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The dual-processor enthusiast-class code-named Skulltrail platform from Intel, which the company demonstrated at Intel Developer Forum, will be available in Q1 2008. But while the new extreme gaming machines will offer outstanding performance, they will come at a price with only central processing units (CPUs) costing $3000.

Intel’s Skulltrail platform for gamers based on code-named Seaburg chipset resembles Stoakley platform for high-end dual-processor workstations, but in addition to features like support for two quad-core microprocessors with up to 1600MHz processor system bus, up to 128GB of PC2-6400 (800MHz) FB-DIMM memory, Intel virtualization technology and other capabilities, the Skulltrail offers four PCI Express x16 slots for graphics cards to support 4-way CrossFire or SLI multi-GPU configurations.

Intel plans to release special versions of Intel Core 2 Extreme processors in LGA771 form-factor to power its dual-socket enthusiast platform, confidential documents seen by X-bit labs claim. The first of such chips will be Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 clocked at 3.20GHz with overspeed protection disabled (unlocked multiplier), the new chip will utilize 1600MHz processor system bus and feature 12MB cache. Given that the newcomer is made using 45nm process technology, it will sport all the advantages that the new code-named Penryn family has. The new extreme chips from Intel will have thermal design power of 150W, therefore, will need very efficient and potentially noisy and/or expensive cooling systems.

It is currently known that Intel will offer Intel D5400XS motherboard for Skulltrail systems, but it is unclear whether large mainboard makers, such as Asustek Computer, will also offer a Skulltrail platform.

But those, who demand to have eight processing engines under the hood of their gaming station will have to pay a price for that. Each Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 will cost $1499 in business quantities, meaning that end-users will have to pay over $3000 for processors alone. Dual-socket mainboards for workstations typically cost from $300 to $550, whereas high-end graphics cards usually retail for $399 and upwards. Typically, high-end systems also use high-performance hard disk drives, such as Western Digital Raptor X 150GB, in addition to high-capacity HDDs, such as Seagate Barracuda 1TB, which are also not really affordable. As a result, gamers will have to pay roughly $6000 only for critical components, such as two Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775, 4GB of memory, 4 graphics cards, one high-speed HDD and one high-capacity HDD. Given that monitor, case, power supply, optical drive, workmanship, various software and so on also do not come for free, Intel Skulltrail gaming stations will easily pass $10 000 milestone.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.


Comments currently: 20
Discussion started: 10/12/07 05:49:41 AM
Latest comment: 01/10/08 04:39:54 AM
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LMFAO at $1500 per cpu!!!

Is anybody really gonna buy this thing?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/12/07 07:00:07 AM]

This is simply overkill for gaming alone. There's no game in the next two years that will utilize this power probably, so at least in that respect, this system should be future proof, at least the CPU's.

But then again Nelaham, Penryn's sucessor will be out in Q3 2008, with 8 cores on one chip anyway.

Nelham will be my next poison.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/12/07 10:03:46 AM]

Yeah early adopting this is dumb, unless you make $100,000+ a year and don't care about wasting money =D

1 year from now we'll be able to build octa (8) core computers for only $2000 or less..... Will 8 cores even show an improvement in any applications or games? Probably, but is 4 cores enough for now? Absolutely.

Intell is releasing this for braggin rights only.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/12/07 11:48:21 AM]

This is not dumb or insane. Having 8 cores and 4 Nvidia graphic cards is possible thanks to the technological innovation and advancements at Intel. If you have the money... why not? If you don't too bad. Hey, there are people who might want to run Crysis @2560*1600 with 4AA and this would not be possible with one or two 8800GTX. (I won't even mention the junk ATI cards).
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/12/07 03:35:10 PM]
- collapse thread

For that you buy the 4x4 that’s much cheaper and its here already at one year ago.
Let me guess for you AMD 4x4 sucks! Intel Skulltrail is superb!
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/13/07 02:18:41 AM]
4X4 only has 4 cores, boy. and only has 2xSLI.
this one has 8 cores and 4xSLI. do you see the difference?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/13/07 09:56:21 AM]


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