Intel D5400XS Motherboard (Skulltrail) Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Applications 8.7
Gaming 8.8
Multimedia 8.8
Value 8.5
Distributor: Intel
Reviewer:
James Wright
Release date: Out Now

8.5


Intel D5400XS Motherboard
(Skulltrail)

Intel continue to be revolutionaries in the world of computers with their latest endeavour code named "Skulltrail" within the organisation which targets the gaming power user.

What sets the SKulltrail apart from its competitors and predecessors is the ability to operate eight processing cores on one system plus the addition of SLI, which gives the user two NVIDIA nForce 100 MCP chips, making this system ideally for high-end gameing.

Intel® Desktop Board D5400XS and two Intel® Core™2 Extreme processors QX9775, provide the backbone for this exciting new platform¹.

The ground-breaking Intel® Desktop Board D5400XS is the first dual CPU socket desktop board from Intel. With dual CPU capability that provides up to 8 core processing, it delivers performance for advanced digital media creation and an intense visual gaming experience.

  • Supports** both NVIDIA SLI Technology* and ATI CrossFireX Technology* -- up to 4 graphics cards on 4 PCI Express* slots for intense visual experience

  • Supports up to 8GB FBDIMM 800 Memory

  • Supports Dolby* Home Theater 7.1ch certified audio

Incredible eight-core gaming performance when fueled by two Intel® Core™2 Extreme processors QX9775. Each featuring:

  • Up to 12 MB of cache, 1600 MHz FSB, and 3.2 GHz clock to handle massive data throughput

  • Hafnium-infused circuitry drives innovative processor design, enabling greater performance and efficiency

  • Overspeed protection removed allowing you to tune your system for maximum performance²

In laymen's terms, the Skulltrail has two CPU sockets and four graphic cards slots which is easily one of the most powerful computer configurations available to the market.

It doesn't end their, Intel have also upped the memory ante of the motherboard, allowing for up to 16GB of DDR2 800Mhz memory. Intel also supplied two QX9775 CPU's plus 2GB of RAM to review this beast and once this was installed on our review machine, the experience was truly phenomenal. Although I'm not sure where the term "Skulltrail" comes into the picture!

So what exactly is the Skulltrail? It's basically an Intel D5400XS motherboard that is based on Intel's 5400 chipset and considering the amount of power this has, the motherboard is also quite large.

The motherboard boasts two LGA 771 CPU sockets which allows for a variety of different CPU's which can be connected. Needless to say, all this power does come at a price and the cooling fan design on the board is quite revolutionary. The board is also quite power hungry and you will need a large case and a "powerful" power supply to run these beast successfully.

Specifications and features

The Intel® Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform-based PCs deliver performance for the latest generation of multi-threaded digital media applications. Blast through rendering media and compiling code. Ideal for multitasking – running processor intensive applications, like encoding, while working on other applications.

Sound? Whoa! D5400XS features true 7.1 channel analog audio and even a digital optical out port for that true sound experience. The board supports a Intel 82537L Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, 2 IEEE1394 ports, 10 USB ports (6 backplane, 4 via USB headers), 2 eSATA ports, 1 ATA-133 port,, 6 SATA ports (6321ESB I/O Controller Hub), 5 mini-headphone jacks (IDT Stac9274D audio codec), and 1 optical out port, giving users access to all the latest peripherals and add-ons.

We tested the Skulltrail with a variety of applications with Windows Vista 64 bit that include Office, Adobe Photoshop and 3DMark (6382 score). Needless to say, the Skulltrail was lightning fast and the only thing holding the system back was our Seagate hard drive. Games also performed remarkably well on this system which included Crysis, NBA 08 and Unreal Tournament 3.

In conclusion, the Skulltrail from Intel is one of the most powerful gaming machines available, however the only drawback of the system is that more software companies really needs to support this system.

For some users, the Skulltrail will definitely be too expensive, however for those who are gaming aficionados, this may be one system to really consider.

It performs well against existing systems and also outperforms some of these systems but as more and more developers start taking advantage of this system, the face of gaming may be changed yet again.






 
 



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