Five Ways Intel’s New Chips Will Improve Everyday Computing

The sixth generation Intel Core processors have officially launched in Australia. We take a look at some of the features and how they will benefit you in your everyday computing life.

Intel has been developing its newest 14 nanometre processors, codename Skylake, for the past four years so suffice to say that a lot of work has gone into them. There are over 50 processors within the family, ranging from the Core M for mobile devices, the Core i variant for desktops to a new Xeon for workstations.

The company has thrown us a lot of figures like “60 percent performance boost” and “2.5 times better productivity performance”. But what does this actually mean for the average user?

Here are five practical ways the sixth generation Intel Core processors can help make using your computing device a little bit easier:

Do things faster

One of the obvious benefits of each chip release is that it inherently yields better performance than the previous iteration. Skylake is no different. Computers featuring this processor will be much smoother when performing tasks across the board. The base clock speeds for the standard desktop and laptop versions of the new Core processors range from 2.2GHz to 3.6GHz.

Here’s a brief comparison of the performance improvements Skylake has over its predecessors, some of which we will be talking about in more detail:

Near-instant wake up time

There is nothing more infuriating than dealing with a PC that takes forever to boot up after you put it into sleep mode. Admittedly, there have been some big improvements in this space. Back in the day I used to nudge my computer to wake it up, walk off to lazily make a cup of tea, come back and it still wouldn’t be ready. Wake up time has reduced significantly from a few years ago but there is always room for improvement in this area.

Intel has closed the gap even further with its new processors, which touts a near-instant wake-up time at around half a second. This should please impatient PC users like myself.

Longer battery life

Intel has brought out a power saving feature that significantly cuts down power consumption of devices that use its new Core processors called Speed Shift Technology. Previously, the processor and operating system in a computer split the responsibility of power management, depending on how the machine was being used. The operating system was usually the one that picked what power state to put the PC under.

The sixth generation processors have more control over selecting power states and are capable of switching between states in just one millisecond. This saves electricity as there’s practically no waiting time while going from full performance to idle mode after completing a task, making power management more responsive.

But all you really need to care about is the end result: longer battery life on devices carrying Skylake.

Log onto your computer with your face

Intel’s new Core processors supports RealSense technology that allows for facial recognition as a way to log onto a Windows 10 computer through the Windows Hello feature. This obviates the need for passwords when logging onto a PC.

The downside is that you’ll need to fork out some dough to upgrade to a device with an Intel RealSense camera since the standalone camera isn’t available in Australia just yet. It’s still a noteworthy feature and for those who are wondering whether the technology can tell the difference between identical twins, it can.

Security Improvements

With Skylake, Intel has brought on an additional layer of hardware-based security protection with its Software Guard Extensions (SGX). What this does is put data into a secure container on the platform. Combined with Intel’s Memory Protection Extensions (MPX), it can help prevent buffer overflows that can be maliciously exploited.

The features require additional software capabilities that Intel will be rolling out later in the year.

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