One HD 2900 XT performed as expected but two cards in CrossFire delivered more than 90 per cent extra performance which suggests that there’s nothing wrong with Intel’s PCI Express configuration. Perhaps the add-in Nvidia chips slow SLI performance but we can hardly wait for AMD to sort out its CrossFire X drivers so we can try three or four graphics cards.
Power Draw Results
Power draw in Watt (W)
So what do we think of Skulltrail? More importantly should you buy it? Well yes, you should, provided you fall into a very specific category of PC user. If you’re developing games and want to check performance on a blisteringly fast PC with the ability to switch between makes of graphics cards then you should form a very short queue over there under the Intel sign.
The rest of us don’t need dual quad-core processors. It’s questionable whether we need a single quad-core processor, although dual-core is certainly a necessity. And we're quite sure that FB-DIMM memory has no place in a desktop PC. Intel deserves a pat on the back for coming up with a system that supports both CrossFire and SLI, and all it has to do now is make it smaller, quieter and much, much cheaper.
As a technology showcase there’s no denying that Skulltrail is compelling. But just like that other skull, the diamond encrusted one by Damien Hirst, you can look without feeling any need to buy.
We've rated Skulltrail at 70 per cent, but you can break that down to 100 per cent for performance, 80 per cent for desirability and 30 per cent for value.
Intel D5400XS Skulltrail
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 :-)