Intel today introduced its dual-socket Extreme Desktop Platform, formerly codenamed Skulltrail. This platform supports two quad-core Intel CPUs and supports multi-card graphics solutions from ATI or NVIDIA. This platform will give you the best performance on the market but I doubt it will get many sales because of its extremely high price, building a rig around Skulltrail easily costs you more than $6,000.
The Intel Desktop Board D5400XS, when paired with two Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 processors, forms the foundation of the Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform. Hardcore gamers will welcome the opportunity to enjoy multiple simultaneous graphics card solutions featuring either NVIDIA SLI or ATI Crossfire for today's latest graphics-intensive titles. And the performance of eight processing cores is especially welcomed by the 3-D animators, digital audio artists and high-definition video editors behind the coolest games here at the Game Developers Conference.
"For the team creating world-class games here at id, time is one of our most valuable assets," said Robert A. Duffy, Programming Director, id Software. "Having eight powerful Intel cores in a single machine helps our team create and test our latest titles at record speed. We have seen one of our most time-consuming asset generation processes cut from over 4 hours to under 20 minutes by utilizing all eight cores and threading the generation code. Long term this translates to better games on the market faster than previously possible."
Each Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9775 offers 12MB of L2 cache, a fast 1600 MHz system bus and four cores running at a brisk 3.2 GHz. When paired on the dual-socket Intel Desktop Board D5400XS, this platform breezes through modern benchmarks and advanced workloads. For experienced enthusiasts who desire more capability, the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor bus ratio locks (overspeed protection) have been removed**. This offers added technical flexibility in customizing the system so OEMs can unleash even more performance.
"This dual processor platform is the fastest desktop PC we've ever tested in our labs, reaching a score of 6481 on 3DMark06 CPU and 20,160 on Cinebench 10 even while running at the standard 3.20 GHz frequency," says Shervin Kheradpir, director of Intel performance benchmarking.
The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 CPUs are available for $1,499 and the Intel Desktop Board D5400XS costs $649. PCs based on Skulltrail will be available from Armari, Boxx Tech, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Puget Systems, Scan, Velocity Micro, Vigor Gaming, Voodoo, @Xi Computers and others.