Intel® released an update to its processor family in 2015 with the name “Skylake.” Skylake has been the technology behind many new devices, including some great HP products. It combines power and functionality for faster processing and the ability to run multiple applications at once. This makes gaming, video streaming, and running complex programs better than ever.
Intel innovates once again
Intel has released generations of processors that have revolutionized the way we use our devices. Newer, faster technology has made even the simplest tasks easier for our laptops to handle, as well as increasing productivity and working toward eliminating software crashes. Intel’s 8th Generation Skylake processor has been available since 2017, and it has boosted the processing speed of models since then by up to 40% .
However, Intel plans to go beyond this by also offering a number of new features that were unavailable in former chips. The company has also looked into what users are most likely going to need from their devices in the future, such as more advanced mobile functions. This should prove especially useful for those relying on tablets and smartphones to perform more complex functions.
What is Skylake?
“Skylake” is a code name used by Intel for its processor updates. In the past, the company has used other names such as “Whiskey Lake” and “Coffee Lake” in order to keep new innovations under wraps. Different names tend to correspond with different types of chips, which can make it easier to track which type of processor is currently on the market.
The newest Intel Skylake processor was designed for specific purposes:
- As technology changes, we require new features from our processors in order to handle more advanced software and to perform at a higher level.
- It’s also designed to be used with more memory, which can help your computer run faster and at a higher level overall. Much of this has to do with Skylake’s ability to function on either 2 or 4 cores, making it possible to use it as a processor for both mobile and desktop devices.
What improvements does Skylake offer for mobile?
In addition to improving performance for desktop PCs, this newest generation of Intel processor is designed to give smaller and mobile devices an edge they didn’t have before.
In the past, one downside to working with a laptop or tablet was that it was difficult to find a device that balanced portability with performance. Skylake aims to change that by offering more customization and the choice of either 2 or 4 cores.
Intel achieved this and can offer faster processing speeds for several reasons. First, they created a new cache architecture called eDRAM, which allows processors to make a faster transition between applications. This can be especially helpful if you’re running a number of apps at once on a laptop or tablet.
And as mobile becomes increasingly common for both work and high-performance actions like gaming and video streaming, the Skylake processor offers a way to enjoy these features without worrying about crashes.
Key perks of the new Skylake processors
There are two specific processors at the heart of the Skylake, and they’re the Intel Core™ i7 8665U and the Intel Core i5 8365U.
1. Better base clocks
Both processors come with better base clocks, which determines its overall speed. The Intel Core i7 starts at a 1.9 GHz and can be upgraded to a 4.8 GHz boost clock, while the Intel Core i5 runs at 1.6 GHz to 4.1 GHz. Unless you’re planning to run complex games or programs, the basic option should be fine. These processors will be found in laptops, 2-in-1 convertible laptops, and handheld/mobile devices, and will run up to 65% faster  than the previous generation.
2. Improved battery life
Skylake processors will also help improve the battery life of the devices running on them. Along with increased memory, you have a laptop or tablet that runs efficiently and can be customized to work with whatever applications you need to use.
Much of this has to do with the enhanced graphics chips (the Intel 500) and Speed Shift technology. This allows you to use less power as it switches applications dependent upon your commands. With 30 times the speed, you’re saving a lot of power with a faster processor.
3. Easy overclocking
All of the latest Intel processors are considered “overclockable.” This means you can go into the settings of your computer and set the processing speeds to work for the programs you are using. You can also alter how much power your system is using, how much memory should be used on certain applications, and the voltage that goes into your device.
While this isn’t recommended if you’re performing basic functions on your computer, it can be helpful if you need more power in certain areas. Essentially, you’re programming your computer to provide more power for particular functions.
Intel processors are the best processors to alter because they make it simple for you to do so. Skylake makes it even easier to do this, so if you plan to do a lot of gaming or you work with transcoding or images, this new processor may be worth considering.
Additional security features
Along with enhanced performance, security is another important consideration to take into account when purchasing a new computer or device. The Skylake update has some built-in security features that improve the overall security of your device, which can be useful if you plan to spend time on unsecured networks or you are housing valuable information on your computer.
The Intel Hardware Shield technology comes pre-installed on your device in order to discourage firmware attacks. Any time the software encounters a threat, it will alert you to that activity. It also checks to make sure that any software you download from the internet is checked so your device isn’t infected with a virus. In a world where it is easier than ever to be hacked, additional security can go a long way toward keeping your data safe from bad actors.
Better WiFi capabilities
As networks get smarter and faster, it seems only right that our devices would want to catch up as well. One of the most recent advancements in better WiFi connections has been the creation of WiFi 6. This new system operates on the same frequency as the previous connection, 802.11ac, but it also offers more security and the opportunity to connect multiple devices at once.
This new form of WiFi comes with WPA3 security measures as well. This provides better encryption, which makes it more difficult for hackers to penetrate. As more information is shared online, it’s more important than ever to keep your network secure. WPA3 has been optional in the past, but it will start to become more common as devices are designed to integrate WiFi 6.
Of course, the main reason that Intel has included an update to its processors to handle WiFi 6 is the faster speeds - and it is a lot faster. WiFi 5, which is what most devices are currently designed to handle, runs at about 3.5 GB/sec, while WiFi 6 should be able to run at about 9.6 GB/sec . This isn’t for just one device either. You can split this faster speed among a number of different computers or devices, making it faster for everything that is connected.
Not all processors are able to handle WiFi 6 yet, and it will be some time before routers are available for reasonable prices. However, Intel is ahead of the game in this way by providing the technology in advance. This can be great news for households or offices with a number of devices on the same network.
What processor should I consider?
The biggest indication of what kind of processor you will need is what kind of programs you tend to run on your device. Different software can require a more powerful processor than the basic option. However, if you tend to work with software that doesn’t require much power, you may not need the most responsive processor. Once you have determined what you will use your device for, you can narrow down which options are best for you.
Intel’s two most popular 6th Generation processors running Skylake technology are the Intel i5 Core and the Intel i7 Core. Both offer plenty of power and the ability to run a number of applications at once. You can narrow down which processor is right for you depending on your budget and the type of device you want.
The Intel Core i5 processor
The Intel Core i5 is the more basic of the two. It’s highly customizable, which means you can add more cores for more power and a better graphics card for sharper images. This makes it ideal for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money to upgrade their computer overall, but who want to have a processor that performs well.
The i5 9400 comes with 9MB of SmartCache, meaning that you’ll have a faster time recovering applications and websites that you frequently use. With 6 cores and 6 threads, you’ve got the opportunity to run any basic program without a hitch.
- Base frequency of 2.90 GHz
- Max turbo speed of 4.10 GHz
- DDR4 2666 memory type
- Intel UHD Graphics 630 for sharp images
The Intel Core i7 processor
For more advanced computing, you can turn to the Intel Core i7. If you would like to customize your performance, then the i7 can help you to build the computer of your dreams. HP® has used the i7 in a variety of models in order to deliver quality graphics and faster performance for your PC. If you plan to have a hand in how your processor is built and how it delivers, then the i7 is the better choice.
- Up to 8 cores of power
- Base frequency of 3.60 GHz
- Max turbo speed of 4.90 GHz
- Graphics max frequency 1.20 GHz
Intel is always coming up with new ways to improve performance. They are constantly updating their processors in order to suit all kinds of users, whether you need to run basic functions or require high-performing hardware for video editing or programming. Intel Skylake provides the power to take on anything you need to get done on your computer and your mobile device.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.