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Intel’s new sixth-gen processor provides lower speeds than its older twin

Although Intel is in the midst of slowly rolling out its seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” processor lineup, the company hasn’t abandoned its previous-generation “Skylake” platform. In fact, Intel just released a fresh new processor for its sixth-generation family, the Core i3-6006U, but the chip is clocked lower in speed than the near-identical Core i3-6100U model launched in the third quarter of 2015. Both focus on laptops and other mobile computing devices, yet despite their speed differences, they share the same recommended price of $281.

Here is a comparison of the two:

Core i3-6100U (old) Core i3-6006U (new)
Architecture: Skylake Skylake
Process node: 14nm 14nm
Number of cores: 2 2
Number of threads: 4 4
Base speed: 2.30GHz 2.00GHz
Cache: 3MB SmartCache 3MB SmartCache
Bus speed: 4GT/s OPI 4GT/s OPI
Memory type support: DDR4-2133
LPDDR3-1866
DDR3L-1600
DDR4-2133
LPDDR3-1866
DDR3L-1600
Memory amount max: 32GB 32GB
Memory channel max: 2 2
Memory bandwidth max: 34.1GB/s 34.1GB/s
Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 520
Integrated graphics base speed: 300MHz 300MHz
Integrated graphics max speed: 1,000MHz 900MHz
Memory amount max (graphics): 32GB 32GB
PCI Express lanes max: 12 12
TDP: 15 watts 15 watts
Price: $281 $281

Of course, this table is a watered-down, combined version of the details listed on the individual product pages. But upon close examination each set of hardware specifications, the two processors are identical save for the base clock speeds and the maximum integrated graphics clock speeds. Thus, given that both products feature the same price point, you must wonder why Intel is now offering a new chip at slower speeds for the same cost.

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What could be going on here is that Intel is offering notebook manufacturers a solution that saves on the overall battery use. Sure, both parts draw 15 watts of power maximum from the battery, but a slightly lowered clock in computing and rendering can equal to a slightly longer battery life because the chip isn’t hitting that 15-watt ceiling. Then again, a slightly cheaper price point would seemingly be in order for the newer chip. Perhaps Intel hasn’t adjusted the pricing on the older model just yet.

Regardless, just for kicks, here is a bit more on what consumers can expect graphics-wise from a laptop relying on either processor’s internal GPU component:

Graphics output: eDisplayPort
DisplayPort
HDMI
DVI
4K support: At 60Hz
Intel WiDi max resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
HDMI 1.4 max resolution: 4,096 x 2,304 @ 24Hz
DisplayPort max resolution: 4,096 x 2,304 @ 60Hz
eDisplayPort max resolution: 4,096 x 2,304 @ 60Hz
DirectX support: 12
OpenGL support: 4.4
Max number of supported displays: 3