11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2009 7:01 AM by chiller1

    Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?

    FrD

      Is a successor to the Skulltrail platform* going to be released anytime soon?

       

      I am asking because last time I upgraded my workstation (and spent $$$$) I missed the release of the first Skulltrail, which would have been "just the thing" I wanted. Since I am thinking of upgrading my machine again, I would like to know if waiting a bit is worth it or not.

       

      Thank for you help.

       

      * By Skulltrail platform I mean a dual-processor motherboard with standard desktop features added.

        • 1. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
          bofors

          Skulltrail (Intel D5400XS) was a great board, but a failure in terms of sales.  AMD's "4x4" platform, which Skulltrail was developed to compete against. was also a failure.  In short, the market for "enthusiast" (overclockable) dual-socket boards is too small.  There has been and will be no successor to Skulltrail per se.

           

          EDIT: Umm... cough, cough.... with respect to a successor to Skulltrail... apparently I was wrong...

           

          However, it appears that you are merely looking for a dual socket 1366, workstation board from Intel.  These have been available for some time.  Try looking at the Intel S5520SC for example.

           

          Message was edited by: bofors New information about a possible "Skulltrail 2" came my way. 5.11.10

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          • 2. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
            FrD
            Skulltrail (Intel D5400XS) was a great board, but a failure in terms of sales.  AMD's "4x4" platform, which Skulltrail was developed to compete against. was also a failure.

             

            Considering the lack of marketing and the price, I am not surprised. If a bit more warning had been given, at least Intel would have had one more sale: mine!

             

            However, it appears that you are merely looking for a dual socket 1366, workstation board from Intel.  These have been available for some time.  Try looking at the Intel S5520SC for example.


            Have you used the S5520SC? Do you know if it can be cooled *quietly*? Late in 2007 (not knowing the Skulltrail was round the corner) I went for a dual-proc board in a workstation tower, and the results have been less than stellar (that is why I am looking for a new system; I have given up trying to cure the old one of its GPU-induced fever). The point of the Skulltrail was that, despite it being a server board under the hood (whose idea was to use FB-DIMM!?), it had all you would hope for a desktop board (SLI/CrossFire,...) and it worked as one.

             

            Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

            • 3. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
              bofors

              I have not personally used either the Skulltrail or S5520SC, but I am very familiar with the hardware scene.

               

              The S5520SC can certainly be cooled quietly or even silently (passively).  Here there is an advantage over the Skulltrail (socket 771), you can choose from all the socket 1366 solutions available for the mainstream Core i7 market.  For good quiet cooling with minimal hassle, I would recommend you consider the Noctua NH-U12P SE2.  Each comes with two premium, custom designed, quiet fans.

               

              However, if you require SLI/Crossfire support, you may have to stick with single socket motherboards.  I do not think the S5520C or any other dual socket 1366 boards support it.  On the other hand, this dual socket 1366 platform (aka "Gainestown") yielded a huge performance over even Skulltrail for many applications.  Likewise, the Core i7 line and socket 1366 Xeon processors feature hyperthreading (two virtual cores for each real one), which can itself yield a significant performance in some (media processing) applications (but hinder performance slightly in others).  So, a single socket system with 8 virtual cores may give you all the CPU power you need. 

               

              You should also be advised that Intel will release a new (but expensive) 6-core chip that will be marketed as the Core i9 (aka "Gulftown") early next year.  It is supposed to work with the DX58SO motherboard (which appears to no longer be in production), so you could consider buying a Core i7-1366 now and plan to upgrade to Core i9 later.  Otherwise, I am expecting Intel to release a new motherboard with Core i9 that could feature a new chipset (x68?).

               

              That should give a you a rough idea of what your options are.

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              • 4. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                FrD
                I have not personally used either the Skulltrail or S5520SC, but I am very familiar with the hardware scene.
                you can choose from all the socket 1366 solutions available for the mainstream Core i7 market.  For good quiet cooling with minimal hassle, I would recommend you consider the Noctua NH-U12P SE2.


                Wouldn't that be the NH-U12DX 1366 as it says in here?

                 

                Thanks for the info though.

                • 5. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                  FrD

                  By the way, bofors, have you seen this?

                   

                  I would have thought Intel would have come up with something better since April; that is why I am asking if there is something round the corner...

                  • 6. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                    bofors

                    FrD wrote:

                    Wouldn't that be the NH-U12DX 1366 as it says in here?

                     

                    Thanks for the info though.

                     

                    Thanks for pointing that out, I did not know Noctua made a special version of the NH-U12 for the Xeon 5500 series.

                     

                    I am still looking into this Xeon 5500 "reference backplate" issue, but suspect that the NH-U12P SE2 is compatible with any 1366 socket and think it might be a better choice because it comes with two premium fans (for "push/pull" configuration).

                    • 7. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                      bofors

                      FrD wrote:

                       

                      ... that is why I am asking if there is something round the corner...

                       

                      Immediately around the corner is continuation of the shift to the 32 nm manunfacturing process (finishing Intel's "tick" cycle, "Westmere") and 6 ("Gulftown") to 8 ("Beckton") core chips:

                      http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3648&p=1

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Westmere_(microarchitecture)#Westmere_.28microarchitecture.29

                       

                      Beyond that is the start of the Intel's "tock" cycle, which is a new micro-architecture called "Sandy Bridge":

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Sandy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)

                       

                      However, as far as dual processors platforms go, it will be tough to beat Nehalem-EP/Gainestown (Xeon 5500), which Intel release last spring.  It was major improvement.

                      • 8. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                        bofors

                        bofors wrote:

                         

                        There has been and will be no successor to Skulltrail per se.

                         

                         

                        Somebody just pointed this out to me:

                         

                        Exclusive: Intel "Skulltrail 2" is based upon 8-Core Nehalem-EX

                         

                        http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/6/7/exclusive-intel-skulltrail-2-is-based-upon-8-core-nehalem-ex.aspx

                         

                         

                        "There is a possibility of a product akin to a possible successor to the current Skulltrail,...."

                         

                         

                        So I guess I should never say never....  err wait a minute... LOL!

                        • 9. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                          chiller1

                          nehalem skulltrail is there, with xeon i7.

                           

                          But also a skulltrail with 2x Gulftown westmere on it, intel 5520 chipset.

                          • 10. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                            Nico

                            just for my interest: is a dual-cpu system still paying off these days, considering the price ?

                            • 11. Re: Will there be a successor to Skulltrail?
                              chiller1

                              i don't think so, i had skulltrail with two QX9775 on it, and now the tests with Gulftown is much faster in multitread apps.

                               

                              The i7 i9 setups are much faster en powerfull.