The D5400XS is a thoroughly modern motherboard without any legacy ports. You get six USB 2.0 ports on the I/O panel, two eSATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet, one Firewire port and five audio mini jacks and an optical output for the Intel HD audio. There are six 3Gb/s SATA connectors with Intel RAID on one edge of the board next to the single ATA-100 connector, and along the foot of the board there is a debug POST display and micro buttons for Power and Reset.
Scattered around there are seven fan connectors which leaves five spare for case fans once the CPU coolers are hooked up, although you’ll need one fan pointing at that pesky FB-DIMM memory as it gets unpleasantly hot. You’ll need a hefty power supply with plenty of connectors for Skulltrail. In addition to the usual 24-pin ATX connector, there are two eight-pin connectors and at the foot of the board there’s an additional four-pin Molex connector.
Four PCIe slots and a bis southbridge cooler
But you won’t notice any of that because you’ll be transfixed by the four PCI Express graphics slots with a couple of PCI slots interspersed among them. The other dominant feature is the heatsink that covers the best part of one quarter of the board. The heatsink cools the 6321ESB southbridge as well as two Nvidia nForce 100 PCI Express chips. That’s right, this Intel motherboard carries two Intel chips and two Nvidia chips, and the explanation may just take your breath away because Skulltrail supports both CrossFire and SLI.
Intel chipsets have supported CrossFire for some time but Nvidia has steadfastly refused to license its SLI technology to Intel. If your Nvidia graphics drivers don’t detect a suitable Nvidia chipset they refuse to allow you to enable SLI. With the addition of the nForce 100 chips this issue has been sidestepped, albeit in a rather elaborate manner.
Yes, the case is mucho important, especially when I have to sit near it the whole day long to earn the money which bought that beast....
Are you thick?
Dunno if you know this but they are testing out an Alpha motherboard, not some packaged computer. Its a showcase for what Intel might be able to do in the future.
and if you wanted something with the V8 in it you could go Dell for cheaper and better (minus the shiny case, because those are oh-so important when shopping for workstations or servers).
Essentially the Mac Pro?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that this is more or less the current Mac Pro (1600MHz FSB, DDR2-800 DIMMs, 8800GT, 3GHz SATA connectors, PCI Express 2, dual 3.2GHz quad-core Xeons, etc.) The Mac supports up to 32GB of RAM and has 4 PCIe2 slots, though it doesn't have the eSATA connectors. There are other minor differences of course, but it would seem that it's more or less equivalent. However, I suspect the Mac runs a bit quieter and you get a well-built aluminum case with it for a bit less money. (Aside from that whole UNIX-y OS X thing, which I won't even want to get into :-)
That'll be bad (or is it good?) news for the bank manager then
Finally Intel have pulled their finger out and put together a board that the money-no-object-water-cooled-behemoth-loving-LAN-showoff gamers will no-doubt snap up at the first available opportunity.
It's surprising to see that the 8800GT cards are able to keep pace (in most cases) with the AMD/ATI offerings...
It makes me wonder what the benchmark scores might be were this board paired with 8800GTX or ATI HD3870 cards...?
RE: Brian Miller
that'll change with new games as the programmers become more multithreaded/SLI compatable