Intel officially releases Skulltrail, reveals pricing

— 5:14 PM on February 19, 2008

After first revealing the platform to us a few weeks ago, Intel has officially launched its Skulltrail dual-processor enthusiast platform. As part of the launch announcement and the rollout of the product into the market, Intel has replaced the Skulltrail code-name with the more official-sounding but much less cool "Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform" moniker.

This Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform combines the same two 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9775 processors and Intel Desktop Board D5400XS motherboard that we tested in our review. Each chip is launching with a suggested price of $1,499, while the motherboard is priced at $649. That's much more expensive than even the dual-socket motherboard that came out with AMD's Quad FX platform, although Intel's mobo is currently the only offering we know of to combine support for both AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI multi-GPU configurations.

In total, the two Core 2 Extreme processors and motherboard add up to $3,647. Toss in 4GB of FB-DIMMs, a pair of high-end graphics cards, and a power supply capable of handling it all, and you're immediately hovering near the $5,000 mark. Despite the outrageous price tag (not to mention the dubious performance advantages of throwing eight cores at today's games), Intel says a number of PC vendors including Armari, Boxx Tech, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Puget Systems, Scan, Velocity Micro, Vigor Gaming, Voodoo, and @Xi Computers all plan to offer Skulltrail-based machines between now and the middle of next month.

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