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Intel Skulltrail Part 1: The Power of 8 Cores

Memory: Quad-Channel With FB-DImms

Four memory slots on the Skulltrail board

Since the D5400XS motherboard is equipped with the 5400 workstation chipset, which supports neither DDR2 nor DDR3 memory, the Skulltrail system can only be equipped with FB-DIMM modules. Fully buffered modules were originally developed for use in workstation and server systems and were never meant to find their way in desktop computers.

At their core, FB-DIMMs are a refined type of DDR2 memory that uses a serial data connection to the memory controller instead of a parallel one. This makes it completely incompatible with standard DDR2 and DDR3 memory.

Blue - DDR2-800 FB-DIMM Engineering samples (not in stores); Silver - DDR2-667 FB-DIMM

Compared to DDR2 and DDR3 memory, FB-DIMMs implement more error correction protocols. While this is positive for data integrity (think server environments, here), the downside is that they also cause a performance hit and cannot be turned off.

Even the temperatures of the FB-DIMM modules can be monitored.

  • white1widow
    I agree that the Skulltrail rig with two QX9775's is hands down the most incredible thing as of late. with a dual 9800gx2 SLI option its the gamers dream and could devour any game. As far as 8 core dual proc setups its the most powerful and obviously the most expensive. Being the most powerful means that everyone wants it and being the most expensive means that only the few, dedicated and rich enthusiast will have it... The rest of people who realize the power of a dual quad system will go Quad FX - the drasticaly cheaper route. I paid $600 for two FX72 at 2.8ghz and the quadfather motherboard. And I get incredible performance not far behind what skulltrail benchmarks indicate. I can multitask and an astounding level using XP64bit and a 5 drive raid + 4gb DDR2. So basically my point is this: Intel has created the most incredible rig (skulltrail), but nobody can afford it. thats not bringing power to the masses, its ripping folks off. That is why whenever Intel comes out with something awesome, I will always go and purchase the immensesly comparable AMD alternative at 1/4 the price. Dual FX72's is more than any nerd will ever need, if need be, I will simply upgrade to dual quad opterons and ECC memory.
  • xcorat
    So does anybody have a recommendation on a northbridge fan I can use?
    preferably easy to install?( I really hate to take the motherboard out on that monster.)
    I agree W1W, Performance and Value have to balance for most of us these days....