Although there's no direct need for the new chipset to implement USB 3.1, many new motherboards for the new Skylake chips have all featured USB 3.1 and newer USB-C connectors.
DDR4 for everyone
The most noticeable change on Skylake systems will be the use of DDR4 memory. DDR4 was first introduced on PCs with Intel's ultra-high end Haswell-E CPUs in 2014, where the high cost of the newer RAM would be more acceptable. With the price difference between DDR4 and DDR3 now closer to parity, Intel feels safer introducing the newer and faster RAM to more mainstream platforms.
DDR4 claims to fame are higher density and higher speeds while using less power. So far, that's proving to be true. Haswell CPUs never saw density beyond 32GB because desktop memory modules never exceeded 8GB. With Skylake and the 16GB modules, you'll be able to build or buy a system with double the previous maximum amount.
The memory bandwidth of DDR4 is also greatly improved, with modules pushing DDR/3200 and into the DDR/3666 range already.
What about the rest of us?
With Skylake now in the hands of gamers and die-hard enthusiasts, when will laptops and mainstream PCs get Skylake?
Skylake's launch shouldn't be like the dribs and drabs of Intel's first 14nm Broadwell chip, which suffered delay after delay. Skylake in laptops are expected to hit "sometime" this quarter. Sources have previously told PCWorld to expect the new chip in August. Intel officials declined to confirm that report, but all chatter points to a much more rapid introduction than Broadwell.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.