Articles: CPU

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Aggressive promotion of multi-core ideology has evidently stimulated increased interest in dual-processor desktop systems on the users’ as well as on the manufacturers’ part. The thing is that the launch of dual-core and quad-core processors pushes software developers to start paying more attention to optimizing their products for multi-threaded environments. As a result, many contemporary applications that require significant resources benefit a lot from running on CPUs with multiple cores.

Theoretically, this tendency opens doors to additional improvement of desktop systems performance that can be achieved by installing not juts one but two (or even more) multi-core processors in each of them. And although dual-socket processor systems are relatively complex and expensive to build and maintain, they can really boast unprecedented performance in a number of applications. These home users who are ready to forget about high price and operating expenses for the sake of hard-edged computational power are the main target group for the leading computer platform developers creating dual-processor systems made of the highest performing components. Today we are going to talk about one more platform like that offered by Intel Corporation. This system is known as Skulltrail and very soon it will be available in stores for the wealthiest and most dedicated computer enthusiasts.

I have to say that Intel is far not the first manufacturer to introduce and promote dual-processor desktop systems into the market. For example, in the far away 1999 ABIT offered computer enthusiasts their famous BP6 mainboard designed to support two Socket370 Celeron processors. And that was definitely not the only example. A year later VIA launched a special revision of their Apollo Pro133 core logic set intended specifically for dual-processor Socket370 systems. Dual-socket mainboards based on this chipset used to be pretty popular among computer enthusiasts even though there were very few applications that could really take advantage of the two processors.

AMD initiated the next wave of public interest towards dual-processor systems by offering their Quad FX platform over a year ago. This platform used a pair of dual-core Athlon 64 FX processors. During the platform launch AMD stressed the fact that this way they were setting new standards for high-performance desktop systems, however, in reality Quad FX was non other but a not very successful attempt to respond to Intel’s quad-core processors. Therefore, the life span of this platform was relatively short and later on AMD decided to give it up.

Nevertheless, Intel caught on to the idea of launching a non-server dual-socket platform. Last year we have already introduced to you the first concept of a platform like that known as Intel V8. Looked like Intel’s marketing specialists felt some excitement about solutions like that that is why the company continued research and development in this direction. It took Intel a few months to finalize and polish off this platform so that it could finally go into mass production. And today we are welcoming the result of this long work in progress, which is ready to go mass – Intel Skulltrail platform.

Although Intel Skulltrail including two quad-core Penryn processors has no analogues or competitors these days, it is extremely interesting to check out. Let’s see how good this monstrous system actually is and how valuable it is going to be from a practical standpoint. Our today’ article will try to answer the following question: can Intel Skulltrail become a really useful platform or it is interesting only as a vivid example of Intel’s financial power.

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