This system is the dream of every hardcore performance enthusiast : eight Penryn-based Xeon processors, each running at 4 GHz. Add to that 4 graphics units (GPU-SLI setup) and you’ve got Intel’s monster PC. The components reside in a case with a prominent skull design – which fits the enthusiast theme but is certainly not to everyone’s taste. It bears mentioning again that Intel used to frown upon these kinds of activities. Asked by THG why the company was suddenly officially demonstrating a number of heavily tuned systems at the IDF (especially in the extreme gaming niche), an Intel representative answered that this was Intel’s new strategy. This would also lay to rest the rumor that questioned the availability of quad-SLI on Intel motherboards.
The two quad-core Xeon processors are based on the Penryn core (12 MB L2 cache, Harpertown, 45nm process), run at a stock clock speed of 3.4 GHz, and were overclocked to 4 GHz using a VapoChill compression-cooling system. Intel’s new Skulltrail motherboard with quad-SLI support and dual socket 771 formed the basis for this system – which would also explain the skull-heavy design of the case. The FSB of this configuration runs at 1600 MHz (quad-pumped 400 MHz). Intel’s monster PC features 4 GB of RAM (2 x Micron 2GB DDR2-800 FBDIMMs). Not surprisingly, the Skulltrail system offered extraordinary gaming and video encoding performance.