Intel has introduced the Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform. Formerly codenamed “Skulltrail,” this is one of the first enthusiast desktop platforms to support two Intel quad core processors for a total of eight processing engines and a choice of multi-card graphics solutions from either ATI or NVIDIA.
“When it comes to delivering innovation to the ultimate enthusiast, our new 8-core desktop platform is a winner,” said Jeff McCrea, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Home Group. “The ground-breaking Intel Desktop Board D5400XS enables the flexibility to pair a variety of quad graphics solutions with two of our fastest desktop processors. The result is stunning PC performance.”
The Intel Desktop Board D5400XS, when paired with two Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 processors, forms the foundation of the Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform. Hardcore gamers will welcome the opportunity to enjoy multiple simultaneous graphics card solutions featuring either NVIDIA SLI or ATI Crossfire for today’s latest graphics-intensive titles. And the performance of eight processing cores is welcomed by the 3-D animators, digital audio artists and high-definition video editors behind the coolest games here at the Game Developers Conference.
Each Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9775 offers 12MB of L2 cache, a fast 1600 MHz system bus and four cores running at a brisk 3.2 GHz. When paired on the dual-socket Intel Desktop Board D5400XS, this platform breezes through modern benchmarks and advanced workloads. For experienced enthusiasts who desire more capability, the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor bus ratio locks (overspeed protection) have been removed. This offers added technical flexibility in customizing the system so OEMs can unleash even more performance.
The Intel Desktop Board D5400XS uses up to four slots of FB-DIMM dual-channel memory at either DDR2 667MHz or 800MHz speeds. It includes 4 PCI Express x16 (1.1) slots, 2 PCI slots, Intel High Definition Audio, Intel Matrix Storage Technology (RAID 0,1,5,10), Intel PRO 10/100/1000 LAN, 10 USB 2.0 ports, 8 SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports (including 2 eSATA), and a Parallel ATA (2 devices) connector.
Intel recommends a kilowatt or better PSU for a system with 4GB of memory, two GPUs, and two CPUs. If you want to run four GPUs and 8GB of memory, they recommend a PSU rated for over 1400W.
“This dual processor platform is the fastest desktop PC we’ve ever tested in our labs, reaching a score of 6481 on 3DMark06 CPU and 20,160 on Cinebench 10 even while running at the standard 3.20 GHz frequency,” says Shervin Kheradpir, director of Intel performance benchmarking.
The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9775 is available now at an MSRP of $1,499 each. Estimated street pricing for the Intel Desktop Board D5400XS is $649. Platform components are sold separately. Several enthusiast PC manufacturers plan to offer systems based on this new platform starting today and over the next 30 days, including Armari, Boxx Tech, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Puget Systems, Scan, Velocity Micro, Vigor Gaming, Voodoo, @Xi Computers and others.