Intel Skulltrail Unleashed: Core 2 Extreme QX9775 x 2

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Performance Summary: It is very easy to summarize Skulltrail’s performance.  Due to the system’s relatively high-clock speeds and eight processor cores, Skulltrail significantly outperforms every other platform in multi-threaded applications that can utilize all of the system’s CPU resources.  In single-threaded situations as well, the 3.2GHz QX9775 processors with their 1600MHz FSB frequency also allow Skulltrail to finish at or near the head of the pack in most tests.  It’s only in memory bandwidth limited situations, where all of the CPU cores aren’t utilized, that Skulltrail doesn’t dominate due to the use of DDR2-800 FB-DIMMs.

Let’s get the obvious information out of the way first – Intel’s dual Core 2 Extreme QX9775-powered Skulltrail platform is the highest performing setup we have ever tested.  With its eight processor cores and high-clock speeds, Skulltrail is simply in a league of its own.   Due to the unique configuration of the D5400XS motherboard, Skulltrail is also a flexible platform.  Users can run one or two processors, use any LGA775 heatsink, and even take advantage of either ATI’s or NVIDIA’s multi-GPU technology.  About the only major drawback of the D5400XS is its use of FB-DIMMs.

Another aspect of Skulltrail that will surely turn off some of you is its price.  Intel hasn’t disclosed solid figures just yet, but they have said that the QX9775 processors will be priced higher than current “Extreme” edition processors and the motherboard will be somewhat more expensive than the company’s current high-end workstation class offerings.  That puts each CPU somewhere north of a grand a piece and the mobo in the $600+ range.  Factor in a couple of gigs of DDR2-800 FB-DIMMs and you’re talking about roughly $3000 for the configuration we tested here.  Cheap?  Heck no.  Extreme Powerful?  You betcha.

We should also note that Intel hasn’t disclosed when exactly Skulltrail hardware will be made available, but it will be in this quarter according to the most recent information.  For now, you’ll just have to drool over the benchmarks and hope that raise you’ve been asking for comes through.

  • Extreme Performance
  • Eight Cores
  • SLI or CrossFire
  • Flexible Configuration Options
  • Workstation Roots
  • Going to be PRICEY
  • Not Yet Available
  • Loud SB Cooling Fan

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Kamrooz 6 years ago

Such a beast, but honestly, intel does have 2 flaws with Skulltrail. One being the price considering the combo you have to pick up in order to get a skulltrail board. The other, FB-Dimms kill overclockability due to their low clock speed. Regardless of that though, it's truly a monster.

 But curious, does anyone else have a bad taste in their mount considering intel ATM? They release this beast of a setup, along with the upcoming p45, x48, when the truth is, at the end of this year all upgradability is dead. I feel really bad for those dumping tons into these boards not realizing that they can't upgrade to anything past penryn due to Nehalem's architecture, socket, QPI, and IMC. X48, P45, and Skulltrail will seriously have IMO the shortest life span....=(. But considering intels CPU performance numbers atm, not many would care considering the overclockability of the core architecture. But it still is a bit bad, but nothing too much to fret about.

 For gaming, this setup isn't that great, but when we're talking workstation, this machine is a BEAST.

werty316 6 years ago

Way too much power for gaming but just right when it comes to number crunching 

Kamrooz 6 years ago

Imagine the h264 encoding speed. two quad cores, based on Penryn which would give a boost with the SSE4 instruction set. Man, encoding must be dreamy ^_^. 

SiGfever 6 years ago

Now that is pure prOn! Cool 

PoLiticaLLyInCorrEct 6 years ago

I've often wondered what the overclocking options (if any) would be available on such a setup. I'd love to see two near 5GHz Quad Processors paired with either two Radeon HD 3870X2's or two GeForce 9850GX2's.

 Can we say pWn@ge! (Not trademarked by Futuremark).

Kamrooz 6 years ago

I would love to OC them to 5 ghz...but FB dimms aren't very friendly for overclocking. =P...Once I get the system..I will probably make two profiles, one stock, and one with them at 4 ghz via a multiplier bump.

 Curious though, do these server 771 socket boards contain intels power saving technologies such as speedstep, etc?.

deathman 6 years ago

Surely the board will have speed stepping as well.  Its more of a question what can be done in the bios to help to OC.


BTW after I find a stable clock to work with I re-enable speedstepping.  IMO its great for what it does and keeps the system nice and cool when not at full power.

frg1 6 years ago

must be fun to mess with 

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