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Intel D5400XS Motherboard, Continued

Intel Skulltrail Part 1: The Power of 8 Cores

Intel's board has the dimensions of a large workstation motherboard. Measuring 33 x 30.5 cm, it won't fit into every case, either. Buyers should make sure they have a case large enough to accommodate this bulky board.

The I/O panel of Intel's Skulltrail motherboard

The I/O shield offers only rather limited connectivity options. It lacks serial, parallel and PS/2 ports. There are, however, four USB jack, a Firewire connector and an eSATA port.

Taking a closer look at the board, we find it equipped with a Northbridge, a Southbridge and two PCI-Express port switchers. The Southbridge and the PCI-Express port switchers are covered by a large flat heatsink, which sports a very loud fan. Even when the board is installed in a case, the whistling and hissing of the fan is impossible to tune out.

For network connectivity, the board sports Intel's own 82573L Gigabit LAN chip, which is connected to the chipset via PCI-Express.

LAN chip
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