Intel Skylake i5-6500, i5-6400 & i3-6100 Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: February 21, 2016
Product Name: i5-6500, i5-6400 & i3-6100
Part Number: BX80662I56500 / BX80662I56400 / BX80662I36100
Warranty: 3 Years
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CineBench R15 64-bit

The latest benchmark from MAXON, Cinebench R15 makes use of all your system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene using various different algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The test scene contains approximately 2,000 objects containing more than 300,000 total polygons and uses sharp and blurred reflections, area lights and shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing, and much more. This particular benchmarking can measure systems with up to 64 processor threads. The result is given in points (pts). The higher the number, the faster your processor.

PCMark 8

PCMark 8 is the latest iteration of Futuremark’s system benchmark franchise. It generates an overall score based upon system performance with all components being stressed in one way or another. The result is posted as a generalized score. In this case, we didn’t use the Accelerated benchmark but rather just used the standard Computational results which cut out OpenCL from the equation.


wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're squaring, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum. This is a highly multi-threaded workload. Below are the scores for the 1024M benchmark.

Now we come into some interesting results, particularly for that inexpensive little i3-6100. Since Cinebench is Hyperthreading-aware, you would expect the i3 to perform quite well and it does, particularly when compared against i3-series Haswell processors. However, without those four physical cores and the cache bandwidth available to higher end i5 CPU’s it falls behind in heavily threaded rendering workloads.

As for the i5 Skylake-S processors, they fill the gap between expensive i7-6700K and the i3-series perfectly but the $20 extra you pay for the 6500 doesn’t lead to particularly better results in Cinebench.

Moving on to PCMark and the situation becomes drastically different. Here we can see the results are more platform-specific with the three Skylake-S CPUs clustered around the same area. However, since this benchmark puts emphasis on additional single core workloads alongside multi-core tests, the i3-6100’s higher frequency allows it to vault right into the thick of things. Once again, AMD’s APU’s show their weakness and are clustered towards the bottom of the charts.

Finally there’s WPrime which shows results for all three processors that are very much in line with Cinebench. This leads to the i3-6100 falling behind since, despite not including Turbo Boost, it still downclocks to a lower level when its two cores are fully loaded.

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