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Written by Intel Corporation   
Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Intel Delivers 'Hard-Core' Eight-Core Platform for PC Performance Aficionados

'Skulltrail'-Based Desktop PCs Lead to 3-D, Hi-Definition Media and Gaming Bliss

GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE, San Francisco, Feb. 19, 2008 - For those who crave more performance than what four processing cores and a single graphics card can deliver today, Intel Corporation has introduced the Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform. Formerly codenamed "Skulltrail," this is one of the first enthusiast desktop platforms to support two Intel quad core processors for a total of eight processing engines and a choice of multi-card graphics solutions from either ATI* or NVIDIA*.

"When it comes to delivering innovation to the ultimate enthusiast, our new 8-core desktop platform is a winner," said Jeff McCrea, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Home Group. "The ground-breaking Intel Desktop Board D5400XS enables the flexibility to pair a variety of quad graphics solutions with two of our fastest desktop processors. The result is stunning PC performance."

The Intel Desktop Board D5400XS, when paired with two Intel CoreTM 2 Extreme QX9775 processors, forms the foundation of the Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform. Hardcore gamers will welcome the opportunity to enjoy multiple simultaneous graphics card solutions featuring either NVIDIA SLI* or ATI Crossfire* for today's latest graphics-intensive titles. And the performance of eight processing cores is especially welcomed by the 3-D animators, digital audio artists and high-definition video editors behind the coolest games here at the Game Developers Conference.

"For the team creating world-class games here at id, time is one of our most valuable assets," said Robert A. Duffy, Programming Director, id Software. "Having eight powerful Intel cores in a single machine helps our team create and test our latest titles at record speed. We have seen one of our most time-consuming asset generation processes cut from over 4 hours to under 20 minutes by utilizing all eight cores and threading the generation code. Long term this translates to better games on the market faster than previously possible."

As high-definition video becomes more prevalent than ever, encoding and editing is a task that more power users are looking to their PC to do for them. Such workloads are handled with ease by this new platform, and video developers such as DivX* are excited about the possibilities.

"By optimizing our codec to take advantage of these eight cores, we're seeing very impressive performance gains in our labs," said Jerome Vashisht-Rota, co-founder of DivX Inc. "Natively supporting eight core technology allows us to significantly accelerate codec performance for processor intensive applications like the encoding of high-definition video on the PC so that we can continue to offer our users the high-quality digital video experience they have come to expect."

Each Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9775 offers 12MB of L2 cache, a fast 1600 MHz system bus and four cores running at a brisk 3.2 GHz. When paired on the dual-socket Intel Desktop Board D5400XS, this platform breezes through modern benchmarks and advanced workloads. For experienced enthusiasts who desire more capability, the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor bus ratio locks (overspeed protection) have been removed**. This offers added technical flexibility in customizing the system so OEMs can unleash even more performance.

"This dual processor platform is the fastest desktop PC we've ever tested in our labs, reaching a score of 6481*** on 3DMark06* CPU and 20,160*** on Cinebench* 10 even while running at the standard 3.20 GHz frequency," says Shervin Kheradpir, director of Intel performance benchmarking.

Pricing and Availability

The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9775 is available now at an MSRP of $1,499 each. Estimated street pricing for the Intel Desktop Board D5400XS is $649. Platform components are sold separately. Several enthusiast PC manufacturers plan to offer systems based on this new platform starting today and over the next 30 days, including Armari*, Boxx Tech*, Digital Storm*, Falcon Northwest*, Maingear*, Puget Systems*, Scan*, Velocity Micro*, Vigor Gaming*, Voodoo*, @Xi Computers* and others.


 

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