Intel Skulltrail 3: 8 vs 4 Core Performance

If you want to build a completely new system around the Skulltrail platform, you should be prepared to invest at least $5,500. Components for the Skulltrail system will be bundled with other parts or sold separately. They should be available in retail cha

Total Cost Of The Skulltrail SystemAt Least $5,500

According to Intel, pricing for the Core 2 Extreme QX9775 and the D5400XS Skulltrail motherboard has not yet been disclosed. Nonetheless, we have attempted to compile a list of parts and prices based on our experiences in order to gauge what kind of a price range we can expect Intel's hot-rod system to fall into.

The Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (socket 775), which is identical to the QX9775 in both feature-set and clock speed, currently costs around $1,650 apiece. This leads us to conclude that Intel will not set the price for QX9775 any lower than this.

High-end motherboards by MSI (MS HydroGenX38) or ASUS (P5E3 Premium WiFi-AP) based on Intel's X48 chipset cost around $400. Since Intel's D5400 XS Skulltrail board features a workstation chipset with two CPU sockets and an additional two Nvidia PCI-Express chips, we expect it to cost no less than $625.

Below is the (theoretical) price list with components that would typically be found in a system of this caliber.

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Price List for a Skulltrail System
2x Processor - Core 2 Extreme QX9775$3,300
Motherboard - Intel D5400XS$625
PSU - Enermax Galaxy DXX 1000W EPS12V$300
Graphics Card - Nvidia 8800 GTX$440
Memory - 4x 1 GB FB-DIMM 667 MHz$250
CPU Cooler - 2x Zalman CNPS9500 AT$90
Hard Drive - 2x WD 5000AAJS$240
DVD Burner - Samsung SH-S203D/RSMN$34
Total Cost:$5,554
  • I am a 3D artist so this MoBo will be in my next workstation anyway, but for extreme gamers this review completely missed the point and by more than a mile! First off, looking through all the benchmarks, the overclocked skull trails are top of the bunch in nearly every test, and sometimes way ahead of the others, and anyone that’s going to buy this MoBo is going to overclock! Secondly, I don’t think anyone is going to care about a little extra fan noise for this kind of power, and most likely extremist gamers and 3D pros will use liquid cooling on the CPU’s and Southbridge anyway. But the biggest point of all that toms hardware completely missed is that this MoBo is future proof! Within the next 2 years, 8 core single chips processors will be a reality from Intel and AMD and game developers are going to take full advantage of this I assure you! So in 2 years time when you people that decided to buy a single socket qx9770 system because of this review, and are looking at the benchmarks of people running 8 core systems on the latest games, you’ll probably be cursing toms hardware for this dumb review and feeling sick to the stomach that its upgrade time again, while the people that don’t believe everything toms hardware says is “the law“, and don’t have their heads firmly squeezed up toms dark and scary place, and that are capable of free thinking, will have a huge smile on their faces that their systems brought 2 years ago can still compete with the big boys and that they wisely spent those few extra $$$, £££ or €. I’m certainly not going to let a few games running ever so slightly slower in the now, putting me off buying a MoBo that will run the next gen of kick ass games 1 or 2 years from now. Dumb review toms Hardware dumb!
  • Intel BIOS release 1140 officially supports FSB overclocking and memory ratio overriding. FB-DIMM 800 sticks are also way cheaper now than 6 months ago and I guess they will score sky high with active cooling and low latencies. what about a new testing of the platform with a couple of X5272 to show how easily they cross 4GHz? As my point of criticism, this article should stress the price of the skulltrail is less than half of a single QX9770/QX9775 processor and building a 1P intel system with nvidia chipset can be way harder than this 2P offering.