Why will Intel’s Kaby lake will not live upto the Hype

Intel kaby lake overview

Intel’s Kaby lake line of processors are in the radar of every pc gamer and enthusiast. And consumers are expecting high performance gains, lower TDP and low cost (you wish). But what if I told you they will not perform as you expect to be, with little to no performance gains.

If you want to know why? Keep reading.

Keep up with this prediction, we need to take a look at the past.

The past will tell the Future

For many years Intel is following the “Tick- Tock” model which use to follow The Moore’s law.

“The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months.”

Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder

To keep up with the Moore’s law the Tick Tock model was developed. The “Tick” is basically  advancement of manufacturing process technology, which leads to increase in transistors density, higher performance and greater efficiency. Which performs better than its previous “tock” cycle.


In “Tock” cycle, Intel uses its process technology developed in “Tick” cycle and introduce a new microarchitecture which performs better than its previous generation. And the cycle of tick-tock continuous with improvement in each iteration.

For example: The Ivy bridge line of processor were “Tick” as they introduced us 22nm process technology and  processor based on Haswell were based on “Tock” cycle.


Now recently Intel has abandon the “Tick-Tock” model and has adopted PAO as shrinking of the transistor has become difficult and developing the process technology takes time and Research. The Process Architecture Optimization (PAO) as the name suggest is a 3 step model.

Process : Is same as “tick”, where the new process technology is introduced to the market.

Architecture : At this stage a new more refined architecture is introduced based on the technologies developed in “Process” stage, same as “tock”.

Optimization : The architecture is more refined and optimized and are released with different codename.

For example: This model came to life when Broadwell (Process) was launched which introduced 14nm fabrication process. Afterwards Skylake (Architecture) was introduced which is more refined architecture and is targeted towards the masses. Now the upcoming Kaby lake (Optimization) line of processors will be more optimized than its previous generation and the cycle continues.

As we got Intel processor’s life cycle model.

I am going to make a bold statement now, Intel’s Kaby lake line of processor will offer maximum of 12% of performance improvement over Skylake. That’s it only up to 12 percent (I am talking about raw CPU computing performance).

Before taking up your rage to the comments


So you must be thinking, what there to back up this bold statement. Actually there is and some of it has comes from Intel’s own mouth.

The claim

To support this claim, let’s take a look at the performance of previous generation of Intel Core processors. We will compare the performance of 4 Generations of processors from Sandy Bridge to Skylake. Now let’s see the performance of these processor using synthetic benchmarking programs, shall we.

The Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processor is based on 32nm process while Haswell on 22nm and Skylake on 14nm which is the latest process by Intel. Despite of the generation gap between Skylake and Haswell the performance difference is not great. While the performance difference is significant when compared with Sandy bridge line of processors, which is fair as they are quite old.

Now let’s see the performance of in game benchmarks, so will be little bit surprised with the result.

Source credit : Nicolas11x12TECHX

You can see the performance difference in games is not that great. As it mainly depends on the graphics card.

So, what’s going on here ?

Despite of 14 nm and IPC improvements in Skylake Architecture the performance difference is negligible while running games compare to predecessor as well Ivy Bridge is not very far behind. As we can see with every generation performance gain is up to 10%(which is overall ) , which is not that great. The performance gains seen on each architecture is mainly due to shrinking of die size, which leads to less power consumption and efficiency than its previous generation.

Check-out:  How can you Build your $500 Gaming PC.

Yes, there are performance improvements are their but does it justify the price tag. I would love to know your thoughts.

So, from the previous generation’s trend we can say that the performance of the upcoming is up to 10%. But there is one more source which put the nail in the coffin about my claim.

Recently Intel unrevealed its Kaby lake processors for its mobile line up from which can give the hint of their desktop siblings. During the presentation Intel was taking about its 14nm plus processes technology, which provides better process performance and efficiency over traditional 14nm.


During the presentation Intel said Kaby lake has the same IPC as of Skylake.

So you must be wondering, how Intel has managed to gain some level of performance in Kaby lake.

Drum roll please …    the answer is Higher clock speed.

The leaks

But how did I know the clock speeds are higher? It’s not hard to tell. Intel is using this strategy for many years. And also one of the most popular program Sisoftware Sandra 15 has posted some of leaked benchmark scores of the upcoming i5 7600k and i7 7700k processors. Mind you, these scores may not be at the stock clock speed so take it with a grain of salt.




The clock speed, according to the leaks are probably turbo clocks (speculation) which are pretty good from its previous generations. From which the base clock speed may have been increased by 20% compared to skylake. From above the clock speed is 200 Mhz higher than its predecessor. Which can roughly relate to 5-12% of increase in performance.


With these recent leaks and information released by Intel my claim is looking pretty good.

So, let’s say performance is higher than my claim but is it worth it for the price they gonna sell ?

It depends on your work scenario. If you are use using your PC as a workstation for rendering videos and using very CPU intensive programs like Blender, Adobe premiere pro etc. and has not upgraded your PC for few years, then sure.

But if you are using it for Gaming and already have a Skylake or even Haswell in your build. It will not be a wise to do so. The performance impact is not noticeable in games. If you are using older processor then it will be good option to upgrade.

Check out : Build your Battlefield 1 ready build for $450

Amd’s Zen will be also been launching at the same time frame as Kaby lake probably at Q1 2017. Which is quite good for us as consumers.

So that it folks, hope you like it.

See you all later.

(Mick drop)


He is the founder of Tek Grains , he is a gamer by heart, loves technology and likes to help people. He is a Pc enthusiast and helps people over the internet to build their system.

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