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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.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 ATI1 or NVIDIA1.

“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 SLI1 or ATI Crossfire1 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 DivX1 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 removed2. 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 64813 on 3DMark061 CPU and 20,1603 on Cinebench1 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 Armari1, Boxx Tech1, Digital Storm1, Falcon Northwest1, Maingear1, Puget Systems1, Scan1, Velocity Micro1, Vigor Gaming1, Voodoo1, @Xi Computers1 and others.

Intel Game Demo Contest Enters its Third Year

On Feb. 15, Intel launched the third Intel® Game Demo Contest to showcase the latest creations from professional, aspiring and student game developers. The games will be judged in three categories: best threaded quad-core game, best game-on-the-go and best game on Intel integrated graphics.

The contest will award prizes valued at more than $100,000 in cash, tools and services, including a marketing support kit worth more than $20,000 to help jumpstart the success of the winning games. The contest also offers exposure to key game developer communities and software distribution opportunities. Visit www.intel.com/software/gamecontest for official rules and full details.

Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.

1 Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

2 Altering clock frequency and/or voltage may (i) reduce system stability and useful life of the system and processor; (ii) cause the processor and other system components to fail; (iii) cause reductions in system performance; (iv) cause additional damage; and (v) affect system data integrity. Intel has not tested, and does not warranty, the operation of the processor beyond its specifications.

3 Source: Intel. Configuration: Dual Intel® CoreTM 2 Extreme QX9775 (3.20GHz, 12MB L2 cache, 1600MHz FSB) on Intel Desktop D5400XS board. 2×2GB Dual Channel Micron1 FBDIMM DDR2-800 5-5-5-15, 3x ATI Radeon1 HD 3870 Graphics Card in Crossfire1 Mode, Pre-production ATI1 driver 8.47, Seagate1 320GB Barracuda1 NCQ Serial ATA 7200 RPM, Windows1 Vista1 Ultimate 32bit. Performance tests and ratings are measured using specific computer systems and/or components and reflect the approximate performance of Intel products as measured by those tests. Any difference in system hardware or software design or configuration may affect actual performance. Buyers should consult other sources of information to evaluate the performance of systems or components they are considering purchasing. For more information on performance tests and on the performance of Intel products, visit www.intel.com/performance/.

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Posted by: cnc137
Date: February 21, 2008

Categories: PC News, PC, News

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