Intel is planning on releasing a replacement for the Core i7 4790 sometime next year and according to online publication Fudzilla, the new unit will be the Skylake-S 14nm CPU. It is rumored that Intel will launch this new CPU at Computex 2015, which kicks off in early 2015, or somewhere around June 2015 at the latest. The Skylake-S requires a new socket and chipset, and Intel has got it all covered. The new socket is the LGA 1151, and will be featuring an additional pin compared to the current LGA 1150 socket housing Intel’s Haswell Core. Skylake-S supports both DDR4 1.2V and DDR3L 1.35V, and Intel will allow motherboard manufacturers to decide which of these two types of memory will be supported on their boards, as simultaneous support is out of the question.
The new Z 170 chipset will incorporate a 1 x 16 plus 2×8 or 1×8 plus 2×4 PCI-Express 3.0 combination, while SLI and CrossFire setups will still be available. Two memory channels with two modules each are intended for the Z 170 motherboard. Intel Rapid Storage Technology 14 and Intel Smart Response Technology are supported. Also, the Z 170 features 14 USB ports, 10 of which are USB 3.0. The board will include six SATA 6Gbps ports and a maximum of 20 lanes for PCI express capable ports. Storage wise, the Z170 motherboard supports a maximum of three SATA Express ports X2 and three RST for PCIe Storage Ports (x4 M.2 or x2 SATA Express). It seems like the mSATA will not be making a comeback to Intel’s new chipset, as the Z87 was the last one to support it.
Although Intel is introducing a new family of CPUs to replace non-K Haswell refresh parts, they will most likely be limited in terms of overclocking capabilities. Intel is not taking any chances for next year, and decides to play it safe with the new Skylake-S processor – a unit that will not feature any revolutionary improvements. We’ll see if Intel decides to make a bold move by next year or if AMD will beat them to the punch.