Goodbye SkullTrail, Hello Dual Socket Extreme

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It's no longer code-named "Skulltrail." Just call Intel's Dual Socket Extreme Desktop platform what it really is: a monster motherboard. The gaming community has been buzzing about the newest enthusiast-level motherboard to come rolling off Intel's assembly line, so it seems only appropriate that this news is coming out of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Why the big deal?

For starters, the D5400XS can support two quad-core CPUs for a total of eight processing engines. Then there's the graphics cards. The motherboard hedges bets by supporting multiple GPUs from either the Nvidia or ATI camps. Whether you want to rig Radeon cards in CrossFire or join GeForce boards in SLI, you're covered.

Dual Socket Extreme seems perfect for power-hungry gamers, CAD designers, and other heavy-duty computer users.

How much will this set you back? The motherboard itself will retail for about $650. Then, of course, you need to plug in a couple Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 CPUs at $1500 a pop. Don't forget a couple high-end graphics cards (another $400 per card). In short: Don't buy that new car just yet.

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