Feeds
70%

Intel Skulltrail high-end gaming system

Intel's showcase gets Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire

High performance access to file storage

Review Intel’s old V8 gaming system used a chipset to support a pair of quad-core processors and a single PCI Express graphics card. Now the chip giant has added support for multiple graphics cards. The result: a new gaming board, Skulltrail.

Both V8 and Skulltrail use workstation motherboards that can take two quad-core Xeon processors. In the case of V8, it’s an S5000XVN, while Skulltrail uses the new D5400XS board, but it’s clear that the use of Xeon processors and FB-DIMM memory make these hardcore workstation products. Intel has added a sprinkling of marketing pixie dust to try and present these platforms as the "ultimate desktop system for PC enthusiasts", which covers "gaming, games developers and professional media creation". In fact, they’re showcases for Intel’s technology.

Intel Skulltrail

Intel's Skulltrail: silly name, impressive board

V8 added PCI Express graphics to a regular workstation motherboard but didn’t do much else, so the board retained two 64-bit PCI slots and a serial port along with a rudimentary cooling system on the chipset and two thundering server heatsinks on the Xeons. Eight cores of Intel power delivered impressive performance - as you can see from our review.

Skulltrail is a major overhaul of V8, and the layout of the EATX board has been completely changed. Four of the FB-DIMM slots have been ditched to leave four slots with support for up to 8GB of DDR2-800 memory to support the pair of Xeons. The new Intel 5400B chipset supports a 1600MHz frontside bus (FSB) and our board was supplied with a pair of Xeon QX9775 processors which run at 3.2GHz. The QX9775 is an LGA771-interconnect version of the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and apparently costs $1500 (£750) per processor. We understand that the D5400XS motherboard costs around $600 (£300) so when you add in £200 for 4GB of FB-DIMM memory, you’ve got a system that costs a scary amount of money.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.