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Intel prepares to take on AMD's Quad FX

Intel hinted at the possibilities of a high-end gaming system based around its Xeon workstation processors earlier this year at CES 2007. The Intel V8 system featured two Xeon Clovertown processors clocked at 2.4 GHz and a single GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card. Although it was a proof of concept to counter AMD’s Quad FX enthusiast platform at the time, Intel has announced the V8 concept will become a reality at its Spring Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China.

Intel has named its new enthusiast platform Skulltrail. Intel has remained very tight-lipped about its Skulltrail platform except a few basic features. Skulltrail will arrive later this year and accommodate two Core micro architecturequad-core processors. It is unknown if Intel will develop a new platform to accommodate dual LGA775 socket processors or rework its LGA771 socket Xeon workstation platform to accommodate unbuffered DDR2 memory. Intel’s Xeon workstation platform only accepts FB-DIMM memory.

On the graphics processing side of things, Skulltrail will sport four PCIe slots for graphics expansion. Intel doesn’t divulge details on which multi-GPU graphics technology Skulltrail takes advantage of, however, Intel’s current 975X Express supports AMD’s CrossFire technology.

Intel has not released any details on the chipset powering Skulltrail yet. Nevertheless, Intel expects to unveil its next-generation single processor enthusiast chipset, X38 Express, later this year.

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By hughlle on 4/17/2007 6:04:11 AM , Rating: 2
total overkill, totally useless, i don't really care tbh :)

a g80 and even an e4300 will suffice for pretty much anything you want

RE: blar
By mlau on 4/17/2007 6:31:22 AM , Rating: 2
Probably intended for graphics designers who can put the raw
processor and gpu power to good use (and I certainly wouldn't
mind 8 cores if they can speed up compiler runs)
For gaming purposes it is total overkill, I agree.

RE: blar
By Hare on 4/17/2007 6:44:02 AM , Rating: 2
For gaming purposes it is total overkill, I agree.
There are many companies that sell "overkill products" to a niche market and are very succesfull. There are also plenty of people with money to burn who buy equipment like this. I'm sure Alienware etc would be interested in these systems and would sell more than a few computers.

This proof of concept also has decent PR-value. Flagship products always get press coverage and increase brand recognition.

RE: blar
By mlau on 4/17/2007 8:11:15 AM , Rating: 2
There are many companies that sell "overkill products" to a niche market and are very succesfull.

That shows these companies sell to people with too much money
and/or no brains. Just by waiting ~6 months the price of such
a high-end system usually halves and games that can actually
USE its power are 6 months closer to release.

RE: blar
By Hare on 4/17/2007 9:23:05 AM , Rating: 2

But to be perfectly honest. If I had ridiculous amounts of cash I might do the same...

RE: blar
By MrTeal on 4/17/2007 10:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
You can't take it with you. If you have enough money and enjoy gaming, why wouldn't you buy the top of the line?

RE: blar
By JamRockaz on 4/17/2007 1:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well, u either have no/little money and/or no brains to know that for some people money is not an issue, while u and i have to scrape the pot bottom for that extra $20, they spend $20K like its $2........or maybe its just me

RE: blar
By Xietsu on 4/17/2007 1:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, even if you're single and you're a motivated gamer with at least 60K+ annual income, you could obtain in minimum five of the best the market has to offer so you and some buds can coagulate into the one nerd team to rule them all -- albeit, provided that this is a primary and almost sole hobbyist recreation of the "gamer" in question. All private PC tech distributors pretty much have large purchase financing built in to grade at at least some frequency. I think the question isn't "if you can/will/would afford it", but for those who don't know, "how can applications of the generation's highest throughput systems reach the boundary, if even possible"? This is what beholds centricity in such a particular scenario, and, IMO, only that. ;]

Beyond such simple construances of fact, there is then only the arena of whether one has or has not the case for speculation to grade superioriorty -- if Intel or AMD will eventually encompass the general reign. Personally, I think this is something you can only perceive with too great variability and subjectivity, as even AMDs X2 6000+ is said to at least a bare on par in relation to C2D 6600s. It seems to me AMD will be able to fashion a technological solution with enough of a robustness to challenge the current scenario of dominance, but again, I surely wouldn't know and would only allot weight in AMD's capacity for the aforementioned given the force of which their current prior-gen relatively has in the market.

RE: blar
By typo101 on 4/17/2007 5:22:37 PM , Rating: 4
completely unnecessary masturbatory use of vocabulary

RE: blar
By wushuktl on 4/17/2007 6:45:34 AM , Rating: 3
what avid gamer ever says that they don't really need the extra power?

RE: blar
By subhajit on 4/17/2007 7:39:56 AM , Rating: 3
I think these Systems are overkill (for gaming) because no game developer will ever think of developing their games based on this kind of hardware. So, the only benefit you get is insanely high frame rate, which you really don't need. Another benefit is of course that it is future-proof. But a new generation of product is always able to touch the same performance with lower cost and power-consumption.

RE: blar
By OrSin on 4/17/2007 10:21:32 AM , Rating: 2
What planet have you been on. I remember when Doom3 and Oblivian came out and they over taxed every system out and every dame website was riding thier jocks.

Look at how great a system you need for these games. They are that good. I thought everyone alive was complete fools for having to spend 600 in upgrades to play 1 game. People bashed me this site for say the saem think.

Now high end sytems are over kill because the new must have game didn't come out yet. People are so flanky.

RE: blar
By kamel5547 on 4/17/2007 11:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yes but.... mostly what people ened is GPU power and not CPU power. Most games would take advantage of more GPU power, but have 2 quad-cores vs one dual core is not going to net you much gain. Even if games go more multi-threaded 1 quad core will be more than enough for the near future, while a new GPU iwll be a must have.

RE: blar
By bobobeastie on 4/17/2007 11:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
and every dame website was riding thier jocks

I don't know what THAT type of website has to do with Oblivion or Doom 3. I kid, I kid.

RE: blar
By mlau on 4/17/2007 8:07:50 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, so true :)

RE: blar
By Vanilla Thunder on 4/17/2007 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
Intel hinted at the possibilities of a high-end gaming system based around its Xeon workstation processors earlier this year at CES 2007.

By the looks of this quote, I wouldn't say it's "Probably intended for graphics designers...."


RE: blar
By GoatMonkey on 4/17/2007 8:46:27 AM , Rating: 3
I would love to have one as my HTPC. Especially if they can ever work out the cable card issues. 8 cores would do a pretty good job of recompressing video to divx.

RE: blar
By Phynaz on 4/17/2007 10:38:45 AM , Rating: 2
a g80 and even an e4300 will suffice for pretty much anything you want

How the f**k do you know what will suffice for what I want?

RE: blar
By JamRockaz on 4/17/2007 12:52:25 PM , Rating: 2
I see ur reasoning, however, a gaming enthusiast is not the only kind of enthusiast around. Granted, if u like playing high demand games with that setup you will most likely be forced to upgrade or overclock well over the top by the end of this year to Q1 of next year

RE: blar
By Visual on 4/18/2007 5:06:54 AM , Rating: 2
since the price of the lowest quad-core xeon or core2 will be just $266, a desktop mobo that can take two will be a big hit, esp. if it can overclock some.

it's not important whether it's necessary, overkill, useless or whether you care or not. the important thing is that it will be available, and even relatively affordable, and that's a good thing. i'm sure people will manage to find some use for it :)

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