Motherboard - The Intel 5400 Northbridge
Since none of the current desktop chipsets supports two front-side buses and thus would be unable to handle two processor sockets, Intel had to use one of its workstation chipsets instead. Therefore, the Skulltrail motherboard is based on the 5400 chipset, code-named Seaburg.
The Intel 5400 Northbridge has been used for workstations for a while now and is currently the top-of-the-line model in this area. It offers support for a maximum default FSB speed of 400 MHz (1600QDR). Additionally, it supports FSB333 (1333QDR) and FSB266 (1066QDR). The clock speed for the Northbridge can be selected through a BIOS setting.
Compared t the X38 or X48 chipsets, the 5400 workstation Northbridge brings several advantages to the table. However, it also has some definite drawbacks.
There is neither a DDR2 nor a DDR3 memory interface integrated into the 5400 Northbridge. Instead, the only memory type that the 5400 Northbridge is able to use is FB-DIMM (Fully Buffered DIMM). While desktop chipsets currently work with a dual-channel memory interface, the workstation part uses a quad-channel interface. Production costs for this chipset are rather high, though, contributing to the high price of the Skulltrail motherboard.
Intel's 5400 Northbridge chip