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Intel Skulltrail 3: 8 vs 4 Core Performance

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February 8, 2008 3:19:14 PM

We compare the performance of the dual-socket Skulltrail system to that of a Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and a Core 2 Extreme QX9650. While all three devices are Penryns and share identical features, the test results were not what we expected.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/08/intel_skulltrail_part_3/index.html
February 8, 2008 3:24:23 PM

Skulltrail = QuadFX

Quad FX = Failure

Therefore:

Skulltrail = Failure
February 8, 2008 3:33:40 PM

"Currently, Intel is not under any kind of pressure from the competition--it has already proved that it makes the fastest CPUs in the market. So why create such a dubious platform?"



It amazes me how one day you're being criticized for sitting back and milking the performance throne, and the next you're looked down upon by the same people for continuing to make advancements while on said throne. WTF do you people want?! If you got the money, do it. I think AMD was at their mountain-top when they were developing 4x4 and probably seemed like a great idea, but Intel came around and bit them in the arse pretty hard. Looking back it just seems like bad luck for AMD. Intel has much more to work with so if AMD decides to come back with something good Intel probably won't be in such a bind :-/

I say let the technology mature. It could be amazing ;) 
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February 8, 2008 3:47:33 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Skulltrail = QuadFX

Quad FX = Failure

Therefore:

Skulltrail = Failure


:cry:  . o O (But but but.... which is the best failure???)

:oops:  . o O (I dunno why I'm asking that question)
February 8, 2008 4:31:16 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Skulltrail = QuadFX

Quad FX = Failure

Therefore:

Skulltrail = Failure


Good logic, but first we must prove that Skulltrail = QuadFX. :lol:  :sarcastic: 
February 8, 2008 4:42:43 PM

What's with ut2k4... :\ at least use ut3
Drop the old games for 3d gaming performance review..
February 8, 2008 5:09:20 PM

rickzor said:
What's with ut2k4... :\ at least use ut3
Drop the old games for 3d gaming performance review..


Well, actually, some of us still like to go back and play old games. I'm currently playing Morrowind (no, not Oblivion), for example. So yeah, it kinda does matter how older games perform.
February 8, 2008 6:09:09 PM

I think some of the other posters who have been crying about an Intel bias in the writing at Toms should read this article.
February 8, 2008 6:10:57 PM

Avenger_K said:
Good logic, but first we must prove that Skulltrail = QuadFX. :lol:  :sarcastic: 


Quad FX had slower non Core-2 processors, but better RAM.

Skulltrail has awesome CPUs, but sucky RAM.

Pick your poison!


However, it still all comes down to the total LACK of the need for 8 cores for most consumers.


If you need a multi socket system, get a server.

a c 122 à CPUs
February 8, 2008 6:35:16 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Quad FX had slower non Core-2 processors, but better RAM.

Skulltrail has awesome CPUs, but sucky RAM.

Pick your poison!


However, it still all comes down to the total LACK of the need for 8 cores for most consumers.


If you need a multi socket system, get a server.


I agree. In server apps this might be a great setup but in reality we need DDR2/3. I still stand that this is the entry into Intels double socket end user platform and will be developing a chipset specifically for it for DDR3. A quad channel setup of DDR3 would be nice. :o 
a b à CPUs
February 8, 2008 7:32:35 PM

blackened144 said:
I think some of the other posters who have been crying about an Intel bias in the writing at Toms should read this article.


They won't. Nobody cares about information that disproves their own prejudices.
February 8, 2008 7:35:24 PM

IMO It looks like somebody needs to figure out ways to benchmark thats not off the shelf push-button software.

ex:
pick a mp3 encoder, pick a wav file
start 8 copies of the mp3 encoder, to run in parallel.

Time the process on the skulltrail and on a regular quad core box.
publish results.

end of argument :p 
a b à CPUs
February 8, 2008 7:35:36 PM

jimmysmitty said:
I agree. In server apps this might be a great setup but in reality we need DDR2/3. I still stand that this is the entry into Intels double socket end user platform and will be developing a chipset specifically for it for DDR3. A quad channel setup of DDR3 would be nice. :o 


Intel likely came out with DDR3 support in order to get DDR3 into the market in time for its own on-die memory controller. By the time they developed a new chipset for current-technology dual-processor desktop systems it would already be outdated, not to mention that all that development cost would need to be recovered through the sales of a relatively small number of prohibitively expensive boards.
a b à CPUs
February 8, 2008 9:06:29 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Can we rename it?

Skulltrail -> SkullF***

?


Kittle has a point about finding more multitasking benchmarks, it would be amazing if I could transcode a DVD on my second drive, do a virus scan on my main drive, and run a recent game at high resolutions simultaneously.

I hate it when I'm doing something and some program starts up that drags my other programs to a crawl.
February 8, 2008 9:41:49 PM

snarfies1 said:
Well, actually, some of us still like to go back and play old games. I'm currently playing Morrowind (no, not Oblivion), for example. So yeah, it kinda does matter how older games perform.


You see, i wasn't criticizing old games for the sake of they being old, but mostly because i would like to see some "new blood" in games and how they perform here in this particular plataform.
Just for the record, i play very often unreal tournament from 1999 and quake 3 arena.
February 8, 2008 11:12:39 PM

So... where are the QuadFX phenom comparisons? I mean intel may have a new toy and powerful too but I am yet to see any QuadFX benchmarks be it 2x 2core or 2x 4core. Not that I think they'll be a match for intel but still all I hear is bash bash bash and no bench...
February 9, 2008 12:19:13 AM

kingraven said:
So... where are the QuadFX phenom comparisons? I mean intel may have a new toy and powerful too but I am yet to see any QuadFX benchmarks be it 2x 2core or 2x 4core. Not that I think they'll be a match for intel but still all I hear is bash bash bash and no bench...


QuadFX is abandonware. It has officially been dropped by AMD. You can't go 2x4 on it because they never made quads for that socket (even though they said they would and all the fanboys bought that crap so they could have "megatasking platformance").

Benchmarking a year+ old failure and comparing it to an even bigger failure but current (yes, I say that because of the FB RAM) is an exercise in futility.


Hey, that reminds me. After giving all that "advice" Baron never actually got a QuadFX system; after saying he would!
February 9, 2008 8:55:19 AM

I tend to agree with the multitasking arguments here - run a game, virus app or other "normal" windows scenario together and see how the system goes, or for that matter, encode a dozen wmv files simultaneously. Encoding and copying video files to your psp or video ipod is a pain enough, but if you can do 8 of those in the same time it would take you to do one... now there I could see the potential in multi-core power.

Disappointment is an understatement. Intel simply had an unoriginal but interesting idea and went down the wrong road with it. Considering the emergence of enthusiast UATX and 10-slot designs, Intel should have used it's R&D to instead work on a CHIPSET - something that would allow enthusiasts/gamers to use just a single quad-core CPU, overclock the heck out of it, and combine quad-channel DDR3 memory and an ATI/nVidia capable quad-GPU 64-lane PCI express graphics solution within the Ultra-ATX form factor. Future-proof, if you know what I mean.

We all know the direction enthusiast/gamers are going, give us the hardware we need, and you will eventually get software that takes advantage of it.
a b à CPUs
February 9, 2008 9:54:23 AM

Actually Intel must have been pretty stupid to think the gamers wouldn't notice the sucky memory performance or that a high end Kenty vs Skulltrail wouldn't show a lick of difference on many games.

Obviously their Marketing Department didn't listen to Engineering ... must have had a momentary lapse of reason ... unlike AMD who have a marketing department like this dork ( Stephen DiFranco) from AMD who is bereft of all reason whatsoever:

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/02/08/...

Jeez AMD ... how pathetic can you get ???

February 9, 2008 6:24:36 PM

The only reason to buy this board is for overclocking. In this chipset series there are better motherboards. For instance:

http://tyan.com/product_board_detail.aspx?pid=560

- Dual 45nm Xeons
- 1600 MHz FSB
- quad-pumped memory
- Dual PCI-Express 2.0
- 128 GB RAM (800 MHz FB-DIMMs)
- RAID
- SAS

About the same price as the skulltrail board and probably a stabler BIOS.

I should also mention that this chipset is a workstation chipset geared towards CAD or Video editing. Not ideal for gaming...

If you need to load a hige 3D model into RAM this is the best board to get.
February 9, 2008 7:03:45 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
QuadFX is abandonware. It has officially been dropped by AMD. You can't go 2x4 on it because they never made quads for that socket (even though they said they would and all the fanboys bought that crap so they could have "megatasking platformance").

Benchmarking a year+ old failure and comparing it to an even bigger failure but current (yes, I say that because of the FB RAM) is an exercise in futility.


Hey, that reminds me. After giving all that "advice" Baron never actually got a QuadFX system; after saying he would!


I recall in a post somewhere that Baron was still running an old 939 chip.

February 9, 2008 7:16:54 PM

ragemonkey said:
I recall in a post somewhere that Baron was still running an old 939 chip.


Yes, I believe it was an X2 4400 or 4600, a cousin of my Opty 175.
February 9, 2008 8:59:15 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Yes, I believe it was an X2 4400 or 4600, a cousin of my Opty 175.


Oh my, if that's old what does that makes of my athlon 3500+ :cry:  :( 
a b à CPUs
February 9, 2008 9:34:08 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Skulltrail = QuadFX

Quad FX = Failure

Therefore:

Skulltrail = Failure


HEH A FRIGGIN FAST FAILURE

oh the buyers remorse for people when a 8 core nahlem comes out and eats them all alive.
February 10, 2008 2:13:26 AM

Which RAM were the tests of the old games run with? If it was the slower stuff, what happens when you use the 800mhz stuff? I'm not asking for a retest, just wondering if anyone might have results from a test with the 800mhz dimms while working with the platform.

KVR800D2D8F5/1G
Does that sound like what you had for the 800MHz dimms?

The memory price you have in the article:
Quote:
Memory - 4x 1 GB FB-DIMM 667 MHz $250
This can be beaten by at least a little bit with some shopping around. Kingston's quoted price for part number KVR667D2D8F5/1G of 63.00 (and sounds close to the price list's ram) can be beaten on Newegg for $55 (as of the time of writing this), though a savings of $8 per module or a total of $32 may be moot.
The absolute best I could do for a reputable retailer:
Best price

It ends up being a total savings of about $50 (as of the time of writing this), which is 20% of the quoted memory price for 667MHz ram, but it's only about 1% of the total price estimate and still seems moot. However, might there be other savings to be had in that price list?

Concerning memory over clocking, maybe Intel is being conservative (as is typical for them) or they have some other reason for limiting the RAM clock because it looks like the Asus Z7s is very similar and it allows for memory overclocking. I'd guess CAS latency is set by the AMBs though I don't know if they are hard wired or could be set via software. If they are software changeable, the settings may be set in a piece of code that the BIOS guys are not supposed to fiddle with. It will be interesting if they make further changes before release.

As for memory cooling yes it's an issue. Intel's chassis have either fans or ducting in their chassis line to keep the memory cool, but it's not that much fancier than what I've seen in older servers from them.
During early development with the s5000 boards, they were not in a chassis though. They used a clip on fan over the memory slots that worked a little like this. But there was only one 50mm (I think) an on the cooler, so it doesn't take much to keep them cool.

As for some of the fan quirks, any idea if they are using the baseboard management controller on the ESB2? If it were set up for the OEM Xeon fans, it could cause some issues with the Zalman fans pictured in the review.

Concerning that boot time, anyone know how long it takes to boot a Tyan i5400PW, Asus Z7S or one of the other Seaburg based boards out there as a point of comparison? I'm curious as to if this is inherent to the Seaburg platform in general, or the BIOS. It is possible they used a lot of the source from the server version where they don't really care about boot time.

Still, it looks like there is yet another Intel board to not get very excited about. I am curious as to what other manufactures with more experience in this area could do with something like Skulltrail.
a b à CPUs
February 10, 2008 2:41:18 AM

In the bad old days this is something ASUS would have tackled and made something spectacular, like by using some trick that would use a desktop chipset or older server chipset to make it work without the memory requirements etc
February 11, 2008 3:46:43 AM

Hello,

After reading the article, I have the feeling that TomsHardware toke a Ferrari, and tried to check the gas milage, checked how hot the engine was, and how it does in the traffic Jam.

The reality is very different, if you want to test a Ferrari, or a Veron, you got to go on the Autobahn, and drive it full speed, get to the mountain road, and floor it, this is what it was design for!

If you look at the HALL of fame of 3DMark, few days after its sneak pick, Skulltrail is already there, a very strong battle between overclockers already started to beat the new records. wPrime , done. Fritz Chess, Done!
3DMark CPU, Done!

http://www.jens.tauchclub-krems.at/diverses/Schach/frit...
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17... (Check the frequency and Cinebench score (40K) and Crisis benchies scores)

http://www.hwbot.org/hallOfFame.do?type=result&applicat...

http://www.futuremark.com/community/halloffame/3dmark06... (check the CPU score, and soon, I guess it will have the overall score)



All overclockers agreed, Skulltrail is a beast, and well, TomsHardware is stock in the traffic Jam ...

It was explain with the platform that Skulltrail is not a regular platform; I clearly said that it is not a platform for people to play with it every day, this is a racing car, something you tune, something that was requested for years by the overclockers. I did follow their request, with the hardware we could put together. Toms Hardware missed the point, I am so sorry about it.

So, Yes, a Ferrari use a lot of Gas, yes, a Veron is loud, and yes, a Lamborghini does run hot ... what's you point? They all set up world records in a niche market, and yes ... They are bad in traffic Jam.

After seeing what the people targeted by the platform did with it, does you still think it is bad? You just need the proper driver for your racing.

Francois Piednoel
February 11, 2008 11:08:41 AM

I see your point, but those are rather artificial benchmarks that are highly threaded. The real world is still struggling with multi-threaded apps.

This platform seems to be targeted towards gamers, which it will miss the mark for them because of the RAM. Yes, people who need lots of processing power may be tempted, but why not just go with a 2P workstation if you're not going to be gaming!

FrancoisPiednoel said:
Hello,

After reading the article, I have the feeling that TomsHardware toke a Ferrari, and tried to check the gas milage, checked how hot the engine was, and how it does in the traffic Jam.

The reality is very different, if you want to test a Ferrari, or a Veron, you got to go on the Autobahn, and drive it full speed, get to the mountain road, and floor it, this is what it was design for!

If you look at the HALL of fame of 3DMark, few days after its sneak pick, Skulltrail is already there, a very strong battle between overclockers already started to beat the new records. wPrime , done. Fritz Chess, Done!
3DMark CPU, Done!

http://www.jens.tauchclub-krems.at/diverses/Schach/frit...
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17... (Check the frequency and Cinebench score (40K) and Crisis benchies scores)

http://www.hwbot.org/hallOfFame.do?type=result&applicat...

http://www.futuremark.com/community/halloffame/3dmark06... (check the CPU score, and soon, I guess it will have the overall score)



All overclockers agreed, Skulltrail is a beast, and well, TomsHardware is stock in the traffic Jam ...

It was explain with the platform that Skulltrail is not a regular platform; I clearly said that it is not a platform for people to play with it every day, this is a racing car, something you tune, something that was requested for years by the overclockers. I did follow their request, with the hardware we could put together. Toms Hardware missed the point, I am so sorry about it.

So, Yes, a Ferrari use a lot of Gas, yes, a Veron is loud, and yes, a Lamborghini does run hot ... what's you point? They all set up world records in a niche market, and yes ... They are bad in traffic Jam.

After seeing what the people targeted by the platform did with it, does you still think it is bad? You just need the proper driver for your racing.

Francois Piednoel

February 11, 2008 3:12:54 PM

leo2kp said:

It amazes me how one day you're being criticized for sitting back and milking the performance throne, and the next you're looked down upon by the same people for continuing to make advancements while on said throne. WTF do you people want?! If you got the money, do it. I think AMD was at their mountain-top when they were developing 4x4 and probably seemed like a great idea, but Intel came around and bit them in the arse pretty hard. Looking back it just seems like bad luck for AMD. Intel has much more to work with so if AMD decides to come back with something good Intel probably won't be in such a bind :-/

I say let the technology mature. It could be amazing ;) 


Technology maturing is not pushing workstation products half baked into an enthusiast PC. AMD did that with 4 x4 and Intel's doing it with Skulltrail. Both are lame attempts to say that they're bringing something new to the enthusiast market. Both are only loved by fanboys.

AMD at least knew that they were attempting to equal Intel's quad cores with a two dual CPU rig. Intel isn't doing anything but showing how their much vaunted Skulltrail underperforms their own CPU's in games and most applications. By the time anything needs 8 cores, Intel will have 8 cores in one CPU. AMD probably will too.

Dual CPU systems are not practical outside of the server area. Even where 3D graphics are concerned, two separate PC's are better than virtualizing a second on Skulltrail. What is Intel thinking except to woo fanboys who just want the latest Intel?

IMHO, two quad cores in a Skultrail rig isn't is technology that needs to mature. Like 4x4 before it, it's the equivalent of Nigel Tufnel's amp going maximum, up to 11. :lol: 

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Can we rename it?

Skulltrail -> SkullF***

?


They should rename it SkullPhenom. It's Intel's answer to the worst product name AMD's ever come up with, as well as being Intel's version of 4X4. Only a fanboy with unlimited cash would consider losing performance by buying it.

At least the B3 Phenom will be a budget quad core. This is the overbudget dual CPU 8 core. Do you think anyone who bought a 4x4 would be willing to buy this?

Crashman said:
Kittle has a point about finding more multitasking benchmarks, it would be amazing if I could transcode a DVD on my second drive, do a virus scan on my main drive, and run a recent game at high resolutions simultaneously.

I hate it when I'm doing something and some program starts up that drags my other programs to a crawl.


Unless you're in a dorm room, why not have 2 PC's? We have 3 in the living room and will have two in the bedroom once we upgrade two of them later to 780G boards and B3 Phenoms. The two Athlon X2's can go upstairs.

We can burn data DVD's, surf the net, play games, have our kid do homeschooling and download unlicensed anime fansubs all at the same time without slowing us down. A networked "home data center" is the ultimate answer to idiocies like Skulltrail. I don't even think that all 3 PC's I built this last year cost as much as a Skulltrail system. Adding the two I want to build by May, it might equal a Skulltrail, but it's much more versatile.

FrancoisPiednoel said:
Hello,

After reading the article, I have the feeling that TomsHardware toke a Ferrari, and tried to check the gas milage, checked how hot the engine was, and how it does in the traffic Jam.

The reality is very different, if you want to test a Ferrari, or a Veron, you got to go on the Autobahn, and drive it full speed, get to the mountain road, and floor it, this is what it was design for!

If you look at the HALL of fame of 3DMark, few days after its sneak pick, Skulltrail is already there, a very strong battle between overclockers already started to beat the new records. wPrime , done. Fritz Chess, Done!
3DMark CPU, Done!


That is a hobby. It's not the highway. Buying Skulltrail to get the highest 3DMark CPU score is like buying a Ferrari to test it on some engineering testing rig at a factory. We can get an overall idea how real 8 core CPU's will do once they're needed in the world of desktop gaming, but that does not address the loss of performance of Skulltrail vis a vis Intel's own quad core offerings on good motherboards with good RAM.

Reynod said:
Actually Intel must have been pretty stupid to think the gamers wouldn't notice the sucky memory performance or that a high end Kenty vs Skulltrail wouldn't show a lick of difference on many games.

Obviously their Marketing Department didn't listen to Engineering ... must have had a momentary lapse of reason ... unlike AMD who have a marketing department like this dork ( Stephen DiFranco) from AMD who is bereft of all reason whatsoever:

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/02/08/...

Jeez AMD ... how pathetic can you get ???


Intel's marketing has been much lamer. "Intel Inside" during the days of Netburst? Calling an errata plagued budget quad core a "Phenom" is AMD's equivalent to Intel's marketing. It's just as lame because a Phenom isn't phenomenal and having Intel Netburst inside meant losing performance.

His comments to the Inquirer are obviously intended as humor. What he's acknowledging is that Phenom and X2 processors end up on budget entry level and budget mainstream systems in big box stores where the buyer has no clue what's inside, but only wants it to be a decent home PC for e-mail, web surfing, light gaming and apps. He's also saying that the only advertising that gets them in the store is the need for a new PC, not the need for one brand over another.

Me, I'm a gamer, but I need to build several budget mainstream systems using some old parts every 2-3 years. That's why I have two Athlon X2's and one legacy P4 that I got from a friend. When I get reliable Phenom's then I'll retire the P4 630 on an X200 board and move the Athlon X2's and their motherboards into PC's upstairs. As I get new drives, I move the old drives to the older PC's and eventually put the older drives into external USB enclosures. Except for old drives, the oldest parts get donated to the Goodwill Computer store, where they also recycle via Dell.

AMD might be back in the K62 days vis a vis Intel, but they know their market segment and they're crazy as a fox. They learned from 4x4. Now it's Intel's time to learn, and to get mocked on enthusiast boards.

February 11, 2008 3:22:27 PM

snarfies1 said:
Well, actually, some of us still like to go back and play old games. I'm currently playing Morrowind (no, not Oblivion), for example. So yeah, it kinda does matter how older games perform.


We love Morrowind. Sometimes I think redwoodtreesprite loves Morrowind more than me, she spends so much time on the boards and modding for it. I actually went back and played Daggerfall the other weekend too.

I'd love to see a mix of half retro and half new games in any review. Of course, retro shouldn't include Daggerfall, or Might and Magic VI (which I also replayed recently) because Daggerfall usually needs Dosbox and even though you can do FRAPS on the old Might and Magics, they're capped in framerates.

While I'm waiting for the money to buy either an Antec Neo 650 or Antec TPQ 850 for the 3870x2 waiting by the PC for installation, I started playing KOTOR again with just the X1250 IGP. Can't wait to fire up The Witcher, but even when my new graphics card is set up, I'll still go back to old games; especially Morrowind.

People will still be modding Morrowind in 5 years, whereas Oblivion will be history. Oblivion looks good and is an enjoyable game, but it doesn't mod very well -- Bethsoft seems to have changed their minds about supporting modders between Morrowind and Oblivion, witness the DVD release of the Morrowind GOTY which doesn't make all the files available to modders. I think they've adopted the attitude that gamers only want what's recent and that games have the shelf life of a quart of milk.

Sorry about the change of topic, but old games are more relevant than Skulltrail!

rickzor said:
You see, i wasn't criticizing old games for the sake of they being old, but mostly because i would like to see some "new blood" in games and how they perform here in this particular plataform.
Just for the record, i play very often unreal tournament from 1999 and quake 3 arena.


My complaint isn't just about old games. It's how, for years, the only benchmarked games on hardware review sites were FPS. Then they started adding an occasional RTS or racing. It wasn't until Oblivion that an RPG got added, now Anandtech is using The Witcher as well.
February 11, 2008 4:00:20 PM

I have to say, my original excitement about this platform has faded into nothing.....

If one could have used any Intel quadcore chip...it would have been amazing.

As it is...the tech is just lacking, limiting, and expensive....

I'm working on an octocore rig right now...(xeon) and there's absolutely no reason to go the skulltrail route. I wanted to build an octocore system for my home, (gaming and a veritable render farm all by itself) but this just isn't the answer I was looking for

For the price of one of these...I can build 2 amazing Quadcore machines (one for me, one for my fiancee)...and use network distributed rendering.

btw...yeah she's gamer...that's just hot any way you slice it... :)  gotta hold on to this one.....sealin' the deal in just shy of two weeks now.
February 11, 2008 8:27:52 PM

yipsl said:
That is a hobby. It's not the highway. Buying Skulltrail to get the highest 3DMark CPU score is like buying a Ferrari to test it on some engineering testing rig at a factory. We can get an overall idea how real 8 core CPU's will do once they're needed in the world of desktop gaming, but that does not address the loss of performance of Skulltrail vis a vis Intel's own quad core offerings on good motherboards with good RAM.


With the proper effort, there is no slow down, The tuning, and the will to make it go fast was not the priority of TomsHardware, compare to the rest of the press, it is obvious.
The overclockers community is very excited about skulltrail, and this is what matter. This article will stay in records as "out of topic".
I got enough emails with the title "WTF" from famous overclockers to make me think I am right about this one. 8 cores at 4.0Ghz , with SLI enable can't be that bad, sorry, it is still on the top 2 for single threaded applications. :bounce: 

:pt1cable: 

Francois Piednoel
February 11, 2008 10:36:03 PM

WELLL EVERYONE..

This is not the final end all version of SkullTrial - ( Crap name by the way)

Its just the first version.. give it time to grow and mature .. unlike you all that DIS it like its an AMD failed CPU architecture POS
February 12, 2008 2:35:58 AM

rhysee said:
WELLL EVERYONE..

This is not the final end all version of SkullTrial - ( Crap name by the way)

Its just the first version.. give it time to grow and mature .. unlike you all that DIS it like its an AMD failed CPU architecture POS


AMD's architecture is not a failed POS. It should not have been introduced at 65nm. Supposedly, AMD could not copy Intel by putting two Brisbanes together into a non native quad core due to hypertransport issues. Still, AMD should have waited for 45nm. If they're going to be out in 3rd quarter, then they'll still be budget as they won't compete against Nehelem, but they'll be quite a bit less expensive and should compete against a price reduced Q6600 in both fps and energy savings.

Skulltrail is 4x4 all over again, but with a different brand. I'm sure 4x4 overclocked well, but it wasn't worth the cost to anyone who's main reason for owning a PC isn't overclocking bragging rights. Admittedly, that's a hobby in search of a professional league. Overclocking certainly gives new life to benchmarks like 3DMark.

I might be considered an AMD fanboy, because I only buy AMD for budget gaming, 3D graphics and modding; but there are several people on this thread very unhappy with Skulltrail who are in the Intel camp. By the time Skulltrail "matures" it will be made obsolete by Intel's own CPU's.

So, this is Intel vs. Intel, with the Intel engineers and marketing wonks behind Skulltrail in the losing camp.

Regarding names, both AMD and Intel should fire their marketing departments.

Phenom sounds like something a hollywood press agent came up with. Even if the CPU were phenomenal, Phenom just does not sound right.

Skulltrail sounds like a name Intel came up with because they think the only enthusiast gamers are 19 year old FPS addicts.
a c 122 à CPUs
February 12, 2008 2:53:32 AM

yipsl said:
We love Morrowind. Sometimes I think redwoodtreesprite loves Morrowind more than me, she spends so much time on the boards and modding for it. I actually went back and played Daggerfall the other weekend too.

I'd love to see a mix of half retro and half new games in any review. Of course, retro shouldn't include Daggerfall, or Might and Magic VI (which I also replayed recently) because Daggerfall usually needs Dosbox and even though you can do FRAPS on the old Might and Magics, they're capped in framerates.

While I'm waiting for the money to buy either an Antec Neo 650 or Antec TPQ 850 for the 3870x2 waiting by the PC for installation, I started playing KOTOR again with just the X1250 IGP. Can't wait to fire up The Witcher, but even when my new graphics card is set up, I'll still go back to old games; especially Morrowind.

People will still be modding Morrowind in 5 years, whereas Oblivion will be history. Oblivion looks good and is an enjoyable game, but it doesn't mod very well -- Bethsoft seems to have changed their minds about supporting modders between Morrowind and Oblivion, witness the DVD release of the Morrowind GOTY which doesn't make all the files available to modders. I think they've adopted the attitude that gamers only want what's recent and that games have the shelf life of a quart of milk.

Sorry about the change of topic, but old games are more relevant than Skulltrail!



My complaint isn't just about old games. It's how, for years, the only benchmarked games on hardware review sites were FPS. Then they started adding an occasional RTS or racing. It wasn't until Oblivion that an RPG got added, now Anandtech is using The Witcher as well.


I think we should have them bench Decent: Destination Saturn. Or hell the original Doom. I am sure you will get so many FPS that you wont know what to do. I played Decent: Destination Saturn on my P4 EE 3.4GHz and it moved so fast that I would tap the forward key and be at the end of the level. Ahh the good old days of unlimited FPS.
February 13, 2008 8:35:13 PM

Well, I can get 39 fps on KOTOR with the 690V IGP, so once my new PSU arrives by next Tuesday, then I'll set up the 3870x2 and see how many fps it gets. I'll benchmark Morrowind, Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna, and Fate too.

Then, I'll benchmark Oblivion and The Witcher. When I get Hellgate London and LOTR online (which has a DX10 patch) then that will be fun too. I plan to post a range of old and new CRPGs.

Plus, I'll see how HOMM III and IV benchmark, plus HOMM V and the stand alone Orc town sequel. I might not have time for World in Conflict and Supreme Commander till the summer, but those are benchmarked on virtually every site in addition to the FPS that I don't play.

Doom would work under Dosbox. LOL. I remember buying the demo on a 1.44" diskette and thinking it was fun, but not as fun as Castle Wolfenstein (the first person shooter version). I played the Call of Duty demo but didn't buy it. Shooting Nazis is fun in games, but shooters aren't my forte.

We need some new space games for Vista and DX10. I'll need to see what's out there. Anyone else miss the days of MOO and MOO II? what about Star Control 2 and 3? Homeworld was good too. I didn't give Pax Imperium a try, but I think the third one's out.

I can always give Ur Quan Masters a try to get a SCII benchmark! I was playing it the other week, but the ship combat controls were funky on that PC, so I kept losing to that chozzerai alien probe, even though I had no problems with the Ilwrath Avenger in the Sol system.
February 28, 2008 6:18:16 PM

Any chance of a comparison to Xeons?

Like the standard MacPro set-up? Photoshop, video encoding. (especially since its quite a popular set-up these days, and since im considering to buy it :D ) - note: not a fanboy but it seems cheap and with 3rd party ram it will do just fine, running Windows or OSX

Its a great list, anyone mind checking Xeons too?

Thanks :) 
July 16, 2008 11:08:02 PM

TechnologyCoordinator wrote :

Skulltrail = QuadFX

Quad FX = Failure

Therefore:

Skulltrail = Failure
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The equation started off wrong because Skulltrail doesn't = Quad FX. With only 4 cores, Quad FX actually equals one Intel or AMD Quad core. To make it Skulltrail vs Quad FX, you'd have to remove one of the Processors. Or you'd have to use two Dual Core Intel processors.
July 16, 2008 11:30:50 PM

Donnie27 said:
TechnologyCoordinator wrote :

Skulltrail = QuadFX

Quad FX = Failure

Therefore:

Skulltrail = Failure
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The equation started off wrong because Skulltrail doesn't = Quad FX. With only 4 cores, Quad FX actually equals one Intel or AMD Quad core. To make it Skulltrail vs Quad FX, you'd have to remove one of the Processors. Or you'd have to use two Dual Core Intel processors.



Skulltrail = Dual socket consumer desktop

Dual socket consumer desktop = QuadFX

QuadFX = Fail

Therefore Skulltrail = Skullfail


Read my lips: Dual Socket Consumer sucks.


Need the power of a server? BUY ONE.



I just don't think any product of this type, AMD or Intel, will ever widely sell.
a c 94 à CPUs
July 17, 2008 2:59:03 AM

There's nothing wrong with a smp desktop - - - I've been using them for years (going back to the P-Pro days). I've still got 3 or 4 of them around. My favorite rig is a 2 x 1GHz slot 1 P!!!s running Win2k (Nice Try 5.0). The great thing about them is the bloat-free OS (and the 160 SCSIs-lol).

That Skulltrail article was from February. I think all it shows is that workstations are workstations (and they don't make optimal bang-for-the-buck gaming rigs). The QuadFx monster was the same way.

And I think it got dropped for the most part because it was an nVidia chipset and AMD was ready to roll with the 790fx and Phenom.

I do think I saw on XS (or maybe 2cpu) that there is a hacked BIOS for it to run AMD quad socket F cpus. Some things are better just left alone :p 

It's good for AMD and Intel to make these monsters. Makes you better appreciate life in the low-budget lane ...
July 17, 2008 3:01:44 AM

Wisecracker said:
It's good for AMD and Intel to make these monsters. Makes you better appreciate life in the low-budget lane ...


I they're neat to look at and stuff, but do you think they'll actually sell enough to recoop the development costs? I think the cost of development was less for Intel (pure speculation), AMD seemed to put a lot into and it kind of fizzled out of existence in the same month it was released.
July 17, 2008 4:38:57 AM

I don't know why people critisie Skulltrail hardware, the hardware itself is fine, the fact that not alot of applications can benefit from it isn't Intel's fault. Should they stop there R&D just because the software industry hasn't caught up?
I have a QX9650@4.3Ghz and I often have to wait 12-15 minutes for a render, I leave my desk and do something else while that goes on. I don't do enough rendering to justify a Skulltrail setup but if I did I would get one. Only teenagers and professional porn downloaders baulk at the price, not long ago it wasn't abnormal to put a $10,000 workstation on a draftsman's desk, a skulltrail setup costs less than that.
I'd hate to see the development of dual socket mobo's slow down, because soon we'll have semi affordable 16 core workstations and with a bit of luck some packages that makes the most of it.
July 17, 2008 8:23:23 AM

what about a skulltrail 2.0 for nehalem? that'll be freaky, hopefully carmack's idtech5 and sweeneys ut4.0 will use all those cores wohooo.
July 17, 2008 2:28:10 PM

Not too many years ago the software industry was being weighed down by slow hardware, now they can almost do what they want. I think we are now at a conceptual bottleneck, I mean what new element in games can they incorporate to maximise 4,8,16 cores? Or CAD, what real benefits can they add to make drafting better and faster.

If software makers simply add garbage people won't be embracing new hardware or software in a rush, I think we'll be seeing an emergence of global application specific communitys dedicated to feature enhancing their given utility and in many cases completely rebuilding simply because the hardware will allow it.

I smell a revolution upwind.
July 17, 2008 3:11:36 PM

Quote:

TC
Skulltrail = Dual socket consumer desktop

Dual socket consumer desktop = QuadFX

QuadFX = Fail

Therefore Skulltrail = Skullfail


Read my lips: Dual Socket Consumer sucks.


Need the power of a server? BUY ONE.

I just don't think any product of this type, AMD or Intel, will ever widely sell.


Since you're not counting, read my lips. No one cares what you think, Skulltrail is selling and was NEVER meant to be high volume and sold to the broader markets. No wonder it doesn't make sense to ya'. This is a niche product that's dominating a niche market.

Dual socket consumer desktop with two Quad Cores totaling 8 Cores = Two Quad FX systems 4 Dual Cores to get the same amount of cores. Again, your equation is screwed up. If AMD were selling Current Barcelona Server boards modified with two Quad core X4s, then yes then you could say;

Quad FX with two X4 = Skulltrail, get it?

Quad FX = Fail because it stunk up the place. But at least you got one out of four right.

Therefore Skulltrail = Kick ass enough to be placed in MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2008.

Quad FX failed because it was slower than one so called non-Native Quad Core Core 2 Quad on ONE SOCKET BTW., Skulltrail is more versatile than a server. Its meant to go from Games to anything else. You can't Game a Server without the correct Video card support. This is a Server board modified for General use. Of course you should buy a server if that's what you need.

Quote:
wisecracker
There's nothing wrong with a smp desktop - - - I've been using them for years (going back to the P-Pro days). I've still got 3 or 4 of them around. My favorite rig is a 2 x 1GHz slot 1 P!!!s running Win2k (Nice Try 5.0). The great thing about them is the bloat-free OS (and the 160 SCSIs-lol).


Sure there's something wrong with it. It's not AMD's platform and processor :whistle: 
a c 122 à CPUs
July 17, 2008 5:20:08 PM

I love the newbies. They always talk big when they are new.

Ahh the good times.
July 17, 2008 5:38:10 PM

Donnie27 said:
Since you're not counting, read my lips. No one cares what you think, Skulltrail is selling and was NEVER meant to be high volume and sold to the broader markets. No wonder it doesn't make sense to ya'. This is a niche product that's dominating a niche market.

Dual socket consumer desktop with two Quad Cores totaling 8 Cores = Two Quad FX systems 4 Dual Cores to get the same amount of cores. Again, your equation is screwed up. If AMD were selling Current Barcelona Server boards modified with two Quad core X4s, then yes then you could say;

Quad FX with two X4 = Skulltrail, get it?

Quad FX = Fail because it stunk up the place. But at least you got one out of four right.

Therefore Skulltrail = Kick ass enough to be placed in MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2008.

Quad FX failed because it was slower than one so called non-Native Quad Core Core 2 Quad on ONE SOCKET BTW., Skulltrail is more versatile than a server. Its meant to go from Games to anything else. You can't Game a Server without the correct Video card support. This is a Server board modified for General use. Of course you should buy a server if that's what you need.

Quote:
wisecracker
There's nothing wrong with a smp desktop - - - I've been using them for years (going back to the P-Pro days). I've still got 3 or 4 of them around. My favorite rig is a 2 x 1GHz slot 1 P!!!s running Win2k (Nice Try 5.0). The great thing about them is the bloat-free OS (and the 160 SCSIs-lol).


Sure there's something wrong with it. It's not AMD's platform and processor :whistle: 



ROFL, I love this, now I'm arguing with someone why an Intel product sucks.



And how much does the average Dream Machine from Maximum PC cost? The last one I remember cost around $10,000.

PRICE FAIL.


Dual socket consumer is just impractical for most people. Yeah, Skulltrail is neato to look at, but as a product it fails, they won't make money off of it. I'm sure it great for the people that have the niche need.



PS - LOVE the hostility.
July 17, 2008 8:08:48 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I'm sure it great for the people that have the niche need.



TC, you AMD fanboy! :p 

Skulltrail platforms don't offer much improvement over a regular desktop in gaming, and for anything else then "people that have the niche need" should be running workstations anyways, not a desktop that's a workstation wannabe.
July 18, 2008 4:17:45 AM

Errrm......do we all really need the aggressive posts? We have different people here with different areas of expertise in different areas. There's nothing wrong with people expressing their ideas even if their not always accurate, isn't that why we all come here, to learn and to help. The skulltrailed has already been benched and anyone considering a similar system can think about the given benches and make their own judgement, for me it's a great rendering box I can't justify with the given amount of rendering I do. For others it may be an excellent choice and others not even a consideration. We all use computers to suit our own needs, so please remember that when you promote or condemm a platform.
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