS which means sooner or later the black hats will find a way to exploit it. Mark my words, this won't end well.

          • Generic
          • 3 years ago

          I’ve missed having one place for settings ever since moving to 8.

          Windows key + search term works, but I still hate having dueling design philosophies.

          • psuedonymous
          • 3 years ago

          ” I use W7 at work and while it’s fine, I don’t come home and go “oh man, now I have to deal with W10″. ”

          Same here, but at work I’m actively missing features from Windows 10 like the WIN+X menu (though this was present in 8 too) and the improved window-snapping.

          • dashbarron
          • 3 years ago

          I could never make the damn thing stable. After months of fighting, enduring endless BSOD’s, I returned to Windows 7.

          Here’s to the next build being better.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 3 years ago

          I was travelling recently and needed to use my mobile’s internet connection via hotspot. Which I couldn’t do because Windows 10’s obsession with auto downloading updates whenever it’s connected to the internet, which would have crossed my data cap. Have 3G speeds anyway, would have made browsing terribly slow.

          Win 10 sucks in the developing world.

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        That’s just, like, your opinion, man. We’ve heard it many times before, and I don’t think it’s going to sway anyone else.

        FWIW, I’m currently 5 feet from a Win10 system that was just having driver issues yesterday with 2012 hardware, “50 MB/s memory leak” style. We never did properly figure it out.

          • End User
          • 3 years ago

          I’m currently using a 2012 era 3770K rig and Windows 10 Pro. No driver issues to report. Sorry to hear that you are having issues.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            The problem is that you treat your lack of issues (sample size of one or few) as more important than the accumulated reports from around the internet (sample size of many). It’s a pretty standard human bias, yeah, but it doesn’t make Win10 actually have fewer issues.

            You also treat a lot of OS design as objectively good or bad, but it has a very large subjective component. A lot of us not liking it doesn’t mean we’re luddites, it means we have different likes and priorities in an OS than you.

            • End User
            • 3 years ago

            What’s not to like? It is basically Windows 7. Microsoft has done very little to the workflow as far as the desktop is concerned. Sure, there is better multiple monitor support, the info slide out on the right is new, we now have virtual desktops, etc, but it is basically the same OS.

            Hell, even my ancient i7-920 rig is purring nicely with Windows 10 Pro.

            • travbrad
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]but it is basically the same OS.[/quote<] That right there sums up the main reason people are sticking with Win7 for now. "If it ain't broke don't fix it" as the saying goes. There is a vocal minority on the internet complaining about Microsoft spying on you (while they use Google and Facebook) but most people just want to stick with what works. The only really compelling thing about Win10 for me is DX12 (once a game comes out that I actually care about) so if I didn't play games there would basically be no reason to upgrade. It has some small performance tweaks as well but a SSD can basically "brute force" its way through most of that anyway.

            • psuedonymous
            • 3 years ago

            “That right there sums up the main reason people are sticking with Win7 for now. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” as the saying goes.”

            And this attitude is why auto-updating has been made mandatory for Windows 10 Home. The vast majority of users treat the OS like a physical device that is either working or broken. But because it’s connected to the internet (and external removable devices) anything other than latest revision should be considered as ‘broken, but you just don’t know it yet’.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            Win7 isn’t broken until 2020 though. If Linux weren’t an option for me, I’d definitely stick with Win7 until its EOL, giving Win10 or whatever’s next a chance to improve in the meantime. That would involve paying more for OSes, but it would be entirely worth it.

            • End User
            • 3 years ago

            It is such a travesty that Microsoft has, basically, done noting worthwhile with Windows since XP came out from a workflow/UI point of view. I can’t use Windows on my primary work machines simply because the OS lacks modern UI features. Windows is only good enough for my gaming rig and my muck about rig.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            What travbrad said, plus….

            – it’s really buggy. Some people get lucky, but I see an awful lot of completely unnecessary Win10 breakage around me (never mind the time I actually tried to use the thing myself, which was among my worst experiences with software ever).

            – Spying. How much it does isn’t perfectly clear and how much people care is highly personal, but this definitely is an issue for some people. In addition, it likes to forget your settings, often to the detriment of security or privacy.

            – To many people, it just isn’t a very nice UX, even when it’s working exactly as intended. The UI design is both less functional and looks worse than aero, the metro/classic (or whatever they’re calling stuff now) split personality has to be one of the bigger “WTF were they thinking?” elements in modern computing, and they did actually slow down my workflow (not by much once I figured out where the new stuff was, but still enough that I notice and am annoyed).

            – In all areas, it thinks it’s smarter than me, but it’s really not, and it doesn’t like to give me overrides with which to fix things when it guesses wrong and causes a train wreck.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        I’m with DrCR here. Tried using Win10 recently and I hated it. I hope Zen will support Win7.

          • Lord.Blue
          • 3 years ago

          The support for Zen has nothing to do with the hardware, and everything to do with Microsoft. They have stated before that any new chips coming out after mid 2016 will not be supported on anything other than Win10, so I don’t think that Zen has a chance for running Win7. You will be stuck with 2 options, Linux or Win10.

          [url<]http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/10780876/microsoft-windows-support-policy-new-processors-skylake[/url<]

            • NovusBogus
            • 3 years ago

            Whether MS gives us our blessing is probably irrelevant, as it was for XP, but now Intel is rattling its saber too which is more troubling. They’re the ones who ultimately decide if legacy OSes will be fully compatible, miss certain chipset features, or outright BSOD on startup.

            • ronch
            • 3 years ago

            Shouldn’t a processor run any code you feed it? What, is there something MS could put in its code that’ll crash a Zen system? I understand the OS does contain some low level system drivers but couldn’t AMD put those together themselves? Also, I understand hardware vendors may choose not to provide drivers for a certain OS, making that OS not compatible with the hardware, but an OS deliberately not running on a certain piece of hardware?

          • BoilerGamer
          • 3 years ago

          Your problem will be that Microsoft declaring Zen unspported by any Windows other than 10, and your option is now W10 or Linux/Hackintosh.

          Resistance is Futile.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Win10 should be significantly different by next month after the anniversary update, so you may want to revisit it with a fresh eye. Of course it won’t be free anymore, but maybe it will be better.

    • slaimus
    • 3 years ago

    It will be interesting to see if Microsoft sticks to their word about not supporting new CPUs with Windows 7. I know they eventually backtracked for Skylake.

      • Klimax
      • 3 years ago

      Remember: There is support and support. They’ll run on KL but new features might not be available. Same story as was with Windows XP back then. (Absence of support for new instructions)

    • djayjp
    • 3 years ago

    So psyched for Optane/Xpoint (especially doubling as ram and storage in cheaper systems… eventually anyway). Instant on here we come!

    I’m guessing the DIMMs would work in standard DDR4 slots…?

      • smilingcrow
      • 3 years ago

      Not sure if Optane DIMMs will work with consumer chip-sets or what sort of software support will be required?
      There’s also the issue of endurance so they may be using premium dies so expect a premium price.
      I imagine workstation/server only at first.

    • bfar
    • 3 years ago

    The most interesting thing about Kaby Lake is that this could be the product family that goes head to head with Zen.

    Considering Summit Ridge is to be a 95W 8 core part, Intel’s same old 4 core & minor speed bump raises an eyebrow. Unless AMD prices the 8 core stuff up with Intel’s HEDT, which would be hugely disappointing.

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      Up to now, Intel’s “same old 4 core” performance has smoked AMD. I’m waiting for the benchmarks before I unleash my eyebrows.

        • Kretschmer
        • 3 years ago

        Bulldozer was an “8 Core” part; core counts don’t mean much when you can’t deliver strong IPC at a reasonable TDP.

          • terranup16
          • 3 years ago

          Bulldozer used CMT, Zen is SMT. By Bulldozer math, Zen is 16 core, so I’m not worried for a Bulldozer repeat there.

          What I would instead worry about are clocks. Broadwell Xeons hit sub-100W TDP, but with base clocks below 3GHz, meaning you’re never making use of those four extra chores cores while running at clocks anywhere near Xeon E3s or Core i5/7s. How Zen packs 2x cores into the same TDP as Kaby Lake is going to be a major determining factor for performance.

          My second worry is process. This will be the first time in a long time that AMD is close to process parity with Intel. However, I don’t know how GF 14nm is going to clock and overclock. Pascal v Polaris pits it against TSMC’s 16nm (which seems to be a good process for clock speed), but it’s hard to tell how much Pascal’s superiority there is architecture versus process. We know that nV actually cannibalized some IPC to gain clockspeed, so there is the possibility it’s all architecture.

          The final hurdle AMD has is even at comparable clocks, I’m expecting Zen to trail at least a little in IPC. That is going to hurt it in gaming for now. Add in Kaby’s much nicer chipset and even a Kaby that can’t compete on full performance will hold well against Zen.

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            “By Bulldozer math, Zen is 16 core”

            I don’t follow. Bulldozer counted integer units for cores, and had a shared FPU between two cores. Zen has one FPU and integer per core. It would still be counted as the same core count the “old” way.

      • BoilerGamer
      • 3 years ago

      AMD priced Fury X at exactly the same price point as 980Ti, why would you expect them to not price the 8 core up with Intel’s HEDT?

      All of AMD’s recent history have shown that if they have comparable performance , they will price at a similar price point.

        • Klimax
        • 3 years ago

        And if they can they will go over as well.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    Kaby Lake is not about the CPU.

      • 223 Fan
      • 3 years ago

      Which is weird… since Intel is mainly a CPU company.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        Sometimes the supporting cast gets more attention than the star of the show.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    If 2% is meaningful, what would Zen’s 40% jump from Excavator be?

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      You mean jumping from 2010 performance to 2013 performance? Not very exciting.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Well, 3 years difference is still a lot, right? 🙂

    • nerdrage
    • 3 years ago

    The only thing meaningful about Kaby Lake is the inclusion of [b<]native[/b<] USB 3.1 Gen 2 support. I've always found the 3rd party USB controllers to be somewhat unreliable and not as well-supported, so it'll be nice to have a native Intel controller.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    It’s not that Kaby Lake doesn’t have any improvements, it’s just that Kaby Lake doesn’t have improvements that most people on this site actually care about.

      • The Egg
      • 3 years ago

      The chipset is more appealing to me than anything, really. Native USB3.1r2, Thunderbolt 3, M.2, DDR4, etc. I don’t necessarily need any of those things, but combined with the cumulative ~35% improvement over Sandybridge and some fast L4 eDRAM….. I may give it a hard look.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        You’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s not the CPU that I find attractive, it is the chipset features.

        Hopefully the consumer products will appear sooner rather than later.

          • blastdoor
          • 3 years ago

          Yup… it’s the chipset features.

          Call me paranoid, but it almost feels like Intel held back on those chipset features just so that there would be some kind of noticeable/meaningful difference between Skylake and Kaby Lake. Is there any other reason to have excluded things like TB3 from Skylake?

            • End User
            • 3 years ago

            Alpine Ridge brought Thunderbolt 3 to Skylake.

            • blastdoor
            • 3 years ago

            Oops – – I was thoroughly confused. I was thinking display port 1.3 when I said thunderbolt 3, however, kaby lake does not support that display port 1.3

            So even if I said what I meant to say I would’ve been wrong.

            Some days it just sucks to be me.

        • ChicagoDave
        • 3 years ago

        Also has native HDCP 2.2 in the chipset for anyone building an low power HTPC that plans to play 4k blurays.

          • Ifalna
          • 3 years ago

          Are there any drives for PCs that play them properly?

          Last time I checked, 4K BD was till pretty much a no-go on a PC.

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Prediction: Kaby Lake = 5-7% performance increase over Skylake…..BORRRING

    Optane SSDs though……Let’s get those out ASAP!!!!!!! Take my money.

    • Tristan
    • 3 years ago

    meaningful 2%

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Meaningful. Love the way they put it.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      I just want a socketed CPU with the huge L4 cache to play with. Even though I don’t really need it, I want it for some reason.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Just get an IBM Power8!
        [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/10435/assessing-ibms-power8-part-1/5[/url<]

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          Next time I’ll be more specific: I want the huge L4 *and* x86 compatibility. 😆

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            I do wonder if Intel is underusing it though – IBM manages a much larger L3 thanks to using eDRAM, and unlike what some claim, the latency is really low too. And then there’s an L4 of eDRAM after that large L3 as well.

            • anotherengineer
            • 3 years ago

            Still need to be more specific.

            You probably want x86-x64 compatibility.

            That is if your satisfied with a 32-bit OS and 4GB ram cap? 😉

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Imma slap you :p

        • Firestarter
        • 3 years ago

        I just want the highest possible single thread performance, which Intel could easily have given us if they had any reason to

          • travbrad
          • 3 years ago

          I hope Zen is at least fast enough to push Intel into doing it, although I’m not sure how realistic that hope is.

          • Visigoth
          • 3 years ago

          Not exactly at the TDP levels you want, unless you have a small portable nuclear reactor in your home…

        • travbrad
        • 3 years ago

        I want the same thing because that seems to improve single threaded performance more than anything if Broadwell was any indication. Any game/program that uses all of your cores 100% already runs well. It’s those games/programs that DON’T use all of your cores where things can slow down so a big speedy cache would be nice.

        L4/eDRAM is the only thing that would make me finally upgrade from Sandy Bridge. If it’s just another marginal 3% improvement I’ll probably be waiting until my mobo dies.

    • smilingcrow
    • 3 years ago

    Are all these Lake references linked to Intel’s new corporate motto?

    “We are Drowning, not Waving an ARM.”

      • BoilerGamer
      • 3 years ago

      Intel since Nehalem

      Bridge-Bridge
      Well-(Canyon)-Well
      Lake-Lake-Lake(Cannonlake/Coffeelake)

      They are all thing related to bodies of water.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve become too bored to care about about following CPU generational improvements from Intel. Is Kaby Lake going to provide anything “meaningful” in reality or are we just going to see another single-digit improvement to general performance whilst all the real savings are in profit, thermal envelopes, and perhaps some specific AVX tasks?

    It’s sad that a 4.5GHz Sandy Bridge from five years ago (which was a common, easily-attainable overclock) is still relevant enough to outperform most of the Skylake product stack.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 3 years ago

      The latter. Intel’s competition is from lower power envelopes, not top end speed, so why bother pushing speed hard?

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      My 4.7 GHz Ivy Bridge has reached its end of life as my primary system. Time to upgrade to Kaby Lake. The chipset features are far too tempting to ignore.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        I think it’s pretty telling that your motherboard growing old is the only reason you’re looking at a new processor though.

          • Ifalna
          • 3 years ago

          Yup. Would be awesome to be able to buy a new board with all the new gimmicks and save 300€ for not needing to buy a new CPU for marginal perf gains.

          But alas Intel says: “nope”.

      • CaptTomato
      • 3 years ago

      Not true anymore, you need a strong i7 to max out your GPU….go look on ytube.

        • travbrad
        • 3 years ago

        That might be somewhat true at stock clocks but virtually every Sandy Bridge “K” can achieve 50%+ overclocks which actually puts the performance at or even above stock Skylake. Skylake can be overclocked too of course but it starts at a much higher stock frequency so it doesn’t overclock as much percentage wise.

      • ChicagoDave
      • 3 years ago

      A 4.5 ghz Skylake is faster than a 4.5 ghz Sandy Bridge…I’m not sure exactly how much but most estimates put it around 15% faster at the same clock. Not to mention all of the chipset inprovements, DDR4, additional PCI lanes, PCI-E 3.0, Optane/3d-Xpoint, etc.

      I’m still running a Nalahem box (not my primary) until Kaby comes out, and while it “gets the job done” I can identify a dozen areas where I’ll see real, meaningful upgrades.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        Agreed about the chipset features, but you’re taking my comment out of context – I’m talking about just performance. 15% faster clock for clock is not insignificant, but how many Skylakes can reach 4.5 easily?

        I’d argue that a Skylake hitting 4.5GHz is going to be luck-of-the draw and will absolutely require a 240mm+ liquid cooler or some ridiculously screamy fans on a big air tower. Looking around the web 4.6-4.8GHz seems to be the 95% limit of Skylake without LN2 or other insanity.

        4.5GHz for Sandy, on the other hand, was easy using any half-decent cooler, and quiet too. I’ve seen 4.5 with the crappy stock cooler (noisy AF, obviously). I’d argue that if you’re going to compare Sandy Bridge to an overclocked Skylake, it’s only fair to match the overclocking effort too. A 240mm liquid cooler capable of getting Skylake to 4.5GHz would likely take Sandy to somewhere in the 5GHz ballpark, which is 11% faster and goes a long way towards undoing that 15% clock-for-clock advantage.

        I’m not arguing that Sandy is faster than Skylake, I’m just saying that the common Sandy processors from five years ago are still relevant in performance. Is it any wonder I’m unimpressed with performance progress when a 4% improvement is all we have to show for five years, four generations and two platform changes?

      • f0d
      • 3 years ago

      single digit improvements is better than no improvements at all from the competition

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