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Intel's SkullTrail Platform, Playground for Titans? - Intel's SkullTrail Platform, Playground for Titans?
Mon, February 11 2008 | 3:21PM | PermaLink Feedback?
Awhile back we looked at Intel's V8 system, kind of a proof of what is technically feasible using off the shelf components. Even though the performance in truly multithreaded applications was impressive, the gaming performance was somewhat lackluster, primarily because of the use of FBDIMMs and only a single PCIe graphics slot. On the other hand, the entire platform was never meant to become the backbone of a gaming rig in the first place. Then came the QuadFX platform with a promising architecture but it failed to impress compared to even AMD's in-house competition. Meanwhile, there is a new generation of CPU out there based on Intel's P1266 45 nm process and with a 12 MB L2 cache per package. There is also the recurrent rumor about Intel supporting SLI, or rather nVidia allowing Intel to support it in view of the AMD-ATI marriage. Well, something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear ... This time we are not having the carrot juice, rather we are embarking on a rather grizzly adventure on the SkullTrail, looking at the architecture and the core assignment of different applications and then try to come up with some halfway educated guesses why some software behaves the way it does, once it is confronted with eight individual cores and caches and two largely independent memory subsystems. That part actually turned out to be easier than we thought.
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