There is currently a lot of hype on the internet surrounding the Intel Skylake CPU. It the latest technology from the processor giants and is their flagship desktop processor. When buying a CPU for your PC or HTPC you only really have two manufacturers to think about; Intel and AMD. Many opt for AMD processors due to their affordability and more often than not you can pick up an AMD equivalent CPU for around half the price of its Intel counterpart. With Skylake now over 12 months into its life many are asking about an AMD Skylake equivalent. In this post we answer the question What is Skylake? and look at what AMD are doing to rival this processor. We also will also do an I7 6700k vs AMD FX 9590 comparison.
Compare AMD FX 9590 Prices
Compare the AMD FX 9590 against other performance CPUs.
|AMD FX 8350||AMD||8 Core, 4.0/4.2GHz, 8/8MB (L2/L3) Cache, Socket AM3+|
|AMD FX 9590||AMD||8 Core, 3.5/4.0GHz, 8/8MB (L2/L3) Cache, Socket AM3+|
|Intel Core i5 6500K Skylake||Intel||4 Core, 3.2/3.6GHz, 6MB Cache, Socket LGA1151|
|Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake||Intel||4 Core, 4.0/4.2GHz, 8MB Cache, Socket LGA 1151|
Read our full AMD FX 9590 Review.
AMD Skylake Equivalent
What is Skylake?
Skylake was launched in August 2015 and is the code name Intel gave to the new CPU micro architecture. Skylake is a redesign of the existing Broadwell architecture with the focus of providing greater CPU & GPU performance along with reduced power consumption. The aim of the project was to allow manufacturers of computers, smartphones and tablet devices to produce hardware half the size of similar products and with a longer battery life. The Skylake processor range supports the bulk of x86/x86-64 operating systems. Intel are already working on the successors of Skylake: Kabylake and Cannonlake. So what is Skylake? Skylake its Intel’s latest CPU architecture solution that delivers high performance at a higher level of efficiency.
AMD Zen Technology
AMD are currently working on a new CPU architecture known as Zen. In essence they are doing the same redesign as Intel did with Skylake trying to increase performance whilst dropping power consumption. This is so that they can remain competitive in the tablet / smart device markets. With Zen, AMD are boasting a 40% improvement in instructions executed per CPU cycle. This will be supported by high bandwidth, low latency cache memory. AMD Zen is not due for public release until 2017 so a lot of the information available is based on speculation.
It is likely that AMD will continue along the route of giving their CPU equivalents slightly higher clock rates and cores than their Intel alternatives and at more competitive price points. As AMD Zen technology is not yet available for an AMD Skylake Equivalent we need to look at what is already available and for this we look to the FX 9590.
AMD Skylake Equivalent
In our quest to find an AMD Skylake equivalent CPU we have compared two high end desktop processors in the Intel I7 6700K and the AMD FX 9590. Skylake technology is not locked down to the I7 CPU range only but we wanted to focus this article on a performance comparison. One thing that Intel has really nailed down with the Skylake technology is the reduced power consumption. We must stress that until AMD Zen technology is released you will not find an AMD equivalent CPU with as low power requirements. You can however find AMD processors that provide a similar level of performance. The AMD FX 9590 will provide you with high performance and for around half the price of Skylake. In the next part of this post we will explore the I7 6700k vs AMD FX 9590 battle.
I7 6700k vs AMD FX 9590
The table below provides a brief overview of the two processors:
|I7 6700k vs AMD FX 9590|
|Intel I7 6700K||AMD FX 9590|
|Buy Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake||Cores||8||Clock||4.7
|Buy AMD FX 9590|
**I7 4 physical cores (8 with hyper threading)
As you can see from the above I7 6700k vs AMD FX 9590 comparison both the Intel I7 6700k and the AMD FX 9590 are very similar with only two major differences that stand out. Firstly the power consumption. As we have seen the main driver behind the development of the Skylake CPU was to reduce power requirements and you can clearly see that Intel have achieved this. Secondly the I7 6700K supports DDR4 memory. For most desktop builds this is not an issue as DDR 3 memory modules will run all applications and games.
I7 6700k vs AMD FX 9590 Performance
If we look at performance alone the two processors sit nicely side by side. The AMD FX 9590 has double the amount of physical cores. It even operates at a considerably higher clock rate. Both the Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake and the AMD FX 9590 have the same L2 Chache at 8MB. So, in terms of processing power the FX 9590 is a worthy AMD Skylake equivalent. Power consumption is not a great concern for the bulk of desktop PCs and the majority of todays power supplies come with more than enough power to comfortably accommodate the FX9590. If we look at the advanced technologies the two CPUS come with we can see that they are also very similar. The I7 6700K uses Intel’s Turbo Boost technology for simple overclocking capabilities and the FX9590 uses AMD’s Turbo Core.
What is Skylake? – Do I need it?
We have now answered the question; what is Skylake? Whether or not you need Intel Skylake Technology really depends on your aims. Skylake CPUs come with hefty price tags and are currently the most expensive desktop processors (home computing) available. Combined with this you will also need a Skylake motherboard and these too are rather expensive. For a HTPC build you either want to watch movies, listen to music or play games and there are many other more affordable CPUs that will achieve this task. The AMD FX 9590 CPU will give you a similar level of performance to the Intel Skylake 6700K for a 40% cheaper price. It does not have the energy efficiency of Skylake but the bulk of PSUs today should not have an issue with this. Until AMD release their Zen technology the AMD FX 9590 is the best AMD Skylake equivalent. Buy the AMD FX 9590 from Amazon