It’s Time: Skylake CPUs Replace Haswell on Logical Increments

intel core i7

The time has come for Intel’s Skylake CPUs to (almost completely) replace Haswell on the Logical Increments parts list. As a result, we have upgraded many of our motherboard recommendations to socket 1151, and our RAM recommendations to DDR4.

Intel’s Skylake series of CPUs launched back in August 2015 with the i5-6600K and i7-6700K. But until now, we had mainly continued to recommend many of the company’s 4000-series Haswell CPUs because the prices were better, and performance was nearly as good.

Now, Skylake CPUs have become the more logical choice. That’s partly thanks to prices leveling out, and partly due to many Haswell-compatible motherboards going out of stock or raising in price to absurd levels.

The Skylake CPUs now featured on Logical Increments:

The Haswell CPUs retired from the Logical Increments parts list:

  • i5-4460
  • i5-4590
  • i5-4690
  • i5-4690K
  • i7-4790K

These CPUs are still good, and they are still available for normal prices. However, we have replaced them with (slightly better) Skylake upgrades because suitable motherboards have become very difficult to find.

The socket 1150 motherboards we were recommending for Haswell CPUs were either out of stock for several weeks, or available for twice the usual price, making them illogical purchases.

For the i3 Haswell, suitable 1150 motherboards are still commonly available for normal prices, so we will not switch to i3 Skylake CPUs yet.

With these changes, overall tier prices have not changed, since they were similarly priced replacements available, so these changes are not really drastic.

We expect the next really big changes to come in Q2 or Q3 of this year, when NVIDIA and AMD should both be releasing new GPUs. Then, later in Q4, AMD is scheduled to release its Zen CPUs.

2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

  • NutellaArmor


  • Jonathan Daggar

    Seems like the bump to DDR4 might have more of a performance impact than the CPU bump. Need to check out how it affects price.

    • Jonathan Daggar

      Follow up: 8gig DDR3 vs DDR4: $35 vs. $38. Not exactly breaking the bank.

      • The price difference is small, but so is the performance difference.
        Real world performance improvement in games is negligible.

        If you have some other application requiring a ton of bandwidth, then you would definitely benefit from DDR4. But you would probably benefit even more from going with a quad channel X99 build.

  • Tech Noob

    i5-6400/6500/6600 are locked. That means they can’t be overclocked, right? If so, shouldn’t the stock fan/heatsink be sufficient enough? The builds still recommend buying a different fan/heatsink.

    • well now you know

      skylake comes without stock heatsinks

    • Matthew Zehner

      As “well now you know” mentioned, the Skylake CPUs don’t come with stock heatsinks. Therefore, you have to buy an aftermarket HSF.

      • Correction

        That’s false. The non-unlocked processors come with stock heatsinks. Only the K versions have no included heatsink.

        • Matthew Zehner

          You are right, thanks for pointing that out.

    • The stock heatsink is ok. For quieter and cooler operation, I still like to get an aftermarket heatsink.

  • neural_physics

    The 6600k is still too much. For ~ $30 more you can get a 4790k, which is still a far superior CPU. And if you want the 6700k, that costs over $100 more than the 4790k, for a small increase in performance.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Interesting points! Thanks for the feedback, we will definitely take it into account.

    • The Skylake CPUs are more expensive, but Z170 motherboards have gotten cheaper and Z97 motherboards have gotten more expensive and hard to find.

      Haswell remains a good option for the time being, the i7-4790K in particular.

  • HairyMilkshakes
    • Matthew Zehner

      It’s certainly not ideal, though Windows 10 is quite solid. It is something to consider when picking a CPU. However, the Skylake tech is solid enough and decently priced enough that it is still worth recommending.