Intel's Dual-Processor Enthusiast Platform Q1 2008

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.

View: The full story
News source: Xbit Labs

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Asustek: Eee PC price no lower than US$200

Next Story

AnyDVD (HD) 6.1.8.4

23 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

So does this mean the CPU chip itself will be 3grand?
Or a FULL complete computer setup with this CPU is 3 grand?

As I said above, the "$3000" quoted in the above piece reefers to a pair of QX9775 CPUs, not to the chipset & socket platform. What the motherboard will cost depends on what PHYs the mobo maker decides to cram in there, but you can expect to need a EATX form factor case and a rather expensive PSU. too.

What the total system will cost will depend entirely on what components you choose, but let's assume you decide to go all-out. That means a massive liqud-cooing rig (you'll need two CPU waterblocks, four GPU waterblocks, and a number of rads, tubes and pumps to handle all that hot coolant), four 8800GTXs or better, a RAID10 array with six 10,000RPM HDDs, a Lightscribe DVD/CD/HDDVD burner, and a pair of 1000Watt PSUs (yes, two of them!). Stuff all that in a CM Stacker STC-001 case, plop in as much RAM as your Mobo can take, and get yourself your 64-bit OS of choice (if you go 32-bit, then only get 4 Gigs of RAM.) Oh, and you'll need a keyboard, a decent mouse, and an LCD screen, too. Protect your investment with a good UPS and a Surge Protector too. Now, ring up the price, and if you don't have a heart attack from the sticker shock, buy it!

if only this line would be true: "it's just a matter of optimizing the app for multiple cores".
The freaking industry and market are way ahead of the real reason why we would spend big money on computers: real gains that we can take advantage of.

Nowadays, is like there is some kind of show-off competition and nothing to do for us that spend the money buying.

Memory maker didn't even come out with a 4gig or even an 8gig DIM yet. I kept checking newegg for these kinda dimm but no avail. 128/4 (DIMM slot) = 32gig each... That is to say if the mobo only have 4 DIMM... I wonder which memory maker make such a DIMM slot...

On the side note, I think AMD will have to reconsider FD-DIMM to be put back on their "road map" lol

Krome said,
Memory maker didn't even come out with a 4gig or even an 8gig DIM yet. I kept checking newegg for these kinda dimm but no avail. 128/4 (DIMM slot) = 32gig each... That is to say if the mobo only have 4 DIMM... I wonder which memory maker make such a DIMM slot...

On the side note, I think AMD will have to reconsider FD-DIMM to be put back on their "road map" lol

FB-DIMM's have been available at these capacities for some time now, we sell Tyans new S5397 board(s) are work, they have PCI-E(Gen 2) dual, quad-core Xeon support and 16 DIMM slots...so I believe this is EASILY possible.

Intel are now offereing sku's that don't require FB-DIMM's again now too, They're too damn hot, they're also looking into DDR-3 FB-DIMMs.

jmmycrackcorn said,
Great, but what the heck are you doing that uses 128 GB of RAM? :blink:

Trying to play a game in Vista, what else?

In all seriousness, I don't know what "gamers" Intel is imagining are going to pay $3000 to play games that don't even take advantage of the hardware. This might be a good system for a game server, maybe to host a 256 player FPS or mini-MMORPG (bandwidth would still be a killer), but gamers aren't going to buy this.

Valve's recent survey show that only 1% of gamers have dual graphics cards. Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia and motherboard manufacturers are living in some kind of alternate reality where they think they can keep gouging gamers on hardware. They make it seem like "everyone" is buying this stuff, when in reality it's like 1 out of 1,000,000 PC gamers that is.

Hey, aren't Intel getting a little ahead of themselves seeing that A) we have no 4 way multi-gpu graphics setups yet B) Games are only just supporting one, dual core processor C) For a complete system, that's for most people 25%+ of their salary.

Sazz181 said,
Hey, aren't Intel getting a little ahead of themselves seeing that A) we have no 4 way multi-gpu graphics setups yet B) Games are only just supporting one, dual core processor C) For a complete system, that's for most people 25%+ of their salary.

a) it's only a matter of time before Crossfire and SLI enable support for this
b) when programmers figure out support for multi-cores, it won't matter
c) i hope you mean annual salary.

The early adopters will take the big-dollar hit on this, as per usual, but the rest of us can safely wait untill it hits a second generation.

a) nVidia has been planning 3-way and 4-way SLI rigs for a while now. What I want to know is how you're gonna put 4 dual-slot PICe cards in an ATX system. Even the EATX form-factor only allows 7 expansion slots. Hey, quick, what's 4x2? Is it more than 7? I sense a ATX extension in my immediate future.

b) Support for multi-cores is exactly as hard to do as support for dual-cores was. Which is to say, not at all hard. Windows XP (the enthusiast gaming platform of choice) already supports two CPUs and as may cores as you can cram into it. From there, it's just a matter of optimizing the app for multiple cores.

c) If three-thousand bucks is twenty-five percent of your yearly salary, you've got bigger problems than which enthusiast gaming PC to invest in. Stay away.

Sazz181 said,
Hey, aren't Intel getting a little ahead of themselves seeing that A) we have no 4 way multi-gpu graphics setups yet B) Games are only just supporting one, dual core processor C) For a complete system, that's for most people 25%+ of their salary.

I hope you mean monthly salary - if you're making $12k a year, that's pretty sad.

i hope you mean annual salary.

I hope you mean monthly salary

Let me clarify, I was looking at the full story, where it said that a complete Skulltrail system would easily pass the $10,000 (£5000) mark. I don't know about the U.S, but in the UK the average wage is somewhere about £24,000ish ($40,000). I actually meant annualy, but no matter which country you live in, no matter what the average wage is where you live, $10,000 for a computer is still a hell of a lot of cash :eek:

Quad SLI has already been done. I remember Dell selling ultra gaming machines and dual 7950's are technically quad sli.

Kushan said,
Quad SLI has already been done. I remember Dell selling ultra gaming machines and dual 7950's are technically quad sli.

But a pair of 7950s run off only two PCIe 16x slots, not four. So, a 7950-type Quad SLI rig is limited by bus bandwidth to 8x/8x + 8x/8x PCIe channels rather than 16x + 16x + 16x + 16x PCIe channels.

Not to mention that since Skulltrail supports PCIe 2.0, you could start putting PCIe 32x cards into SLI this way (not that PCIe 32x cards exist yet, but that's just a matter of time.)

RTFA.
The Mac Pro doesn't allow you to stick four video cards in it and run SLI or Crossfire; Skulltrail does.
The Mac Pro doesn't support 1600 Mhz PSB; Skulltrail does.
The Mac Pro doesn't support LGA775; Skultrail does.

The "$3000" quoted in the above peice refeers to a pair of QX9775 CPUs, not to the chipset & socket platform. If you want, you can pop in a pair of Q6600's in there and have a happy fun time with your mainstream quad-cores. Nobody's forcing your to buy the "Extreme" cores, OK? Next time, read the farking article. And stop drinking the Apple Brand kool-aid.

Jesus, I'd have been interested in this if it wasn't so bloody expensive.
You may as well just buy a Xeon system, they've been dual processor compliant for years and are somewhat cheaper.

Kushan said,
Jesus, I'd have been interested in this if it wasn't so bloody expensive.
You may as well just buy a Xeon system, they've been dual processor compliant for years and are somewhat cheaper.

Yeah, except I don't think that there are any Xeon systems with four PCIe x16 slots!

I mean, if you're going to go for extreme gaming ( not me! ), then you'd better have the graphics capability.

Kushan said,
Jesus, I'd have been interested in this if it wasn't so bloody expensive.
You may as well just buy a Xeon system, they've been dual processor compliant for years and are somewhat cheaper.

I had one, you can only SLI Quadro graphics cards so I sold it. This is the true enthusiast gamers platform.