Intel Core i7-6650U
The Intel Core i7-6650U is an ULV (ultra low voltage) dual-core SoC based on the Skylake architecture. In September 2015, it's the fastest CPU of the 15 W series (besides the i7-6600U) and can be found in ultrabooks as well as normal notebooks. In addition to two CPU cores with Hyper-Threading clocked at 2.2 - 3.4 GHz (2 cores: max. 3.2 GHz), the chip also integrates an Iris Graphics 540 GPU with 64 MB of dedicated eDRAM memory and a dual-channel DDR4-2133/DDR3L-1600 memory controller. The SoC is manufactured using a 14 nm process with FinFET transistors.
Skylake replaces both Haswell and Broadwell and brings the same microarchitecture in every TDP class from 4.5 to 45 W. The extensive improvements of the Skylake design include increased out-of-order buffers, optimized prefetching and branch prediction as well as additional performance gains through Hyper-Threading. Overall, however, performance per clock has been increased by only 5 to 10 percent (compared to Haswell) respectively under 5 percent (compard to Broadwell), which is quite modest for a new architecture ("Tock").
Furthermore, the organisation of the eDRAM cache has been modified. Instead of acting like a victim cache, which has to be adressed via the L3/LLC, the eDRAM can now be adressed directly by programms just like the main memory. The size is still 128 MB for the quad-core models (4C + GT4e), while the dual-core chips (2C + GT3e) only offer 64 MB.
According to the specified clock rates and the improved architecture, the Core i7-6650U should perform similar to a Core i5-4310M (Haswell, 37 W) and is one of the fastest ULV dual-cores as of late 2015. Thus, the CPU has sufficient power for office and multimedia purposes as well as more demanding applications and multitasking.
The integrated graphics unit called Iris Graphics 540 represents the "GT3e" version of the Skylake GPU (Intel Gen. 9). The 48 Execution Units, also called EUs, are clocked at 300 - 1050 MHz and offer (thanks to the fast eDRAM cache) a performance sligthly above a dedicated GeForce 920M. Games of 2015 can thus be played smoothly in low or medium settings. For more information about performance and features, check our page for the Iris Graphics 540.
Specified at a TDP of 15 W (including CPU, GPU and memory controller), the CPU is best suited for small notebooks and ultrabooks (11-inches and above). Optionally, the TDP can be lowered to 9.5 watts (cTDP down), reducing both heat dissipation and performance and allowing even more compact designs.
|Series||Intel Core i7|
|Clock Rate||2200 - 3400 MHz|
|Level 1 Cache||128 KB|
|Level 2 Cache||512 KB|
|Level 3 Cache||4096 KB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||2 / 4|
|Max. Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||15 Watt|
|Manufacturing Technology||14 nm|
|Max. Temperature||100 °C|
|Features||Dual-Channel DDR3L-1600/DDR4-2133 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI, vPro, TXT|
|GPU||Intel Iris Graphics 540 (300 - 1050 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Hardware Virtualization||VT-x, VT-d|
|Starting Price||$415 U.S.|
|Product Link (external)||Intel Core i7 6650U|