Haswell vs Skylake: Which One Should You Choose?

Haswell & Skylake are two processors of Intel. In this post you will get to know which processor is better in terms of speed, graphics and bandwidth.

Haswell and Skylake processors - Get to know their graphics and performance.

Haswell and Skylake processors – Get to know their graphics and performance.

About Intel Haswell Processor

Intel Haswell processor is a successor to Ivy-Bridge microarchitecture. The codename Haswell is used by Intel for products that include the 4th Generation Intel Core Processors for client systems, and Intel Xeon v3 Processors for server systems. Some Pentium and Celeron-branded processors are also part of this production line.

Haswell uses 22-nm lithography. The Haswell processors were first introduced in 2013 and they deliver improved performance, graphics, battery life and security over their predecessors.

About Intel Skylake Processor

Intel Skylake microarchitecture is a successor to Broadwell microarchitecture. Skylake is available for the client side systems under the 6th generation production line of Intel core processors for desktop & mobile and as single socket Intel Xeon E3 v5 processors for Server & Workstation computers. Intel Pentium and Celeron-branded processors are still available under the Skylake brand.

The most prominent change in Skylake processors over predecessors is that Skylake is built on 14nm processing chip. The 14nm die provides improved performance, efficiency and stunning video playback (in high definition). Apart from that, it has a strong battery life and responsive design.

What does nm means for processors?

A Nanometer (nm) literally means the space in one-billionth of a meter. Now, as processors are being built on fewer nm, this could mean more chips can be packed into less space. For us users, it would mean increased performance, less power & heat emission, higher core count, and the capability of higher clock speed.

Manufacturers normally have the option to either enhance performance by increasing clock speeds or to reduce energy consumption – balancing both is often done to achieve optimization.

Intel has released the graph of how nanometers will decrease with passing time. A copy of it is available on Wikipedia. However, until 2020 you can see the nm chips evolving as follows:

2012: 22 nm

2016: 14nm

2017: 10 nm

2019: 7 nm

2021: 5 nm


NM means nanometers. The less they are, the more space manufacturers would have for overclocking, reducing power & increasing graphics support.

Which Processor is Better: Haswell or Skylake?

Below is a detailed comparison of Haswell & Skylake processors. Find out which one should you buy if you are a hardcore gamer, a professional IT personnel or a daily user.

By Performance/Speed:

As per Laptop mag, a clear difference between Skylake and Haswell processors is that Skylake processors can be overclocked even in Laptops. The new processor Core i7-6820HK with 3.2GHz speed released for Laptop computers was shown turbo boosted to 4.2GHz using overclocking features.

However, this is not the ultimate overclocking speed for all laptops. Manufacturing dissimilarities lead to overclocking differences in notebook computers. But you do get the idea, don’t you?

This, when coupled with better cooling, means you can push the chips to an even higher speed.

Almost all Skylake processors are better than Haswell. However, Intel® Core™ i7-6970HQ Haswell Processor, released in 2014, has a clear edge over Skylake’s recent release – the Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Processor.

The former (Haswell i7-6970HQ) can be overclocked to almost 4.4GHz according to Cpubenchmark.net. On the other hand, the latter (Skylake i7-6700K) can go as far as 4.2GHz – as the tests show.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison of Haswell i7-6970HQ & Skylake i7-6700K:


By Gaming:

When it comes to gaming, the main factors that demand attention are graphics and speed. As we have already discussed speed, let’s talk about graphics now.

Intel Haswell processor uses Intel HD 4600 graphics card. The card has 1.20GHz speed and 2GB of dedicated video memory. Apart from this, it has a 350MHz base frequency.

Intel Skylake processor uses integrated Intel HD 530 graphics card. The card has 1.15GHz speed and 64GB max video memory. The new thing in Skylake graphics card is that you can watch videos in 4K resolution – this feature is not yet available in Haswell models.

If both processors are compared, there isn’t much difference. According to Video card benchmark test, Intel HD 530 had a G3D score of 981 while Intel HD 4600 GPU had a passing score of 703. Of course, the earlier is better (due to its recent release) but if you are looking to play games in 1080p resolution with Ultra details, you would still need a dedicated GPU.


By Battery Life:

Skylake product line has a number of power saving options, which facilitates longer battery life in laptop computers. The Intel 530 graphic chip uses less power and provides an hour of additional video playback.

Moreover, with Intel Speedstep technology, users can witness 30 times faster CPU performance. The Speed Step technology avoids electricity wastage by switching power states in one millisecond. It goes from low power to high power and back much faster, hence conserving battery life.

Another impressive improvement in Skylake processor is power gating. This means that only those parts of the CPU that are in active use are powered by the chip. This means the platform targets specific power domains that are in use.

By Price:

The highest price for both Haswell & Skylake processors is around $300.

Therefore, users that already have a DDR4 compatible motherboard can easily buy Skylake processors as they are the 6th generation Intel processors and have better performance and graphics.

However, those that are on DDR3 can either opt for a Haswell processor or a Skylake processor.


Skylake has an edge over Haswell when it comes to performance, price and battery life, even though there is no major difference in graphics performance.

However, Intel Skylake 6th gen processor can only work on motherboards that are DDR4 compatible while the Haswell Intel 4th gen processor can work on DDR4 & DDR3 compatible motherboards alike.

Which one should you really buy? You now have all the right information to make the best decision for yourself. If the choice is still too difficult, call our experts on 0800-821-2254 right away for professional help!

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