We're not necessarily expecting Intel's follow-up to Skylake, Kaby Lake, any time soon. However that hasn't stopped WCCFTech from digging up information on the new chips series via SiSoftware's Sandra benchmark database, which appears to reference multiple SKUs in the upcoming CPU range. Of primary important to the enthusiast end of the market is the new mainstream desktop flagship, the Core i7-7700K.
The highlight is Intel's continued use of four hyperthreaded cores (eight logical cores) in their flaship unlocked Core i7-x700K SKU. That's been a mainstay of the branding since ways back in the Sandybridge era, and with AAA PC videogames only just starting to push the limits of four threads there's little demand for a larger configuration. Each 7700K will also be equipped with 1MB L2 cache (256KB per core) and 8MB shared L3 Cache; listed clock speeds are 3.6GHz base/4.2GHz boost, but at this stage these numbers aren't set in stone.
As with Skylake and Broadwell before it, Kaby Lake will incorporate an on-board GPU. The benchmarking information indicates that the GPU will have 24 execution units clocked at 1.15GHz and 512KB L2 Cache, which is outwardly similar to the 6700K's HD Graphics 530. On paper it appears that the step back on GPU performance seen in the transition from Broadwell to Skylake won't be reversed to any significant degree, although it's possible comprehensive graphics hardware updates will be optioned only on select mobile SKUs.
Whilst not much may have changed as in terms of raw graphics performance, it will be interesting to see if HDMI 2.0 is part of the new graphics component's specification. High resolution, high frame rate display I/O isn't typically in much demand where integrated graphics is in widespread use, but could see increased importance for home theatre PC's and next-gen displays. Such a significant new feature may necessarily be slated for a more comprehensive architectural change in 2017/18.
Built with Intel's 14nm process technology, Kaby Lake is expected largely be an optimisation of Skylake in a similar vein to the Haswell-Era 'Devil's Canyon' range. As a result it should be compatible with Intel 100-series motherboards and any refreshed motherboard chipsets released at the same time (i.e. a putative 200-series).