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Intel Skulltrail Part 1 - Feeling the Power of 8 Cores

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February 6, 2008 10:09:13 AM

Not just small fries – Intel’s Skulltrail platform sports 8 cores running at 4 GHz each and uses a quad-core memory interface. Developed out of fear of AMD’s Phenom, Intel’s fastest hardware meets underdeveloped software.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/06/intel_skulltrail_part_1/index.html
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February 6, 2008 10:48:37 AM

Poke

Bargepole
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February 6, 2008 12:34:38 PM

OMG!!!! I could rip and encode 8 dvd once with DivX. Please tell me this is so, so I can wake up. :bounce:  :D 
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2008 1:11:32 PM

For the money, better off just building an actual workstation with a mobo that has more than 4 DIMMS.
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2008 1:12:25 PM

They cracked on quad FX because IT SUCKED.
February 6, 2008 1:12:54 PM

Quote:
OMG the same fanboys that cracked on Quad FX last year will be pimping this power hog for the next two weeks.
Could it be that AMD was a bit too early for such a beast?

Or could it be you had too much of whatever you're smoking, and forgot that Quad FX was demolished by Intel's first generation quad core?
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2008 1:13:27 PM

I am impressed though ... it is closer to the gamers dream.

It is a pity they didn't fix the ram issue ... but then the QF sucked power up like a dog and had it's own issues with IPC.

If anyone gets it right soon I have no doubt it will be Intel.

In the meantime there is no reason to buy it over a souped up single socket Yorkie with all of the fruit ... and half the cost.


a b à CPUs
February 6, 2008 1:14:35 PM

The broodlings dance feverishly round the flames ...
February 6, 2008 3:11:29 PM

Is all we know is that most games werent optimized for this technology?
February 6, 2008 3:26:52 PM

Anyone getting hard over this thinking about gaming should start thinking about my naked grandma instead.
February 6, 2008 4:02:31 PM

The whole review was a waste of time, in my opinion. Why bother with something that doesn't do anything practical, as far as gamers are concerned? Unless that was the point, to make gamers aware of how bad this setup is, as well as how expensive.
February 6, 2008 4:29:32 PM

All this proves is that software is so far behind modern computer tech there is no reason to upgrade to more cores. Skulltrail and it's FB-DIMM crap is useless unless you're a Cinebench whore. 8 Cores is only useful in a workstation environment and that may hold true for the next 2 years. Even Nehalem in it's 8 core revision will mostly go unused despite the 2009 time frame. Software simply has not caught up and they're still taking their merry time to do so. We have had multiple cores for years and even 64bit capability before that, and we still have not seen software that fully uses generation old technology. Gaming is actually better on single CPU systems simply due to the lower latency as compared to Skulltrail. Skulltrail is probably doomed and until Quick Path hits, multi-socket Intel systems will not be the way to go. Skulltrail = FAIL.
February 6, 2008 4:48:02 PM

I agree with wingless. Software developers are way WAY behind the game here. They've known about dual core coming for at least 3.5 years, and dual cores have been available on market for at least 2. And yet we're still not seeing any games that utilize more than one core? Lazy lazy lazy.
February 6, 2008 4:54:46 PM

Yes. softwarez developers liek teh NSA.
8corewarz. morris would be proud.
February 6, 2008 5:01:30 PM

where is amd with there dual quad core system with a lower power use chipset. The 790FX chipset can be used with a dual cpu setup and it will use a lot less power then the skultrail chipset with more pci-e 2.0 lanes and 2 dual channels sets with DESKTOP RAM.
2 channels per cpu.
February 6, 2008 5:20:06 PM

Joe_The_Dragon said:
where is amd with there dual quad core system with a lower power use chipset. The 790FX chipset can be used with a dual cpu setup and it will use a lot less power then the skultrail chipset with more pci-e 2.0 lanes and 2 dual channels sets with DESKTOP RAM.
2 channels per cpu.


That idea sounds suspiciously like the now abandoned QFX, just updated in a couple areas. :sleep: 

No wait, let me think about this a minute; a 790FX with a Phenom equals a hot, slow running, power hungry, buggy setup. A 790FX with two Phenoms equals an extremely hot, slow running, very power hungry, twice as buggy setup. :heink:  I think I'll pass on this.
February 6, 2008 6:21:04 PM

Umm... am I the only one that read the whole article? This setup seems about as practicel as whipping your bottom with a pine cone. Some of the #s are impressive but the layout is useless. You can't run 4 video cards, even if you could they would block significant air flow to the South Bridge cooler which is already noisy. I'm sorry, but i think this would be an immense waste of money and time to setup. Not to mention the added cost of powering it. There are bragging rights and then there is just blind stupidity. I think I will wait to see how the nVidia 790i chip set turns out. If you are a gamer then even going quad core right now or even for the next year or two is really just a waste as there aren't many games coded to use more then 2-4 cores. To all you graphics pros and artists... good luck and enjoy!
February 6, 2008 7:09:25 PM

Quote:
OMG the same fanboys that cracked on Quad FX last year will be pimping this power hog for the next two weeks.
Could it be that AMD was a bit too early for such a beast?

No, its because AMD procs were/are suckage.
Looking at all the other things, SkullTrail really isnt a lot better than QFX, but the CPUs are.
February 6, 2008 7:16:07 PM

The Whole point was to review the product.
Show it's strengths/weaknesses so people could decide if they want it.

If you are a gamer, you likely don't want this system.

If you are a professional developer for 3D work, you may VERY MUCH want this system.

The whole computing universe, does not revolve around playing Crysis.
Some folks use PCs for other functions, heaven forbid.

And Yes, Intel did not target this system that will likely cost $5,000+ for a basic setup at tweens playing computer games.

This is more designed for professionals as a workstation type device for 3D Content Creators. A company would not think twice at tossing $10K-$15K on a computer, IF it made key folks more efficient.

This system is for MASSIVE CPU Power.
Games Don't Need Massive CPU Power off this magnitude.

February 6, 2008 7:50:26 PM

Ycon said:
Looking at all the other things, SkullTrail really isnt a lot better than QFX, but the CPUs are.


That I will agree with completely, when it comes to games. As Zenmaster pointed out, this is a good workstation, and for those people who want a professional type setup, this is an interesting article. It won't be the best that can be gotten, but will be a good entry level workstation at a reasonable price..
February 6, 2008 8:32:47 PM

zenmaster said:
The Whole point was to review the product.
Show it's strengths/weaknesses so people could decide if they want it.

If you are a gamer, you likely don't want this system.

If you are a professional developer for 3D work, you may VERY MUCH want this system.

The whole computing universe, does not revolve around playing Crysis.
Some folks use PCs for other functions, heaven forbid.

And Yes, Intel did not target this system that will likely cost $5,000+ for a basic setup at tweens playing computer games.

This is more designed for professionals as a workstation type device for 3D Content Creators. A company would not think twice at tossing $10K-$15K on a computer, IF it made key folks more efficient.

This system is for MASSIVE CPU Power.
Games Don't Need Massive CPU Power off this magnitude.


I actually think it was targeted at gamers...

A pro 3d artist can buy a real workstation , not a desktop/WS hybrid.
a c 126 à CPUs
February 6, 2008 8:49:36 PM

I think this is just a starting mobo. The idea is great for encoding and decoding. I am syre Itel is cooking up a desktop style chipset just for this and will impliment it later when it is fully ready. Intel is just trying to deliver on their promise of a 8 core system.
February 6, 2008 9:26:25 PM

dariushro said:
I actually think it was targeted at gamers...

A pro 3d artist can buy a real workstation , not a desktop/WS hybrid.


Those Boards tend not to have the Graphics support for Lots of Graphics cards.
This has both CPU and GPU rendering power not available in standard workstations.

Standard Workstations are still better for many cases.
February 6, 2008 9:34:13 PM

Don't forget it's also targeted at people who just wants to show off.
February 6, 2008 10:00:45 PM

Evilonigiri said:
Don't forget it's also targeted at people who just wants to show off.


You mean its for those people who buy a Viper or Hemi Challenger, when they can't legally drive any faster than the guy with a 4 cylinder Honda?
February 6, 2008 10:18:07 PM

sailer said:
You mean its for those people who buy a Viper or Hemi Challenger, when they can't legally drive any faster than the guy with a 4 cylinder Honda?

Yeah. Also the people who buys a stick shift car but can't use it properly.
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2008 11:41:27 PM

1kw PSU? You've got to be kidding. No need for that.
February 6, 2008 11:50:36 PM

Wait hasn't anyone looked at Apples Mac Pro. That is sporting 2 quads as standard default. You can have that or a crumby imac seems like a big gap to me. So what is the point of this article? Isn't this just another workstation board?
a c 126 à CPUs
February 6, 2008 11:59:02 PM

Yes it is a workstation board with a few enhancements. It has 4 PEG slots aat full 16x 2.0. It has support for either tri-SLI or CFX(CFX being if you used 4 3870's which will fit since they are single slot) or 2 3870X2's if that is considered CFX.

Most workstation boards don't support 4 PEG lanes. I still think this is just a starter board and they will be releasing another gaming board based n the X48 chipset or a unique to Skulltrail board.

But still if you need to render or encode this is a great setup. Remember time is money so the more you can do faster the more time you have for more projects/work hence more money.

Oh and a Mac is just an over priced computer using PC components with OSX on it. Not worth the price. Kinda like an alienware/voodoo/falcon.
a b à CPUs
February 7, 2008 12:27:02 AM

jimmysmitty said:
Oh and a Mac is just an over priced computer using PC components with OSX on it. Not worth the price. Kinda like an alienware/voodoo/falcon.

Uh-oh, get out the fire extinguishers, that comment will deteriorate this thread into a flame war.
February 7, 2008 1:06:08 AM

the futuremark page shows that the guy used a pentium 3
February 7, 2008 1:54:48 AM

Damn, a quad-core 3.2GHZ pentium 3. What will intel come up with next? Let's hope they skip the 10 GHZ pentium 4's this time.
February 7, 2008 2:09:05 AM

The extra GPU slots wont help in a workstation config. This is a total waste of RD. A normal two socket server board would be more useful as a workstation, more ram slots. Quad SLI is only good if the heater in your house is broke.

Good job Intel
February 7, 2008 3:08:53 AM

This got to be the most useless MB i've seen so far... hope they'll get back to hearth and start building something that actually is worth reading through pages of, I'll have to say, a pointless review so far... waiting for part 2.
February 7, 2008 3:14:04 AM

8 over priced core to soon be replace by superior onboard memory control

this is the intel side project

these side projects do produce fruit but few and far to be found!

skull in simply a better 4x4 and not much

IFB #1
February 7, 2008 7:53:03 AM

Quote:
Of course, ever since the publication of the article "AMD Phenom-The Spider Weaves its Web," the world knows that AMD is still trying to iron out some kinks in its newest CPU.


Uhm, yes.
Thanks tom, for your awesome articles that inform "the world" on information we wouldn't possibly have found out about without you.

Oh and since "The truth about power consumption" I stopped taking anything that you write serious. Biased and flawed is what most articles on this website are.
February 7, 2008 8:09:29 AM

Do you think you need medical prescription to order one of these?
February 7, 2008 9:13:11 AM


I must have missed something here. The article talks about 2 (or more) nVidia cards in an Intel board running SLI. I have been out of touch for about a month... did nVidia approve running SLI on Intel motherboards?

a b à CPUs
February 7, 2008 9:26:19 AM

zenmasters Koolaid comments strike me as typical brood rhetoric.

It's not aimed at gamers .... pffft ??

What professional person wants a workstation that looks like something off a teenagers desk??

The client's in the workplace are going to simply say "Amateur geek" and take their money from your business ... irrespective of how good you are.

It isn't designed from the ground up for a professional.

It's a halfassed (FBDIMM) attempt to suck more money from the rich gamer who doesn't know much about gaming.

For the rest of the gamers it's a wannabe rig - and won't perform any better than what most of you have now - a SLI Kenti / Conroe rig with a decent OC.

In fact your memory throughput will make it seem slower.

end rant.
February 7, 2008 9:32:05 AM

"In its manual, Intel recommends equipping the memory with an active fan. No fan is included with the system, however, and we're not sure how Intel imagines it should be mounted anyway."


With aftermarket memory coolers. Exactly the same ones used with conventional DDR2 memory (ie:o CZ XTC RAM COOLER)

Take care
February 7, 2008 1:58:58 PM

Lurkerz89 said:
This got to be the most useless MB i've seen so far... hope they'll get back to hearth and start building something that actually is worth reading through pages of, I'll have to say, a pointless review so far... waiting for part 2.



I don't know...the Foxconn Blackops liquid N2 / CO2 cooled board is pretty useless...except for me though...I do have liquid N2 lines installed in my house...yeah.
February 7, 2008 4:00:19 PM

Quote:
OMG the same fanboys that cracked on Quad FX last year will be pimping this power hog for the next two weeks.
Could it be that AMD was a bit too early for such a beast?


Nope, this product will fail, I don't see it catching on.
February 7, 2008 4:01:24 PM

Reynod said:
In the meantime there is no reason to buy it over a souped up single socket Yorkie with all of the fruit ... and half the cost.



I'm in complete agreement.
February 7, 2008 5:35:35 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Nope, this product will fail, I don't see it catching on.


This is more like the "we can also do the dirty trick you did, and we do it better" thing, as opposed to "let me sell this shtick and make some green".

But I agree, this product will fail, if its original intention was indeed selling for profits.
February 7, 2008 7:24:08 PM

Part two of this is out, and once again Tom's shows off its utter lack of talent. 4 GHz and then they blame the board for not being able to go father, while others can (and have) crank two quad cores on this thing up to 5 GHz with standard water cooling.
February 7, 2008 9:46:07 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Nope, this product will fail, I don't see it catching on.

I don't think intel is planning on making it a success, if you know what I mean.

I'm sure it'll sell more than the Quad FX.
!