Intel's Skulltrail is an enthusiast gaming platform that was released on February 19, 2008. It is based on the company's 5400 "Seaburg" workstation chipset. The primary difference between Skulltrail and Intel's current and past enthusiast chipsets is a dual CPU socket design that allows two processors to operate on the same motherboard. Therefore, Skulltrail can operate eight processing cores on one system. The platform supports two Core 2 Extreme QX9775 processors, which operate at 3.2 GHz.
Skulltrail is currently the only platform to support SLI on chipsets not designed by NVIDIA. It achieves this by including two NVIDIA nForce 100 MCP chips. The implementation of SLI supports Quad SLI technology, which is achieved through the use of two dual-GPU graphics cards from NVIDIA, including the GeForce 9800 GX2. This gives a total of 4 Graphics Processors. Owners of Skulltrail systems can also make use of up to four ATI graphics cards using ATI CrossFireX technology, making SkullTrail the only platform to support both SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU technologies.
Skulltrail has a front side bus rate of 400 MHz (1600 MHz QDR), and was demonstrated with two 45 nanometer High-K processors running at 3.2 GHz. During IDF, a 4.0 GHz phase cooled Skulltrail system was demonstrated. Then on October 22, 2007, the two processors were demonstrated running at 4.4 GHz, water cooled. They were demonstrated again on October 31 2007, this time running at 5.0 GHz, phase cooled. On April 18, 2008 Tom's Hardware, reporting from an Overclocking Enthusiast site, reported that an overclocked speed of 6.006 GHz was achieved on an 8-core Skulltrail setup.
The base Skulltrail platform consists an Intel D5400XS mainboard which will cost upwards of US$ 600 when it hits the market as a standalone part. Computers based on the Skulltrail platform will also require high-output power supplies for both the CPU and graphics cards, along with computer chassis capable of accommodating the motherboard, which is based on an Extended ATX form factor design. However, Atomic has reported that they can accommodate cheaper Xeon server microprocessors.
Intel's Skulltrail D5400XS motherboard is made of two nForce chips, the Skulltrail D5400XS motherboard is the only motherboard available that runs both nVidia's SLI and ATI's Crossfire platforms out of the box with public hardware drivers.