Skulltrail and X48 . . .w00t

rodsfree

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I am using 780i in a build as well as SkullTrail. I like Nvidia and Intel. I have had 680i rigs and had a good experience with them up to now. I also have a dual Bone Trail 1 build and love it as well (the server for my business). I realize people have beefs with both companies . .I do not want to get involved in flaming companies. Nvidia and Intel have both made large contributions to our community . . .and nothing is ever perfect. I just want to use products that work and work well.

I agree completely - but I'm an engineer. I have to get called to the carpet and told when I screw up and after a few times of that you don't have a lot of sympathy for someone else getting the same treatment. So, you learn to be brutally honest about stuff like that.

Nvidia failed as far as the 680i was concerned.

It should have never been released into production.

Now, we have the 780i, which nVidia even admits is just an increment update to the 680i. And hopefully corrects all of it's predecessors flaws. And I mean that - I'm using an Nvidia chipset board, nF4, right now. It's been great for a long time. I actually want to be able to pick and choose between chipsets and stuff like that.

But it makes me wonder. How can Nvidia not even really acknowledge that they screwed up? They've just kept blithely walking down the same path. They haven't even released a minor revision to the offending chipset. They could have at least have stated that they knew about the problems and released a 680iR2 or something similar. They haven't even slightly altered the designation of the new Tri-SLi 680i chipset, and I don't think it's exactly the same as the original 680i.

I guess that's my personal problem with Nvidia. I know mistakes happen in design and manufacturing. As a business you owe it to your customers to admit to your mistakes, try to fix the issues that you've caused, apologize and move on with something better. And Nvidia hasn't done this.

I love their graphics cards, using a BFG 7900 GTX OC right now, but because of the way they have handled their chipset issues. I will probably be purchasing an ATi card for my next upgrade. I, personally, feel like they have let me down to the point that I can't trust them to deliver a product that I can trust.

So, I'm not trying to flame nVidia. I really wish that they could do better. But I am extremely disappointed in them.

Sorry for the thread jack. And I really hope for the success of the SkullTrail. It could just be my next motherboard.
 

Dan_D

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They haven't even slightly altered the designation of the new Tri-SLi 680i chipset, and I don't think it's exactly the same as the original 680i.

What are you talking about? The 680i SLI hasn't ever changed and it has always been capable of supporting 3-Way SLI.

I'm running 3-Way SLI right now on a first run ASUS Striker Extrem 680i SLI board.
 

AaronP

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Yeah we're working with some skull trails at work, we've been working with early samples for a while and we've seen VAST improvements over the ES revisions. Also Intel pays $100 for each NVIDIA chip on that motherboard and there are 2 NVIDIA chips on it, so don't expect that motherboard to get remotely cheap in the near future.
 

rodsfree

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What are you talking about? The 680i SLI hasn't ever changed and it has always been capable of supporting 3-Way SLI.

I'm running 3-Way SLI right now on a first run ASUS Striker Extrem 680i SLI board.

Then I'm very wrong. But as a Marketing guy once said to me - "What's it capable of? I don't care if it can do it or not I just need to be able to sell it to people."

So, why hasn't Tri-SLi been a selling point for all of the 680i motherboards ever made?

Just wondering. I'm not as in touch with the industry as you. I'm in Aerospace Manufacturing not computer hardware. But marketing guys are universal.;)
 

rodsfree

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Yeah we're working with some skull trails at work, we've been working with early samples for a while and we've seen VAST improvements over the ES revisions. Also Intel pays $100 for each NVIDIA chip on that motherboard and there are 2 NVIDIA chips on it, so don't expect that motherboard to get remotely cheap in the near future.

I would say that covers the cost of licenseing Sli, per motherboard, very well.

I guess that I'll just have to start drinking less and saving more.:(
 

APOLLO

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Yeah we're working with some skull trails at work, we've been working with early samples for a while and we've seen VAST improvements over the ES revisions. Also Intel pays $100 for each NVIDIA chip on that motherboard and there are 2 NVIDIA chips on it, so don't expect that motherboard to get remotely cheap in the near future.
Ahh, so my $600 estimation wasn't too far off the mark then?
 

DarthBeavis

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I am trying to figure out how to power 4 8800 GTXs . . .the case case 13 fans, a phase change unit, build in touch screen monitor . . .and the mobo will push dual Xeons . . .currently have a 1k PC Power and Cooling . . .thinking I need more beef
 

APOLLO

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I am trying to figure out how to power 4 8800 GTXs . . .the case case 13 fans, a phase change unit, build in touch screen monitor . . .and the mobo will push dual Xeons . . .currently have a 1k PC Power and Cooling . . .thinking I need more beef
Try a 1200W PCP&C PSU if you can get a hold of one. Alternatively, you can rig two PSUs together for very good power. One will power the motherboard and some peripherals like HD, while the other one will power only the video cards. Also, does your PSU have the required dual 8-pin 12V EPS connectors?
 

rodsfree

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Ahh, so my $600 estimation wasn't too far off the mark then?

I think that you are a little low. :(

$200.00 for the Nvidia chips and $500-$700 range for a good dual processor motherboard, then factor in a premium for the Intel name and the fact that it'll be the only motherboard that can do CrossfireX or SLi.

I'm feeling a Grand here - easy.

Makes spending the $3000.00 for the QX9775's seem easier, doesn't it.
 

AaronP

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I am trying to figure out how to power 4 8800 GTXs . . .the case case 13 fans, a phase change unit, build in touch screen monitor . . .and the mobo will push dual Xeons . . .currently have a 1k PC Power and Cooling . . .thinking I need more beef

You'll need to use 2 PSU's, with the in lab testing we've done with similar configs it floors a 1000W unless it got help from a 2nd PSU.
 

MrWizard6600

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sorry im sure my issues have been posted before me and I havnt read all the pages... but intel... what have you done?

regarding X48:
no standard pci-e 1x slots, no onboard led indicator (as far as I can see), only 5/7 slots used, liquid caps on v-reg for cpu, and still 8X, 8X, 4X (im guessing) crossfire?

No thank you. Ill stick with my hot nasty 680i board. +1 for pushing E-sata, its a good technology, but I doubt it'l ever catch on, meaning this could very well become another negative :\

edit: and dan, since you're here and were on the topic of compairing to 680i (why shouldn't we), have you tinkered with the DFI 680i (LT but feature filled) board?
 

rodsfree

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I am trying to figure out how to power 4 8800 GTXs . . .the case case 13 fans, a phase change unit, build in touch screen monitor . . .and the mobo will push dual Xeons . . .currently have a 1k PC Power and Cooling . . .thinking I need more beef

4 - 8800GTX's!!!!!

Nobody said anything about that!
I thought Tri-SLi was it???

And I agree with APOLLO about the second PSU. As long as you have the same ground it shouldn't hurt. I'd just run everything that directly connects to the motherboard off of one PSU and all of the harddrives, DVD's, Fans, etc off of the other. Fans and drives are cheaper than a SkullTrall and 4 - 8800GTX's. Just my 0.02
 

DarthBeavis

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4 - 8800GTX's!!!!!

Nobody said anything about that!
I thought Tri-SLi was it???

And I agree with APOLLO about the second PSU. As long as you have the same ground it shouldn't hurt. I'd just run everything that directly connects to the motherboard off of one PSU and all of the harddrives, DVD's, Fans, etc off of the other. Fans and drives are cheaper than a SkullTrall and 4 - 8800GTX's. Just my 0.02

Dunno about quad I just have read here and there:
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/10/16/intel_skulltrail_gets_quad_sli/

Nvidia will be bringing Quad SLI to Intel's upcoming 'Skulltrail' eight-core gaming platform - at least, that's what the chip giant is telling companies it hopes will be selling the new motherboard.

Skulltrail will go on sale in Q1 2008 as the Intel D5400XS motherboard based on the company's as-yet-unlaunched 5400 workstation chipset, a leaked Intel presentation slide posted on Chinese-language site HKEPC reveals. Currently, Intel's top-of-the-line workstation chipset is the 5000X, which, like the 5400, supports up two CPUs. The 5400 primarily adds support for a 1600MHz frontside bus (FSB) frequency.

The D5400XS is designed to take two quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX9775 chips, which are expected to operate on said 1600MHz FSB, contain 12MB of L2 cache each and be initially clocked at 3.2GHz.

We say 'initially', because the chip has no overclocking limits - "overspeed protection removed", is how Intel puts it.


The slide confirms the D5400XS features four PCI Express slots for "quad graphics support", which Intel later specifies as "Nvidia Quad SLI support".

Intel demo'd Skulltrail running Quad SLI at this past September's Intel Developer Forum. At the time, it said Quad SLI support in the shipping product would depend entirely on Nvidia making the drivers available to buyers. Intel's slide suggests the GPU maker has decided to do just that.

Will that be enough to tempt buyers? Intel's slide doesn't indicate D5400XS pricing, but with the QX9775 expected to cost $1499 and the board taking pricey 800MHz FB-DIMM server memory - up to 8GB of it - complete systems are going to cost a pretty penny.

Skulltrail is die to go on sale late Q4 or early Q1 2008, Smith said. He said it did two-GPU SLI in the demo and that he hoped it will go quad-SLI in the future. But that depends on Nvidia enabling it in the driver software, he added.
 

Dan_D

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Then I'm very wrong. But as a Marketing guy once said to me - "What's it capable of? I don't care if it can do it or not I just need to be able to sell it to people."

So, why hasn't Tri-SLi been a selling point for all of the 680i motherboards ever made?

Just wondering. I'm not as in touch with the industry as you. I'm in Aerospace Manufacturing not computer hardware. But marketing guys are universal.;)

Well they didn't market 680i SLI motherboards for 3-Way SLI as 3-Way SLI was just released a couple weeks ago. More to the point, the hardware has existed for over a year, but only recently has the software been available to do it. As far as I am concerned it is a software update adding new functionality ot older hardware.

4 - 8800GTX's!!!!!

Nobody said anything about that!
I thought Tri-SLi was it???

Interestingly enough, I was looking around in the NVIDIA control panel, and I found rendering modes for 4-Way SLI. So who knows, with future motherboards it may be possible to run 4 8800GTX in the future provided the proper SLI bridge configuration becomes availabe. Either that or it will be meant for 7950GX2 style cards.
 

DarthBeavis

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well i have to order the CPUS for the Skulltrail. Guess what I found on my doorstep when I got home today:
dsc00187ga5.jpg


Guess I will pop it in Hellmouth tomorrow with TRI SLI 8800GTXs and a QX9650 . . .the proc under phase change and see what happens . . .
 

rodsfree

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well i have to order the CPUS for the Skulltrail. Guess what I found on my doorstep when I got home today:
dsc00187ga5.jpg


Guess I will pop it in Hellmouth tomorrow with TRI SLI 8800GTXs and a QX9650 . . .the proc under phase change and see what happens . . .


I am so envious of you.:p:p
 

rodsfree

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Well they didn't market 680i SLI motherboards for 3-Way SLI as 3-Way SLI was just released a couple weeks ago. More to the point, the hardware has existed for over a year, but only recently has the software been available to do it. As far as I am concerned it is a software update adding new functionality ot older hardware.



Interestingly enough, I was looking around in the NVIDIA control panel, and I found rendering modes for 4-Way SLI. So who knows, with future motherboards it may be possible to run 4 8800GTX in the future provided the proper SLI bridge configuration becomes availabe. Either that or it will be meant for 7950GX2 style cards.

So it's like the purloined letter - hidden in plain sight???
 
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I am very interested in skulltrail, these will use the xenon chips right, and I am am not sure if this has been mentioned, but how is the overclocking on the boards? Wow, more than a 1KW PSU and 1000$ for the board, I could of sworn that a lot of people ragged on AMDs 4x4 for the 500$+ motherboard and the power consumption. I really do not care, but what I do care to see which is a better platform for dual socket solutions, price, performance, and power.
 

Dan_D

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I am very interested in skulltrail, these will use the xenon chips right, and I am am not sure if this has been mentioned, but how is the overclocking on the boards? Wow, more than a 1KW PSU and 1000$ for the board, I could of sworn that a lot of people ragged on AMDs 4x4 for the 500$+ motherboard and the power consumption. I really do not care, but what I do care to see which is a better platform for dual socket solutions, price, performance, and power.

It will use "Xeon" processors. BTW motherboards of that type are typically incapable of overclocking through BIOS and most software methods. They are designed for maximum stability and are designed to leverage higher end hardware.

The board won't be $1000. I'd say $650 tops.
 

APOLLO

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I am very interested in skulltrail, these will use the xenon chips right, and I am am not sure if this has been mentioned, but how is the overclocking on the boards? Wow, more than a 1KW PSU and 1000$ for the board, I could of sworn that a lot of people ragged on AMDs 4x4 for the 500$+ motherboard and the power consumption. I really do not care, but what I do care to see which is a better platform for dual socket solutions, price, performance, and power.
AMD's attempt to offer a true enthusiast dual socket platform without the need for registered memory was a small step in the right direction. Not since the BP6 was their such an attempt made at an enthusiast platform with a multi-socket architecture. The problem with 4x4 lies in the fact that we had only one motherboard manufacturer, Asus, to choose from, and the likely possibility that there will be no future processor support. Even Barcelona support is in doubt. I haven't read anyone with a 4x4 board and Barcelona processors post of their successes, but read many posts about the lack of motherboard compatibility. I think it's future is up in the air.

In any case, Intel's foray into this nascent market will also conclude in failure but for a different reason, price. No one but the wealthiest, most extreme kind of enthusiast will ever think of purchasing a $1000 motherboard and several thousand dollars worth in processors including the memory to go with said board. It is inconceivable to me, and I only purchase server-grade equipment for my personal use. I know all too well what is involved with this level of equipment.

To reiterate what I posted earlier, which IMNSHO cannot be overemphasized, for the same or similar cost I can configure and build a quad socket system based on AMD Opterons with a future upgrade path towards a 32-core monster. These boards cost in the neighborhood of $700 and the minimum required PSU specifications are approximately the same as Skulltrail. Who in their right mind would purchase Skulltrail? I just don't see it happening and strongly believe it is solely a symbolic product purely for the reason of engaging in oneupmanship. Nothing more.

For those who will argue that Skulltrail is a gaming enthusiast platform and not a workstation/server platform, I will have to respectfully disagree. As soon as one ventures into the realm of multisockets, one instantly makes themselves a competitor with any other DP product that boasts similar specs, including other Intel-based workstation or server class products, a half dozen of which I can think of from the top of my head costing half the price or less. Price is everything in this market.
 

Dan_D

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AMD's attempt to offer a true enthusiast dual socket platform without the need for registered memory was a small step in the right direction. Not since the BP6 was their such an attempt made at an enthusiast platform with a multi-socket architecture.

Incorrect. ASUS has at least one dual Xeon board using the i875P chipset that did not require the use of registered or ECC modules. It was very popular to place lower end Xeons on them and overclock the crap out of them.

The problem with 4x4 lies in the fact that we had only one motherboard manufacturer, Asus, to choose from, and the likely possibility that there will be no future processor support. Even Barcelona support is in doubt. I haven't read anyone with a 4x4 board and Barcelona processors post of their successes, but read many posts about the lack of motherboard compatibility. I think it's future is up in the air.

Anyone who invested in that seems to have gotten fucked.

In any case, Intel's foray into this nascent market will also conclude in failure but for a different reason, price. No one but the wealthiest, most extreme kind of enthusiast will ever think of purchasing a $1000 motherboard and several thousand dollars worth in processors including the memory to go with said board. It is inconceivable to me, and I only purchase server-grade equipment for my personal use. I know all too well what is involved with this level of equipment.

Where the hell are people getting that the board will be $1,000? As for the rest I agree with you. I know all too well what that type of equipment in the home entails. Both in cost and everything else.

To reiterate what I posted earlier, which IMNSHO cannot be overemphasized, for the same or similar cost I can configure and build a quad socket system based on AMD Opterons with a future upgrade path towards a 32-core monster. These boards cost in the neighborhood of $700 and the minimum required PSU specifications are approximately the same as Skulltrail. Who in their right mind would purchase Skulltrail? I just don't see it happening and strongly believe it is solely a symbolic product purely for the reason of engaging in oneupmanship. Nothing more.

Without having priced out anything like that in the last year, I'll ignore this part of your post.

For those who will argue that Skulltrail is a gaming enthusiast platform and not a workstation/server platform, I will have to respectfully disagree. As soon as one ventures into the realm of multisockets, one instantly makes themselves a competitor with any other DP product that boasts similar specs, including other Intel-based workstation or server class products, a half dozen of which I can think of from the top of my head costing half the price or less. Price is everything in this market.

I agree. However the Skulltrail does bring one thing to the table most other solutions don't. That's SLI support.
 

APOLLO

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Hi Dan.

Incorrect. ASUS has at least one dual Xeon board using the i875P chipset that did not require the use of registered or ECC modules. It was very popular to place lower end Xeons on them and overclock the crap out of them.
OK, it's very possible there exists such a board but it was hitherto unknown to me. Thanks for the heads up.

Anyone who invested in that seems to have gotten fucked.
It's unfortunate, but true indeed.

Where the hell are people getting that the board will be $1,000? As for the rest I agree with you. I know all too well what that type of equipment in the home entails. Both in cost and everything else.
It seems to be the prevalent rumor of late, but admittedly unconfirmed. Yes, it remains extremely unlikely since it would be dead in the water as far as market viability is concerned

Without having priced out anything like that in the last year, I'll ignore this part of your post.
I can get a quad for about $720 including shipping.

I agree. However the Skulltrail does bring one thing to the table most other solutions don't. That's SLI support.
There are DP motherboards with SLI support but the vast majority TMK are Opteron. Thus, I would also agree here that an Intel-based multisocket SLI solution will likely be Skulltrail's biggest draw.

It will use "Xeon" processors. BTW motherboards of that type are typically incapable of overclocking through BIOS and most software methods. They are designed for maximum stability and are designed to leverage higher end hardware.
There is one PLL chip used as a component in dual socket-771 Xeon motherboards that is supported by software OC, the ICS93S401 chip. Moreover, one can employ the tape mod over the BSEL 2 pin to OC 1066MHz FSB Xeons into 1333MHz FSB processors. I have performed both modification methods on two of my systems.

The board won't be $1000. I'd say $650 tops.
I ceertainly hope you're right. :)
 

rodsfree

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Incorrect. ASUS has at least one dual Xeon board using the i875P chipset that did not require the use of registered or ECC modules. It was very popular to place lower end Xeons on them and overclock the crap out of them.

I got an Asus PC-DL Deluxe with 2 X 1.6GHz Xeon LV's running at 3.0 GHz sitting right beside me! :D
And I love it. It runs cooler and quiter than anyother system I've ever owned.
 

0ptional

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I got an Asus PC-DL Deluxe with 2 X 1.6GHz Xeon LV's running at 3.0 GHz sitting right beside me! :D
And I love it. It runs cooler and quiter than anyother system I've ever owned.

Yeah. I sold my dual xeon 2.4 machine based off that mobo not too long ago and I miss it...
 

Dan_D

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I got an Asus PC-DL Deluxe with 2 X 1.6GHz Xeon LV's running at 3.0 GHz sitting right beside me! :D
And I love it. It runs cooler and quiter than anyother system I've ever owned.

Thanks, I couldn't remember the model number and I didn't feel like researching it.
 

APOLLO

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I got an Asus PC-DL Deluxe with 2 X 1.6GHz Xeon LV's running at 3.0 GHz sitting right beside me! :D
And I love it. It runs cooler and quiter than anyother system I've ever owned.
My background knowledge focuses heavily on AMD server hardware, which is what I have been using primarily since 2001. I only built my first Xeon system last month, and my second one barely a week ago. Therefore, I hadn't known about the Asus PC-DL's capabilities even though I had heard of that board before. Furthermore, my experience is exclusively Tyan and Supermicro. The last time I purchased an Asus motherboard was in the late 90s. It's good to know there is some enthusiast-oriented Xeon hardware already available.
 

rodsfree

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My background knowledge focuses heavily on AMD server hardware, which is what I have been using primarily since 2001. I only built my first Xeon system last month, and my second one barely a week ago. Therefore, I hadn't known about the Asus PC-DL's capabilities even though I had heard of that board before. Furthermore, my experience is exclusively Tyan and Supermicro. The last time I purchased an Asus motherboard was in the late 90s. It's good to know there is some enthusiast-oriented Xeon hardware already available.

If you got to www.2cpu.com - you'll find a complete forum dedicated to dual processor enthusiast.

The 1.6GHz LV xeon is the only CPU to get a 100% overclock on air cooling with factory HSFs. And then only in special steppings. I've bought 4 of them - one pair got to 2.8 and the second hit 3.2 and run as cool as the other side of the pillow.

There is another Asus board that can be used to OC the LV's. It has PCI-X slots instead of AGP + PCI - more workstation oriented.

But the OC is all Hardware - you have to move jumpers around to designate the FSB and you have to do a Volt Mod.
 

APOLLO

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If you got to www.2cpu.com - you'll find a complete forum dedicated to dual processor enthusiast.

The 1.6GHz LV xeon is the only CPU to get a 100% overclock on air cooling with factory HSFs. And then only in special steppings. I've bought 4 of them - one pair got to 2.8 and the second hit 3.2 and run as cool as the other side of the pillow.

There is another Asus board that can be used to OC the LV's. It has PCI-X slots instead of AGP + PCI - more workstation oriented.

But the OC is all Hardware - you have to move jumpers around to designate the FSB and you have to do a Volt Mod.
Thanks for the info. Actually, I'm already a member of 2CPU.com but never looked into Xeon hardware until very recently as mentioned earlier. I have heard of your board before, I just never knew how well it OC. As far as the 1.6GHz LV Xeons are concerned, are they socket-771 quadcores? ATM, I'm only interested in quadcore Xeons. In one system, I have two E5310 1.6GHz Xeons@2.5GHz (416Mhz FSB).
 

DarthBeavis

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Running baseline benches at stock now . . .only issue is my proc is at -30 where QX6700 was at -42 . . .mightn ot have good seat
 

rodsfree

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Thanks for the info. Actually, I'm already a member of 2CPU.com but never looked into Xeon hardware until very recently as mentioned earlier. I have heard of your board before, I just never knew how well it OC. As far as the 1.6GHz LV Xeons are concerned, are they socket-771 quadcores? ATM, I'm only interested in quadcore Xeons. In one system, I have two E5310 1.6GHz Xeons@2.5GHz (416Mhz FSB).

They are OLD Tech - single core 32bit - socket 603/604.
These I've got were intended for the the mobile workstation environment - that never happened. Look closely at your newer procs.... if they only require 1.5-1.8volts at the cpu then you might have LV2s.
 

Ockie

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I'm guessing a price of $758, thats about the right price for a board like that. Most server boards are in the 500-1000 range, this board has something most server boards don't.... a mass following of cult like gamers with huge pockets.

And like that other guy said, spending this much on a board, makes $3000 on processors much easier to swallow. :D
 

theDreamer

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Sorry if it was mentioned already, but reading through the thread quickly I did not see it mentioned. What exactly will each board handle, will the "SkillTrail" take non-Xeon quad cores, will the 780i work on older quad core (Q6600)?

Thanks, trying to learn about these new boards and if they maybe worthwhile to pick up for some new system builds I am thinking about in the mid/late spring, and what they will take to perform at their best.
 

rodsfree

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Sorry if it was mentioned already, but reading through the thread quickly I did not see it mentioned. What exactly will each board handle, will the "SkillTrail" take non-Xeon quad cores, will the 780i work on older quad core (Q6600)?

Thanks, trying to learn about these new boards and if they maybe worthwhile to pick up for some new system builds I am thinking about in the mid/late spring, and what they will take to perform at their best.


The SkullTrail will take latter socket 771 (1600MHz FSB) cpu's and the 780i will probably accept anything that is in a socket 775 package. The BoneTrail will take the socket 775 CPU's also, but no SLi.
 

rodsfree

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I'm guessing a price of $758, thats about the right price for a board like that. Most server boards are in the 500-1000 range, this board has something most server boards don't.... a mass following of cult like gamers with huge pockets.

And like that other guy said, spending this much on a board, makes $3000 on processors much easier to swallow. :D

Not being very specific are we Ockie?????

We need to start a pool on the actual release price!!!

And I'm the one that said it makes the QX9775 at $1499.00 each easier to swallow.

And if I can find the cash - I'll have one!:D
 
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