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Intel's goes after the high-end gamer with the Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform

Intel this week officially launched its "Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform", formerly referred to by its codename, Skulltrail. Designed to work with the new Core 2 Extreme QX9775, the platform offers dual CPU sockets, a total of 8 cores, and four graphics card slots.

Intel’s Skulltrail platform consists of two fundamental components. The first is the Intel D5400XS motherboard, which is a dual socket motherboard with four graphics card slots. The second component is a pair of QX9775 processors that run at 3.2 GHz. These are the only parts that the Skulltrail platform encompasses.  

Skulltrail provides users with the opportunity to tweak their components at a level not previously offered by Intel. The D5400XS motherboard features a plethora of customization options. In addition, both of the Core 2 Extreme QX9775 processors feature unlocked multipliers.  

Derived from workstation platforms, Intel Skulltrail still retains some of its workstation features. For example, it only supports fully buffered DIMMS, which means higher latency as well as higher power consumption compared to standard DDR2 memory.

In the past, before Intel had announced Skulltrail, AMD launched a similar dual CPU enthusiast platform, dubbed Quad FX.  However, acceptance of the platform wasn’t widespread and AMD pulled the plug on the project.  

Intel’s Skulltrail has been in the news for quite some time, but only recently has it made its debut. The earliest announcements regarding Skulltrail surfaced at the Fall Intel Developer Forum 2007.

Pricing of the new platform is quite high. The QX9775 is listed at $1,499 while the D5400XS board is listed at $649.





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